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Author Topic: Fat-shaming in modern culture  (Read 620 times)

Jason

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2020, 09:59:16 pm »
The first time I was 'written up' in the hospital setting was when interviewing a patient I went through their medical history, which didn't have much in it, except for a BMI of 38 or so. I will typically say out loud what I am writing into their medical record so that they understand what I am talking about better. So at the end of the interview I told them, "Wow, no health problems. Aside from a little overweight you are very healthy. You are pretty low risk for this surgery."  That innocuous medical comment offended them enough that they put it in their post survey, which then got me written up and punished at the hospital.

As a result of that situation I now almost never mention the patient's weight or BMI. I just put it into their record and increase their risk score accordingly.

In the medical field there is a saying to not look for zebras when trying to diagnose something. When a zebra diagnosis comes along, it usually first requires multiple attempts at treating the most common reason for the disease process. Those that smoke will develop COPD eventually. Those with obesity will commonly be prone to high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes, gout, chronic inflammation, joint issues, gall stones, polycystic ovarian syndrome, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, and fatty liver. While not everyone with obesity will develop those diseases, in a large number of cases, obesity will lead to the development of those diseases, and overcoming obesity will lessen or alleviate those diseases.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 10:02:17 pm by Jason »
 
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kazbert

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2020, 10:06:43 pm »
Parts of this debate sound to me as though we have only two choices:  Either we agree fully that:

(1) The existence of obesity that is unavoidable (not in any way the fault of that obese person) justifies all cases of obesity as being perceived to be unavoidable Ö

Or Ö

(2) The existence of obesity that is avoidable (entirely due to a that obese personís poor choice to overeat) justifies all cases of obesity as being perceived to be avoidable.

Surely the full truth is that cases of (1) exist AND cases of (2) exist.

Regarding the shaming, perhaps what we are trying to say is that shaming is bullying regardless of whether one personís obesity is unavoidable or avoidable (or a mix of both), and bullying is not an acceptable behavior, period. Can we agree on that and call this done?
If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
Ronald Reagan
 
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palmetto_gal

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2020, 10:25:36 pm »
I have to share a personal story.  Over a decade ago, our Branch had a new family move in.  At the time, the couple had two children.  The dad was a history professor at USC-Lancaster (USC = University of South Carolina, not University of Southern California). 

One Sunday between Sacrament Meeting and Gospel Doctrine, I was sitting near the professor.  I introduced myself and he was pleasant enough.  I told him I loved history, and some of my favorite authors were David McCullough and Stephen Ambrose.  To my surprise, he said, "Wow, you just rose a whole lot in my estimation.  My favorite history is from Central and South America, (he served his mission in Brazil) but the fact that you are a history buff is impressive."  What he didn't say  (but I got the message loudly and clearly) was, "You must be more intelligent than you look."  I don't know how people can look intelligent, but I do know that people tend to regard overweight people as less than intelligent. 

Today, the professor and I (along with his darling family) are fast friends.  He messages me any time I miss church, he checks on me just to ask how I'm doing. His two girls are always offering hugs.   He is 2nd Counselor in our Branch Presidency, and I keep him on his toes about providing speaker names for the bulletin.  Just this past Friday, he gave me the names.  I asked in which order they would be speaking.  He said he had never given it any thought and thanked me for being diligent in performing my calling.  If I had taken offense during our initial introduction, we both would have missed out on a strong friendship.
 
And then there's the time I went to see a doctor I had never seen before because my PCP was booked.  Rather than addressing my issues, I got a lecture about eating habits and why a plant-based diet would solve many problems so prevalent in today's society.  I determined at that point that body parts would have to be falling off before I'd see him again. 
 
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JLM

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2020, 10:29:50 pm »
Kaz,

I think all reasonable people will agree that:

1) In some people obesity is completely avoidable

2) In some people obesity is completely unavoidable

3) In some people obesity is a heightened risk of obesity, that can be mitigated through healthy habits and medications.

It's a spectrum, and science isn't there yet to determine exactly where any particular person falls on the spectrum.  Instead we need to give each other the benefit of the doubt that we are all doing what we can life a full life.
 
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JLM

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2020, 10:38:42 pm »
I think we also need to acknowledge the enormous gender disparity when it comes to being overweight.  Men are often looked upon favorably for maturing into a "Dad bod", while there is no relief for a "Mom bod."  Dovetailing off of palmetto_gal's post, I recently read a study that showed that middle aged men who were a little bit overweight came across as more persuasive than a skinny man.  In other words, their authority carried more weight.  (Yes, the pun is intended.)  No such benefit was found with women, though.  So being a man, I know I can never fully understand what it is like to live as a women, so I must always listen first and try to empathize as best I can.

 
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dyany

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2020, 11:19:58 pm »
few responses:
Jason: I think the problem with your delivery would have been the 'wow.'  As in, you EXPECTED them to have health issues. The fact that you mentioned their weight immediately afterwards implied (and may have meant) that their weight contributed to your expectations. THAT was what was most likely why they were offended.  The fact was, that in that scenario their weight was not something necessary for comments to them, and thus was better left unsaid. If it was something you were seeing them for, or that impacted your service AND they had the time to do something about, then it could be brought up properly. Otherwise, it's exactly like saying, "wow, no health concerns. Aside from being ugly, you are very healthy." 
As to your other comments: "those who smoke will develop COPD eventually."  This is patently false, as it implies a 100% chance of developing COPD if you smoke, which even the most tobacco-hating research cannot show because it isn't true. That's part of the problem with all of the assumptions we make with these things: we go from correlations and contributing influences to direct causes and absolutes. Which is where it gets into lies which lead to bias. Your "commonly prone to" wording regarding obesity was much more accurate, but the rest of the statement implied (didn't directly say, but is generally inferred) a causal factor. When, in fact, there are obese people who never develop diabetes, and there is a large body of evidence showing that polycystic ovaries and obesity are often comorbid NOT because obesity leads to polycystic ovaries (as many fat-biased doctors incorrectly jump to), but because they are BOTH caused by metabolic issues rooted in (the evidence is starting to suggest) congenital conditions.

kazbert: I haven't seen a single person remotely claim that obesity is completely unavoidable and never the fault of the obese person. Not one. I have said, however, multiple times, that the causes are absolutely complex, the sociological and psychological impacts due to bias are very real and very debilitating, and that most people (including medical professionals) make assumptions that are cruel, counterproductive to destructive, and outright wrong. Which IS the point.  As I mentioned in the OP, this isn't about diet. Part of that is because that even with hundreds of years of research under the belt of our best medical minds, we STILL in no way, shape, or form have developed the "one true diet" that matches everyone. We STILL don't understand all the various factors in food and diet and environment, nor do we understand the massive factors of the infinite variety of genetics we have as humans. Not even remotely close. But from what we DO know from real and legitimate scientific studies, we have found that shaming and mistreating people makes it WORSE. And that shaming and bullying is a key part of this particular thread. Whether or not people can do something about their weight is not the point--I just brought it up because the general assumption is that everyone can control it (which is false, even though most at least have SOME influence over it), and control it with equal treatments and ease (also false), which leads to the belief that people who are fat are therefore so weak and flawed in character that they deserve mistreatment. We have to break the false idea that people, diet, psyches, health, are all the same so that we can understand that it's not as simple or straightforward as we think, and THEN we MIGHT have a chance of having empathy and love for others rather than derision and judgment.

Andrew: I am more than disappointed. I am ashamed of your comments. "It hasn't happened to me, so you should stop talking about it." "Everybody experiences shaming in some way, it's all the same, this isn't special or valid." 
Dude. I know you didn't read the research, but here's the point of it: the research is there, in COPIOUS amounts, because the data shows POWERFULLY that not only is fat shaming very real and causes a ton of detrimental effects, but it is statistically far more significant than, what were some of the things you mentioned? "Being spotty, being redheaded, being blonde."  PEOPLE ARE LITERALLY DYING BECAUSE OF IT. Anorexia, suicide, medical malpractice based in bias, are RAMPANT, and the statistics I shared should prove that it is not some silly thing that people happen to be whinging about just for something to whinge about.
 
I'm really happy that you haven't felt it. I'm really happy that your internal fortitude was such that no one's comments affected you that way. I'm really happy that you feel your healthcare is top-notch and no one is ignoring any of your symptoms because of your weight. Really, bully for you. But that in no way, shape, or form gives you the right to dismiss or disparage the experiences of HUGE NUMBERS of people or pretend this isn't important because it hasn't happened to you.
I am not the only one on this forum who has been bothered by those comments. But we as fat people, or whatever derided demographic we are in, are far too used to being looked down on for speaking up. We are already mistreated enough for having these other traits, we don't dare speak out against the bullying, because then people will treat us with even more contempt. So most of us are silenced by the bullies. I understand this. I feel it deeply. But I cannot stay silent. So I will be content to be strengthened by the whispered "thank you!" comments I receive and be the lightning rod for the hate and derision here. Because people need to understand. Just because you haven't experienced it doesn't make it false. Just because you struggle to understand it doesn't make it a lie or a silly whine from weaker people. And just because you may have been ignorantly callous or rude in the past doesn't mean you can't choose to be humble, listen, learn, repent, and improve.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 11:22:17 pm by dyany »
 
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LMAshton

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #51 on: February 18, 2020, 02:48:40 am »
In the medical field there is a saying to not look for zebras when trying to diagnose something. When a zebra diagnosis comes along, it usually first requires multiple attempts at treating the most common reason for the disease process. Those that smoke will develop COPD eventually. Those with obesity will commonly be prone to high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes, gout, chronic inflammation, joint issues, gall stones, polycystic ovarian syndrome, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, and fatty liver. While not everyone with obesity will develop those diseases, in a large number of cases, obesity will lead to the development of those diseases, and overcoming obesity will lessen or alleviate those diseases.

In the Ehlers Danlos world, our collective experience is that when doctors say think of horses not zebras, in reality, they generally mean that zebra diagnoses don't exist or are so rare that they'll never diagnose one in their lifetime. In reality, that means that they won't even look at the possibility of a zebra diagnosis. For those of us with EDS who have actually been diagnosed, it takes, on average, more than a decade to receive a diagnosis. But that's just for those who've been diagnosed and who had doctors who actually pursued an accurate diagnosis and didn't pawn us off as being depressed. I have a whole heap of relatives - siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, and so on - who have enough of the symptoms of EDS but cannot get a doctor to take them seriously and actually get a diagnosis. Because zebra.

Doctors really need to rethink that zebra thing.

Also, with that commonly prone to bit. I'm fat. I have low blood pressure. Do you know how hard it is to get doctors to take that seriously? They have preconceived notions of oh, you're fat, you must have... Nope. Low. I have to take extra salt every day just to prevent the lightheadedness and passing out that I'm prone to. My low blood pressure was worse when I was a teenager, but it's still low.

And while it's true that I have joint issues, it's also true that mine are caused by EDS. I've had osteoarthritis since I was 12. I was at a "normal" weight until my mid-twenties. My joints all dislocate, but again, that's because of the EDS, and it was noticeable in me from when I was 12. I've had digestive problems in one form or another since I was... 4. Same with migraines. None of that is because I'm fat, yet doctors have blamed all of that on me being fat.

So while I recognize that you're saying "a tendency towards", so many doctors look at us fat people and just stop. You're fat and that's why you have x, y, or z.
 
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LMAshton

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #52 on: February 18, 2020, 02:49:17 am »
Also, I agree with EVERYTHING Dyany wrote.
 
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AndrewR

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #53 on: February 18, 2020, 03:15:46 am »
OK - I'm comment-shamed. No more from me.
Don't ask me, I only live here.
Nauvoodle since March 2005 #1412
 
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TurkeyLurker

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #54 on: February 18, 2020, 10:07:24 am »
TurkeyLurker, just trying to get my head around...

Are you saying that you are judging and shaming fat people because you were fat, didn't do anything about it for just being stupid and losing weight was pretty easy for you once you got to it so that confirmed to you that anyone can do it and if they don't, they're just stupid, lazy and all the other things (because you were)?

Yeah, I've met many people like you, unfortunately.

Not really sure what I'm saying.  I do say that I do not look upon "obese" people with the kindness all people deserve.

I never actually say anything unkind to people in that situation.  But I do have an attitude which I have to watch myself with.

FWIW, losing weight was absolutely NOT easy for me.  It ended up being successful, but it took every ounce of attention and will power that I had.  But now that it's in the rear view, I look at the experience (two years of effort, about a hundred pounds) with rose colored classes, unfortunately.  Sometimes I forget how difficult it was, and expect that others can "just do it" too.
 

dyany

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #55 on: February 18, 2020, 12:07:25 pm »
TurkeyLurker, I really appreciate you being honest with yourself and others and recognizing that in yourself. It is impossible for any person to fully understand what another person has experienced. Just not possible, at all. But in making the EFFORT, we can learn a lot.
The best I can tell you, is to take the effort it took you to lose that weight--and I have no doubt at all it took all the attention and willpower you mention and that it was very difficult--and then add extra difficulty (let's say double, which is not really difficult), and then throw in a few medical conditions which block or impede certain courses of action (such as food allergies or asthma). So take how difficult it was for you, and double that, throw in some more pain, more medical intervention, more restrictive diet, and inability to breathe well. Would you have been able to be as successful under those conditions?  Yes? No? Because that's similar to what lots of people have to deal with. And a few, bless them, are even MORE limited and there is no chance in this life that they can be what the world considers "a healthy weight." 

Again, I SUPER appreciate and applaud your recognition and admission of this weakness. It's always the first step to growth in ourselves. :)
 
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Jen

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Re: Fat-shaming in modern culture
« Reply #56 on: February 20, 2020, 02:50:08 pm »
It's really hard to give ourselves grace for the things that make it easy to gain weight and hard to lose it (heaven knows I have cards stacked against me in that department), and equally difficult to take responsibility for what we can and should do to be as healthy as we can possibly be in our circumstances. Especially for me, it's hard to see my husband making half the effort I do and losing his extra weight within a relatively short time, while I'm fighting for every pound I lose and it's happening REALLY slowly. Easy to get frustrated and throw in the towel. So I have to look at non-scale victories and keep on keeping on.
 
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