Why Are There Still Fat People?

I have been noticing there are a lot of fat people in this country. Sure, I knew this before intellectually, but it’s caught my attention lately because it seems like I am always squeezing myself into a Metro seat next to some really fat person, which I have to do carefully to avoid sitting on the part of them that oozes onto the seat I want to sit in. Having to do this so often got me wondering just how many fat people there are in this country, so I did some internet research and found government statistics on the subject.

The answer: a whole fucking lot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 66.5% of adult Americans are overweight. Even worse, half of those are classified as “obese.” If you do the math, that means 1 in 3 of my fellow Americans are obese.

How fat is “obese”? Well, it seems “obese” has some official clinical definition that means “not just fat, but really big ass fat.” According to a Body Mass Index (BMI) table, a girl who is 5’4 (my girl’s height) would have a “healthy weight” if she were between 110 and 140 pounds. She would be considered “overweight” if she were between 146 and 179 pounds. And this little 5’4 girl would be considered “obese” if she were between 175 and 197 pounds.

That’s pretty damn big. I’m not talking about a few extra pounds here. I am not picking on people who stay in shape but are not fitness model perfect. And yes, before The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance hunts me down, I understand that there are people who suffer from medical conditions they can’t control that make them gain weight. And yes, there are people who have genetics that hardwire them to be fat no matter what they do. My true sympathy goes out to these people.

But what about all of these obese people who could do something about it if they wanted to? It’s not like people don’t know what makes them fat or don’t understand how to be thin. Who living in the midst of the Information Age still doesn’t know that a diet consisting of hot dogs and Ben & Jerrys will make them fat? Ok, maybe there are a few moonshine-selling hillbilly families living in Appalachia who never got the message, but I am convinced that everyone else knows that a sensible diet and exercise are the answer.

If everyone knows how to be thin, why isn’t everyone thin already? After all, we live in a vain, image-conscious society. We Americans spend countless billions every year on clothing, make up and accessories to make us look more attractive (if I were not feeling lazy I would look up even more statistics on consumer spending in these areas). We literally worship the most beautiful people in our society – movie actors, TV stars, fashion models, and turn them into modern day royalty. Our culture is obsessed with physical appearance, so why isn’t the crappy feeling obese people get when they look in a mirror enough motivation for them?

Moreover, it’s well established that we humans select our mates based upon physical characteristics which speak to one’s fitness for producing healthy offspring. In plain English: slender people get laid. I don’t think you would be shocked if I told you the best looking men prefer to date women who are slender. We also know the best looking women usually date men who are somewhere between yoga toned and bodybuilder massive. If the desire for the sex explains a great deal of human behavior, why isn’t the basic need to have sex with hotties enough motivation for people to stay in shape?

So who can explain this to me? Obese people already know everything they need to know to be thin. When obese people look in the mirror, they receive the instant feedback of disliking what they see. If obese people want to mate with a member of the opposite sex, they live a life with fewer, less attractive mating partners at their disposal. So WHY are they still so fat??

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AJT
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Fat people stay fat because they are lazy. They realize that eating the bag of chips and 3 cokes for lunch make them fat, but actually changing their eating habits would too much effort. If they are used to going home at 6, sitting on the couch for an hour, then eating a pizza and watching more tv until bedtime, then actually changing that would take work. They would have to change not just their eating habits, but their lifestyle routine as well. They’d need to commit to an hour of exercise after work, and eating only 1/4 of a pizza. Those first few weeks of change are just too much for them. They’d be tired and cranky, lethargic and wouldn’t want to say no to the bowl of ice cream when they’re feeling down. Therefore, they rationalize the weight gain. They say, well ok, I’m fat, and I’m unhappy, and I want to be thinner, but I don’t want to go through the trouble. They figure they can complain, and try a new ‘diet’ once a month and convince themselves their doing something, all the while they’re slowly adding more poundage.
It isn’t tough to lose the weight, and be thin and healthy. It is much more trouble to change our habits and routines and lifestyle. Unless it is done gradually, most people resist and go back to the status quo. Why do you think so many ‘diets’ promise a loss of 30 pounds in 30 days? Because people want the fast weight loss, not the gradual life changes required.

Anonymous
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don’t get me wrong, I agree that lots of people are fat and lazy and fat because they are lazy. But your rhetoric… not great.

“Moreover, it’s well established that we humans select our mates based upon physical characteristics which speak to one’s fitness for producing healthy offspring. ”

During most of human history, having a few extra pounds was preferred, because that meant that the person had enough food. “Thin is in” is relatively new. Ever heard of “Rubenesque” ladies?

“If the desire for the sex explains a great deal of human behavior…”

Just your behavior, actually.

And fat people and ugly people have plenty of sex. They just have it with each other. People like people like themselves. To an elephant, the most attractive thing in the world is another elephant.

euro_girl
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I weigh 50kg,I used to weigh more..much more,compared to other girls my age from my country I was huge.So I changed,it’s not hard,you cut your calorie intake by half and watch the lbs roll off.It’s so simple that I can’t believe how many websites and books there are devoted to the subject,wit’s really so basic and logical.

I want to know,if fat people are depressed by their weight why don’t they get off their lazy ass and do some excersize?

Stephen
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Weight Watchers is the only diet that actually has evidence that it works, because it changes habits slowly. So you have to be dedicated.

But why are people fat? Let’s look at Age as a contributing factor along with our lifecycle. When I am out and about around the colleges here, there’s not alot of really fat people. When you’re at young adult business functions, ditto.

Then people get into a routine. They get married. Now having someone, they don’t bothering keeping up an attractive figure as much because “love” is all that matters. Patterns set in over time, and once children enter the picture, there’s no time left over for themselves.

I conclude that if you want to stay reasonably in shape, you need to have your habits down before children come into the picture, and you should have them down before you get married, and you should understand that getting fat because of bad habits is not acceptable, even in a loving relationship. And you and yours can make a dedicated effort to keeping each other in shape, which keeps the attraction going, and sets good habits for the children.

I watched the final of the biggest loser. The transformations were unreal.

Both myself and my fiancee are in good shape, but we’re both technically “overweight” by a few pounds (The BMI is not the be all and end all of measuring fat, as it doesnt account for people with lots of muscle or bone size). We’ve decided to eat healthier foods, and we have adopted a healthier lifestyle (the less-car-diet). And we have goals to hit before the wedding, and I know that before children we’ll have to do even better.

Because like you, I don’t want to wake up and wonder where my toes are one day.

Matt
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Capitalism promotes consumption and anti-social behavior. These factors when presented to a naturally weak individual will lead to overconsumption and obesity. In addition, the seclusion that is the result of a consumption driven system leads certain individuals to overcompensate for loneliness through gorging themselves on large amounts of food.

Think of it as the modern form of evolution, weeding out of the week. Given the protections our society has given us from the usual “weeders” such as disease and the elements, obesity is a way to weed out the weak.

mhm
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It’s the media’s fault. All those pictures of skinny models cause people to get fat. No, wait, the media causes anorexia. It’s all so confusing. I’m just sure it’s the media’s fault.

Steve Lurkel
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Where’s Roissy? A post just isn’t a post until he’s gone apeshit in the comments section.

AJT
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To anonymous:

“don’t get me wrong, I agree that lots of people are fat and lazy and fat because they are lazy. But your rhetoric? not great.” is this directed at my comment or at Chaco? If it is me, my views are based on what I have seen/experienced at where I work over the last 4 years. I’ve tried helping several women lose weight and have provided guidance and advice on what to do. They all took it great the first week, but afterwards the crankiness and lethargy set in and they returned to the sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits. One woman went the extreme way and did a bootcamp style workout regimen, and she lost a lot of weight. But after it was over, said she didn’t want to maintain the amount of exercise required to keep off the weight. She has since returned to eating poorly and has gained back some of the weight. Silly, really. She was on the road to a positive outcome and didn’t want to continue out of laziness and not wanting to change her lifestyle. /shrug

Anonymous
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Some of the charts are actually outdated. I was in my doctors office last year and according to the chart on his wall, I was “overweight” (at 5’10”, I was supposed to be 165 lbs, however, I’m at 185-190 lbs). If this is the case, the guys I hung out with in college were also “overweight” (given that the weight we put on was due to weight lifting, practicing from 3 til 5:30 in the afternoon, and playing games on saturday). That’s irrelevant though. People are fat because most of them never got into good practice of exercise/nutrition/sleep.

The Dude
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I was thinking something similar while watching “The Biggest Loser” the other night. It seems like you have not really considered the fact that historically finding food was not as easy or as cheap as it is today. As recently as the 1930’s there were major political/legal fights about things such as providing milk and poultry for affordable prices in the US because people were in need of basic sustinence.

Except in the US and other very wealthy countries you can still see people concerned with just getting enough to eat for themselves and their children. THAT is the natural selection.

The problem in the US is the lack of natural selection. Sustinence is so abundant that people are encouraged to starve themselves or exercise restraint because food is so plentiful and cheap. This has not been the story of human existence and thus humans have not adapted.

AAnonymous
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Um, this post — and most of the comments thus far — assume a threshold level of education and income. That’s fine; if you assume that people 1) have the means and access to buy healthy food and 2) the nutritional knowledge to at least understand what a healthy diet is, then yes, aside from genetic issues or whatever, being more than a little overweight is largely from “laziness.”

But the vast majority of fat people are . . . wait for it . . . poor (and the less healthy food is the cheaper it tends to be, with REALLY unhealthy and REALLY cheap tending to coincide) and grossly undereducated about nutrition. Combine that with a truly predatory food industry (see: trans fat and high-fructose corn syrup, both of which are atrocious for you but a little cheaper than what they replace in food) and a rash of horrifically wrong conventional wisdom (starve yourself! go on crash diets! no eating after 8 p.m.! etc.) and you have the perfect storm for poor health.

What this inevitably leads to is people who have tried several crappy diets that they think should work, but never will because they’re based on idiotic science and bad nutrition (and rumors among fat women). And then — and this is crucial — they therefore believe dieting doesn’t work, there’s nothing they can do (too late, nothing works, etc.), and they give up. Once you give up, that extra [whatever] doesn’t seem so bad.

So yes, for a certain portion of the population that understands good nutrition and can make it happen but doesn’t, being fat is to some extent a “choice.” But for a lot of others, it’s a shitty combination of factors that have nothing to do with a lack of discipline or whatever.

Chris.
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Nobody has yet to take into account the cost and time it takes to maintain good health. Let’s say you work in a restaurant and you work double shifts every day of the week. You essentially work your ass off for 12 hours, much harder than anyone sitting in front of a desk. Of course, walking around those 12 hours is not enough exercise to maintain weight. After 12 hours, you sure as hell don’t want to go to the gym. Chances are, if you work in a restaurant, you don’t have enough spare cash for a gym membership or healthy natural food. If you’re poor, you’re going to eat Tuna Helper [http://www.dcbachelor.com/2006/creamy-deliciousness].

Sweatpants
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I was eating lunch a few days ago and I overheard the conversation at the table next to mine, between a really fat guy and an average-weight woman. I heard the guy say “Life is too short to not be happy, and I’m at my happiest when I’m eating!” So I guess that’s the reason some folks have.

After I heard him say that, I couldn’t help thinking that I’m at my happiest when I’m getting laid (or, more accurately, immediately after). So I have some incentive to remain not entirely hideous.

Fat Albert
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Man fuck you homie. I’m fat because the food I eat made me fat mf. You try being skinny with a gawdam McD’s and Wendy’s on every block.

mhm
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“and the less healthy food is the cheaper it tends to be, with REALLY unhealthy and REALLY cheap tending to coincide”

BS. The best thing you could eat is black beans and rice. That’s also about the cheapest you can eat as well, but McDonalds sure does taste better than eating black beans and rice everyday.

AJT
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I agree with some of the above about cost of food, but eating healthy does not mean eating expensively. A person can still eat bad foods, just eat less of them. Instead of that 1/4lb burger and fries and a coke, eat the burger no fries and a diet coke. Eat 1 taco, not 2. Eat 1/3 of a 6 slice pizza, not all 6 slices. Cut down on caloric intake.
As for exercise, again it doesn’t have to be expensive. No need to join a gym right off. Buy a few dumbells, and use what you have to do the exercise. Run or walk more; do squats or lunges, or push ups. The basic exercises can do wonders. Look at the military, they don’t use gyms and weight sets in basic training. They just use workouts that work the muscles with body resistance using what is available.
And yes, if you work 12-14 hours a day, you won’t have much time to do exercise and then relax before bed. Again, my experience is with office workers in a corporate environment. But I think the same mental holdbacks apply to lots of people, regardless of their working environment. They just refuse to do whatever necessary out of not wanting to change/challenge their comfort zone.

Fat Abbot
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I’ll lose weight when I FEEL like it BITCH!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah7La8DZ67s

Tampa
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Its the High Fructose Corn Syrup. Its in everything. The body doesn’t know what the hell it is. Stores it as fat. Plus it increases your daily calorie intake by large amounts.

Ask yourself why someone can drink a whole 2-liter bottle of coke without being full? Its the Hydrated shit they put in it to make it taste so sweet.

If you go to other countries they don’t eat half as much processed food as we do. And most of them drink like fishes. Add on to that the grossly exagerated portion sizes in this country and you get a bunch of fat asses.

it isnt a lack of exercise. we exercise just as much as everybody else… but they don’t eat the crap we do.

i still love my microwave meals though.

Lou P.
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This is just part of it, but I think it makes more of a difference than many realize: A study released today by the U.S. Census bureau reveals that Americans drink about a gallon of soda a week.

Tampa
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But coke and pepsi taste so damn good. nothing tastes better then an ice cold pepsi.

bean pole
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bean pole
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fat chicks get laid. ever heard of hogging?

Roissy
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fat chicks get pumped and dumped by gollums, CHUDs, drunks, losers, betas, addicts, degenerates, and neomaxizoomdweebies.

and they have to practically beg for that attention.

fatty
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I’m a fat chick (size 14-16) and I get laid plenty when I want to. I’ve also broken my share of hearts. Currently I’m in a relationship and have been for two years with a guy who likes me the way I am. Some of my fatness is probably due to lack of exercise, but I don’t eat a lot of food. I eat less than a lot of my thinner friends. I have a slow metabolism, and yes I know that if I spent an hour in the gym every day and ate less than 1,000 calories I could be a size 8.

I’m not willing to live that way because it makes me miserable. I don’t lack love, friendship, or anything else in the world that really matters, so why shouldn’t I just accept that my body naturally sits at a size 14? I’m tall, and nordic, and I’ve got tits and ass. I’m not going to cry over a couple of bloggers who wouldn’t find me pick-up material at a bar.

Biggie Smalls
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Are you not entertained?? Are you not entertained?? Is this not why you are here????? Bravo bravo you bloody bloke. This indeed looks like one of DCB’s old post regurgitated and copied to resemble something new and insightful. I’m an educated man but unfortunately I can not speak to the eating habits of 1 of 3 Americans consumption patterns. Is it what they eat? Is it the exercise? Is our country in the early stages of war against a twinky and twizzler?? I dunno, but I do know that you better start bringing your A muthafucking game if you want me to even bother reading this blog on a gawddam friday.

A.D
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People over eat because over eating and being fat benefits them in some way. It’s a form of self medication. Or perhaps being fat is a way of putting a wall up between them and society or the opposite sex- maybe they were hurt or raped and being fat makes them feel safe. Fat people will always say they want to be skinny, and perhaps part of them really does, but the other part, the psyche, is much more powerful, and it desires massive quantities of food to deal with uncomfortable emotions as well as a layer of fat or a barrier from dealing with the outside world.

A.D
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There is a large number of both men, and women in this country who were abused as children. Perhaps they found comfort in food, or according to one website food meant something else for them:

“If we perceive obesity to be unattractive, and if we believe we were abused because we were attractive, we may overeat in a misguided attempt to defend ourselves from further sexual assault.”

Eating becomes additive just like alcohol, smoking, and sex can. While everything in moderation is important, and a good rule in life, all you need to do is look around, and you will see many people with addictions to food, sex, drugs, attention, shopping, gambling etc. The only difference is when you are addicted to food, people know and can judge you on it as soon as they see you. However there are millions of people out there hiding just as dangerous addictions such as shopping or gambling. Being fat might hamper your chances of getting a mate but being addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex and shopping is pretty much going to damage any relationship you have anyways.

nicky
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nicky
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Maybe obese people get something from eating food that they desire more than sex or social approval? For example, I’m not overweight, but I’m definitely not “skinny.” Like Beyonce, I prefer to be physically fit and healthy looking as opposed to starved and attractive to yoga practitioners. I enjoy eating and I HATE being hungry!! I refuse to diet, but I do excercise. Maybe overweight and obese people are hungry all the time, and, like me, lack the will power to deal with the hunger pangs. Of course, the could learn to eat in moderation, but isn’t excess the American way?

Anonymous
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I’m not sure how this fits in with everything, but I was at a holiday party for an organization I belong to last week. The organization had put out an angel tree so people could adopt a child to by gifts for this season. In looking at the tree, I noticed that multiple children (aged 6-12) had requested gift certificates to fast food restaurants as their gift. I found this disturbing and sad. Clearly, for these kids, food — and fast-food at that — is what they think will make them happy. I believe strongly in self-responsibility (I’ve never seen McDonald’s force a BigMac down anyone’s throat), but these are kids. It’s really sad to me.

tsm
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“Obese people already know everything they need to know to be thin. When obese people look in the mirror, they receive the instant feedback of disliking what they see. If obese people want to mate with a member of the opposite sex, they live a life with fewer, less attractive mating partners at their disposal. So WHY are they still so fat??”

That’s akin to saying “Heroin addicts already know how to kick heroin. They know that they live a less fulfilling, more unstable life as a result of their addiction. So WHY do they still shoot up?”

Seriously, it should be obvious that human beings were not designed to process information in a purely rational manner. We make bad decisions all the time.

Tampa
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Tampa
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ever been bull ridding???

your boy takes home the biggest cow he can find — you hide in the closet — he hits it from behind — you jump out of the closet and see how long he can stay on her as she trys to buck her off.

great show.

Chaco
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Very thoughtful comments in this thread, more so than usual. But again, surprisingly small participation from the ladies. Maybe by Friday they are so worn out from arguing Monday through Thursday that they need a break.

DooDads
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Dude, you know there is a difference between ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs. Chaco is an ectomorph who couldn’t gain weight if he ate McDonald’s every day! It is easy to judge fatties when you are naturally thin. I can’t wait Chaco when your wife is feeding you continually and you get a slight paunch though with your body type, that will probably be never.

IndianGal
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IndianGal
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Go vegetarian!

Jim
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Jim
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I’m thin and don’t get laid (work out and run all the time). So it aint always true dude. Sorry to burst your bubble but I haven’t been laid in over a year.

Jim

Joe T.
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SmartBlkWoman
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Fat people don’t worry about losing weight because there are plenty of other fat people for them to date. You said it yourself, one in three people are obese; that’s a lot of obese people to go around.

Lucas
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A recent survey of North American males found 42% were overweight, 34% were critically obese and 8% ate the survey.

lady bizness
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People get fat when they turn food into something more than mere sustenance. Even when I was skinny and athletic I would eat whenever I was bored. Then I started eating when I was sad. Pretty soon every possible emotion or event became something that involved food. That’s a tough habit to break once you get into it.

Also, Americans have a food fetish. Maybe it has something to do with our “poor, huddled masses” roots, but we take food very seriously. Indeed being a gourmand these days is quite trendy, what with the plethora of celebrity chefs and high-priced grocery stores. For those people being a bit zaftig is appropriate. How many times have we heard jokes about the assumed incompetence of skinny chefs?

Sniper
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As with anything that is hard to do, people do not change their habits unless they are force to do so, even with faced with the possibility of death some people do not change their habits.

single girl, no cat
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single girl, no cat
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Something for you to chew on: obesity often stems from psychological influences. For example, there is a higher than normal incidence of individuals who were sexually abused in childhood becoming obese as adults. For another example the majority of patients who develop psoriasis become obese after the onset of this disease. If you don’t know what psoriasis is, look it up.

Consider yourself lucky if you don’t have it and try to show a little more empathy next time towards people that may have been less fortunate as yourself.