Share your thoughts on this column at the Well blog.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Childhood obesity continues be a very hot topic as well as having countless points of view. “Physical Inactivity and Lifestyle” is very popular model
for special interest groups. Some of these groups are funded by the
food industry, the weight loss industry, other special interest
groups that have a vested interest to steer the childhood obesity
conversation away from certain points of contention.
Special interest groups have a vested interest in supporting personal accountability and the physical inactivity crisis. The activity crisis is designed to place
all focus onto the individual’s level of overall activity, and thus
steer away from any discussions about the current food environment.
The activity model is regularly used when any news story explores the
childhood obesity issue, and they target TV, computer games,
sedentary lifestyles and poor parent involvement. Particapaction,
Let’s Move and Change4Life all link to the
inactivity crisis and avoid any discussion related to diet. The food
industry and the weight loss industry have a vested interest to keep
the focus on the individual, and scoff at any notion of government
regulation by using the term “Nanny State”. Nanny State speaks to
any type of government intervention with regard to regulation for the
food industry. Lifestyle is the catch-all term that schemes away from
the food environment, and serves to oppress the conversation.
Lifestyle is blame and it is heaped onto the individual. However, the
rates of childhood obesity continue to explode all over the planet.
The childhood obesity crisis represents some very big dollars to the
media, and the weight loss industry, which includes the fitness
movement. Highly skilled scientists may also work for the food
industry and encourage weight loss surgery for an option in
addressing obesity. The food industry can often be found as willing
supporters for programs that provide weight loss surgery. It is
time to try harder and this includes the media to explore and report
on the issue of the childhood obesity crisis.
The food industry and the weight loss industry oversee the exchange of billions of dollars. Both can be seen scheming to share their specific message about
childhood obesity.www.obesitythunderbay.ning.com is offering a new
approach called Shared Accountability and hopes to reach the masses
very soon. Shared Accountability is a model that has been created by
Paul Murphy and it focuses on the overall environment. Obese people
are often reluctant to discuss obesity and have been labelled in many
ways. These labels can be most hurtful and are often used by the
media. “Couch Potatoes” is a term regularly linked to the obese
individual by the media. Whether the message is about being
unhealthy, lazy, or slovenly obese people continue to be oppressed.
Obesity is a very personal issue and the negative messages encourage
unhealthy food relationships with food. Ninety-five per cent of diets
fail, but it is the individual that gets the failing grade. What if
all diets were forms of eating disorders? Eating disorders continue
to be on the rise and some of our children are ready to die trying to
be thin. We have been provided a distorted view of health, and
children are regularly being labelled as unhealthy, due to their
excess body weight. Poverty and obesity continue to be linked
together by many researchers and the conversation is raging on the
World Wide Web. Poverty is a risk factor for childhood obesity.
2fat2fly on Twitter is attempting to inspire and support the
conversation about childhood obesity, and hopes to play a role in a
national debate on the subject.
www.obesitythunderbay.ning.com and 2fat2fly are encouraging a big Fat Talk to take place .This community based action plan encourages acceptance, integrity, and
dignity. It offers support for those, who struggle with their food
relationship. The plan is to expose lifestyle and support the need
for a meaningful, articulated action plan with regard to childhood
obesity. Obese children are not the enemy, even though the headlines
are filled with fighting words. Some want to tackle, fight, or create
a war on obesity.www.obesitythunderbay.ning.com is not interested in
fighting the obese child, but it is interested in addressing the
issue. Together we can promote a positive conversation about obese
oppression, or “fat hatred “This can change the
media’s bashing of the obese child. We hope to raise awareness and lower obesity bashing, thus broadening the discussion on childhood obesity. Maybe we need to
examine the lifestyle of the media and encourage them to stop
promoting the couch potato myth .Is it time for the media to
investigate the lifestyle message?
www.obesitythunderbay.ning.com is working to promote a supportive conversation about childhood obesity, which represents the intervention needed. This discussion
may actually create the platform needed to offer support for the
individual. At some point and time we need to review our food
relationship, and by doing so real awareness and change may take
place. “Lifestyle” is a term in need of a reality check and we
need to examine what it exactly refers clearly and concisely. What is
a lifestyle choice? It represents an educated decision made by an
individual. Does one decide to have a drug addiction? No.
www.obesitythunderbay.ning.com wishes to lower the amount of blame
related to childhood obesity. This effort is a community based action
plan and the goal is to inspire the discussion to improve the health
of our children.
Please see and share across the planet.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Is food our next tobbacco ????????
How long will we allow the personal accountability model to flourish????? Each day 2,000 U S citizens are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a societal issue ,but we are downloading onto the individual.
1 Mood altering with foods
3 Soda drinks
4 Dieting all are a form of an eating disorder
5 Unhealthy food marriages
7 Level of education
8 Environmental factors
9 Safe areas for our kids to play/ be active
10 Paid for science ,shaping the issue and confusing the problem.
11 Weight bias /stigma /discrimination
12 Lets move toward SHARED ACCOUNTABILITY
13 Blaming// blocks the flow of information.
14 I am still obese
15 Fitness not fatness /
16 Scales ,BMI 's need to go. I am not a number ,are you??????
These are just a few issues and McDonalds says 45 Million to one . 45 Million People visit their restaurants every day. Have we big boxed our health ?????
I am asking for your help ,but in order to establish this new idea ,you need to see the videos or my facebook page .www.obesitythunderbay.ning.com.
Are kids accountable for their weight ,or is this a comminity issue ????
Are you ready to lend your voice ?????? I am screaming from the wilderness and I am speaking for children . WHAT SAY YOU ?????? Will you fight to find a way to support these kids????? Will you share in discussing the issue ?
Add a Comment
Sunday, May 2, 2010
The weight loss industry has been reaping the financial benefits for many years. I am calling for a national debate / conversation about this health crisis. Our children are facing this battle all alone. Please help to promote the conversation by joining my web site.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Couches do not produce food and to continually here about Couch Potatoes is a practice supported by a very big industry. Let's Bake the Couch Potato Myth with a hot oven full of truth. We need a new Obesity Action Plan,one with Integrity,and Dignity.
How do we encourage people to be mindful and responsible for the food they select? I am suggesting an Educational Action Plan,and that means we connect to the foods we are eating.Having said that,I also feel we need a new approach ,and that includes a level of Awareness as to why we crave such unhealthy foods.
Childhood obesity involves,education,poverty,safe places to play,media and food advertising,weight loss industry,and countless other factors .Add to that Food being a substance , and for me ,I use it to cope. While some Eat o Live ,I Lived To Eat.
Please add your voice to this effort, and expand our Childhood Obesity Action Plan to include Integrity and Dignity. A couch potato I am Not.And the term is unacceptable and rather simplistic. It avoids and isolates the individual, and I am calling for a National Debate on Childhood Obesity and the Food Environments.
2fat2fly on Twitter
first lady’s intentions are good, I’m also sure that her comments about
childhood obesity will add yet another layer to the stigma of being overweight in America.
Last August, Dr. Delos M. Cosgrove, a cardiac surgeon and chief executive of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, told a columnist for The New York Times that if he could get away with
it legally, he would refuse to hire anyone who is obese. He probably could
get away with it, actually, because no federal legislation protects the
civil rights of fat workers, and only one state, Michigan, bans
discrimination on the basis of weight.
Dr. Cosgrove may be unusually blunt, but he is far from alone. Public attitudes about fat have never been more judgmental; stigmatizing fat
people has become not just acceptable but, in some circles, de rigueur.
I’ve sat in meetings with colleagues who wouldn’t dream of disparaging
anyone’s color, sex, economic status or general attractiveness, yet
feel free to comment witheringly on a person’s weight.
Over the last few years, fat people have become scapegoats for all manner of cultural ills. “There’s an atmosphere now where it’s O.K. to
blame everything on weight,” said Dr. Linda Bacon, a nutrition
researcher and the author of “Health at Every Size: The Surprising
Truth About Your Weight” (Benbella, 2008). “If we’re worried about climate change,
someone comes out with an article about how heavier people weigh more,
so they require more fuel, and they blame the climate change crisis on
fatter people. We have this strong belief system that it’s their fault,
that it’s all about gluttony or lack of exercise.”
It’s no secret that being fat is rarely good for your career. Heather Brown (no relation) has experienced this firsthand. A few years ago,
she applied for a grant-writing job with a small nonprofit in the
Boston area. After a successful phone interview, she was invited to the
“As soon as I shook the interviewer’s hand, I knew she would not hire me,” Ms. Brown said. “She gave me a look of utter disdain, and made a
big deal about whether we should take the stairs or ride the elevator
to the room where we were going to talk. During the actual interview,
she would not even look at me and kept looking to the side.” Ms. Brown,
36, who now works as an assistant dean at a college near Chicago, said
she never even got a “No thank you” letter after the interview.
That story is all too familiar to people like Bill Fabrey, an advocate who in 1969 founded the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. The organization’s archives, he says, are full of stories from people
who say they lost jobs or promotions because of their weight, or were
not hired in the first place.
Some of the most blatant fat discrimination comes from medical professionals. Rebecca Puhl, a clinical psychologist and director of
research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale, has been studying the stigma of obesity for more than a decade. More than half of the 620 primary care doctors questioned for one study
described obese patients as “awkward, unattractive, ugly, and unlikely
to comply with treatment.” (This last is significant, because doctors
who think patients won’t follow their instructions treat and prescribe
for them differently.)
Dr. Puhl said she was especially disturbed at how openly the doctors expressed their biases. “If I was trying to study gender or racial
bias, I couldn’t use the assessment tools I’m using, because people
wouldn’t be truthful,” she said. “They’d want to be more politically
Despite the abundance of research showing that most people are unable to make significant long-term changes in their weight, it’s clear that
doctors tend to view obesity as a matter of personal responsibility.
Perhaps they see shame and stigma as a health care strategy.
If so, is it working? Not very well. Many fat people sidestep such judgments by simply avoiding doctor visits, whether for routine
checkups, preventive screenings or urgent health problems.
Indeed, Dr. Peter A. Muennig, an assistant professor of health policy at Columbia, says stigma can do more than keep fat people from the
doctor: it can actually make them sick. “Stigma and prejudice are
intensely stressful,” he explained. “Stress puts the body on full
alert, which gets the blood pressure up, the sugar up, everything you need to fight or flee the predator.”
Over time, such chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes and other medical ills, many of them (surprise!) associated with
obesity. In studies, Dr. Muennig has found that women who say they feel
they are too heavy suffer more mental and physical illness than women
who say they feel fine about their size — no matter what they weigh.
Even if doctors don’t directly express weight-based judgments, their biases can hurt patients. One recent study shows that the higher a patient’s body mass, the less respect doctors
express for that patient. And the less respect a doctor has for a
patient, says Dr. Mary Huizinga, the study’s lead author and an
assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the less time
the doctor spends with the patient and the less information he or she
Fat stigma affects everyone’s health — fat, thin or in between. Last fall, Lincoln University in southern Pennsylvania announced that it
would weigh and measure all freshmen, and require those with a B.M.I.
over 30 to enroll in a special fitness class. Fat rights advocates
protested it as discrimination: If the fitness class was that important
to student health, shouldn’t everyone take it?
Lincoln’s administrators backpedaled after a storm of bad press. But the controversy underscores the fact that fat stigma isn’t about
improving people’s health, as doctors like Delos Cosgrove contend. If
it were, the conversation would be about health rather than numbers on
the scale and the B.M.I. chart.
Dr. Bacon tells the story of an overweight teenage girl whose high school was going through a “wellness campaign.” Hallways were plastered
with posters saying “Prevent teenage obesity.” After the posters went
up, the girl said, schoolmates began taunting her in the halls,
pointing at the obese girl on the posters and saying, “Look at the fat
She said heavier students were now made to feel guilty about their lunch choices, but the thin ones could eat anything they wanted without
comment — even if it was exactly what the fat kids were eating.
“Stigmatization gives the thinner kids permission to think there’s something wrong with the larger kids,” Dr. Bacon, the nutrition
researcher, said. “And it doesn’t help them look at their own health
habits. There’s got to be a way to do this more respectfully and more
Harriet Brown teaches magazine journalism at the Newhouse School in Syracuse.
A version of this article appeared in print on March 16, 2010, on page D6 of the New York edition.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Obesitythunderbay is a new opportunity ,and I welcome you to explore the inner workings of our web site and countless resources.The simple ,easy,sexy,health plan could not be more basic. And it is with great excitement to report some very exciting news.
Obese people are not the enemy. The plan is built on Integrity,Dignity,Respect ,Transparency and above all else Value. This project is 100 % not for profit, and I have no magical solutions. Weight loss is not the focus,and I want to extend an invitation to you.
I am simply trying to create a conversation ,and I am certain you will be welcomed ,as the person you are .Please come by we have a full buffet of information.
The time for diets has long past ,since 95 % of them failed anyway, but it is the individual with the failure. Please come by and explore the site,and see for yourself . The one thing you may find is hope. And it is with this hope we want to develop a healthy food relationship.
2fat2fly on Twitter