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There is a lot of weird obsession on this site with trying to confuse people about whether being overweight or obese is ok or not ok, healthy or unhealthy. Here are some basic truths, which you don’t need to do massive research on to prove.

People are overweight or obese at much higher rates today than in the past not just because there is a lot more and cheaper food available, but it’s because of these basic reasons:

1.    Due to the information/computer revolution our jobs and lives and entertainment are a lot more sedentary. Our kids are a lot more inactive as well, playing outside less and spending a whole lot more time in front of TVs, computers, video game consoles.
2.    Desire for instant gratification + fast food + processed foods overavailability = nightmare in our bodies.
3.    A huge amount of diets often promote untenable eating habits, easily broken and cheated on with the above fast food + processed foods.

Most people who are overweight/obese are that way because it’s their fault. Harsh, I know, but true. Most, does not mean all. Some have medical conditions, but those are a very small fraction of the population. Reading some of the diaries here would lead you to believe that 50%+ of overweight people have these conditions based on the response rate, but reality is those medical conditions are quite rare (less than 5% and probably around 1%). I am overweight. I eat generally ok, but mostly maintaining my weight. When I seriously try to exercise and focus on eating both less and healthier, I lose 5-10lbs over a month or two, and then slide back down due to my own lack of willpower to continue in the same vein. It’s my own fault, and it is the fault of about 90-95% of the young to middle-age Americans who are overweight, for not being in better shape.

People who are overweight or obese will statistically have a lot more health problems than normal weight people. It’s just a fact. No matter why or how you got fat. No matter how healthy you consider yourself to be or how much you exercise. That means that some overweight/obese people will be “healthy” but many more will not be, in rates much higher than the rates of the “normal” weight people. Overweight/obese people have statistically higher blood pressure (for obvious reasons – heart must pump harder to support the weight), much higher rates of diabetes, joint damage (again obvious reasons – heavy weight is hard on the joints), heart disease (fat deposits in your arteries), etc. Instead of living healthier lives, we (and I am guilty as well) simply start depending on the blood pressure medication and statins.
For most people (again most is not all) the following will help lose weight:

1.    Aerobic exercise that decently raises heart rate a few times a week.
2.    Eating smaller portions of somewhat better food (not all burgers, fried chicken, fries, pizza, etc)
3.    Continuing 1 and 2 on a regular basis without cheating.

We are eating more crap than ever and are less active than ever and people are CONFUSED about why we are getting fatter and fatter? Bullshit. Look at the Asian countries. I’ve been to Korea and Japan multiple times. People eat much healthier in much smaller portions. That ALONE made me see only less than 5% of the population overweight and I maybe saw about 1-2% who were demonstrably obese. It was that rare. Look at what you eat and do and stop making excuses. It’s true that we got culturally skewered into processed and fast foods, but individually we can make a difference if we really try.


Am I "mostly" right?

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31%23 votes
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| 73 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  So you have stated the cold hard truth. I would (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cryonaut, melfunction, beaky

    add this simple perspective:  weight is physics at a basic level.  You can lose weight by eating less and exercising or doing one or the other which takes longer.  You  can alter what you eat too but this still means eating less over time.  And yes I agree, we are the agents of our dietary habits.  They can be changed but it appears to be very difficult for many of us to do this.  I hope Mr. Christie will consider losing weight frohis own sake and that of his family who care about him.  But if not, he is welcome to run for president, perhaps his thin-skinned nature and bully personality will be in fashion after the thoughtful, calm  bearing of Obama.  

    •  sometimes it's not as simple as just eating less (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      since different foods trigger different processes in our bodies, but generally it's true.

      I think to focus on "fat but healthy" is a dangerous focus on exception rather than the rule and promotes confusion.

      I don't support fat shaming. I also don't support obscuring the problems so that we offend the least amount of people.

      •  sugar, grease and salt are the main components (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cryonaut, melfunction, supenau

        in a fast food meal and it seems Americans are relying on fast food more and more as time progresses.   At the same time we are eating less and less fruits and veggies and also becoming more and more sedentary.  Many kids, including my grandkids are convinced playing ball on a video game is more fun than actually going out and doing it  themselves.  

        However to obscure this is dangerous.  In 1984, a 200 lb female teenager was considered unusually obese;  in 2007 at the clinic we had a 400 lb female teen.  We also saw the phenomenon in the ER where 600 lb tables were insufficient to support some pts.

        I would add another component into our obesity epidemic, namely poverty.  Unfortunately for many people, the cheapest foods such as starches and sugars while meat and fruit and veggies are the most expensive.  Obesity has long been a plague of the poor and as more Americans are forced into poverty, I think we will see that as a third component into national obesity  

    •  All his bluster and screaming will now be endearin (0+ / 0-)

      from the same folks who would whine that Obama was being mean if he gave a cross look, and "Angry Black Man" was all but claimed in certain circles of the media.  

      Keystone XL Pipeline - Canada gets the money, Asia gets the oil, America gets the toxic refinery pollution and potential for a pipeline leak ecological disaster.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 07:02:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  physics at its basic level (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      all these people studying genetics, physiology, biochemistry are basically doing physics. at its basic level. F=ma level.


  •   In the last Democratic Primary I voted for the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    candidate who had the biggest ears. Sadly Kuchinich was not in the primary by the time it got to me but Obama was a good second choice.

    Next time I'll vote for the least overweight, obese, unhealthy candidate.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 06:54:11 PM PST

  •  I'm not particularly concerned... (12+ / 0-)

    ...with the questions you bring up, as important as they are.  

    Rather, in the spirit of this web site's mission, I'm more concerned with the political implications. And every time I see Democrats smugly mocking Chris Christie for being fat, I see the increasing likelihood that the governor I've had to put up with for the last three years will be elected to another four this November.  

    Look at the demographics some time.  Look at how many of us are overweight, and look at the distribution among the groups that should be voting Democratic.  When you vilify fat people, you are vilifying people that we need voting for us.

    I don't mind having a serious discussion about encouraging people to improve their physical fitness.  I do mind cheap shot jokes that only serve to alienate people who happen to be voters.

    •  no doubt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark Mywurtz

      people should not be mocked for being fat. Cheap jokes degrade the political discourse. On the other hand truth should be spoken more often without fear.

      So instead of trying to address the obesity epidemic head on, with constructive suggestions and no obfuscation, we should just accept that it will get worse and hone our message to those affected?

      We already got the big pharma doing that and very successfully.

    •  if he is being mocked for being fat as opposed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melfunction, lazybum, beaky

      to being mocked for being Christie, such as the helicopter ride to his son's game, such as calling the doctor up to scream at her.  Underlying his surface good nature is an expectation of privilege as engrained as Mitt's

  •  There should be warning labels (3+ / 0-)

    on food containing High Fructose Corn Syrup and trans-fats.  These two substances are hidden into many foods which appear healthy. They cannot be digested normally and provoke an unnatural response in the body.  I would like to see warning labels, just like they do with alcohol and cigarrettes when HFCS and polyunsaturated oils are added to the foods.

    We have nowhere else to go... this is all we have. (Margaret Mead)

    by bruised toes on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 07:32:49 PM PST

  •  When You Blame the Individual You Have to Explain (7+ / 0-)

    why individuals only recently became guilty.

    There's simply no doubt that the food industry --and it is an industry with about 98% of us not being farmers-- has been changing the nature of our diet.

    Some changes it advertises, such as "super sizing." Some it just does, such as growing the size of a Coke from 6 ounces to 12 and 16 ounces over the years and expanding portion sizes in restaurants and processed foods to be cooked at home. Other things it doesn't like to talk about, such as manipulating fat and sugar content based on testing analogous to what has been done to cigarette tobacco to make it more appealing. At the same time as first television viewing then computer use grew, and our living spaces shifted from walking dominated to auto dominated, many aspects of our lives have become more sedentary than in the past.

    In a society without a sufficiently pertinent and accurate press, it's not reasonable to put all the blame for a mass trend on the individual for not figuring it all out for themselves, which is the only possible way to get a clear picture given the corporate sponsored media.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 07:34:26 PM PST

  •  Forgive ME for being harsh, but (8+ / 0-)

    "Eating right" and losing 10 pounds does NOT repeat NOT make you an expert.  Who are YOU to say what someone else's metabolism does.  

    May we see your medical bona fides, please?  Are you a certified internist?  With bariatric and metabolic specialities to know so much?

    Please do not display your ignorance.

    I will trust my doctor and what she says about metabolisms and obesity.  And it sure ain't what you're saying.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 07:56:49 PM PST

  •  Let's Face It.... (3+ / 0-)

    The emperor can't fit into his clothes anymore.  I'm not sure people are starting to get vocal about Christie just because he's an overweight guy.    

    He's doing a lot of yelling & intimidating those who dare to bring it up.  Huffing & puffing, calling a doctor up & yelling @ her.

    It's not a good demeanor for a Presidential candidate.  The job requires a cool head, not a freak out artist.  


    •  yea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and you really can't blame this one on Letterman

      not this time

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 10:02:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Governor protests too much (0+ / 0-)

      I can recall when Eisenhower's hospitalizations threw the world into a tizzy.

      I realize that everyone ages, everyone can contract illnesses, but lets start without shall we?

      I don't want the politicians chief of staff conniving with the spouse to hide the fact that decisions are being made by others. The nuclear football should be reserved for the one elected by the voters.

      Just have presidential candidate pass an FAA first class physical with waivers were appropriate, hearing and eyesight, or polio like FDR.

      Do we want another Jack Kennedy, Ronald Reagan or going back President Wilson? Whose decisions were undoubtedly affected by medical cover ups?

  •  Fat hating is an ugly thing, (6+ / 0-)

    particularly when weight issues are oversimplified and wrapped in equally oversimplified "good advice" and personal anecdote rather recent documentation.

    Real medical professionals (among whom the diarist is not to be numbered) are coming to understand that weight is a far more complicated issue than mere calorie in/calorie burned.  To continue to adhere to that outdated mode of thinking is to denigrate the efforts of many people who have striven mightily to lose weight with no discernible long-lasting effects.

    The diarist is perhaps also unaware that some people deliberately choose to be overweight for specific reasons that improve their health.

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:10:42 PM PST

  •  Don't be so sure you know it all (5+ / 0-)

    A sample of research into obesity in the last six months, courtesy

    Fetal Exposure to PVC Plastic Chemical Linked to Obesity in Offspring

        Limiting Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels in Pregnancy May Influence Body Fat of Children

        Researchers Identify a New Gene With a Key Role in Obesity and Diabetes

        Overweight Begins in the Womb: Lifestyle of Mother Shapes Disposition for Subsequent Weight

        Genes and Obesity: Fast Food Isn't Only Culprit in Expanding Waistlines -- DNA Is Also to Blame

        Important Factor in Fat Storage and Energy Metabolism

        Manipulating Hormone Receptors May Help in the Fight Against Obesity

        Scientists Find Molecular Link to Obesity/insulin Resistance in Mice

        Gut Organisms Could Be Clue in Controlling Obesity Risk

        Brain Neurons and Diet Influence Onset of Obesity and Diabetes in Mice

        Natural Killer T-Cells in Fat Tissue Guard Against Obesity, Study Finds

        Gut Microbes Help the Body Extract More Calories from Food

        Targeting Taste Receptors in the Gut May Help Fight Obesity

        Novel Role for Protein Linked to Obesity and Development of Type 2 Diabetes Identified

        Brown Adipose Tissue Has Beneficial Effects on Metabolism and Glucose Tolerance

        Obesity Reversed in Mice by Manipulating Production of an Enzyme

        New Clues to How the Brain and Body Communicate to Regulate Weight

        New Genes for Adult BMI Levels: Versatile Gene Discovery Chip Used to Detect Gene Variants Involved in Biology of Obesity

        Changes in Sleep Architecture Increase Hunger, Eating

        Immune Cells Could Protect Against Obesity, Scientists Discover

        Scientists Find Molecular Link to Obesity/insulin Resistance in Mice

        Immune System Molecule Affects Our Weight

        Pint-Size Molecules Show Promise Against Obesity

        Prenatal Maternal Smoking Associated With Increased Risk of Adolescent Obesity

        What Babies Eat After Birth Likely Determines Lifetime
        Risk of Metabolic Mischief and Obesity, Rat Studies Suggest

        Living Against the Clock; Does Loss of Daily Rhythms Cause Obesity?

        How 'Beige' Fat Makes the Pounds Melt Away

        Early Exposure to Antibiotics May Impact Development, Obesity

        Link Between Hormone Levels and Risk for Metabolic Disease Uncovered

        Bacteria-Immune System 'Fight' Can Lead to Chronic Diseases, Study Suggests

        Stress During Pregnancy Leads to Abdominal Obesity in Mice Offspring

        In-Utero Exposure to Magnetic Fields Associated With Increased Risk of Obesity in Childhood

        Study Identifies Receptor's Role in Regulating Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes

        In Utero Exposure to Diesel Exhaust a Possible Risk Factor for Obesity

        Overweight? There's a Vaccine for That, at Least for Mice

        Groundbreaking Discovery of Mechanism That Controls Obesity, Atherosclerosis

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:11:15 PM PST

  •  Such self righteousness and certainty of all your (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, FloridaSNMOM

    facts. Simple ideas for simple minds. I encounter this attitude about my food reactions...People don't see the problem unless they have experienced it. At least they can't tell by looking at me that I have problems with the modern food supply and all the crap in it that is so healthy until some study finds that it is actually worse. Examples : hydrogenated oils pushed by many "experts" for years or eggs denigrated for years by other "experts".

    We have added so many things to our food and altered so much of how we grow it and when we pick it and how we treat the unripe foods to make them palatable. Our food supply is played with to exploit some peoples body chemistry in ways that mocks addiction reactions.

    There are some products that I no longer consume that actually made me crave them like a drug... Colas are one example. I started drinking them when stationed at Brooks AFB in Texas. Water which had been my beverage of choice  was so full of sulfur there I started to drink soda. I became addicted literally to it. And it took years to break the habit but not before I gained weight. I quit and lost weight because I have always been very active and on my feet all day as a lab tech. Every once in a while I will drink one and the rush is like any amphetamine I have ever taken. Actually quitting smoking was easier then quitting soda. Every day I fight to not fall off the wagon.

    I now make my own mustards, catsup, salad dressings, sauces, breads, crackers, chips, etc. I can my own food and brew my own teas. I use a juicer to make additive free juice. I am severely reactive to any corn product yet I crave corn... Corn is in toothpaste, shampoos and lotions (it eats holes in my skin that heal very slowly with continual seepage and piling scabs of blood).

    My point is that we are all creatures that live a chemical life and what we take in affects that body chemistry... Are your genes identical to everyone elses? Don't think so... So why does everyone assume what works for them works for everyone else. I don't. I see someone obese I figure that they have emotional issues, life problems, reactive body chemistry, a particular sensitivity to the manipulations of our food supply. As someone with 2 degrees in math I understand statistics but what I don't understand is the willingness to dismiss the minorities as being defective instead of just different. When I see someone overeating I wonder what is stimulating them to consume excessively.

    I know for a fact as a survivor of sexual abuse as a child I spent the first 16 years skinny as a rail. I have a report card with my height at 12yo  at 5'2" weighing 82 pounds... Then I developed breasts and besides my stepfather always talking about my breasts I had boys sniffing always sniffing after me and I knew just what they wanted and it had nothing to do with love... I didn't want anyone near me who just wanted to use me...If I hadn't become aggressively resistant I might have done as many women do to discourage sniffing... gain weight. Instead I got buff and tough... still sniffing but more cautiously. I don't tolerate crap and I hate to see people signaled out for issues that are NOT anyone elses business and whom no one has a reason in hell to ever trust since they are so smug and self assured until time proves them wrong....Too late for thier vicitms who they hindered and did not help.

    I speak for my son who was burned badly as a 5 year old, When he lay in isolation at 5 and was fed 9000+ calories a day to get him through his healing alive he developed really bad food problems which I was never able to resolve since there is no actual help out there. Just self annointed experts who have piecemeal information to form thier opinions on.  He will turn 40 this year and all the smugness has made it worse for him

    Do you guys even hear how you sound like those who wanted to keep women at home for thier own good sounded? How about the rationales for keeping blacks as happy slaves?

    There is enough information and enough busybodies interferring and insulting obese, fatty fatty 2x4s, jumbos, pigs, hogs, etc for people who are obese to feel the humiliation and pain they dish out so self righteously disguised as concern. The continual and oftne conflicting crap is everywhere.  It does not work to help people to assume that they are defective and simply lazy ignorant and stupid. My son works like a dog , he loves his children and plays golf and baseball, ... YOU are not a better person than him.

    And don't give me crap about the medical system. My son will not go to Drs unless he is bleeding or has a broken bone or an infection. Otherwise they offer nothing. Whatever they say today will be superceded by new studies and information tainted by the food industry showing thier last advice was not only erroneous but harmful.

    Fear is the Mind Killer...

    by boophus on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 10:10:33 PM PST

  •  It doesn't always work (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, cryonaut

    I speak as one who successfully lost considerable weight when in my early 50's. Then very gradually put it back on at a very slow rate of 1-2 pounds per year. Now in my mid-60's, I'm trying to lose again, doing all the things I did before, and more, and still it's not going away.

    I started trying in August, and then in Dec got even more serious. I go to the gym at least 6 days per week and exercise vigorously 40-60 minutes each time. I walk a fair amount. I eat healthy foods (lots of vegetables, minimum fat and carbs, whole grains, etc.) and as little as I can stand. I am slightly hungry a lot of the time, and eat only until satiated, not "full". I wear a Fitbit, and track my food, and can see that my "calories in" are less than my "calories out" every week. In spite of all this, I still have lost only about 4 pounds total since August. Some bodies are really good at holding onto fat stores.

    Although discouraging, I will try to continue in this vein. I figure the activities will keep me healthy, even if the pounds don't melt away. I do not have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, in spite of being just below the obesity threshold in BMI.

    So I agree it's true that you can't always judge a person's health by how they look externally. But I also think it's important to take care of your health and I don't think it's a good thing to just accept being grossly overweight without at least trying to do something about it.

    •  I did try to separate (0+ / 0-)

      the older generation from the rest, as there is no doubt that bodies go through many changes with age and metabolism can slow down. However, what you eat and the amount of exercise you do is what will help keep the blood pressure and cholesterol lower.

      Good luck with further weight loss, and thanks for your response.

  •  I have a slight problem with your numbers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hypothyroidism, only ONE medical condition that causes someone to be overweight or obese is more common then what you claim all medically induced obesity to be.

    In 2002 the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reported that 9.2% of Caucasians have hypothyroidism. That is broken down further to 5.8% of women and 3.4% of men. It is also estimated that 1 in 4000 babies are born with hypothyroidism. Statistically that is a significant percentage of the population.
    And yet you state:
    Reading some of the diaries here would lead you to believe that 50%+ of overweight people have these conditions based on the response rate, but reality is those medical conditions are quite rare (less than 5% and probably around 1%)
    No, I don't think it's around 50%, but I think it's significantly above 1%, possibly closer to 15-20%.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:18:45 AM PST

    •  Which is one reason we have iodized salt. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A quick scan of the literature produces results such as 'overt and subclinical hypothyroid' in 20% of morbidly obese individuals, but at the same time, no 'reciprocal relation between weight and T4 serum levels'.  Ie, being hypothyroid is not the driving factor in the obesity.  It may be that factors associated with obesity are driving up rates of hypothyroid, not the reverse.

      I would agree that it's more than 1% as well, but I'm just as doubtful about 15-20%.  If I were a betting man, my money would be on 5%, maybe 10% at most.  I don't think we've had an explosion in rare diseases or genetic conditions over the last few decades.  But we have had an explosive change in the way foods are processed and altered before we eat them to make them 'more appealing' and drastic changes in the types of foods readily available to us, especially with heavy governmental subsidies to the sugar and corn industries.

      The only thing I 'blame' consumers for is nutritional ignorance, and even then I don't blame them much, given that the 'nutrition' being pushed by the government isn't all that good in my books.

      •  hypothyroidism slows down the metabolism (0+ / 0-)

        Weight gain is one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism. So how anyone can say there's no relationship is beyond me. I know several people with hypothyroidism who don't eat enough to keep a bird alive, and have gone through periods of malnutrition because they just don't have any appetite. These same people are very active, walking several miles a day. They still gain weight. I know, that's a couple of examples, not a scientific study.

        However if you look up symptoms of hypothyroidism weight gain is at the top of the pack. So saying that it doesn't cause weight gain is just a fallacy.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 11:34:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Weight gain is not necessarily obesity. (0+ / 0-)

          Lots of people have varying degrees of hypothyroid.  Not all of them will become obese, perhaps because many of them will also work at trying to lose that weight and will be treating it (the hypothyroid) as well by taking synthroid.  I'm also not saying there is no connection, but that depending upon the individual, causation is not a straightforward A causes B, but A supplements processes that augment B, and B likewise supplements processes that augment A.  There are a lot of feedback loops in the body, and the thyroid is smack dab in the middle of several of them, along with the hypothalamus and the adrenal glands.

          •  Weight gain isn't necessarily obesity (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

            But thyroid function isn't a standard medical test for most people either. I don't know of anyone who had their thyroid tested before they were obese or close to it and unable to lose weight by other means. By the time my sister was tested for her thyroid condition she had NO thyroid function at all. She'd been fighting weight gain all her life, literally, and no one checked her thyroid until she was on death's door. Do you say she was obese before her thyroid stopped functioning or was her thyroid low for most of her life? There's no way to say for certain, but.. considering she tried every weight loss method out there, was never sedentary and never ate a lot, cooked all her meals at home and was very nutrition conscious as well as vegan... I would be willing to lay money that the thyroid issues came first. Especially as they're prevalent in my family.

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:15:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are always exceptions. (0+ / 0-)

              The human body is incredibly complex.  What I'm trying to get across, and doing so poorly, apparently, is that things that 'go together' sometimes influence each other, sometimes one causes the other, and sometimes the reverse, and sometimes it's just different for different people.  I don't believe the evidence is out there to suggest that in most cases obesity is directly linked to thyroid function, even if it may well be in specific cases.  

              For someone who just kept getting worse, I'm a little surprised that thyroid wasn't checked at all, but then I suppose a lot of GP's don't think to suggest endocrinologists be consulted.  Did she have a goiter, or other physical signs that might have pointed to thyroid issues beyond simply the weight?  Given the family history, I'm also surprised no one in the family suggested it earlier too.

              •  She was an adult student (0+ / 0-)

                lack of insurance. I think they tested it when she was like 10 and it was a bit low but within normal range. She's also one of those 'big boned' girls, she's always been big, broad shoulders, etc.

                No goiter, she was losing hair, no energy, etc. In hindsight it was easy to spot. At the time they were blaming it on stress from school because she was in a high rated school in a difficult field.

                I don't believe most cases of obesity are from thyroid. But if thyroid is affecting over 9% of the population, and that is just ONE medical reason for it, then how do you estimate it at 5% being caused by medical? There are a myriad other reasons, including being more sedentary due to bone or breathing issues, heart issues. The American population is aging, a lot of those risk factors go up with age. Women's metabolism changes with age, even men's do.

                "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

                by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 01:50:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think we're talking past each other to some (0+ / 0-)

                  degree, on the issue of causation.  I don't happen to have my epidemiology text handy, but I know it was very cautious on assigning causation to anything, really, which is why I'm loathe to say 'reason', or assign any particular comorbidity as a 'causal agent'.  There are issues that go hand in hand, and can be found together almost all of the time, but without knowing the exact mechanisms of how they happen, you're going to find people who come in from the science side of things hedging on 'cause'.  I'm perfectly willing to agree with higher correlations among factors, such as is denoted when people talk about 'syndromes' like 'metabolic syndrome'.

                  To take your own comment right there, when you talk about 'being sedentary due to bone or breathing issues', some breathing issues arise or worsen in part from ... being sedentary.  We're all interlocking biological systems that change over time based on the actions we take, with what can be viewed as a 'cause' being an 'effect' of something that either happened before, or is still happening.  We don't start or stop, everything feeds into everything else. A->B->A->B, not just A->B.  

                  I'll have to consider how to phrase things in my diaries, since I'm not sure we're not largely getting bogged down in semantics here.  When you get right down to it, if you wanted to, you could say '100% of obesity is medical', depending upon how you define it, but it's rather chicken and egg.  I think you'll find if you started adding up all of the 'medical reasons', you'll quickly total more than 100%.  If a person has 2, 3, or 5 different comorbidities, that people claim are 'reasons for obesity', which one was 'the reason' for that individual?  And why are all the rest not 'reasons' for that person, if they're 'reasons' for someone else?

  •  Well, yes and no. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm working on a series of diaries on the topic of obesity now.  Last time, rl prevented me from getting everything done, so this time I want them all written up before I publish the first one.

    I think you have some very good observations, especially about the way in which people onsite react to the topic.  I find it highly unlikely that political activism is so strongly correlated to rare metabolic issues that the majority of people with weight problems onsite are a result of 'genetic issues' or 'rare diseases'.  Chances are, most of the folks on site have dietary issues that are leading them to being overweight.  I know I did, and still do to some extent, although I generally know already now when something I'm going to eat is sub-optimal or even detrimental.

    And I even offered much the same advice you do in a prior diary.  But it didn't work for me, because of #3.  Most weight loss goals based on 1 and 2 fail because of 3.  The 'trick' is to find a way for #2 especially to not be 'work' but to actually be enjoyable and easy.

    (And btw, you don't need #1 to lose weight, but it's good for you in other ways, such as in raising HDL serum levels.)

    I do feel that there's some 'blame the victim' in your diary, though.  Yes, we are all, ultimately, responsible for our own conditions in large part.  But we're all also under a hell of a lot of societal pressures, from advertising to processed foods that have been researched and crafted to make you want to overconsume at a subconscious level, to governmental subsidies of unhealthy products.

    It takes more than just 'willpower' to overcome the forces arrayed against us.  It takes a lot of in-depth knowledge or guidance from someone who has that knowledge.  If you're one of the lucky ones, you were raised by people who already followed the lifestyles and dietary patterns that keep you thin, and just cruise along wondering why other people are fat.  If not, there's a lot to learn about how, and why, 'fat happens'.

    Besides, when you start 'laying the blame' on individuals, they'll instantly close any helpful suggestions out, and accuse you of being 'bigoted', 'self-righteous', or 'fat-hating', as you can see above.  People tune you out, resent you, or insult you when you tell them they're the problem.  Better by far to stick to problems and solutions without making it a personality issue.

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