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Beyond Satire - Input Junkie
November 11th, 2013
08:38 am

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Beyond Satire
I've believed for a long time that mainstream culture puts a disproportionate importance on not being fat. People sick with cancer get congratulated on losing weight. All too many doctors ignore fat patients' symptoms and just say "lose weight". The First Lady goes on The Biggest Loser to say that losing weight is really important, even though the show uses cruel and unhealthy methods.

Even so, I wasn't expecting this....
Diane Ford said her son’s biggest problem wasn’t substance abuse.

“He’s got a problem … he’s got a huge weight problem,” She said. She then went on to say how his whole outlook would change if he lost a little bit of weight.


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From:whswhs
Date:November 11th, 2013 04:36 pm (UTC)
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Yes, one of my players has said that if she went to the doctor with a broken leg they'd probably say, "If you took some weight off that wouldn't cause you so many problems."
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From:xiphias
Date:November 11th, 2013 06:01 pm (UTC)
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*headdesk*

If there's a correlation between bad health and being overweight, I bet THIS is part of it. If someone can look at Rob Ford and say that substance abuse is his SECOND problem? Makes me wonder just how much out there is being missed by doctors treating fat patients.
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From:elenbarathi
Date:November 11th, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
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Sounds like he's got an impulse-control problem that may be at the root of his substance abuse, over-eating and rageful outbursts. I would surmise that sexual indiscretions may be on the list as well.

All too many doctors know almost nothing about nutrition, metabolism or food sensitivities. People who eat a lot of refined carbs, processed oils and chemical additives get sick even if they don't get fat. People who eat a balanced diet of real food, mostly veggies and fruit, get healthier even if they don't lose weight.

Most doctors don't know much about exercise, either. Sitting around too much makes people sick, but it's not necessary to go spend hours in the gym; walking to the park will do.

If a person is eating reasonable portions of a balanced diet of real food, and getting a reasonable amount of regular exercise, the body will naturally move toward the weight it's supposed to be. One might like to alter the dietary balance - 'more carrots, less cashews' - or increase the exercise a bit - but the point is not to look thin; the point is to feel fit and healthy.

The cruel and unhealthy methods used on 'The Biggest Loser' are going to backfire. As a species, humans have survived a lot of periodic starvation, so we've evolved metabolic mechanisms for hanging on to every last fat-molecule, like Scarlett O'hara vowing "I'll never be hungry again!". So all those Biggest Losers have basically taught their bodies a kind of siege mentality: as soon as they stop starving and over-training, they'll start gaining.

I recently watched a lot of stuff on anorexia - so tragic, these poor scrawny girls with their hollow haunted eyes, thinking they're making themselves more attractive. Because we all know how much men are attracted to bony hips and chests where they can count every rib, right?

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From:acelightning
Date:November 12th, 2013 02:20 am (UTC)
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I find it ironic that the ad displayed over the video of Ford's mother is for a pizza chain. And Mom and Sis both look as if their bodies would rather be quite a bit more plump than they are now. But, of course, if Ford would just get skinny, then he'd have more self-esteem, and wouldn't need to try to feel better by drinking, taking drugs, and swearing at reporters. </sarcasm>

I've been very lucky; none of the cancer doctors who've treated me have ever criticized me about my weight. The gynecological surgeon did mention, in a desultory fashion, that it would be a good idea if I lost a bit - she's somewhat chubby herself (although I didn't find out until later that she was also pregnant at the time). The breast surgeon is a tiny little woman who goes to the gym on her lunch hour, but she's never said anything at all about my weight. The radiation oncologist never brought it up, either, but the head nurse in the radiation oncology department did lecture me about it.

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From:redbird
Date:November 12th, 2013 04:08 am (UTC)
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I looked at that and thought that she was in denial: "my son is fat" may be less embarrassing than "my son is an alcoholic and possibly a cocaine abuser."

Thinking about this a little more, I suspect Diane Ford's statements may also be a combination of "horrors! Five pounds overweight!" (which is an aspect of your point) with "I'm not an alcoholic, I only drink on weekends/after work/in company" or "he's not an alcoholic, he only drinks beer, not the hard stuff" or "everyone drinks at parties." I would guess that Rob Ford does much of his drinking when his mother isn't around, and has never smoked crack in her presence, which would make it easier for her to believe that sort of excuse. Especially with the subtext of "he's not that bad, the media are just out to get him" and "everyone loses their temper occasionally, he didn't really mean those threats, it's only news because he's mayor." [Not an actual quote.]
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