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Thread: Obesity myth

  1. #11

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    I'm fat and I would never argue that fat can be healthy or that fat people aren't largely responsible for their plight. Being fat is a poor way to treat your body, and I am ashamed that I cannot control it as well as I would like. I think fat people who push the "I love my body and you should too" philosophy are just as twisted and wrong as the pro-ana people. If you asked the pro-fat fat people whether they'd accept a magical and immediate change to a healthy body, they'd say yes without thinking about it. If that makes me a Fat Uncle Tom, so be it.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe View Post
    ..is the name of a book from 2005 about how 'obesity' was never a serious health risk, and how it's all just an excuse to rag on fat people. (which I have always suspected)

    what do you think?
    There was a big study published on this subject just a couple weeks ago. The study looks at the correlation of weight and mortality rates.

    Obese (BMI over 30) and underweight (BMI under 18.5) are both associated with higher mortality rates and thus are assumed to be bad for you.

    On the other hand, overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9) doesn't seem to correlate to overall higher mortality rates compared to being at one's right weight. On the negative side, overweight people have higher death rates for things like diabetes and kidney disease; but on the positive side being overweight seems to provide some beneficial health protection from other ailments like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. And being overweight doesn't seem to increase the risk of death from cancer and heart disease.

    So if everything else is equal and one keeps generally fit, then it's okay (and maybe even beneficial) to carry an extra 20 or 25 pounds of fat.

    But at 30 pounds, you start crossing the dividing line into obesity and increased risk of disease and higher mortality rates. "Obese people -- generally those more than 30 pounds overweight for their height -- have a higher risk of death from a variety of ills, including some cancers and heart disease."

    http://online.wsj.com/public/article...673884210.html

    http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2007/11/...better-health/

  3. #13
    ~*taaa raaa raaa boom*~ targobelle's Avatar
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    this is interesting stats as I recently had a body composition done where I was weighed, and measured and had an electrode reading of my body fat done, in this I was told I needed to lose 20lbs to be in a healthy range, AND I was currently at 34% body fat. Um the 2 are NOT coinciding in my opinion
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  4. #14
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    BMI is pretty much a worthless indicator, anyways.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by targo View Post
    this is interesting stats as I recently had a body composition done where I was weighed, and measured and had an electrode reading of my body fat done, in this I was told I needed to lose 20lbs to be in a healthy range, AND I was currently at 34% body fat. Um the 2 are NOT coinciding in my opinion
    BMI is different from body fat percentage. The numbers aren't necessarily going to match up.

    BMI is based on height vs. weight and provides a fairly simple way to calculate a very general indicator of relative weight. It doesn't take into account your bone structure or level of fitness, so you have to adjust for that mentally yourself. But generally speaking, over 30 percent is considered obese for both sexes.

    Body mass index - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Body fat percentage, on the other hand, gives a more accurate picture of how much spare flab you're carrying around because it measures actual fat content. For men, obese would be over 25 percent. For women - over 32 percent.

    Body fat percentage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The latest study on mortality rates published on November 6 of this year (the one that I referred to in my last post) effectively broadens the range of what can be considered healthy. The medical community used to think that "normal weight" was healthy and "overweight" was unhealthy. Now it looks like "overweight" is healthy too, and you don't actually get into an unhealthy range until you start getting up into the "obese" range.

    In other words, it used to be considered bad to be "pleasingly plump." But the latest study indicates that "pleasingly plump" may be okay. You just don't want to get to the point of being "sloppily fat."

    Also, it's worth keeping in mind that weight is just a very general indicator of health. It's mainly just an overall view of the person and how they're taking care of their body. If someone is obese in their youth and they're not offsetting the obesity with good habits like exercise on a regular basis, then obesity is a forward-looking indicator that predicts they are probably going to have more health problems than usual as they get older, and that they should probably start working on some better habits.

    It's like smoking. It's not necessarily a problem when you're young. But as you get older, it puts a strain on the body and leads to predictable sorts of health problems. So it's preferable to think long-term and try to curb the bad habits relatively early before they start straining your body's coping mechanisms too much.

    By the way, Tara, I've seen your pictures here on the message board, and you look pretty good to me. I like women with curves on them.

    IOW, overweight and even borderline obese can still look good and be sexy. The medical community defines the lower level of "obesity" pretty low, by my standards. My wife is a middle-aged woman from Indiana, and she definitely has a round, curvy look to her. And I'm no lightweight either. We're both probably borderline obese. But we also both work out at least a couple times a week to stay healthy and keep active and to offset the extra weight and make sure it doesn't become a problem when we have our annual check-ups. So far, so good.

  6. #16
    ~*taaa raaa raaa boom*~ targobelle's Avatar
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    why thank you!

    I work out at least 5days a week for 90+mins mostly cardio work and some pilates/yoga as well. Physically speaking when I had the fitness assessment that was based on my age range I scored excellent including my heart rate that was reading 66 beats per min. My only issue was my balance.

    I should eat better, but I am working on that. My number 1 goal for working out is my health. I am at a high risk for type II diabetes (due to having gestational diabetes) and also high blood pressure. Because of my pregnancy medical history I was denied critical illness insurance when we re mortgaged our home and it was rather painful to realize this.

    my 2nd reason is for my children, so they grow up with healthy habits and stay healthy kids.

    My daughter is 8yrs old and weighs 58lbs she's a lil over 4feet tall, my 6yr old boy is 48lbs he's my midget but still is approaching 4 feet. My almost 5yr old is my football player and he's 45lbs and just a few inches shorter than his brother. I want them to have the life I didn't. I want them to know that food, all food is good, and to teach them to balance the healthy food with the junk. I want them to be happy with themselves and to be active individuals.

    So all I do I do for them.
    ~t ...in need of hugs please...
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by targo View Post
    why thank you!

    I work out at least 5days a week for 90+mins mostly cardio work and some pilates/yoga as well. Physically speaking when I had the fitness assessment that was based on my age range I scored excellent including my heart rate that was reading 66 beats per min. My only issue was my balance.

    I should eat better, but I am working on that. My number 1 goal for working out is my health. I am at a high risk for type II diabetes (due to having gestational diabetes) and also high blood pressure. Because of my pregnancy medical history I was denied critical illness insurance when we re mortgaged our home and it was rather painful to realize this.

    my 2nd reason is for my children, so they grow up with healthy habits and stay healthy kids.

    My daughter is 8yrs old and weighs 58lbs she's a lil over 4feet tall, my 6yr old boy is 48lbs he's my midget but still is approaching 4 feet. My almost 5yr old is my football player and he's 45lbs and just a few inches shorter than his brother. I want them to have the life I didn't. I want them to know that food, all food is good, and to teach them to balance the healthy food with the junk. I want them to be happy with themselves and to be active individuals.

    So all I do I do for them.
    That all sounds good. That's quite a lot of exercising, and it will go a long, long way toward offsetting any ill health from weight issues.

    Getting a handle on good eating habits is good too. (Though my own eating habits aren't the best. I don't put as much effort into good eating habits as I do in working out.)

    The main thing will be to keep up the work-out habits going for a lifetime. People tend to get stale on their work-out routines, take a break, and then take a long time before getting back to the gym again. Meantime their weight balloons back up without the work-out to burn extra calories.

    So if you start feeling stale on your workout routine, don't be afraid to change up and try a new routine or a new exercise. Just make sure to keep going to the gym, even if it's only for a short, casual routine.

    I've been working out since I was 18. But I've also taken long breaks at times. And as I get older, those breaks play havoc with my weight and health. So I'm finding that it becomes more and more important to stay steady on the work-out routine as I get older.

    Just a little forward-looking advice for you. The really difficult thing about good habits is that you have to maintain them for a lifetime. If you take a break from them, the resulting deterioration can be worse than if you never started the good habits up in the first place.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe View Post
    ..is the name of a book from 2005 about how 'obesity' was never a serious health risk, and how it's all just an excuse to rag on fat people. (which I have always suspected)

    what do you think?
    Well, I don't think that the idea of obesity being bad for your health is a myth, and I don't think it's a myth, either, that there are a lot of people these days in Western society who are too fat for their own good.

    But I do think it's a myth that it's a new thing, and I don't think it's about ragging on fat people. I think it's more about the government wanting to a) boost the economy by the sale of diet/fitness books, regimes etc and b) make the public think they're taking an interest in their health and doing their job properly.

    It always seems to me that the more the government/media go on about something being bad, the worse it gets. With the exception, possibly, of smoking - figures for that have actually gone down considerably in recent years. But it's like the violence on TV/violent kids correlation.

    The shows on the kids' channels here, if I watch them with the kids, I find them sickeningly saccharinish, just puke-worthy and so overtly preachy that it's like going back to the Victorian period where great stories like The Water Babies were ruined by having to add all the moral lectures and stuff in such a ram-it-down-your-throat fashion. And yet the kids I meet at the schools and stuff, the ones I deal with in my community work - well, they just seem to be getting more and more spoilt, selfish, brattish, combative, and as they get older, increasingly nihilistic and destructive. And yet when I was a kid, and my generation were raised on Tom and Jerry kicking the shit out of each other with fire axes and stuff, the old age pensioners didn't seem too scared to leave their homes then!

    The same with the fat thing. The more people go on about it, the more the town seems to be full of fatties when I'm walking through on a Saturday, and there are kids in my kids' classes who have just ballooned in the past year or two, while the ones who were already fat haven't got any thinner.
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    But I do think it's a myth that it's a new thing, and I don't think it's about ragging on fat people. I think it's more about the government wanting to a) boost the economy by the sale of diet/fitness books, regimes etc and b) make the public think they're taking an interest in their health and doing their job properly.

    It always seems to me that the more the government/media go on about something being bad, the worse it gets. With the exception, possibly, of smoking - figures for that have actually gone down considerably in recent years. But it's like the violence on TV/violent kids correlation....
    It sounds like you blame the government for bringing problems into existence by talking about them.

    Or it could be the other way around. That is, kids were raised with structure and cultural homogeneity up through the 50s and 60s. But then the cultural homogeneity broke down with the legalization of divorce, the single-parent families, the "do your own thing" mentality, the drift away from organized religion, the emphasis on cultural diversity, etc. Those things have good reasons to exist, but as a side effect the kids today aren't getting the structure and the homogenized, universal values that kids in previous generations received in the home or picked up from the culture through osmosis. Young parents aren't as well equipped to raise kids (for example, they travel away from where they were raised and don't live with their extended families like earlier generations, they're working and short on time and feel it's okay to raise their kids on fast food, etc.), and the kids today are more adrift and fragmented in their values and left more to their own devices. So the government is called upon to try to enforce values through the schools and the kids' programming on TV.

    You mentioned the government's anti-smoking campaign and the resulting reduced smoking rates as a government success. There were others, too.

    For example, the government was involved in the physical fitness business in the 60s. Here in the U.S., Kennedy instituted the President's Council on Physical Fitness and pushed for gym classes in elementary and high schools, partly in response to the launching of Sputnik and the fear that the Cold War might turn hot and the U.S. would need a physically fit generation for war.* The gym classes led to a generation of baby boomers who valued an active lifestyle and have stayed fairly healthy right into their old age. (By comparison, in the 1950s, most middle-aged men were in terrible shape and just took it for granted that they would die of a heart attack at age 55.) The government effort was considered a success; partly because it was so successful, it was allowed to lapse (most funding was withdrawn) and was largely forgotten. Across subsequent years, without the government pushing the schools on the issue, gym classes and sports programs have been downgraded in importance in the elementary and high schools or even dropped altogether. But as the younger generations get lazy again, some are calling for the government to get back into the physical fitness business again.

    These are all examples of a government responding to an existing or growing cultural problem, not a government bringing a problem into existence by talking about it too much.

    Don't get me wrong. I've been divorced, I like doing my own thing, and I'm not a fan of centralized government social programming. But I think cultural problems arise due to cultural reasons. And partly due to its success in dealing with cultural problems like smoking and physical fitness, the government is increasingly called upon to tackle the newer cultural "epidemics" when they start getting obviously out of hand.

    *That's apocryphal. But supposedly that's the reason he revived an old semi-forgotten Eisenhowever sports program (which in turn was supposedly about bringing American fitness levels up to European fitness levels)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    It sounds like you blame the government for bringing problems into existence by talking about them.
    No, I wasn't blaming as such, just observing that whatever it was they were trying to do about it didn't seem to be working. At least not where I live, anyway.

    I actually think that the kids round these parts get too much structurized stuff, and have lost the ability to "just play" without having some kind of instructions or supervision; they don't just go out and play on the grass, and all their recreational activity seems to be organized clubs and stuff, and these aren't even the 'hang out' type youth clubs that I remember where there was a choice of activity that you could choose from and drift around and stuff with your pals - they're all structured with specific activities that the kids all do together with a regular routine etc.

    They're always either at school, or with childminders who provide structured activities for them under close supervision and regulations, or extra-curricular hothousing with academic and/or sports clubs. The little time they do spend at home seems to be playing video games or watching TV, then doing their homework and going to bed. They don't even go and call for their buddies any more - any visiting with friends has to take place with a week's notice and parents ferrying them door to door in the car.

    We're obviously talking about totally different cultures and places - I'm talking about Middle England, you seem to be talking about lower class America
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