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 Can obesity be considered an epidemic?
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2005 :  09:23:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Subjectmatter:

if you are incapable of ignoring your desire to eat then you ARE WEAK MINDED. Now, you can call that a psychlogical condition if you wish, but every aspect of everyones behaviour can be described in the same way. Claiming that you are not responsible because of this would be akin to waiving your basic human right to freedom.


quote:
Originally posted by Kil

quote:
subjectmatter:
And I never meant to demean people who are weak minded, there is nothing wrong with that, nor is there anything wrong with people who are fat or obese or have cancer or are psychotic... If that is what they want then that's fine by me.


Me:

I see. So what your saying is you just can't help being judgmental and, dare I say, a bigot. I don't mean to demean you by calling you a bigot by the way. If that is what you want to be it's fine by me…




quote:
Subjectmatter:

I do not consider what I have written to be judgemental nor do I see how you justify calling me a bigot... I am a bigot, but not because of my views on obesity but my perhaps rather more extreme views of (overly)religious people.

I must ask you to explain yourself more in-depth.


It is your continued use of the judgmental phrase “weak minded” that has me going. Now, you can claim, as you did, that you didn't mean to offend “weak minded” people, as though you know who those people are and can define them thusly. “Weak minded” people are those who will not do what it takes to bring down their weight, so says you. It is your way of blaming fat people for being fat. While it is true that some people may lack the will power (on to which you have added the much more judgmental term of weak mindedness) to do what the Doctor says to do, many follow strict diet regimes only to find that the fat is still there. It is one thing to talk about diets that work, diets that do no work, how genetics plays a role in being overweight, how corporations play a roll in promoting bad foods, How some people ignore their health and on and on. But to lump all of those who are obese or overweight as “weak minded” is prejudicial baloney.

There is nothing in the DSM about “weak mindedness”. This is not a term any psychologist would use when describing overweight people (or anyone else for that matter) since there are many possible factors leading to such a condition and not all of them are psychological. Furthermore, a person's psychology is not always the key to success, which “weak mindedness” implies. It is an extremely prejudicial term that waves away the possibility of factors that really are out of our ability to personally control. And even after acknowledging those factors, you still seem to think it is right to call people “weak minded”.

Anecdotally, I work very hard at keeping my weight down. I am a type two diabetic and so it is very important that I do not eat poorly. I have a job that keeps me physically active. Nevertheless, the pot remains. My Dad had it, my Uncles had it and I have that fucking pot. You just have no idea how much I have worked at changing the hand that genetics has dealt me. So to hear some guy who will probably never have to deal with having to keep his weight in

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2005 :  10:10:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kil

quote:
Subjectmatter:

if you are incapable of ignoring your desire to eat then you ARE WEAK MINDED. Now, you can call that a psychlogical condition if you wish, but every aspect of everyones behaviour can be described in the same way. Claiming that you are not responsible because of this would be akin to waiving your basic human right to freedom.


quote:
Originally posted by Kil

quote:
subjectmatter:
And I never meant to demean people who are weak minded, there is nothing wrong with that, nor is there anything wrong with people who are fat or obese or have cancer or are psychotic... If that is what they want then that's fine by me.


Me:

I see. So what your saying is you just can't help being judgmental and, dare I say, a bigot. I don't mean to demean you by calling you a bigot by the way. If that is what you want to be it's fine by me…




quote:
Subjectmatter:

I do not consider what I have written to be judgemental nor do I see how you justify calling me a bigot... I am a bigot, but not because of my views on obesity but my perhaps rather more extreme views of (overly)religious people.

I must ask you to explain yourself more in-depth.


It is your continued use of the judgmental phrase “weak minded” that has me going. Now, you can claim, as you did, that you didn't mean to offend “weak minded” people, as though you know who those people are and can define them thusly. “Weak minded” people are those who will not do what it takes to bring down their weight, so says you. It is your way of blaming fat people for being fat. While it is true that some people may lack the will power (on to which you have added the much more judgmental term of weak mindedness) to do what the Doctor says to do, many follow strict diet regimes only to find that the fat is still there. It is one thing to talk about diets that work, diets that do no work, how genetics plays a role in being overweight, how corporations play a roll in promoting bad foods, How some people ignore their health and on and on. But to lump all of those who are obese or overweight as “weak minded” is prejudicial baloney.

There is nothing in the DSM about “weak mindedness”. This is not a term any psychologist would use when describing overweight people (or anyone else for that matter) since there are many possible factors leading to such a condition and not all of them are psychological. Furthermore, a person's psychology is not always the key to success, which “weak mindedness” implies. It is an extremely prejudicial term that waves away the possibility of factors that really are out of our ability to personally control. And even after acknowledging those factors, you still seem to think it is right to call people “weak minded”.

Anecdotally, I work very hard at keeping my weight down. I am a type two diabetic and so it is very important that I do not eat poorly. I have a job that keeps me physically active. Nevertheless, the pot remains. My Dad had it, my Uncles had it and I have that fucking pot. You just have no idea how

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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LizW
Skeptic Friend

USA
113 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2005 :  12:48:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send LizW a Private Message
quote:
by Siberia
Physical problem. Rheumatoid arthritis, to be specific, since eight months old. I don't mind being chubby (most of time...) but it would really help the whole starting-to-walk again business if I were slimmer.


If you have good use of your arms look into this:http://www.rexdonald.com/handbike.htm

If not, see if your Dr. will refer you for physical therapy. Hang in and good luck.

You learn something new every g****mn day!
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2005 :  16:42:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
Subjectmatter wrote: The metaphysics of Kant are not simple and what I stated there is a gross oversimplification, but I doubt you have the patience to read a complete account of it. Nor do I have the time to write one. If you are really interested I suggest you read 'The Critique of Pure Reason'. Do not criticize it based on an offhand sentence which I wrote in order to clarify an argument however. (my emphasis added)

Why you condescending little monkey.

I understand the epistemology of Kant (I read Kant in college). But that has nothing to do with my criticism of your lacking a backing for your claim. Your bringing it up was nothing more than a lame name-drop and pathetic attempt to avoid either a.) standing up for what you claimed by doing some research, or b.) backing off and admitting you don't have anything to back up your claim and you don't have the time to do the research.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 09/16/2005 16:44:05
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Subjectmatter
Skeptic Friend

173 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2005 :  01:34:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Subjectmatter a Private Message
Please compose yourself and consider what you are writing.
quote:
“Weak minded” people are those who will not do what it takes to bring down their weight, so says you.

I have never made any such statement. I will never make any such statement and I resent the implication that I would make any such statement.
Further you seem to be implying that I am simplifying the issue of weight to merely the question of eating and not eating. The purpose of almost every post in this thread made by me could be summarized by an indignant "It's not that simple!".

Lastly you make some personal assumptions about me which are not necessarily correct.
quote:
some guy


One point you make which I do appreciate is the insisting on the difference between "weak-minded" and "weak-willed". I myslef would consider them to be synonymous but I agree that some people might not. For which reason I withdraw my use of "weak-minded" in favour of "weak-willed". The rest of that statement remains however, and still it says nothing about overweight or obese people.

Sibling Atom Bomb of Couteous Debate
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Subjectmatter
Skeptic Friend

173 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2005 :  01:53:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Subjectmatter a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox

Subjectmatter wrote: The metaphysics of Kant are not simple and what I stated there is a gross oversimplification, but I doubt you have the patience to read a complete account of it. Nor do I have the time to write one. If you are really interested I suggest you read 'The Critique of Pure Reason'. Do not criticize it based on an offhand sentence which I wrote in order to clarify an argument however. (my emphasis added)

Why you condescending little monkey.

I understand the epistemology of Kant (I read Kant in college). But that has nothing to do with my criticism of your lacking a backing for your claim. Your bringing it up was nothing more than a lame name-drop and pathetic attempt to avoid either a.) standing up for what you claimed by doing some research, or b.) backing off and admitting you don't have anything to back up your claim and you don't have the time to do the research.



apologies for the posting twice...

I wasn't actually trying to make any claim per se. I might have come across as doing so and for that I apologize but I was only trying to put that forward as a possibility to support my argument that it would be questionable to dismiss diet soda as unrelated to weight gain. Which it sounded as though you were implying at the time.

But please understand that I certainly never intended something as a mere name-drop. You must agree that it did sound as though you were making light of Kant (something I admit, I was guilty of too). And it was relevant to the argument since you stated, or seemed to me to be stating, that I should only use complete unequivocal truths in my arguments. That was what I was arguing against when I mentioned Kant

The emphasized phrase was badly written. I meant to say "I doubt you have the patience to read a complete account of it written by me", the implication was supposed to be that there were far better ways of studying it which is why I made such a simplified statement.
For that I apologize and you are quite right to call me condescending as it is, but that was not the tone I was striving to use. I was going more for concilatory, as I had come to understand your objection and I was under the impression that I had communicated mine. I see now that that was not the case and I hope I make more sense now.

Sibling Atom Bomb of Couteous Debate
Edited by - Subjectmatter on 09/17/2005 01:54:30
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2005 :  23:31:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
I have seen clear evidence in research that obesity is much more than a will power deficit. And it isn't necessarily all those psychological eating issues either though they obviously play a big part in some people's eating habits.

But to those of you claiming it is merely will power I ask, on what evidence do you base that conclusion? If it is merely the evidence that one can choose to eat or not, then where is your evidence that it differs from being able to choose to breathe except in its time frame? in other words, I can hold my breath but only for so long.

I say one can refuse food but only for so long. There are exceptions from the small number of successful dieters (~5% if I recall correctly), to a few hunger strikers who have had a different motivation. But as a whole, most people in the population can not merely eat less through discipline. Research has shown this to be the case. So where's your research to the contrary?
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Subjectmatter
Skeptic Friend

173 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2005 :  08:09:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Subjectmatter a Private Message
quote:
I have seen clear evidence in research that obesity is much more than a will power deficit

Considering that there are people who struggle in the other direction, who want to weigh more, it would be very difficult for someone to argue that it is merely a question of will power - if that was the case then underweight people would just have to stop trying to lose weight in order to gain it...

I doubt whether even a fundamentalist would cling to such a claim.

Sibling Atom Bomb of Couteous Debate
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2005 :  08:34:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
Subjectmatter, Ok, I might have jumped the gun on you. Though I despise the term “weak minded” and I think you were wrong to heap that on top of a lack of will power, I see that you are not blaming all obesity on those who have that condition…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Trish
SFN Addict

USA
2102 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2005 :  00:28:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Trish a Private Message
Gads. I'm glad I read through all the posts. A personal account, 2 years ago, I weighed in at approximately 230, I'm about 5'6". I had been off my medication for about 1 year. I eat fairly healthy, realizing that consumption of protien with carbohydrates is detrimental to most metabolisms, and so avoid meat and potatoes in the same meal. (If I could remember the exact reason, outside of the way the proteins and carbohydrates are broken down on the cellular level, I'd be more than happy to explain, but human biology was a long time ago in college.) I gained weight during my 1 year off my medication, while going to the gym every day for approximately 1 hour. I began to lose the weight (down to about 175) only after starting my medication again. I am currently in a situation where I cannot afford my medication again, and therefore expect, if I do not get adequate income and health insurance, to regain that weight. I do walk considerably more than the average person as I ride the bus, no door to door service.

I will, however, warn that working out, in excess, can also be detrimental to ones health. Dude I believe mentioned that less than 20% body fat is considered healthy. Those standards are different between men and women. I had, at one time, 9% body fat, dangerously unhealthy in a woman. In fact, women should maintain body fat between 16 and 22%. Below 12% body fat, women's bodies begin to shut down certain systems.

Weight gain, is not necessarily overeating and not exercising. As someone pointed out, lower caloric intake and exercise can actually trigger in some an inability to burn fat, their bodies are simply not provided with the appropriate nutrition and caloric intake that will allow them to burn the fat. Their bodies are in fact hoarding fat.

As for my medical condition, hypothyroidism, I've mentioned that I have abnormal T7 levels. However, most doctors when ordering tests for thyroid problems in relation to obesity order T3 and T4 levels, not a full TSH panel. My T3 and T4 levels are quite normal. Had I not had an abnormally shaped thyroid gland I doubt my doctor would have ordered a full TSH panel. In which case, I would continue to wonder why I can't lose weight on a normal diet.

Thyroid disorders are only one of many physical problems that contribute to being overweight. There are others, as well, Celiac Disease (which I've recently been diagnosed with) also can lead to obesity when undiagnosed. You see, my body can not fully process the vitamins and minerals taken in until my small intestine has the time to repair itself.

The fact that those who are living in poverty can not afford adequate medical coverage may contribute to the reasons these individuals are more likely to suffer from obesity hasn't even been mentioned. There are many physiological reasons for people to be overweight that are under or undiagnosed.

As has been pointed out, obesity is also related to genetics. I have a brother that could eat a large pizza on his own throughout highschool and never seemed to gain weight, considering he weighed in at 114 lbs at 5'9" when he went to bootcamp. Throughout bootcamp he was put on double rations and weight training, his current weight is about 155 at 6'2". Where if I ate the way he does, I'd look like a blimp.

Not all weight gain is related to caloric intake vs calories burned. Each individual has differing metabolisms and physiologies. Add to these the addtional problems of their endocrinologic systems you've got a soup that requires each individual to seek medical assistance when attempting to lose weight, not a luxury many in our society have. Yes, healthy eating and exercise are major contributing factors to weight maintenance, however, there are other factors that must also be considered.

...no one has ever found a 4.5 billion year old stone artifact (at the right geological stratum) with the words "Made by God."
No Sense of Obligation by Matt Young

"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying and vile!"
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

They (Women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines.
LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2005 :  01:25:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Subjectmatter

quote:
I have seen clear evidence in research that obesity is much more than a will power deficit

Considering that there are people who struggle in the other direction, who want to weigh more, it would be very difficult for someone to argue that it is merely a question of will power - if that was the case then underweight people would just have to stop trying to lose weight in order to gain it...

I doubt whether even a fundamentalist would cling to such a claim.

This is poor reasoning here and doesn't support your position. One's weight is the result of very complex interactions between nature and nurture. Like many health and physical characteristics, you aren't looking at any single gene or single external stimuli. In addition, there are many eating disorders both psychological and physical.

But on the whole, people without psychological and physical disorders have a hard time just willing themselves to restrict caloric intake. For those that have had some stimuli to gain weight such as pregnancy or menopause, losing weight is not a matter of will power. It is a matter of trying to overcome a physical drive to maintain one's over weight condition. Many people who are overweight do not gain more, they remain at a certain set weight. When they try to lose weight, whether by exercise or diet or both, for the vast majority, (>90% I'm pretty sure), are not successful.

When you look at that data, you can continue to believe it is a matter of motivation and/or so called will power. In that case you have to believe the vast majority of overweight folks are just unwilling to improve themselves. Yet the diet industry is making billions on everything from fitness centers to diet drugs and diet plans. That indicates people want to lose weight so they are motivated. Yet they fail.

Well, you can go on persisting that it is just their choices or will power or whatever, OR, you can try to find out why it is. Is it really 'will power'? I can hold my breath but only for so long. We know from research that dieters experience the same phenomenon. They can limit calories but only for so long. Then the drive to eat overrides the motivation to lose weight in the vast majority of overweight people.

Research has uncovered some of the mechanisms or at least has given direction where to look for the mechanisms. It turns out there are specific things that lead to weight gain. That could be the couch potato diet, other psychological factors, and very commonly, hormones. But once the weight is gained, there is an almost universal drive to maintain the new set point of one's overweight condition. The longer one is overweight, the more solidly that new set point is fixed. And for some, it is fixed by genetics in the overweight setting from the beginning.

That is not 'will power'. It is biological drive.
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Subjectmatter
Skeptic Friend

173 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2005 :  06:15:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Subjectmatter a Private Message
Sorry about raising this thread again, I didn't see this before and want to clarify something.

I believe you are misreading my post skeptigal I was in fact agreeing with you, it was offered as a simple to show, that there is indeed a lot more to consider.

Sibling Atom Bomb of Couteous Debate
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2005 :  10:59:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Subjectmatter

Sorry about raising this thread again, I didn't see this before and want to clarify something.

I believe you are misreading my post skeptigal I was in fact agreeing with you, it was offered as a simple to show, that there is indeed a lot more to consider.

As Gilda Radner used to say, "Nevermind".

I see upon re-reading your post that I did mis-read it.
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2005 :  11:16:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
To Trish,

Thanks for that awesome post and being willing to share your personal story, as it definitely shed some light on this conversation - which was interesting despite the many misunderstandings and occasionally high emotions.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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