Obesity and Related Topics


This topic is for the discussion as started in the Beauty Standards thread as per:

How is this @FairyGodfeather? I hope it is good.

How Tuberculosis Shaped Beauty Standards

I may not be an American, but if there’s one thing I do know about America; it’s that a large percentage of its population is obese. That’s pretty common knowledge. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html (1yr old data)

As for it being new, from my understanding a lot of feminists are latching onto the movement and bringing it to the attention of those who weren’t aware that the movement existed before.


To be fair many European nations aren’t that different from America when it comes to the percentage of obese people.


Most junkfood corps have their base in the U.S and are globally spread out, so go figure. Exporting it. And the whole sedimentary life-style that’s being promoted of course.


Okay, fair enough and pretty much true.

But I honestly wouldn’t equal the fat acceptance movement with promoting obesity. In the core it’s a movement that doesn’t say you must look like this (what pretty much is what the whole beauty industry tells people about being underweight = your weight is more important as your actual health, in the sense of ignoring that not alone weight loss is important but also sports and a healthy nutrition, what often works better when not aimed for short timed weight loss (dieting) but longtime changes in lifestyle) but one that says „it’s okay if you aren’t thin". That’s a differences.

Much of it aims to help people build confidence and content with themselve and to get the question of the weight more into the background. Considering how much unhealthy eating behaivior actually comes from people obsessing about what they eat and how much they weight I see that as much more positive as the alternative…

Also when thinking about how it’s possible for people that have after every medical definition a normal/healthy weight to be treated by society as if their weight would be a problem and how much damage is caused because of that (that often plays into the reasons why people that may wish to lose weight often struggle much more and suffer extremely for that when unrealistic standards come into it too) I certainly don’t see it as a such high risk to damage people as some of the other beauty trends we already discussed do. Also because the fat acceptence movement is pretty far away from being a “mainstream” trend.

And I really feel like I have to stress this, the main aim the movement as far as I could observe is not to say you have to be obsese but that it’s not the damn end of the world if you are. That is not promoting.

In it’s nature the fat acceptance movement is a reaction to existing beauty standards. It’s a countermovement. With that in mind it’s aims are much better to understand without overrating it’s consequences.

Edit: Also to clarify, I don’t say that there aren’t people in the fat acceptence movement that spill damaging misinformation, but that despite that it’s basic ideas are not inhertly bad. …unfortunately (or maybe naturally considering human behavior in groups) black sheep and questionable subgroups are for many movements the rule.


Exactly. It was a part of the counter-culture movement of the 1960’s America when the Baby Boomer generation was rebelling against the standards of their parents.

Junkfood corps are located internationally - Nestle (the largest food company in the world by revenue) is located in Switzerland and Cadbury is located in the UK … just to name two giant examples. Obesity is a Western, if not worldwide issue and its not just the Americans at fault.


I don’t really see accepting being unhealthy as a positive thing though. And I’m pretty sure if we’re talking about damage, that obese people costs society more than say axorexics. The increased risk for heart disease that comes with the territory makes up for a lot of that.

I was overweight myself a few years back, and I know that it’s really damaging to the point where in some areas your body will never really recover from it, you will always bear with you those marks, both physically and mentally. Even if they pale with time. And I’ve also since then discovered the joys of regular exercise, something I would never have thought I would enjoy before.

I don’t really mean to preach, the only area in which I find obesity troublesome is when parents does it to their children, be it with large portions or letting them just slouch around. And when you’re at the point where it’s just gross, like mobillity scooters, having to be lifted out of your house with a crane etc. I should mention that I don’t really believe in addictions. I believe it is ultimately very much a choice, and a habit (barring a few medical exceptions of course).

TL:DR; Moderation in all things.


Big part about the fat acceptance movement seems to be that many parts prioritize healthy behaivior, in the sense of healthy behaivior is more important as a weight loss alone (even when it often comes together with the healthy behaivior).

Of course there are also people that use that as an excuse to not change any unhealthy behaivior, but the main philosophy behind it seems to be to take the focus from just losing weight and fitting in the partly not reachable beauty standards, to living a content and if possible also healthy. That are at least the parts of the movement from which I heard the most, possible that this looks completely different in other parts of it, I’m not so deep into it.

But I certainly welcome the change in focus to healthy behavior/content lifestyle instead of pure weight loss, alone because I have meet a number of people thin and fat that are very obsessed with their eating behavior instead of what would be healthy for them.


Not “just” the Americans, no. But to be fair, a large portion of the west still has America as their rolemodel. I’ve watched a few documentaries on the subject of consumerism, I know there was one who said something about a range of products, as choice would give more sales or something along those lines and that pretty much marked the end of mom and pop type stores and the birth of walmartian monstrosities and supersize “value” culture. Can’t remember his name but he was American.


Well if we look at what any given ideology is supposed to stand for, as opposed to the actual people flocking to it and how they behave, then everything is always rosey red. I’m sure there are members that work towards health, but there’s probably quite a few apologists who use the movement as an excuse as you said. So whether to view it as a good or bad thing, I guess it depends on ones outlook. But we can agree on that health is the keyword here.


I know it’s so easy to judge. To assume that someone is in a mobility scooter, because they are so fat.

Usually this happens the other way around. People who are disabled to the extent they need assistance aids for walking, may have difficulties exercising, this causes them to gain weight.

There can also be issues in affording, and being able to prepare healthy food. And that some illnesses and medication can cause you to gain weight.


If you can’t exercise, then you need to eat less to compensate. To maintain a healthy weight, your energy IN and OUT don’t have to balance exactly every day. It’s the balance over time that helps you maintain a healthy weight. Not counting the few people who actually have some sort of hormone disorder, or as you say actually have special circumstances. Why is it that people always bring up the exceptions as if they were the norm, I swear you can’t have a discussion on this website without at least 5 different disclaimers. Even with such medication there should still be a balance somewhere or something is very wrong. And if you ask people about it, are they going to be truthful, or are they going to be making excuses like every other smoker, drinker etc. Like I said before, I do not believe that it’s not in somebody’s power not to change when it comes to “addictions”. You may disagree, but that’s how I see it.

I dunno about where you’re from, but I feel like that’s a myth. That you can’t eat healthy because you’re poor. Just take a can of beans in tomato sauce for instance, pretty cheap stuff, lasts a long time. Good source of protein. Meat however is expensive as all heck, despite being so mass produced. Potatoes are pretty cheap, not super healthy maybe but rather filling. Soups and stews are great in that the ingredients you do buy are spread out into more servings, and it can be frozen for when you don’t feel like cooking. There’s even herbs like nettles that can be acquired for free. Free healthy soup. Throw in some boiled eggs and you’re golden.

And here’s the thing, if you live in a place like America, where healthcare costs a bundle, are you really saving money by wrecking your body that way?
I find that, when you eat things like microwave food, you get less energy overall, and are less likely to have the energy to cook, so that just becomes another bad spiral.

Bad food tastes good, good food tastes bad, another myth. It seems that way, at first. Because you’re used to it. I used to dislike dark bread. These days I can’t eat white bread, it tastes only of yeast to me. Anyways, not the greatest example because bread is one of those things you can easily cut without much harm, but yeah trying to highlight another myth. Because as I said, I’ve been on the other side of that fence, I’ve eaten out of comfort, I’ve eaten out of boredom. I just decided to change one day, and then I did. And if I could, then so can others.

And vice versa, just because a few people can’t doesn’t mean noone can. All the best to the people who genuinely can’t, not much any of us can do about that, but you probably should never stop trying though.


Okay, but hormonal disease are much more common as people believe? Like much more? Especially disorders of the thyroid. And it can be very difficult to adjust the therapy for those, especially if the patient also has hormonal disorders in various other regulatory circuits, what is, again, not so rare considering that the different hormonal circuits affect each other. So I think “few” is quite the understatement. And there is a high number of people that likely don’t even know that they have a hormonal disorder, too.

And the numbers of medication that negatively influences the ability to loose weight is also not that short.

I don’t think the number of people influenced by that is quite as low as you claim…


One, we have disabled people on the forum. Two, you made the mobility scooter comment.

There are places in America that are food deserts, where it’s difficult to get hold of good, fresh food. They may exist in other places, I’ve only read about the American ones.

If you’re poor enough to not be able to afford a car, and live in a city with limited public transport then you have another set of challenges when it comes to grocery shopping.

And all this assumes you have the energy and facilities to prepare that food.

As for foraging, it’s a lot of work and you need a certain set of knowledge, assuming there’s even places that can be foraged nearby, and what if they’ve been sprayed with pesticides? What if you accidentally pick something poisonous?

I’ve two American friends, in completely different states, who’re not even allowed to grow vegetables in their garden. How awful is that?

Weight gain is a side-effect of almost all antidepressants. I’ve been on antidepressants that made me crave sugar. I’ve been on antidepressants that have made it so I’ve been unable to stop being hungry. I’ve been on those that make me so utterly exhausted all I can do is sleep. I’ve been on those that made me feel constantly nauseous. I was on one that completely killed my appetite and I just couldn’t eat. (I loved that one despite the fact I had flu-like symptoms for months while on it and it did absolutely nothing for my depression.) There’s those that have completely killed any desire for food, and those that have me thinking of carbs constantly.

I’ve been on a lot of antidepressants. Those things can suck even if they are better than the alternative.


I feel your pain. I’ve only tried two antidepressants myself. Both made me gain weight like crazy, as they make me feel insatiable, like no amount of food makes me feel full. Luckily, I am overall still healthy despite being overweight, and idgaf what other people think of how I look. That’s what I think the fat acceptance movement is about - don’t judge other people for how they look, period.


Would like to see some sources on that then please, I couldn’t find anything other than thyroid diseases being linked to iodine deficiency or overdosing. And if the problem is deficiency then the answer ought to be simple, eat salt enriched with iodine. It also seemed like women are more likely to suffer from weight imbalance, which makes sense seeing as they have a higher body fat ratio.

The way I see it, if you ended up in that chair for reasons beyond your own control then as I said, I don’t have a beef with you. I’m not gonna yell at people in a wheelchair either. But if you got fat on your own accord and then decided to get yourself a mobility scooter since you got too lazy to walk, that’s another story. Because then you could make a change happen and you owe that to yourself.

Well that really does sound awful, I don’t know what to tell ya. Move away I guess? Why would anyone want to live in a place like that. My sympathies.

I’ve been on antidepressants myself a while back, after a while I just stopped since I felt they didn’t do anything for me anymore. Not saying you or anyone should do so, but eh. There are usually a whole set of variants of medication, so maybe switch to something else then.

And if there are no solutions and everything is so very hopeless then, ok. Again, my sympathies.

And I’m sure you never ever judge others for how they look? Face it, humanity was built to do just that. Our abillity to decide who is a healthy mate with good genes are what got us this far. I’m not trying to dehumanize anyone, but I don’t see a reason to kiddy glove people either. I know this hugbox isn’t big on people speaking their minds, but a hard truth is still more helpful than a soft lie that just affirms what you want to believe.


Wow, yes. This whole topic took a surprising turn while I was absent from the forum for a couple days. As someone who has, all my life, ended up on the opposite end of the spectrum (often being medically underweight no matter what I have tried due to high metabolism and bouts with thyroidtoxicosis and the like), in addition to having friends who work out way more than me but would still be what the average, uninformed person might consider “obese” because of lupus, Crohn’s Disease, and diabetes, and a mother who would LOVE to be more physically active but has struggled with multiple sclerosis (and instead achieved so much academically and career-wise despite it, like a boss), this infuriates me.

My point is this: no matter how thin or large you are perceived as being, there will always be a hater who thinks they just have to insert their opinion and diagnoses into your life. As for how much of this is an actual issue, I will let the real research speak for itself and put my soapbox away. Thanks to those who read through my rant, lol. And apologies if I mixed up the quotes earlier, dang forum functions. :sweat_smile:

US National Institutes of Health study that supports the prevalence of hormone imbalances, stress, medical reactions, and genes as the main contributing factors to obesity over sedentary life choices: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4229150/

Study on how dieting and working against our bodies’ natural needs and metabolism is not an effective, long-term strategy for health and weight loss (this is a link to a free PDF):

2013 New England Journal of Medicine Article that has been widely reproduced and cited as a great source for breaking down common myths surrounding obesity: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1208051#t=article

Different article with more supporting links whose original inspiration was the same 2013 study that breaks it down in a less dry manner: http://www.techinsider.io/obesity-weight-loss-exercise-science-2015-11

Great article tied into a 2015 book that focuses on a lot of obesity myths as they pertain to American trends, specifically (including how inaccurate a measurement BMI can be and lack of link to a shortened lifespan): http://nypost.com/2015/03/22/why-dieting-doesnt-work/

Thank you!:two_hearts:


Okay, sorry you have no idea what you are talking about. The most common reason for hypothyroidism is hashimoto thyreoditis an autoimmun diseas (by the way also the most common autoimmun diseas in many areas, look it up in pathology textbooks) and the numbers of people indeed did increase with the standardized enriching of food with iodine in the last twenty years (what in many european countries is common and should reduce the number of people with a struma and to better the supply during pregnancy), just by the way.

The therapy is a substitute giving of thyreodid hormon (not something you can get in check with dietry change) to ease the symptoms and a giving of selen, zinc and vitamin B as antioxidative therapy to ease the inflammation and the stress on the cells. But the main therapy is by giving the people the hormons they lack, what can be quite difficult to find a good dosage depending on the patient. Some patients show no significant improvement even with the maximum allowed dosage. And it’s often observed that patients have a comorbidity with other disregulations like a dominance of estrogene or a progesteron deficite.

Complicating is that many people aren’t even aware that their problem could be pathological and not just stress or lazyness, because - like you were so nice to demonstrate - most people aren’t even aware how common certain diesease are.

And this is only one diseases that influences the metabolic rate. (Other possebilities are: M.Cushing, Insulinom, a deficite of testosteron, pathological changes in the area of the hypohysis or hypothalamus, genetical disadvantegas like mutations of the MC4R or the ob-gen which codes the synthesis of leptin -a important hormone that regulates appetite…it also should be mentioned that long time obese patients probably often develop a tolerance to leptin)

See, here I disagree with you. Stress and outside pressure often have a huge influence on the eating behavior, mostly negative, that’s why in books for internal medicine psychological factores like loneliness, frustration and stress are also listed under the prime reasons for adipositas. When people say “hard truth” they often just mean being mean and condescending or at least end up like that, what honestly in most cases worsens the negative psychological factores, forces topics like eating and weight in an unhealthy way into the mind of people (enforcing things like bulemia, anorexia and binge eating) especially when it comes with flippant comments à la just change it (ignoring that at least the behaivioral factores are often learned for long time and first need to be unlearned, what is not easy, also because much of the things people hear about eating and healthy eating change every few years and to sort out what is true is not something everybody has the resources for) and in the end it doesn’t help anyone.

So, yes, for me at least it’s clear that the fat acceptance movement is on the trail of something with prioritizing confidence and hapiness over weight loss. Better an obese and at least happy patient (who by the way is because of their content in a better place to change their behaivior) as an obese and depressed patient (who because of the psychological factors is more likely to also suffer from other diseases and much less likely to even have the energy/motivation to change something). Or a thin and depressed patient for the matter. Because even people with normal weight can end up thinking to be fat. Or suffering from their body image.

Psychological factores are important. There are people who profit by the fat acceptance movement, hugely. And of course there are also people that use the movement to “delude” themself, but that are cases more comparable to people with a COPD stage 3 that still don’t want to stop smoking, no hard truth of the world will change their decisions. But those hard truths certainly can damage the process other people may make.

@MizArtist33 thanks for delievering the articles. (Goes away to start reading)


@Zolataya Since Fairy is off for the moment I’ll do the honors. I guess I’ve got most of it now, but if there are some other posts you want to see moved over to here, just give a shout.


Thank you. I really felt the “Beauty Standards discussion” was being overwhelmed by theses postings. I’ll look over everything in a bit but need to go afk for a bit before.

Thank you again, I mean no disrespect to anyone.

:dolphin: <- because it is awesome @Cecilia_Rosewood helped (even though she frowns at my dolphins)