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Forums > Social Discussion > Shows on the Morbidly Obese

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the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:There have been some shows on Discovery/TLC/whatever lately about people who are well beyond the realm of morbid obesity. You know the ones. They're 700+lbs, can't walk, haven't been out of their homes in who knows how long.

Now, last night the show was displaying how much they eat. It was, at best, repulsive. Everything was junk or fried or both. I like those foods, sure, but damn. One man had a long table filled with greasy, nasty food. I mean FILLED. He ate in a day what a normal man should eat in a week! They were trying to make a point to him about how much he eats and instead he looked the mountain of food over and said "That's half or a quarter what I used to eat. That ain't much." He then pulled the table up to him and started gorging himself.

There were a few things that really struck us as we watched it.

One man hadn't been out of his bed/chair thingy in 10 years! I've been sick here for a few days and being stuck in place sucks rocks. I couldn't imagine more than a week, max. And I mean, he doesn't even go to the bathroom because he's so big. I'd go nuts.

Next thing that struck us was the fact that people continue to feed these people this crap. I know that they all said they order in food alot. One, who lives on the 5th floor apartment, said when his family isn't around he orders in and has a bucket-rope system outside his window. Money goes down in the bucket, the food comes up. WTF???? Board up the window, take away the phone (leave them with a phone that only allows for 911 access), give them a salad and water. What are they going to do, beat the person if they don't like it? I don't think so. Why the hell would anyone feed these people this crap? Wouldn't that be akin to manslaughter if they die?

And last, and this one pissed me off the most, these people are living on state aid because they are too heavy to work. There was one in England who has a care giver 12 hours a day provided by Social Services. That ticks me off. They can't control what they eat, they don't want to or even try and they drain public funds or take care givers who should go to someone who really needs it. And when the caregiver is gone for the night, and the guy was left with the phone, he ordered delivery junk food anyway...completely undermining the care givers work.

These weren't people who have any medical issues that cause the obesity. There were no thyroid issues or anything like that, they simply overeat. Which, now that I think about it, the show didn't mention anything about them receiving psychological care, which I think they also need.

I know depression can do crazy things to people but it seems to me that while these people are making their choices, that the people who care about them are failing them by not helping.


Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops
Member Since: 10th Apr 2005
Total posts: 4525
Posted:devil thanks Nige!!

muhahaha! devil

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.


Location: Perth
Member Since: 4th Jul 2007
Total posts: 489
Posted: Written by :AlbertaBoy

I am personally offended by fat people. I don't like them. I treat them with the same respect as I do anyone, but they sicken me. Normal people realize that after a certain point, like say 250 lbs, that there is a problem that must be changed. What goes on in a persons head that causes them not to change they're lifestyle when they get to be 300lbs, then 400 lbs, then 500lbs... this doesn't happen over night.

I'm really interested by this discussion!

So, my background is as a fifth year medical student. So, I've had three years of the pathology, pharmacology etc etc and then two years being in hospitals dealing with A LOT of obese people.

And I know this is really bad and people are going to criticise but... I have to agree with quite a few points that AlbertaBoy makes.

I am also personally offended by fat/large/obese/"whatever politically correct term we're using now" people as well. Well, 'personally offended' may not be the right term...

I dislike looking at obese people. I dislike watching them eat. I dislike their bottoms squishing onto my seat on a plane/train/bus.
I don't like examining them in the hospital. I don't like lifting large breasts to listen to a heart beat and have to press my hands against the fungus growing their because they can't wash properly. I dislike the fact that >50% of the patients I see in GPland are lifestyle based obesity/diabetes etc.
I don't like the fact that as a future doctor, if I do work in Australia, I will mostly be treating disorders that are preventable.

So, as like most people here, I'm not talking about the hyperthyroid sufferers, or the polycystic ovanian syndromes (though saying PCOS will make you gain 50 kg and make it impossible to get rid of...hmmm... and the fact these are treatable....)
Oh, and since I've never worked with pounds and stones, I have no idea of the conversions and can't be bothered so I'm just thinking 'ok, they mean large..."

My third year research project was on the use of DDR in classrooms or child weight loss clinics just because our generation loves screens (and exertainment is cool!)

So, I've been immersed in the topic a lot and understand there are lots of social and psychological and etc reasons for obesity.

But I still can't shake that feeling that it is still that persons responsibility for their own health, and if someone doesn't respect THEMSELVES or their own body, I find it hard in myself to respect them to.

*sigh* I know thats really horrible because respect is.. SO very important. And you should respect people with all different opinions and views and beliefs but... when someone is so... utterly ignorant of healthy issues and their burden on society (another terrible thing to say - Australia has free health care through taxes etc) I find it really hard to want to help.

And bring on the 'you'll make a terrible doctor' comments etc. Med school is such a terrible stressful time, it does make you into a cynical realist. Saying that doors and chairs in your practice will be made thinner so patients will have to lose weight to enter, saying that modern medicine has cut out the 'evolution of the species' and that people who don't reach a certain mental/physical standard should be culled/sterilised...
When you stood for ten hours in a surgery, which was five hours longer than it should have been because the patient was huge, needed more drugs to keep them under, needed their fat to be sutured out of the way because the surgeon couldn't see anything... you start to think about compulsory medical standards, or rationing...

Another thing I dislike is the 'average' size of clothing increasing. Size 12 was average.. then 14... now 16????? SIZE 16 IS HUGE!!!!

I was a carer for a mentally challenged blind man who was not much older than me who was size 7XL. as in XXXXXXXL. Now, he was blind, which made exercise harder (though he did go to the gym twice a week) and his weight made walking painful because of shin something something...
But we'd go out on weekends and I'd try every week for an entire year to change his eating habits and exercise habits. I used to park further away from places so he'd walk more. I used to stall going to fast food places or try to find healthy places to eat. In the end he did go on a dietary supplement and lost quite a few kilos. Yet he still wanted an ice cream every week. (or two... plus fries... plus plus) and even though I would reason and argue and use all the psychology I could think of... he would still want an ice cream the next week.
But sometimes... SOMETIMES I got through. SOMETIMES he'd agree and decide against the ice cream. And I'd feel so proud and congratulate him and we'd talk about his weight loss, and how he's now a 6XL.
So this one man, I have a huge amount of respect for. Even though he was in a terrible accident, and loss any hope for a 'normal' life, or a partner, or a career, or owning a house.
He finally decided to do something.

He has memory problems and social problems and weight problems and movement problems and is blind. BUT he is losing weight. However slowly, HE CAN.

And if someone who can't see, doesn't remember any instructions about weight or healthy eating, can't walk 500m without sitting down, impulsively asks every day for ice cream.... if HE can lose weight, then anyone can.

Wow, so I'm kinda off topic or rather, weirdly blabbing about the topic...

Basically, it's not impossible to lose weight. It's not your bodies fault, it's not your genes fault, it's not a hormonal problem, it's a simple input, output equation.

So, apologies to those I may have offended, or indeed those who now have no confidence in the future of healthcare. :P


Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops
Member Since: 10th Apr 2005
Total posts: 4525
Posted:I don't know about Australian sizes but Size 16 in the UK isn't huge. Marilyn monroe was a size 16.

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.


Location: Bouncing off the walls.
Member Since: 5th Jan 2006
Total posts: 756
Posted:Aus sizes are (officially at least) the same as UK ones.

Saying size 16 is huge is more than a bit misleading- I mean, height is part of the size, and I have to wear size 16 jackets, or I can't get 'em over my shoulders., even when I can fit into 12/14 pants.

I'd expect the average size to go up simply because we're getting taller.. keeping the same proportions would result in a larger dress size. Size 16 could be huge for a tiny person..

I'm a little sceptical about the official obesity rates anyway, as your average rugby player would be classed as obese
(while we're on it, can I just point out that

 Written by :PinkNigel

Erm... One pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as one pound of fat.

Is a very silly comment in regards to the comment being replied to.

You may as well say that as a pound of lead and a pound of sponge weigh the same, sponge and lead are the same weight..


If that's okay with you?


Pinker than thou
Location: A little pink world all my own...
Member Since: 4th May 2006
Total posts: 336
Posted: Written by :hamamelis

You may as well say that as a pound of lead and a pound of sponge weigh the same, sponge and lead are the same weight..

That's exactly what I am saying. Part of the education on healthy eating/exercise needed is the distinction between volume and weight.
Pounds/stones/kilograms are measures of weight and thus shouldn't be confused with how much space something takes up. OWD said that "muscle weighs considerably more than fat", which is a nonsense without some kind of "the same volume of" qualifier.

A wise man once said: "You have two ears and one mouth, therefore you should shut the censored up and listen" (though, to be fair, he might not've put it _quite_ like that..)


Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops
Member Since: 10th Apr 2005
Total posts: 4525
Posted:Completely agree nigel. Weight really isn't that relevant, I'd say BMI is far more important.

Size 16 is not HUGE! As i said earlier Marilyn Monroe was a size 16 and I am sure we'd all agree she was not 'HUGE'.

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.


HoP's Barman. Trapped aged 6 months
Location: Staines
Member Since: 4th Aug 2004
Total posts: 4437
Posted:I have to disagree Jo, BMI is quite an inacurate method of determining whether someone is too fat. It simply accounts your mass/height/sex/age. If it somehow incorporated fat content then it would be much more reliable. According tot he BMI scale I'm obese, which I know im overweight but obese....I think not

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind

Give a man a fish and he'll eat 4 a day hit a man with a brick and you can have all his fish and his wife

"Will's to pretty for prison" - Simian


Location: Perth
Member Since: 4th Jul 2007
Total posts: 489
Posted:Ok, Ok, I may have to take back the size 16 comment.
That comes from the fact I'm 5'3. So to be size 16 I guess I'd have to be wider than I am tall.

And people with wide/swimmers shoulder will need larger tops etc, and hips govern pants size and reducing the width of your pelvic girdle is near impossible :P

And breasts, those blessed/cursed will have to increase their top size.

I still think the 'norm' is rising though, and with the the "social acceptableness" of being larger. And with this comes the criticism of underweight people.

I dislike that for some reason it's ok for news (not crappy glossy mags) but NEWS to talk about models and criticise people who are underweight and giving a bad example to kids etc.

And the size that is 'too small' is rising I find.
In Australia, size 4 was first what most people would say is skeletal, then size 6 would get attacked.
Now some people say all size eights are starving themselves to stay that thin and having a BMI of under 20, people whisper about how you should eat more.

*sigh* I'm conflicted, because on one side I have this extreme view that people should be able to do what they want with their own bodies, that suicide and abortion shouldn't be illegal etc etc. and therefore people should be able to eat themselves silly if they want to.

BUT... I don't want them to do it around me.
Maybe there should be obese seats in public transport and they should cost more. Or clothes that use twice the amount of material should cost twice as much...

*sigh* I don't know. I don't have the solution.

Though, everyone should provide their own electricity with turbine-connected treadmills/exercise bikes. That would help some problems!

Though maybe even obesity IS a genetic progression that is going to help them survive the next ice age.

MEH! GP time - where I'll see many of our friends, all wanting their cholesterol tablets, diabetes pills...


had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:"Weight really isn't that relevant, I'd say BMI is far more important."

But.... that's what PinkNigel is getting at! BMI measures weight in relation to height, and if you have 10 extra kilos of muscle or of fat doesn't make a difference to your weight.

(This is not on how useful BMI is, I know it doesn't always work [for example telling my sister when she was wearing size 10 jeans she had to lose at least 15 pounds...), but it does measure weight, not fat/muscle/water/bone.)

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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