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Revealed: why slim people dislike the overweight

SoulManX

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By Roger Dobson andIan Griggs

Published: 29 July 2007



From the taunting of the chubby child in the playground to cruel jibes at fat people in work and social settings, few could doubt there is widespread prejudice against the overweight. However, according to research reported in Evolution and Human Behavior some people suffer abuse because being too fat is mistaken by the brain for a sign of disease.

Researchers say the immune system can be triggered into action at the sight of obesity because it doesn't like the look of what it sees, and associates it with infection.

Just as it orchestrates attacks on viruses and bacteria and triggers nausea at the hint of bad food, so it sends out signals of disgust in some people at the sight of an obese body that is designed to encourage avoidance and survival.

The finding comes just days after research in The New England Journal of Medicine suggested that obesity is contagious, in a social rather than bacteriological sense.
"Antipathy toward obese people is a powerful and pervasive prejudice in many contemporary populations. Our results reveal, for the first time, that this prejudice may be rooted in multiple, independent mechanisms. They provide the first evidence that obesity serves as a cue for pathogen infection,'' say the University of British Columbia researchers.

They say a behavioural immune system appears to have evolved in humans that is designed to detect body signs that are related to disease, like rashes and lesions. The sight of them triggers disgust as well as negative attitudes and avoidance. The system errs in favour of over-reacting because failure to react to a real danger could be fatal.
Researchers carried out a number of experiments, including word associations and tests where they compared the reactions and views of men and women to obesity.

The results show that people who agreed with comments such as "it really bothers me when people sneeze without covering their mouths" were more likely to agree with statement such as "if I were an employer looking to hire, I might avoid hiring a fat person". The greater the fear of disease, the stronger the negative feeling about obesity.

But Clarissa *****on Wright, the surviving half of the Two Fat Ladies cookery duo, said the research merely served to cover up the general prejudice of narrow-minded people. "In the 1960s there were a lot of bigoted people who were anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-everything but when they couldn't get away with that any more they turned into food-Nazis instead and began attacking people who were fat," she said. "I suspect that this is what really drives people to be negative about fat people rather than an unconscious reaction.

Ms *****on Wright said there was an aversion in America about even using the word "fat", as she found when her programme was shown there.
"Reporters asked me: 'How do you feel about the title of the show?' and I said: 'Which part? There's two of us and I hope you're not suggesting we're not ladies.' They just couldn't say the word."
"It's a way to put sexism on the agenda," said Beth Ditto, the lead singer for The Gossip.

"All this stuff completely negates what feminism stands for, and you can't act like that's not connected to other issues."




http://news.independent.co.uk/health/article2814756.ece
 
why do they try and justify it?

it's very simple, an obese person cannot be healthy and if a person is obese is because of their bad eating habits, not to mention that being overweight carries a whole lot of problems, either physical, psychological, etc

instead of justifying themselves, fat people should just do something about what they put into their systems while eating

as simple as that
 
Maybe fat people should be hated:

Fat Lies
Obesity, laxity, and political correctness.
By William Saletan
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2007, at 5:21 PM ET
Obesity is contagious like a virus. Willpower can't contain it. Stop blaming and stigmatizing fat people.

That's how scientists and the press are spinning a new study about weight gain, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. The spin is politically correct but medically perverted. The study's findings tell exactly the opposite story: Obesity spreads culturally, individual decisions are crucial, and responsibility and stigma are part of the solution.

How did the story get twisted? Start with the contagion metaphor. The word contagious never appears in the original paper, written by Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School and James Fowler of the University of California at San Diego. But it's all over their sound bites. "Obesity Is 'Socially Contagious,' " said the headline on UCSD's press release. Christakis told reporters that obesity can "spread from person to person like a fashion or a germ" and that "once it starts, it's hard to stop it. It can spread like wildfire." A government official who funded the research concluded, "It takes what was seen as a noninfectious disease (obesity) and shows it clearly has got communicable factors."

These metaphors spread rapidly through the media like … well, like bad metaphors. The New York Times ("Study Says Obesity Can Be Contagious") opened its report with the line, "Obesity can spread from person to person, much like a virus. …" The Los Angeles Times ("Obesity is 'contagious,' study finds") began, "Obesity can spread among a group of friends like a contagious disease," and added that the study showed a "pattern of contagion most often associated with infectious diseases." The Washington Post began, "Obesity appears to spread from one person to another like a virus or a fad. …"

The virus metaphor infected—actually, no, it didn't infect, it simply influenced—the authors' and the media's conclusions. "Treating people in groups may be more effective than treating them individually," Christakis argued. The Los Angeles Times paraphrased one expert's inference that "obesity treatment programs should move away from their emphasis on individual willpower." The Post said the results "lend support to treating people in groups or even whole communities." A warning against "relieving people of responsibility for watching their weight" vanished from the Post's article overnight.

Obviously, from a collective standpoint, it's more efficient to address obesity in a group than in one individual. But just as obviously, groups consist of individuals. And the gist of this study is that obesity did not spread through the sampled population like a virus or any other materially transmitted malady. It spread culturally, individual to individual, through the relaxation of standards of personal discipline.

Many scientists believe that in some cases, viruses literally cause obesity. Others point to genes or environmental constraints, such as fast-food joints, distances too great to walk, and a shortage of parks, sidewalks, and good grocery stores. Research suggests these factors do matter a lot—and to that extent, fat people deserve sympathy, not blame. But such factors can't account for the spread pattern documented in this study. Genetics can't explain it, since having a fat friend was more likely to predict a person's obesity than having a fat sibling was. Environmental constraints can't explain it, since faraway friends made a difference, while next-door neighbors didn't. Availability of food can't explain it, since friends had a bigger effect than spouses did. Nor can sheer imitative eating, since faraway friends had as big an effect as local friends did.

Cross off genes, viruses, environment, and imitation, and the only explanatory factor you're left with is, as the paper notes, each person's "perception of the social norms regarding the acceptability of obesity." In other words, culture. Moreover, the study documents obesity's differential spread not through an amorphous group but through a network. The point of differential spread though a network is that each node—in this case, each person's cultural decisions—matters.

The upshot of the data is that if you find yourself caught in a fattening social network, you have three options. You can resist the fattening norm. You can try to reverse it. Or you can ditch your fat friends.

That doesn't sound very nice. The study's authors certainly don't want to say it. In talking to the press, the Post notes, they "cautioned that people should not … stigmatize obese people." Likewise, an obesity expert from Yale warned the New York Times against "blaming obese people even more for things that are caused by a terrible environment." Fowler cautioned that studies "suggest that having more friends makes you healthier. So the last thing that you want to do is get rid of any of your friends." Christakis added, "We are not suggesting that people should sever ties with their overweight friends. But forming ties with underweight or normal weight friends may be beneficial to you."

Come on. Everything in the study belies these mealy-mouthed conclusions. To resist a fattening norm, you need willpower. To reverse it, you need to promote responsibility, which implies blame. You almost certainly need stigma. And realistically, to add normal or underweight friends to your circle, you have to relegate others who are overweight. That may be bad for your fat ex-friends, who will lose your friendship as well as your thinness. But it's fine for you, since you'll have just as many friends as before.

Maybe it's not nice to speak these truths. But maybe being nice, when you should be speaking the truth—especially to your friends—is the problem.
 
has anyone seen "Supersize Me"?
 
I get it, everything is really just a social disorder of some type. Want to kill 20 people, you suffer from a social disorder. Want eat 20 people, you too suffer from a social disorder. Want to kill and eat 20 people, multiple social disorders.

Sadly enough, this seems somewhat true. Maybe the problem isn't the individual as much as the society?
 
I always thought that skinny people didn't like fat people because they're afraid of getting sat on.
 
This "research" seems like a way for bullies to justify picking on "the fat kid" by saying, "It's their body's reaction to seeing a fat person." As someone who grew up being picked on, this is utter BS!!! Some people are cruel, and will do things to torment others, they don't need science to help them.
 
I get it, everything is really just a social disorder of some type. Want to kill 20 people, you suffer from a social disorder. Want eat 20 people, you too suffer from a social disorder. Want to kill and eat 20 people, multiple social disorders.

Sadly enough, this seems somewhat true. Maybe the problem isn't the individual as much as the society?
and it all stems to one simple thing:

good parenting, just pay attention to your kids and that's it, treat them well, feed them well, guide them well, set the example and that's it

and learning how to cook helps
 
I don't dislike fat people. Obviously it's less attractive than being slim, but I don't dislike them as a person or assume they are bad people or wish them unhappiness.
 
This "research" seems like a way for bullies to justify picking on "the fat kid" by saying, "It's their body's reaction to seeing a fat person." As someone who grew up being picked on, this is utter BS!!! Some people are cruel, and will do things to torment others, they don't need science to help them.
while I disapprove of bullying, which is just a way for ignorant people to lash out at the things they don't know about, I also think that being obese is something that if the person chooses, can stop being

in other words, bullies are idiots and once you're an idiot, it's pretty hard to stop being one

any fat person can loose weight if they so desire
 
This "research" seems like a way for bullies to justify picking on "the fat kid" by saying, "It's their body's reaction to seeing a fat person." As someone who grew up being picked on, this is utter BS!!! Some people are cruel, and will do things to torment others, they don't need science to help them.

If the bullying gets the fat kid to put down the pudding get his/her @ss outside and doing something physical then it can have positive benefits. I think it completely depends on the person (not society) some people can live with some pretty @hitting standards of life and be ok with it, others want more out of life.

I'm not advocating bullying I'm just saying this touchy-feeling "it's a disease" @rap is just a way of letting people be ok with themselves rather than giving them the good hard kick in the @ss so many people out there truely need.
 
any fat person can loose weight if they so desire

There is a percentage of people that can't, or can't with out drugs lose weight. Those that have no insurance and can't afford to have their glandular disorders treated (me) have to work as hard as a lot of athletic, in shape people just to keep from getting bigger. I could choose to not eat at all (unhealthy), or excercise more than 3 days a week (unrealistic) or accept being fat and love themselves for who they are. I accept responsibility for my own choices, and I don't care that there are people that will make comments. I choose a life style that is comfortable for me, and maybe I don't have the discipline to lose more weight...I admit it's hard for me to watch my friends and family with high metabolic rates eat and eat with no consequences. The stereotype of fat people that do nothing but sit around and eat junk food exists for a reason, but it's not representative of all fat people, and your attitude is indicative of you over simplifying the problem in your mind.

There is another angle to consider...people do unhealthy things all the time, knowing they are dangerous, but do so becasuse the benifit in their mind outweighs the health risk. Smoking, drinking, tanning, driving, sex...all carry inherrent risks, so does over-eating, or eating the wrong kinds of foods. Should we vilifiy and attack people for their vices if they don't affect our own well being? Of course the only people really affected by teasing are those that aren't secure in themselves...I know I'm fat...I know that I am doing the best I can, and the judgements of other people don't hurt me.
 
If the bullying gets the fat kid to put down the pudding get his/her @ss outside and doing something physical then it can have positive benefits. I think it completely depends on the person (not society) some people can live with some pretty @hitting standards of life and be ok with it, others want more out of life.

I'm not advocating bullying I'm just saying this touchy-feeling "it's a disease" @rap is just a way of letting people be ok with themselves rather than giving them the good hard kick in the @ss so many people out there truely need.

Would you apply the same thinking to smokers?

As for your wanting more out of life statement...that is a pretty loaded idea there. First of all, who's definition of "more" are we using? Some people are completely happy and lead a full and meaningful life while being *gasp* fat. It's the people that are fat and sit around crying about it that bug me. If you're unhappy...do something about it.
 
Would you apply the same thinking to smokers?

As for your wanting more out of life statement...that is a pretty loaded idea there. First of all, who's definition of "more" are we using? Some people are completely happy and lead a full and meaningful life while being *gasp* fat. It's the people that are fat and sit around crying about it that bug me. If you're unhappy...do something about it.

Yeah, I smoke and those damn nonsmokers bully me all the time, they get the same response, but I don't whine about it being the fault of society or some such cop out. I choose to smoke, I know it's bad for me, I know I'll be healthier if I quit, but I choose not to quit. Personal choice, just like being fat.

Some people might think that there's nothing wrong with being fat some do. Fact is you don't just get fat, it takes a bit of effort to do no physical effort while at the same time eating enough to keep an African family well off. As humans we are just animals, our brains and muscle keep us alive. We've gotten so advanced now that incredibably fat people can live fairly long and full lives that would have been impossible 200 years ago. At the same time being that overweight insures far more severe health problems than any other lifestyle choice, takes away most attraction to the opposite sex, and robs them of their natural physical abilities as humans.

It's a choice, yes, but I don't see how they should get off the hook anymore than someone else making a lifestyle choice. If you make fun of others for their choices, whether it be political preference, taste in authors/movies/art/music, way of dress or anything else they chose than why is it wrong for me to call someone a fat@ss to their face?
 
There is a percentage of people that can't, or can't with out drugs lose weight. Those that have no insurance and can't afford to have their glandular disorders treated (me) have to work as hard as a lot of athletic, in shape people just to keep from getting bigger. I could choose to not eat at all (unhealthy), or excercise more than 3 days a week (unrealistic) or accept being fat and love themselves for who they are. I accept responsibility for my own choices, and I don't care that there are people that will make comments. I choose a life style that is comfortable for me, and maybe I don't have the discipline to lose more weight...I admit it's hard for me to watch my friends and family with high metabolic rates eat and eat with no consequences. The stereotype of fat people that do nothing but sit around and eat junk food exists for a reason, but it's not representative of all fat people, and your attitude is indicative of you over simplifying the problem in your mind.

There is another angle to consider...people do unhealthy things all the time, knowing they are dangerous, but do so becasuse the benifit in their mind outweighs the health risk. Smoking, drinking, tanning, driving, sex...all carry inherrent risks, so does over-eating, or eating the wrong kinds of foods. Should we vilifiy and attack people for their vices if they don't affect our own well being? Of course the only people really affected by teasing are those that aren't secure in themselves...I know I'm fat...I know that I am doing the best I can, and the judgements of other people don't hurt me.

If someone has an actual medical condition making them this way than like any other disability, they do not deserve any ridicule. That's a legitimate problems, "I just can't keep away from eating 8 big macs a day" is not.
 
If someone has an actual medical condition making them this way than like any other disability, they do not deserve any ridicule. That's a legitimate problems, "I just can't keep away from eating 8 big macs a day" is not.


didnt you see supersize me? he literally was addicted to the stuff, much like your addiction to cigarettes. maybe these people are addicted to the sugar in the food at mc'ds just like you cant help yourself from buying that pack of cigarettes. and im sure they are much like you with cigarettes, you realize they are bad for you, but you choose not to quit.
 
**NEWSFLASH**

Non-Smokers look down on smokers, for being dumb enough to start, for being so "weak", they can't stop, and for stinking up the joint with smoke

Thin people look down on fat people, for being dumb enough to go back for a third helping of peach cobbler when they're already stuffed, for being so "weak" they can't eat right or get up and burn some calories, for looking like disgusting blobs.

So what?
 
didnt you see supersize me? he literally was addicted to the stuff, much like your addiction to cigarettes. maybe these people are addicted to the sugar in the food at mc'ds just like you cant help yourself from buying that pack of cigarettes. and im sure they are much like you with cigarettes, you realize they are bad for you, but you choose not to quit.

Actually I go off cigs two months out of the year, just because I hate the idea of being addicted to anything. I smoke because I enjoy it, but I don't overdo it or chain smoke. Maybe these people are addicted but tough @hit people, there are people with actual addictions, medical conditions, and real hardships out there that kick there problems or actively work for a solution. If they can do it, then the guy ramming fries down his inflated gullet can too. If we've become this weak and pitiful then we don't deserve to go on.
 

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