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The real reason we are failing at weight loss

October 26, 2012

obese people walkingHuffington post published an article recently suggesting that it is anti-fat bias that is leading to an increase in the obesity rate. The article references studies that showed that only 22% of women and 7% of men who are obese knew they were obese. Then the author goes on to say that it is the fault of the thin people making fun of overweight individuals that is causing obesity. The article has a clear agenda of pushing fat acceptance.

I don’t support overweight people getting mocked or mistreated, but I think the fat acceptance movement is doing serious harm to the country. In my everyday life I never see people mocking overweight people to their face and making them feel bad. In today’s PC culture you can’t get away with making fun of anyone for any reason, plus most people are already obese or overweight. Are you going to crack a joke about a fat woman to your chubby friend? If thin people are actually mocking overweight people all the time and causing them to overeat, wouldn’t more than 7-22% of obese people know they were obese?

The fat acceptance movement is the reason that so many overweight people don’t even realize that they are overweight and hurting their health. Instead of educating people about how it is ok to be overweight the fat acceptance group should be educating people on what is healthy food and how to lose weight. To me a fat acceptance movement makes as much sense as an alcoholics acceptance movement. If you are engaging in unhealthy behavior like over eating or drinking too much alcohol, you need someone to tell you how to be healthy, not someone telling you it is ok to be unhealthy.

These articles make me so angry because they look for all kinds of excuses for obesity so as not to blame the person who is overweight. These articles talk about how thin people have good genes and that is why they are able to stay lean. I have struggled with my weight for a long time and it wasn’t until I started following the paleo diet that I was able to keep off the weight. I am lean not because of good genes but because I work my butt off in the gym and eat healthy food. Don’t minimize my accomplishments with accusing me of being lucky. Luck had nothing to do with it. 100% hard work and educating myself on health.

Below is a comment left in response to the article. I think it does a good job of capturing the direction our country is moving in:

So few comments – this illustrates our apathy toward responsible health behaviors. Obesity is fast becoming the norm, even among health professionals. We Americans lack incentives to exercise and reduce consumption. We can’t resist the food that’s so conveniently at arm’s reach. So thanks, America, for tolerating my unhealthy behavior with your acceptance, kindness and understanding. I now feel OK about my obesity. Better yet, I can enjoy even more Big Macs with fries each day, knowing that YOU will gladly pay for treatment of my heart problems, myocardial infarctions, hypertension, diabetes, and other looming health issues.

I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, I don’t have any problem with people who are overweight. Lots of my friends and family are overweight or obese. I still love them but I want them to get healthy and shed a few pounds so they will live longer. I hate obesity like I hate cancer because they both hurt the people I care about.

14 Comments
  1. I agree with you. Those of us who are overweight don’t need to be coddled but the thing is no one is going to start a healthier life just because someone tells them to. I changed my life but only after 23 years of putting it off. It didn’t happen until I decided I needed to.

  2. I completely agree with you. Some people will say that you can be healthy at any size and that may be true. Not all skinny people are healthy and not all fuller figured people are unhealthy BUT when we are talking about something like obesity then yes it is not ok to have people believe this is healthy and normal.

    Those statistics are interesting…. and most likely these people dont’ know they are obese because they’re surrounded by similar types of people and think this is the norm. I think this country (and many others) really need to wake up and face the fact that what they’ve preaching for all these years regarding nutrition just isn’t working.

    • You are right that not all skinny people are healthy and not all fuller figured people are unhealthy but even the healthiest fuller figured person can be more healthy by dropping a few pounds and continuing to eat well and exercise.

  3. I agree with you here 110%.
    The responsibility is on the person.
    I think really it starts with childhood. Parents need to be good role models of health for their kids so that they can grow up into healthy adults. But if you grew up in an unhealthy home, I still think it’s still up to you to recognize that you can break the cycle, get in shape and pass on healthy active habits.

    • Good point, parents start children on the path to good or bad health based on how they teach them to eat. I am in the reverse position, I am trying to teach my parents to eat healthy so they will be around to see their grandchildren grow up.

  4. “I don’t support overweight people getting mocked or mistreated, but I think the fat acceptance movement is doing serious harm to the country.”

    Exactly how I feel. And I was obese! Paleo has certainly changed my life too. I wish other people would give it a try. I have so much more CUPBOARD space too! LOL! Now if I could get a “green thumb”, maybe a dozen chickens and a bigger fridge, I’d be in Paleo heaven :-)

  5. I think the people don’t know they are obese because they don’t know the actual definition of obesity. You only have to be 30 lbs overweight to be obese. People usually think you have to be much larger than that in order to be considered obese.

    I don’t think these people go around thinking they are a healthy weight. I think they are aware that they need to lose weight, but they just don’t know that they are, by definition, obese.

  6. GrayCat permalink

    Wow, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I agree with you 100%. I too look fit now thanks to regular exercise and the Paleo/Primal WOE. I used to be ignorant and overweight. I wish more people would finally wake up and be pro-active about their own health.

  7. thegloryoflori permalink

    I know a lot of very thin and fit people, two that are sisters. One is naturally thin and the other one has worked at it for years to look “naturally” thin, but they both still have similar body/diet/life issues that I an overweight person does. I am overweight but try… Try to change and try to be healthier. I know some people just as fat as me that do nothing about it, and that is annoying. I want to be healthier, I would also like to be less fat, but would be satisfied with just being healthier however that looks. I have not experienced negative looks from the way that I look, so maybe I don’t get it. Over-all we are all humans and we should be nice to eachother no matter how anyone looks, but we should also ALL try to be healthy and live good lives. I don’t need special treatment and the only reason I am fat is because I have a problem with food and I just have not found out how to deal with it yet, but I am trying and I will.

    • Good luck on your way to being healthy. Some people are born lucky and some are not when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. Luckily with proper nutrition we can all reach our ideal weight. I know I have struggled a lot with my weight and only eating paleo has allowed me to maintain my ideal weight.

  8. It’s very easy for an overweight person to convince themselves they’re just fine…when I weighed 200+ lbs, I could go anywhere, anytime, and see half a dozen women who weighed 300+ lbs…so it was very easy to say: I’m not *that* big. There are trendy clothes to fit every size nowadays, unlike just a decade or two ago when a 200-lb woman had to go to “special” store and choose from a limited selection of balloon pants and dowdy dresses; today your size 20 high school senior (oh, and there are plenty of them) can find a strapless prom gown in any department store…such was not the case when I was kid in the 80s. Overweight is the new normal and mere obesity is no longer remarkable; I find it is now the slim or fit-looking person who stands out in a crowd rather than the heavy. The reason obesity is becoming more common is not because the “thin” or “fit” people mock the fat; it’s because it’s acceptable and easy to be fat.

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  1. Why Are So Many People in America Fat? - Page 6 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 6

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