January 4, 2009

"They have bits sliced off and tied up and sucked out. I want to say to them, 'You lazy f---ing fat pig.'"

"'Just go for a run and stop eating burgers. You might fucking die.'"

Ricky Gervais opposes liposuction, tummy tucks, and gastric band operations. He also would like you to shout "Fatty!"at him when he walks down the street. Or perhaps "you fucking fat bastard," which is what he says to himself when he looks in the mirror in the morning.

He's a comedian, and that's all very funny, but he's raising some important issues. (No, not whether comedians should be more sensitive, and in any case, to the extent that it is an issue worth examining, he's already said that he's allowed to say cruelly harsh things about fat, because he's fat and admits it.)

1. Is it unethical for doctors to perform serious operation on people who have the alternative route of eating less and exercising?

2. Has the fat acceptance movement caused the obesity epidemic?

***

I got that link from Freeman Hunt's Twitter feed — just as I was finishing listening to "The Ricky Gervais Guide to Medicine," which I downloaded today on iTunes.

ADDED: More on the fucking fat bastard here:
'I work out every day,' says Gervais, who recently had a swimming pool built beneath his London home and has installed a gym at his New York apartment. 'Don't sound so surprised. I'm fat because I eat too much and I'd rather not give up food. It's not glandular, it's greed. If I didn't work out I'd still eat as much but instead of being probably 20 pounds overweight, I would be 40 pounds overweight and growing.' In any case, 'I don't think a comedian should be worried about their weight'.

Has he ever been on a diet? 'No.' At some points in his life – notably as a student, when he had little money, and had to cook for himself – 'I didn't eat and I was thin'. But 'for the past 15 years I've eaten and I've got fat'.

59 comments:

fivewheels said...

I strongly suspect that attributing any significant influence of any kind, on anyone, to the fat acceptance "movement" is a mistake.

More than likely, many of your readers won't even really know that such a thing exists, except in the sense that we're all aware there are grievance groups for every damned thing on earth.

As for question 1, I think informed consent is all we should expect. Let people make their own decisions.

Melissa said...

1) In most cases, yes. I say that as someone who worked in disabilty, and saw the lead up to and results of (and very frequently, things that go wrong with) these operations. In theory, gastric bypass should only be done as a very last resort, when nothing else has worked. In practice, that's not at all the case.

Most of the time, all the patient had to do was claim that they had tried "dieting" (whatever that meant to them) and failed. Weirdly (to me, at least), gastric band (which is a much less invasive procedure, only requiring about a week or so down time) was rarely tried first- most people went right to the risky and extreme full on gastric bypass (which, by the way, is only a permanant solution if you stick to the diet that they give you, which you're not likely to do after a few years when everything heals up, since your problem was that you never stuck to a diet in the first place- a LOT of people just gain the weight right back after a while).

Thing is, it's bad decision making like this that gets these folks to morbidly obese (which is completely different than just "overweight," so don't get all huffy and talk to me about "genes") in the first place. That doctors not only allow it but encourage it, particularly without insisting on strict, supervised diets first, is a serious ethical problem.

Synova said...

Except that thin people are likely not any less lazy and are often not any more fit.

Ricky doesn't need to be yelled at by other lazy people who eat less... he needs to grow his own food, dig his own fields, plant, carry water, prepare it and cook it, and do without any spices to speak of and eat the same boring stuff every day. Or he needs to dig ditches, lay track, shovel manure, pick rock, lay brick.

What has caused the obesity epidemic is how modern labor is different from labor that came before. People work as hard as they ever did, but they work differently. They are not LAZY.

These not-lazy people can work out for two hours a day and it won't even approach the physical "work" of someone who baled hay, not two hours, but ten, or ran down a deer and dragged it home. But figuring that the "lazy" person who doesn't work out for those two hours a day already put in 10 hours of demanding work... no, it's not an "acceptance" of fat that has made us fat.

ricpic said...

Wha' abou' the nasty bits, ow ow?!

Freeman Hunt said...

We weren't all fat just a couple decades ago. Everyone is fat because everyone eats more now.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't think fat people are lazy. It's a lot of work getting all that food and eating it. They are only acting according to natural urges that were beneficial for survival over the course of evolutionary time. But it's a problem in the modern world, and they can either do something about it or not. It's really hard though. Everyone knows it's hard. What Gervais is saying is, keep up the pressure to make them do what is hard.

Palladian said...

If anyone around here "keeps up the pressure" on me to lose weight, I will fuck them up.

Just a warning.

Ron said...

Gervais seems more a victim of the 'anorexia approval industry' he works in which has more problems with weight gain than terrorism.

Palladian said...

Not all fat people walk around thinking they have "a problem". Some of us do cost/benefit analysis and decide that a certain level of obesity is worth the price. And being fat does not necessarily mean that a person is unhealthy. It often does, especially in the case of morbidly obese people, but it's not a given.

As for "getting all that food and eating it", I don't really get or eat that much more food than the average person who likes to cook. I believe that I remember reading that Althouse doesn't really do the cooking thing very much, so of course the idea of buying lots of groceries probably seems foreign to her.

I actually stay healthy because I walk so much. I live in New York and don't drive so that's one benefit of living in cities.

My cholesterol level and blood pressure are both probably better than most "non-fat" people. And a lot of hot young men happen to like distinguished, handsome, brilliant men who are carrying around some extra weight.

Palladian said...

In other words, blow off Karen Carpenters.

ricpic said...

I eat lunch out almost everyday at a supermarket cafe. Then I go into the supermarket and tell myself that I'm only going to buy one or two doughnuts and that'll be it for the rest of the day, no evening meal and one or two doughnuts; but, funny thing, I always leave the store with a Sara Lee cheesecake or equivalent 1000 calorie coffee cake and finish it off in one sitting that night. Never fails.

It's just the (homo-sapien) gypsy in my soul.

dick said...

Palladian is right IMNSHO. I gained about 40 lb when I stopped smoking. I eat less than most of the people I know but I don't seem to lose weight. However, at the age of 68 and 40 lb overweight. My blood pressure is 110/70 and my pulse rate is 60. Before I retired I had no problem working 12-16 hours per day for 6 months or more.

I think the ones who are so thin are in many cases in worse shape than those of us who are a "little" overweight.

I do think that it also depends on what you eat as well. I try to eat a lot of veggies and I do eat a lot of Chinese stir-fry. I also do not eat much sugar. I can buy a pound of sugar and a year later still have some of that pound left.

Palladian said...

"I also do not eat much sugar. I can buy a pound of sugar and a year later still have some of that pound left"

I don't really like sweets. Maybe that's the key to good health.

dick said...

Either cutting back the sweets or following the old saw of moderation in all things.

I still remember back when I was much younger that there were all those fad diets. Remember them? The grapefruit diet or the boiled egg diet or the other diets that worked for a short time but as soon as you got to where you wanted to be you immediately loaded it back on again. I always thought if I ate everything but just smaller amounts of everything I would end up far better in the long run since I would not be craving so much.

Skyler said...

There is no ethical dilemma here. The doctors are not risking a life unreasonably and people with bad character are willing to give up their money for it.

A fool and his money should be parted. Anyone who can't understand that the only way to lose weight is to eat less, a LOT less, and exercise, is a person of poor character.

Now, it's a free country and people are allowed to lack good character, as our politicians prove daily. And it's impolite to call people names or harrass them for being bad examples of human beings. But that doesn't change what they are or how we should regard them.

Palladian said...

"But that doesn't change what they are or how we should regard them."

Wait, are you making some sort of sweeping moral judgment about overweight people or about overweight people who have surgical procedures to help reduce their weight?

William said...

I go to bed hungry as often as many in Bangladesh, and I am still 10 to 20 lbs overweight. For most of my life I was skinny and self conscious about it, and now this. What annoys me is that there must have been a brief, shining moment when I was perfect and it passed by without my noticing it.....I was raised as a Catholic. I define sins of the flesh almost exclusively in terms of sex, but it turns out that gluttony not lust is the true snare of the devil. I think I would be a healthier, better person if there were as many brothels as bakeries in my neighborhood. Some of these damn bakeries cook with real butter. The taste of the croissant lingers in your mouth like a prom night kiss. I live in a constant state of gustatory longing. There's no end to the temptations.

save_the_rustbelt said...

I checked with "the world's greatest nurse" who routinely deals with overweight seniors and on occasion has given care to the super-morbidly obese (think 500 pounds+).

She thinks the seniors have a combination of bad eating habits, chronic health problems, problems creating problems (bad knees limiting exercise, increasing weight) and etc.

She thinks the younger people, especially the super-morbidly obese, have psych problems (she trained and worked as a psych nurse in her early career).

I have worked with surgery protocols, and bariatric surgery (there are several techniques) should be a last resort, and is supposed to be done after a period of counseling. I suspect the process is being cut short, too short.

ricpic said...

I don't know what Skyler's age is, and it's none of my business, but I can tell him that above a certain age, say 50, you can go on eating the same amount you've always eaten and end up 10 - 20 pounds overweight.

Morbid obesity is another matter, and there I would tend to agree with him.

ricpic said...

William, how about the bakery/brothel solution?

Eat a cupcake; work it off.

Donna B. said...

Skyler - "There is no ethical dilemma here. The doctors are not risking a life unreasonably..."

I disagree because in many cases doctors performing these operations do risk lives unreasonably.

For the morbidly obese, it is perhaps justified. I'm talking here about those 400+ lb. people.

I come from a fat family, at least as far back as the Civil War era. I have photo evidence. After a few babies, I started getting fat. It didn't help that my husband and I owned a restaurant.

So, I eventually decided to have bariatric surgery (about 15 years ago). I'm actually one of the lucky ones as I didn't die or have immediate surgical complications. However, my hair and teeth fell out, and I'm suffering from early osteoporis due to malnutrition. For almost two years, I couldn't even take vitamins as they were TOO big for the tiny stomach I had.

Oh, I lost weight massively for six months or so. Then I stayed that weight for a year or so, then I gradually began to gain weight again.

Gaining weight while eating so little was horribly demoralizing. I also realized that an important percentage of the weight I'd lost was muscle mass. Oh, and did I mention the projectile vomiting if I eat 4 oz of food instead of 3? Or eat meat or raw vegetables?

I now have a hernia where the surgery weakened the abdominal wall. My current gastroenterologist suspects I'll have trouble with the staple line in the near future.

So there will be at least one more surgery, probably two.

My health was adversely affected in several ways and I'm still fat.

It is definitely an ethical problem that these surgeries are now being recommended for teenagers and young women who just barely meet the "obese" BMI measurement. It is much better to be fat and healthy than it is to be fat and unhealthy. There's not any evidence that these surgeries work long-term, but there is ample evidence of long-term complications.

Duscany said...

"2. Has the fat acceptance movement caused the obesity epidemic?"

No, people just don't work 12 hours a day in factories or farms anymore. I went to a farmers' market in Amish country years ago. No one was fat there (they were too busy selling about 16 different varieties of apples). The women didn't even have fat buttons (they kept their blouses closed with straight pins.) Memo to the file: Never hug an Amish woman with her clothes on.

Darcy said...

Palladian said...
If anyone around here "keeps up the pressure" on me to lose weight, I will fuck them up.


Oh, God...that was funny. I'm still laughing.

Good for you.

traditionalguy said...

Eating serves many good purposes be it a social interaction or a lonesome use of solitary comfort-food. The diet culprits are always the Potatos, the corn,{ which includes soft drinks}, and the deserts. Human behavior always serves a purpose. So these people over 18 years old eating so as to make themselves fat do so to serve their purpose.

Darcy said...

Oh, Donna B. I'm awfully sorry. And I agree with you about this surgery. A good friend of mine had it and had a lot of complications as well.

F4GIB said...

Ann inquired: "1. Is it unethical for doctors to perform serious operation on people who have the alternative route of eating less and exercising?"

Actually, it's not that simplistic.

I wrote this in response to a friend's coment: "I think it must be far more difficult to lose weight than to quit smoking."

Indeed it is.

Not only do you have to continue to eat, but your body goes into overdrive working AGAINST you.

All of us are the progeny of generations of famine survivors. Our genes are programmed to keep our working cells fed through times of caloric insufficiency. The essence of current medical advice is to create and maintain a daily caloric deficit. For our bodies, a diet IS identical to a "famine." And our, superbly efficient metabolism goes to work on defeating our efforts.

Everyone's body has a relatively FIXED NUMBER of fat cells at the end of puberty (about age 16) and THEY NEVER DIE. They just shrink down in size and fill with water, waiting for food. That's the problem, medicine does not know how to either render them inoperable or kill them off. Nutrition is a mystery to most physicians.

When a fat cell is emptied because the working cells need to use stored fat because of the caloric deficiency you have created (by the diet), the battle is on. The fat cell begins chemically "screaming" to the brain that "Famine is here!!!" and the brain responds both by increasing appetite (which can be controlled somewhat) and by reducing metabolism (which can't). The fewer calories you are ingesting every day at the start of a diet can become too many if the basal metabolism reduction succeeds. That's where exercise comes in. It raises the working cells need for calories.

Assuming your calorie reduction and exercise increase strategy works and you lose weight, THE BATTLE NEVER STOPS. This is the big difference between "ceasing" smoking and "maintaining" proper weight.

It is the lifelong curse of those whose parents caused or allowed them grow fat as children. In my case I know exactly when I got fat -- age 9, during the period when my mother controlled my food intake -- and the cause (stress), and when I took my first control and lost 40 pounds -- age 17, because I went on a pre-Atkins "Atkins Diet." But I was too late. Those extra 10 billion fat cells were in place. Forever.

So, you have successfully "lost" weight. That's not success. You have to KEEP it off. Two, three or more billion empty fat cells are still "screaming" to be refilled and your body is trying to do so. The battle is never over. Although shrunken, fat cells don't die; they keep working full-time against you. I think this is a big problem for many because, like smokers, they want it to be
o-v-e-r. They want to declare "victory" and get on with their lives. But they can't.

To succeed, the diet must now become your PERMANENT lifestyle. Those shrunken fat cells are lying in ambush waiting for you to slip up. How? Perhaps from stress. That's my demon. I lose weight, keep it off for years, hit a period of high stress, seek relief in those "friendly" carbs, and gain back pounds. Then, when the stress stops, I'm stuck at the higher weight. I don't normally overeat so I plateau until I get up enough psychic energy to diet again. Unfortunately, I'm a smallish person so a "diet" looks as much like starvation to me as it does to my cells. This is made worse by my age, 60'ish, which means my normal basal metabolic rate is further reduced. Imagine, four lettuce leaves and a 2-inch square of steak on a dinner plate. Ugh.

Another part of the curse is that fat cells inside your abdominal wall surrounding organs (visceral fat) are the unhealthiest fat. These cells can't be removed by liposuction or killed. You have to KEEP them in a shrunken state by limiting calories. That is lifelong diet that the medical adviser's deviously describe as "lifestyle changes." Don't be fooled, IT'S A LIFELONG DIET because you can't ever win by killing the enemy.

You can get rid of fat cells under the skin with liposuction. I think I will this time. I'll look better and I'll feel that I made some permanent progress. But that's no cure, I'll still be on the lifetime diet and exercise regimen to control the fat cells inside my abdomen.

Lifetime and regimen. That's the difference. You can stop smoking and "win" the battle. Those with extra fat cells can NEVER stop fighting their bodies.

The lifelong battle makes support of others so important for us. If you see me going for second helping (which no one my size EVER needs), stop me. I'm just distracted from the fight, I'll appreciate your assistance. Once focused, I'll choose not to eat more. But I need the reminder.

While I'm on the soapbox, let me make two more points.

Restaurant portions have grown huge (to mask the price increases?). I really need to start off each meal with a doggie bag and divide the meal in 1/2, packing one portion in the bag BEFORE I start to eat the remainder. Otherwise, I'll get distracted and clean my plate. Yes, I probably could make that a habit. Not customary, though.

Obesity of any degree kills. Remember that. But it is indirect, operating by facilitating other diseases.

The culprit isn't made by just six "evil" corporations (as cigarettes were in 1954). Another difference from smoking is that, so many people are making so much money (billions, I'm sure) off diet "advice," including the medical profession, that there is very little pressure for research into how to CURE obesity. Only a few researchers are investigating how to block the brain's receipt of the fat cell's scream that "famine is here," prevent the resulting metabolism reduction, or kill the fat cells themselves. A fat cell killing mechanism that only got 1/5 of them, would bring normalcy to many. However, no one can accuse the government of throwing money at this problem. A real cure will kill the billion dollar diet industry and cost many more white collar jobs than existed in the cigarette industry and they'll all be people trying to do good.

So don't expect a cure in our lifetimes.

Cedarford said...

Althouse -
2. Has the fat acceptance movement caused the obesity epidemic?

Probably to a degree, insomuch as critics excuse the fat slugs and deflect blame for their victimhood onto "society".

knox said...

A friend of mine just revealed he has lost 35 pounds over the last several months... on diet pills. A "safe" version of Phen-fen is apparently available now. He said he finally started taking them because everyone he works with is on them and they are all losing tons of weight.

He has lost a lot of weight, and looks good, but it was difficult to be congratulatory. I had to really reign in my disapproval: so wrong and so unhealthy. Oh well.

And I won't lie, I was also a little annoyed, because I've been battling the same 10-15 pounds for several months now and I REFUSE to diet. I am lucky: when I run consistently, I shed the pounds, but work, the kids, the weather and the holidays has made it almost impossible. So yes, I am resentful, too, because he's popping these pills, smoking and watching TV and is skinnier than he's been in years.

Chris said...

I lost a lot of weight when I got divorced. At one point I was down to 175 and hooking up outrageously hot girls who would tell me I was too skinny (actions speak louder than words). I heard through the grapevine that friends of my ex-wife were surprised at how attractive I had suddenly become. On the other hand I was very depressed. I think it would be much better to be fat and happy.

Joe said...

1) There is no obesity epidemic.

2) The morbidly obese fall with a very specific demographic. I'll leave it at that.

3) Overweight people live longer. (It's called the obesity paradox.)

4) There is pretty good evidence that repeated dieting causes weight gain beyond what a person would normally have.

5) All that aside, people living in first world countries live longer and are healthier than any other peoples in history, even recent history.

Ralph said...

My b-i-l lost 70 of his ~400lbs (he's 6'5") shortly after most of his cancerous colon was removed. He'd put it back on in 3 months. My sister was pissed, but he was big when they married (she was 50 lbs over at the time). He deals with stress by eating and chooses high fat foods.

It was bad enough being a scrawny geek in high school (6'2", 120 lbs), I'm glad I wasn't huge like he was (& audio-vis nerd).

Alex said...

Ralph - it's not the fat content in food that's the problem, it's the overall calorie count. A balanced diet includes fat. You just want to regulate the carb intake.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Has the fat acceptance movement caused the obesity epidemic?"

1) Is a greater percentage of the population fatter than before?

2) Just in America, or everywhere?

3) If not everywhere, does 'fat acceptance' correlate well with where obesity rates are highest?

My personal guess is that technology has made life easier, by-and-large. This in turn has led to more fatties.

More cushion for the pushin', though.

Alex said...

Sorry but even thinking about making love to an obese women is vomit-inducing.

Palladian said...

"Sorry but even thinking about making love to an obese women is vomit-inducing."

Trooper York, are you out there to set this stripling straight?

Alex said...

Forced to make love to an obese woman is worse then Saddam's torture rooms.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

People's body weight will change over time. I'm about 40 pounds heavier than I was in my "most perfect" weight. Guess what? We can't always be 28 years old. I'm not going to obsess over losing 40 pounds. I'm perfectly happy with the way I am and so is my husband. Am I going to try to go to extremes to lose a couple of dress sizes and look like a cadaverous Caroline Kennedy. Not me. I like to cook, eat, drink and be merry too much to worry about being a size 3 or whatever.

I don't believe that the surgery option is the best idea for most people, even the morbidly obese. As Donna B's example illustrates, drastic surgery has its unintended consequences. It is the lazy way out,(no offense to you Donna). The lazy way is what gets people into that mess in the first place.

We try to excuse away every human imperfection and foible. Sorry, people. You are fat(or in politically correct speech...over weight) because you ate too much for much too long and were not active for much to long. There is no quick easy fix other than to diet for a long time and to exercise moderately every day. It takes twice as long to lose it as it takes to gain it.

I always thought if I ate everything but just smaller amounts of everything I would end up far better in the long run since I would not be craving so much.

Ta Dah!! Small and frequent meals and not depriving yourself of the things you like. Moderation.

blake said...

It was bad enough being a scrawny geek in high school (6'2", 120 lbs), I'm glad I wasn't huge like he was (& audio-vis nerd).

Holy cow, dude. I was 5' 11" and 145# in high schol (I think 155# after a year of martial arts training) and people kept saying I needed to put on some weight.

Patm said...

I think we're generally fatter now because we spend more time sitting around, playing on our computers than doing much else.

I know that other things can play into it, though. I'm heavier than I have ever been because of two arthritis-wrecked knees. There is a whole vicious cycle: I don't exercise because my knees hurt...then I gain weight...which makes exercising even harder.

But mostly, we're just used to super-sized portions and we don't move around enough.

That said, I don't think mocking fat people is helpful. Nor is nagging them. I've never met a fat person who did not already know she or he was fat. And if there is a "fat acceptance" movement, I'm not aware of it. I know people who have not gotten jobs because of their weight.

Gastric bypass: I have a friend who took that drastic measure. It made her anemic. She lost 70 lbs (needed to lose about 110) and that's where she's remained.

But it is certainly frustrating and difficult to diet. I myself am beginning Weight Watchers tomorrow afternoon. I'd rather go get a tooth pulled than get on that scale, but that's why I'm forcing myself. Time to do harder things, not easier ones.

blake said...

Has anyone seen his routine?

It's hysterical.

That's more or less all I would care about were I him. And he mocks his own fattiness just as easily.

William said...

If it's any comfort to Donna--and it won't be--her story has made all the moderately overweight feel better about life....I do think it is possible for someone to have a physical affliction which is in no way an expression of their character. In the service, when I was younger, I had an overweight friend who was bitterly resentful of me. In the chowhall, I ate easily twice as much as he did and remained bone thin. My skinniness had nothing to do with asceticism and his poundage had nothing to do with gluttony. It was just the difference in our metabolisms.....I think people with physical afflictions like in some way to blame themselves for their troubles. It is easler to live with an afflction if you think you are a bad person than if you think you are an unlucky person. Morality is within our control; luck is not. Things outside our control are the most frightening. And so we make up these little moral fables about out extra pounds.

mcg said...

She lost 70 lbs (needed to lose about 110) and that's where she's remained.

Well, there's part of the problem right there. Let's get the language right here. Neither she nor any other fat person needs to lose anything. She wanted to lose weight because of the various health, emotional, and social benefits that accrue. I mean, we all die of something for goodness' sakes. And if you're OK with it otherwise, so be it.

Even if we grant that some weight "needed" to be lost, it well known among the gastric bypass community that many of the secondary symptoms of obesity relieved by losing only some weight, even if the target is not reached. (I did some research when a loved one did it.) High blood pressure? Chronic fatigue? Sleep apnea? All likely mitigated or eliminated. So those 70 pounds were well worth losing.

Three, recent study suggests that fitness and weight are not perfectly correlated. In other words, you can be in reasonably good shape and still be fat; and you can be skinny in lousy health. Better to be the former than the latter. Obviously fat and out of shape is the worst. So if you desire to get healthy, it is vitally important that you exercise, but necessarily as important that you lose weight.

mcg said...

damn, sorry about the mangled writing there. I'm not supposed to be awake right now.

Skyler said...

"If it's any comfort to Donna--and it won't be--her story has made all the moderately overweight feel better about life"

Yeah, because that's what they need, more reasons to feel better about lacking the character to fix their problems.

Freeman Hunt said...

The fat acceptance movement has contributed to the obesity epidemic in one major way: it has encouraged the idea that losing weight is nearly impossible. This is repeated all the time now as though it is accepted fact, and it is ridiculous and demoralizing. It nearly seems to have gelled into a sort of groupthink that makes it much, much easier for someone trying to lose weight to fall back into old habits.

Alex said...

Freeman - the good news is those FA people will die off pretty soon and with it their FA ideology.

Palladian said...

"Yeah, because that's what they need, more reasons to feel better about lacking the character to fix their problems."

Seems like you're lacking the character to fix your problem: you're an asshole. Gastronomic moralism, aesthetic moralism, sexual moralism... they're all the same thing. You can take your prescriptions and denunciations and condemnations and shove them far, far up your ass.

I repeat: I'm "overweight" and probably healthier than you.

Palladian said...

"Even if we grant that some weight "needed" to be lost, it well known among the gastric bypass community that many of the secondary symptoms of obesity relieved by losing only some weight, even if the target is not reached."

I lost about 30 pounds last year and, you're right, I felt significantly better for it, even though I'm still "overweight". My only health problem that's exacerbated by my weight is a genetic joint problem (I had to have serious joint surgery when I was very young). Losing just 30 pounds significantly reduced my joint pain.

Alex said...

Palladian - you realize that gays are far more discriminatory against fatties then straights? In the gay universe, you are either fabulous or you are a non-entity.

Palladian said...

"Palladian - you realize that gays are far more discriminatory against fatties then straights? In the gay universe, you are either fabulous or you are a non-entity."

I don't live in the "gay universe" so I wouldn't know.

theobromophile said...

Of all the radical means of losing weight, surely doctors could suggest something less permanent and healthier before slicing and dicing. Wouldn't it be less radical to suggest that morbidly obese patients go vegan for six months? (Purpose: retrain the palate to prefer lighter, crisper foods and shun normal American fare; eliminate virtually all junk food; and help the patient to establish a feedback mechanism with their bodies, so they stop eating when full.)

IMHO, the real ethics issue comes in doing the surgery at all (or at least the way it is done now). There is growing evidence that our bodies need various types of food, and in certain quantities, in order to function properly. Vitamins are one thing, but I'm not sure how you can get fibre, fruit and vegetables, and anything else that your body needs after having most of your stomach sliced off.

Stupid question: why do the physicians make the new stomach so small? Why not shrink it by half or a quarter (if exceptionally large to start with) to make small-ish organs, rather than these micro versions that are bound to be problematic?

Donna B. said...

theobromophile: "Stupid question: why do the physicians make the new stomach so small? Why not shrink it by half or a quarter (if exceptionally large to start with) to make small-ish organs, rather than these micro versions that are bound to be problematic?"

That's a really good question, I think. What the tiny 3 oz pouch does is put one on a starvation diet.

How can that be healthy?

To others, thank you for understanding and I'm not bothered at all by the implication that I tried to take the easy way out. What I want to do is point out that not only is bariatric surgery not easy, it's not a way out either.

blake said...

I'd like to say the obvious: For some people it is a serious issue of more than just "character". For a lot of us, maybe most of us, though, it's a matter of making the right choices. And it's important not to conflate the two.

Discovery had a show on recently where this poor woman had gone from cute to bloated--and it really wasn't her fault at all. Her body literally distributed the fat in ways that made her look bad!

They also had on sumo wrestlers, who have plenty of fat, but it's actually an evenly distributed layer of fat over tremendous musculature. They're in tremendous shape, yet fat.

The extra weight is mostly good for you whatever the aesthetics of the day. It's the lack of exercise that kills.

PJ said...

I know two people that have had the bypass operation. Both of their lives were changed. One married a guy that refused to marry her if she were still fat. They have a baby. So... it matters and it matters big.

HOWEVER- within three years both of them had complications that almost killed them. The woman's dad said, "The things we do to ourselves - but you know [blank] never wanted her before."

And before you easily dismiss it with "well he wasn't worth having".... he probably was, as was the baby, the family, the lifestyle. Oh yeah, he's a born-again Christian; so much for Mr. Spiritual.

Pogo said...

The cure for the obesity epidemic has been found.

It's called socialism.
No joke; these people are quite serious.

Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Mortality Reductions Found After Population Wide Weight Loss During 1989-2000 Cuban Economic Crisis
"During 1997–2002, there were declines in deaths attributed to diabetes (51%), coronary heart disease (35%), stroke (20%), and all causes (18%)."

Translation: The failure of the socialist Cuban economy (and loss of subsidies from the failure of another marxist regime, the Soviet Union), resulted in mass starvation in Cuba.

One side effect was an "outbreak of neuropathy" and blindness (both due to vitamin deficiencies) and "a modest increase in the all-cause death rate among the elderly", that is, more old people died off early. Oh, well; but at least it was only a modest die-off.

So there are ways. Argue the authors:
"Future steps towards prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes should focus on long-term population-wide interventions by encouraging physical activity and the reduction of caloric intake".

And the Democratic majority is just the gang to do it.

knox said...

Freeman - the good news is those FA people will die off pretty soon and with it their FA ideology.

Weirdo. What's it to you if people are fat?

Skyler said...

I'm guessing that Palladian is a homosexual because he seems to be preoccupied with putting things inside colons.

And he's very impolite.

And by his own admission, he's quite the fatty.

Get some intestinal fortitude, P boy and do something about your condition.

Trooper York said...

I personally think the fat acceptance people are misguided because we should all want to be healthier.

But it would be my personal desires to beat the living shit out of anyone who likes to make fun of overweight people.

The line starts at the left Alex.

Chuck said...

If anyone should decide to yell "Fatty" or "Fat Bastard" at me on the street, I will gladly kick his ignorant ass into next week.