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How can people get so fat?

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How can people get so fat?

Postby Kay » Sat 15 Dec 2012 10:15 GMT

Have a look at the photo at the top-right of this article.
http://www.businessinsider.com/retrofit ... ss-2012-12

Urgh! The article itself is promoting an expensive weight-loss method but I just wanted to share the photo with you. What was your response to it?
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Postby Graeme » Sat 15 Dec 2012 17:57 GMT

I think it's disgusting personally, but I have fat issues! I work in health care and when ever I have a large person drag themselves in complaining of sore hips knees back ankles etc I really have to bite my tongue. I try to explain delicately that every time you walk about 4 times body weight goes through the axial skeleton, your joints are not able to handle that. An extra 50 pounds body weight equates to an extra 200 pounds through your hip/knee/ankle every single step you take.
I understand that trying to stop eating is difficult as, unlike smoking you don't just stop eating, you have to reduce. You still get the mouth feeling, the teasing of the taste buds but without the feeling satiety that they crave. Unfortunately they just have to summon up the willpower from somewhere and do it.
There is an element of body dysmorphism in that the changes are gradual and when they look in the mirror they don't see themselves as fat, similar to an anorexic who doesn't see themselves as thin. It's a very difficult and hugely emotive subject; it also makes my job much much harder dealing with the obese client and I do face the probability that they will hurt me with their weight when I try to move them, lift them, mobilise them.
Unfortunately it's a multifaceted problem and there are no easy answers. One of my buddies who works in maintenance summed up an aspect of it quite succinctly: "It ain't what you're eating, it's what's eating you!"

:(
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Postby Kay » Sat 15 Dec 2012 18:24 GMT

It's a huge industry, though. On the one hand you've got all the cookbooks, TV programmes about cooking, and all the fast food as well. Companies spend billions on making people fat and other companies (maybe even the same ones sometimes) make billions on telling people how to get thin.

I know that people can put on a bit of weight sometimes, but I agree with you - obesity as portrayed in that photo really is quite disgusting.

I also see your point about having to help move or lift people like that at work. Surely it must be against health and safety rules for staff to have to do it?
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Postby ruggie » Sat 15 Dec 2012 20:01 GMT

The weird thing is that even seriously intelligent people can become grossly overweight. It's decades ago now, but I remember listening to a talk (in an IBM research lab) by a man who was a top authority on his subject. He wore a jacket whose sleeves had been slashed open so that he could fit his arms into it, and he was seriously out of breath after he walked up the aisle of the lecture theatre at the end of his 45 minute presentation - but he spoke clearly and didn't wheeze.
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Postby Graeme » Sun 16 Dec 2012 08:17 GMT

I'm the one that has to assess them for mobility and staff safety so I do have to try to move them or at least get them to do the most they can. When they get over 350 lbs unless they can safely move themselves I usually make them a mechanical lift only. My hospital has had to spend lots of dollars on bariatric equipment that can stand the extra weight, I'd hate to think what the overall costs to health-care are from obesity. I'll bet in a few years, if they haven't already, in the USA they will outpace the costs of smoking. (Obesity tends to lead to type 2 diabetes, that is non-insulin dependant, to heart disease and heart failure, increased risk of cancer both in breast and bowel, depression and lowered life expectancy....odd how it isn't a problem in third world countries)
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Postby Kay » Sun 16 Dec 2012 12:29 GMT

Being fat is sometimes perceived as a status symbol in these countries. It's just another way of displaying wealth.

Graeme, the way you talk about obesity makes it sound like some kind of disability - in as much as those people have serious mobility problems. How long until the PC brigade gives them disability benefits for being fat?

Realistically that's probably not on the cards, especially whilst they're busy cutting everyone else's benefits.
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Postby Graeme » Sun 16 Dec 2012 17:42 GMT

It is a disability of sorts, but it's self imposed which makes it preventable. They already get disabilities in Canada for not being able to work or get out of the house as they are morbidly (note the medical community does use the word morbid as this will result in death) obese. The WHO definition of morbidly obese starts at a BMI of 35, obese at 30. (BMI calculators are readily available on the web, but it should be noted they are best used on populations not so much on individuals). :(
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Postby gozomark » Tue 18 Dec 2012 11:06 GMT

As per one of the funniest cricketing sledges ever

fielder to batsman "why are you so fat ?"
batsman " because every time I **** your wife she gives me a biscuit"
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