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Old 11-26-2014, 08:23 PM
 
Location: The Pacific Northwest
5,986 posts, read 6,291,901 times
Reputation: 8203

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I've watched a lot of "The Biggest Loser" and a person I have a lot of respect for is Jillian Michaels. She has a very effective way of getting to the bottom of why the morbidly obese contestants have psychologically come to the point they are at. And almost categorically, there is a deap-seated issue. Whether it be a sports injury putting a stop to a career, or bullying as a child, or a death of a family member, or even just low self-esteem; most of these people, when pressed, can articulate a reason why they overeat. But my impression of American society is that most obese people just go to the doctor, and the doctor tells them they need to eat better. A doctor telling them to eat healthy is the same as a doctor telling an alcoholic to replace their vodka with water, IMO. Yeah, OK.

I'm not saying that everyone who is obese needs a therapist. I know that some people were raised with poor eating habits, and I'll address that. But a lot of obese people do have psychological problems. They need to confront the reason why they are self-medicating with excessive food, because that is exactly what they are doing, no different than an alcoholic turning to the bottle or a smoker lighting up a cigarette.

As someone who has seen multiple family members die from obesity-related complications, I know that the ramifications can be just as severe if not more so than those who are afflicted with other addictions. Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart issues, early death, etc. etc.

To me, obesity is an even more egregious problem than some other addictions because people pass their poor eating habits to their children. Childhood obesity is a huge problem in the US and it's the fault of the parents. Why wouldn't your child binge on an entire bag of potato chips if she sees you doing it every day? Why wouldn't he eat junk food if that's all that's in the house? That being said, these people logically may be more responsive to doctor recommendations to eat healthier because they *may* not be doing it for any other reason than because it's how they were raised.

But there seems to be a complacency in American society when it comes to obesity. Why is that? Is it because it's so common? Is it because food is a necessity, and it's difficult to draw the line between "enough" and "too much"? I don't know, but I think there has been a general failure among health care professionals to adequately address this massive problem. And I don't think obese people are getting the help they need to confront their weight issues before it's too late.

Last edited by Bluefox; 11-26-2014 at 08:34 PM..
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Old 11-27-2014, 06:22 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,524,755 times
Reputation: 18035
If you look at ACA mandates and other insurance even before they have help available to diet.
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Old 11-28-2014, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
3,843 posts, read 3,941,447 times
Reputation: 6484
Well at least food addicts can't be arrested for their problems unlike drug addicts.

I agree that there is a complacency towards obesity. And political partisanship; God forbit Michelle Obama suggest eating veggies is good for you and she gets slammed for not minding her own business by the right.

But it is very serious. My heavy friend TR, just lost her mother at 48 and stepfather at 56 (both were obese). So what's in store for her? An early departure probably.
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Old 11-28-2014, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Cape Cod
11,546 posts, read 8,095,321 times
Reputation: 19987
Junk food tastes good and it is usually cheap to buy. Most of the sales at the supermarket is on food that is not so good for us. Eating a bag of chips won't kill you just as smoking a pack of cigarettes won't but doing so everyday over the years will. Many people are depressed and turn to food for comfort, some turn to drugs.
Over eating is a self indulgence just like the need to get high. I think if people had a different healthy way to spend their time other than stuffing their faces or doing drugs they would be happier overall.
Perhaps people who are prone to over eating would benefit from something like a 12 step AA program that people use to get over their drugs and drinking.
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Old 11-28-2014, 10:50 AM
 
11,924 posts, read 6,576,855 times
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It's interesting that it is only now that so many people have become addicted to food. There was plenty of junk food 30-40 years ago, very little obesity. Food tasted better then too.
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Old 11-28-2014, 11:35 AM
 
Location: USA
1,024 posts, read 784,962 times
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I don't know if there's a "complacency" towards obesity. I think there's a lot of pressure to lose weight and a social stigma (more like hatred among some) if you're obese.

Though it's not "as bad" as drug addiction, because no one has to ever take drugs, they are not necessary for daily life and are not advertised on TV and available for cheap prices at the corner store. And you can still safely drive while under the influence of fat. So the pressure to quit (how do you quit food?) is less.

There's a lot of emotional baggage that comes with obesity, and it's hard to know when to intervene with someone who is fat and when to leave them alone. Certainly there are emotional causes for obesity, like bullying. A lot of people get bullied after they start to gain weight, so it's a Catch-22. They eat too much because they are depressed, they get bullied because they're fat, and then they eat more because they're bullied about being fat. Maybe if they were never bullied, they wouldn't have gained as much weight.

And some women say that they unconsciously started to gain weight during puberty to avoid unwanted sexual harassment. Maybe if they weren't harassed, they wouldn't have gained weight as a "shield." So in a nutshell, if some people weren't such jerks and a-holes, maybe the obese wouldn't have developed these unhealthy habits to begin with.

And there's a lot of unhealthy attitudes about food, kids being raised with bad habits, junk food, a bad understanding about what is a proper diet, appropriate servings, etc. My own diet is by no means stellar, but I have been shocked at seeing other people slather on multiple tablespoons of butter onto one bagel and they honestly think, "What? What am I doing wrong?" They think it's normal to eat that much butter. They truly have no idea. In their case perhaps some proper education one what is a "serving" would be helpful. Maybe they're not being bullied at all, they just don't know what to eat. But now that they're used to eating that way, it's hard to break the habit.

As far as Michelle Obama's school lunch program, from what I've heard, it's not the concept (which I think is a good idea) but how it is implemented. Not enough food for growing, athletic kids, and very unappetizing food (slop, by the looks of some of the pics I've seen on Twitter) which ends up getting thrown away. It's a fiasco.
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Old 11-28-2014, 11:49 AM
 
240 posts, read 193,989 times
Reputation: 348
It s always psycological and therecan no doubt what so ever that is is an addiction and an therefore a legit illness, it has become the number one health hazard way after smoking or alcoholism, it is a pandempic at this point and it can be changed with education
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Old 11-28-2014, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
276 posts, read 243,626 times
Reputation: 519
It's good for the economy!

Obese people eat more and eat stuff from the big junk food companies... Coke, Pepsi, Kraft, Hershey, Frito-Lay, etc.
Food companies make money.

Then they outgrow their cloths and have to shop for more. Shoes don't last as long supporting that extra weight. Their feet hurt and they blame it on the shoes buying pair after pair trying to find some that don't hurt their feet, never considering it could be the extra pounds their feet need to support.
Clothing companies make money.

They get depressed because they have trouble finding a mate or that they can't seem to lose weight so they go to see a counselor/therapist.
Psychologist/psychiatrist make money.

They get prescribed antidepressants, diet pills, sleep aids, etc.
Drug companies make money.

They buy dozens of diet books, healthy cooking books and magazines. Exercise books and magazines, etc.
Publishers make money.

Then they have health problem... heart disease, knees feet, and hips ache or fail.
Healthcare makes money.

Fixing obesity might crash the whole system, better to just keep it going.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,275 posts, read 4,732,975 times
Reputation: 4036
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neosec View Post
It's good for the economy!

Obese people eat more and eat stuff from the big junk food companies... Coke, Pepsi, Kraft, Hershey, Frito-Lay, etc.
Food companies make money.

Then they outgrow their cloths and have to shop for more. Shoes don't last as long supporting that extra weight. Their feet hurt and they blame it on the shoes buying pair after pair trying to find some that don't hurt their feet, never considering it could be the extra pounds their feet need to support.
Clothing companies make money.

They get depressed because they have trouble finding a mate or that they can't seem to lose weight so they go to see a counselor/therapist.
Psychologist/psychiatrist make money.

They get prescribed antidepressants, diet pills, sleep aids, etc.
Drug companies make money.

They buy dozens of diet books, healthy cooking books and magazines. Exercise books and magazines, etc.
Publishers make money.

Then they have health problem... heart disease, knees feet, and hips ache or fail.
Healthcare makes money.

Fixing obesity might crash the whole system, better to just keep it going.
This may have been tongue and cheek, but I think it is very accurate.

Obesity is very good for a lot of companies. If you've read about the history of the diet recommendations put out by the government (Death by Food Pyramid is a good book to start with), it's clear that the recommendations are very much impacted by corporate interests. Even Michelle Obama's campaign has been altered by corporate interests. She wanted to include more fruits and vegetables but companies like Kraft and Coke didn't like that, so the program was altered to focus more on exercise and "balancing intake with activity" because Coke and Pepsi cannot have the government telling consumers that their products are unhealthy. There has to be a place for Coke and Pepsi in a healthy lifestyle, so the program recommendations were altered to allow for that.

The more I read about health/nutrition the more I realize that our government is not the place to look to for a solution to the obesity epidemic. The government is far too easily swayed by corporate interests and has been that way for a very long time. I don't see obesity going away in my lifetime. It will get worse before it gets better. Does anyone out there think big pharma WANTS to cure diabetes? Of course they don't, there is no money in a cure. But, there are billions to be made in treatment. That is what they want; a treatment (insulin) that needs to be purchased over and over for as long as possible. Each person that "cures" their type 2 diabetes by eating less sugar is a lost customer and isn't good for business.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:30 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,524,755 times
Reputation: 18035
besides look around;do you really think any politician is going to propose it. After all many pre-existing conditions can be traced back to life style like over eating;alcohol and drug abuse.and we see what just happen o that end.
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