We need to show love and compassion for them because their condition is not by choice.
No. We need to show love and compassion for them because they are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fellow human beings.
But obesity can be
a severe medical problem. Or lead to some. And it is equally true that some if not many obese people are literally digging their graves with their spoons. I was one of them.
My doctor told me to lose weight. He did not do this to be unkind but rather because my health was in jeopardy. He told me how. We talked about exercise. I did that. And he told me to stop eating too much and too much of the wrong things specifically.
If you had a child you loved, would you let him/her eat a whole bag of Oreo cookies? Would you let him drink two big gulp cokes every day for a whopping 1200 calories all from processed sugar? Of course you would not. FGS man. You would put your dog on a diet but not your friends? It is unkind in the extreme to some how validate unhealthy behavior.
Now I am not talking about shouting "fatty" and insulting overweight people. I am talking about compassionate care for them. How about walking with them to help them get started. How about, when people come to your house, serving healthy food in reasonable portions?
I am conflicted about the whole "body acceptance" thing. Not all overweight people are unhealthy. Studies clearly show that some degree of excess fat is not a health issue. Indeed some studies show just the opposite. But there is a limit.
We are "mean" to smokers. We shame them all of the time. Why? Is that OK? Are some people so anxious that smoking (or stopping smoking) could be the lesser of two evils? Well not very many. We are very direct about smoking. In whose interest? In the smoker's interest.
Are there some people who find it easier to keep slim and trim? Yes. But life is not fair. Some people just have to work harder to achieve a goal. That may suck for them but sometimes the benefit outweighs the sacrifice.
I am not talking now about the person who is carrying a few extra pounds. I am carrying a few extra these days. I am talking about the morbidly obese; a term by the way that is no longer used. Class III obesity is the term now.
Overweight: BMI 25.0-29.9 kg/m²
Class I Obesity: BMI 30.0-34.9 kg/m²
Class II Obesity: BMI 35.0-39.9 kg/m²
Class III Obesity: BMI ≥ 40.0 kg/m² or 100 pounds over ideal body weight.
What does it mean if we do not try to educate and motivate obese people to lose weight? Just this:
Other problems come from abnormal changes in how our body functions due to having excess body fat (adipose tissue). Examples of these are:
Type 2 diabetes
High cholesterol and heart disease
Increased risk of many cancers
High blood pressure
Fatty liver disease
Infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome
on and on.
And then there are the psychological issues attendant with poor body image. Sadly society discriminates against overweight people. A lot. You and I may choose to be totally accepting of all people regardless of size but we are just a drop in the ocean of our society.
Movements for body acceptance are good in this regard. What we don't want to do is condemn our fellow human beings to a much shorter life, of increased disease and disability. We need to start early on in a child's life and work to teach them to be healthier.
Here is something that cannot be denied. Obesity, as an epidemic, is a very recent phenomena. And it is mostly about what we eat an how much. And about how much we exercise.