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Hammer Time —

January 5, 2012
by

We interrupt this Theme Week to kick a little ass.

A while back, Deah expressed her disgust with Georgia’s Strong4Life campaign, which targets fat kids with hostile, depressing, shame-filled billboards and advertisements like these.

And if, for some sick and twisted reason, you want to see fat kids reading degrading scripts on self-loathing, check out this video stream.

Yesterday, I checked out Strong4Life’s Twitter account and my blood pressure spiked as I saw tweet after tweet sharing links to articles that were lambasting them for the needlessly cruel campaign. The fucking assholes were BRAGGING that pretty much anyone with a fully functioning conscience was pissed that this shit is happening. So, I plastered my Twitter account with criticism directed at them, and today they responded both to me and other critics. Their response? They had to issue a wake up call. Besides, it’s aimed at adults, not kids.

Bullshit. If you’re a fat kid and you see a FUCKING BILLBOARD of a fat kid talking shit about how horrible it is to be a fat kid, do you think that kid is going to say, “Hey Mom, I’mma let you handle this one.” No, you ignorant assholes, they will take that cruel fucking message as a direct assault on them.”

Now, previously, Deah directed us to contact the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), and when you go to the link, it looks like they’re pretty damned serious about pressuring this ad campaign out of existence.

But there are two main problems with directing your anger at the OAC: first, the OAC receives a significant portion of funding from companies that specialize in bariatric surgery or weight loss pharmaceuticals, so I seriously doubt they have our best intentions at heart. But second, there is an even better, and more direct, organization to direct our anger and energy: the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation (CHOA).

You see, when you visit the Strong4Life website, you’ll notice in the bottom righthand corner that this program is the copyright information belonging to CHOA.

When you visit the CHOA’s website, you won’t find these fat-shaming, finger-pointing advertisements that make fat kids the target of ridicule and degradation. Oh no, you’ll find this instead:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaw, look how much CHOA loves fat kids. In fact, every time a fat kid comes to CHOA, they invite the entire staff to come around and give hugs to Tubby Timmy, and to tell him how much they love him.

Where’s the stark black and white photography of frowning fatties? Where’s the blame leveled at the mother in the photo, who is clearly the culprit, since she too is a shameless fatty? Oh, that’s right, in public we use shame and degradation, but for the actual client-serving side of things, we’re all about “Tender, Caring, Treatment.”

Fuck that noise.

CHOA, I’m calling you out on your hypocritical bullshit, and I’m asking each and every outraged fatty to do the same. CHOA is a non-profit agency that relies on donations. It’s time to tell CHOA that they will not receive a single dime from any of us until this big-dollar bullying campaign comes to an end.

And CHOA, if you want to help, then direct your attention at ALL kids. Do you think that sedentary kids with an unhealthy diet don’t have metabolic problems? Do you seriously think that only fat kids have high blood pressure? Do you think that the strong correlation between poverty and obesity might limit the ability of some parents to provide their kids the kind of healthy lifestyle they might otherwise want to provide?

It’s called the Social Determinants of Health, CHOA, and I strongly suggest you try and understand this concept before you paint yourself as some Superman out to save the world from obesity. This issue is complicated and difficult, but the answer is not to shame and blame children and families, or to plaster guilt-inducing billboards around your city.

Help us turn the screws on CHOA and let them know exactly what you think of their fat-hating campaign. And please share this information with anyone, and everyone, who is not a complete and utter asshole. Thanks!

UPDATE

When I call CHOA, they direct me to Kevin McClelland, so I have located his contact information so we may contact him directly. Also, call Stephanie Walsh, the medical director who is doing all of the interviews that defend this advertising campaign. Email and call, and if their voicemail fills up, please call the Children’s Foundation number below and share your opinions with them.

Kevin McClelland
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
404-785-7600
kevin.mcclelland@choa.org

Stephanie Walsh
404-778-2400
stephanie.walsh@choa.org

Children’s Foundation
1687 Tullie Circle NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
404-785-GIVE
Fax: 404-785-7355
choagiving@choa.org

When you dial the number above, just press 0 to bypass the operator instructions and get to a live human.

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40 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2012 12:22 pm

    as always follow the money. is it no surprise that WLS places are behind this? we all know shaming doesnt work. all shaming does is set us off on the diet spiral…you know the one proven to ADD weight every time you diet? IF we start kids dieting at 7 that’s 2 or 3 more diets resulting in 15-30 more pounds at the eventual end of each…..making more people ready for WLS SOONER making more money for the WLS companies.

  2. vesta44 permalink
    January 5, 2012 1:18 pm

    And along the way it makes more money for the diet companies who are selling all these fucking diets that don’t work. I’ve said all along that the only thing diet companies care about is getting our money out of our pockets and into their pockets. They could give a rat’s ass about our health. It’s not about health, it’s never been about health, it’s always been about the money – how much of our money they can get into their pockets and how often they can dupe us into giving them our money.

  3. Dana permalink
    January 5, 2012 4:26 pm

    Children should not be dieting.
    They should be raised in a house where being healthy is a reality, not an expectation. There is nothing wrong with indulging our kids, but there is something wrong when they look in the mirror, and they aren’t happy with themselves because what they feel like on the inside doesn’t match the outside.
    America needs harsh ad campaigns like this to send a message – 40% of kids are overweight or obese. How can we let that continue?
    When children are raised in an environment where everybody has healthy habits, it’s easy to stay healthy. Unfortunately, I grew up in a house filled with fast food and every indulgence all the time. When I was old enough to make my own decisions, eating healthy became a struggle. I always felt like I was depriving myself, even though I wasn’t. I don’t want to see another generation feel like they’re trapped in their bodies. It sucks.
    So let people be aggravated, shocked, and annoyed. I agree. We can’t sugarcoat childhood obesity – it’s far too serious.

    • Missa permalink
      January 5, 2012 4:54 pm

      I agree, sad that the ads are sponsered by surgeons and drug co, however it’s a reality that these kids need help. Cmon people wake up!

    • January 5, 2012 5:28 pm

      I don’t have time for a full comment, but I will say this: that harsh message that you say America needs? It hits children hard. Very hard. There are ways to encourage healthy behaviors without both reminding fat kids and bullies that they are targets for ridicule and disdain. You are also completely ignoring the effect that the stress of stigma has on a person’s health, and this campaign will only exacerbate that.

      You cannot shame someone into health. It has never worked. It never will. And using these tactics on children is craven and reckless.

      Peace,
      Shannon

    • Mulberry permalink
      January 5, 2012 5:42 pm

      “there is something wrong when they look in the mirror, and they aren’t happy with themselves because what they feel like on the inside doesn’t match the outside.”

      I agree. All too often, thin and average-weight kids look in the mirror and they they see a fatty. They are constantly told that fat=bad. They think they “feel fat”, whatever that means, and often engage in unhealthy behavior as a result.

      “America needs harsh ad campaigns like this to send a message – 40% of kids are overweight or obese. How can we let that continue?”

      They do send a message that the advertiser is a greedy pig. Too bad most people don’t see this part of the message.
      Why shouldn’t we let kids continue to be overweight? The overweight category (as defined by the US govt) in adults is the category with optimum lifespan. LET’S LET IT CONTINUE!!

      “When children are raised in an environment where everybody has healthy habits, it’s easy to stay healthy.”

      Agreed! But it would be very ignorant to suggest that this would keep most of them thin. Thinness (on average) is not as healthy as being overweight (on average). Atchka’s got the stats on this lying around somewhere which I’m sure he’d be happy to post for you.

      Why do you think childhood obesity is being “sugarcoated”? Haven’t we got more important childhood problems to worry about, like, say, children who go to bed malnourished and hungry on a regular basis? Campaigns like the above imply that going hungry is not such a terrible thing (keeps you from getting too fat, right?) and cause people to become callous regarding genuine suffering.

      Finally – I don’t feel like I’m trapped in a substandard body – I feel sometimes like I’m trapped by ignorant attitudes.

    • January 6, 2012 6:52 am

      “When children are raised in an environment where everybody has healthy habits, it’s easy to stay healthy”

      So if unhealthy eating behaviors cause fat gain then riddle me this. my parents were organic hippies (in the 70’s when organic =grown by other hippies). i was raised on a commune the first 2 years of my life, with NO TV until i was 7 or so. My dad is a chemist germaphobe and my mom a terrific home cook . Oh and we thought my sister and brother were allergic to corn (meaning no corn syrup in the house anywhere). and i STILL was 200+lbs by freshman year of high school. but yea it was the unhealthy food.

      why is it so hard to understand that the diet companies are selling a lie that doesnt work. 95% of diets for the purpose of weight loss fail. including “healthy lifestyle changes”. including exercises. go ahead and eat healthy! i do so all my life. but i stopped expecting weight loss because of it.

  4. Mulberry permalink
    January 5, 2012 4:55 pm

    Pulmonary hypertension is a rare disease whose incidence increased during the fen-phen debacle of the 1990s. So if anything, it’s associated with some weight-loss drugs. (That is not its only cause, and often, the cause is unknown.)
    Yet another disease to throw on the “Let’s Blame Fat for Everything” pile.

  5. Jess permalink
    January 6, 2012 12:20 am

    I’m sorry, but here’s my disagreeable opinion: sometimes it’s a choice and not a physical trait. I am the oldest of seven children. My youngest brother was just diagnosed with diabetes due to my own mother filling him with McNuggets that she picked up on her way home from work instead of fixing him a decent meal. I get it, some people are too busy to eat healthy, but there comes a limit to the decency in these choices – fast food in moderation is okay, sure, but what if it’s all you eat? What if you’re fucking FIVE YEARS OLD and Burger King is all you’ve ever known?

    I’m not saying being fat is bad. Whatever, it’s your call (unless you have a glandular issue). I don’t care. But I’m absolutely DISGUSTED with ALL PARENTS who choose to stuff their children with sugary, fatty foods because they’re cheap and easy to find instead of giving them slightly smaller portions of healthy, perfectly edible and tasteful options. I can’t stand it. I can’t stand the fact that my baby brother has to check his blood sugar every single day and give himself insulin shots because he wasn’t properly cared for as a toddler. Don’t blame physiology if it’s your own damn fault.

    Oh, and don’t feed me that “healthy foods are more expensive” crap. I’d rather feed my children whole-wheat bread and butter than processed frozen foods. Just don’t even go there. If you know how to read ingredient labels, you know how to fucking shop for groceries.

    End rant.

    • January 6, 2012 8:37 am

      Hi Jess,
      Welcome to Fierce Fatties.

      First off, I’m sorry your brother is going through such a difficult medical issue. It’s hard enough to be an adult with type 2 diabetes, shoo I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a child. And you are absolutely right, some people are fat due to unhealthy food choices and a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to type 2 diabetes, but only if you are genetically susceptible.

      The best way to ensure good health is to have a healthy diet and to get the recommended amount of exercise. But not everyone who eats healthy and exercises will be thin, and not everyone who eats unhealthy foods and leads a sedentary lifestyle will be fat. Again genetics plays a strong role in how your body respond to those particular lifestyle choices.

      I love to discuss the biological process of metabolic syndrome, and if you’d like to have this discussion in greater detail, I can direct you to some posts where your commentary would be welcomed for discussion. But the issue presented in this post does not require a discussion of cause or blame.

      Is your brother fat? If so, how do you think he would feel if he saw one of these billboards full of fat jokes? How would he feel if an entire advertising campaign singled him out for ridicule and scorn?

      Although the issue of lifestyle choice is important, it does not justify the degradation and humiliation of fat children. EVER!

      Strong4Life says the campaign is aimed at parents. If do, then why not have a billboard featuring a parent carrying a greasy bag of fast food? I have issues with that approach as well, but it’s better than shaming kids.

      The point is that fat kids are already the target of bullies, health nazis, and multiple national campaigns, regardless of their actual eating habits (read erylin’s comment for an example of a healthy fat kid). This disgusting campaign in Georgia is simply throwing salt on their wounds.

      I support community efforts to encourage children of ALL SIZES to eat healthy and exercise, but targeting fat kids for humiliation is reprehensible.

      And, by the way, there are no disagreeable opinions. Only disagreeable people.

      Peace,
      Shannon

    • January 6, 2012 10:38 am

      Have you ever been poor in your life, Jess? The deck is stacked against the poor, in several ways. I used to live downtown in a major city making barely enough to cover my rent. My local grocery store had ground beef for about $4.25 a pound. I remember one day I went out to the suburbs for a job interview and figured I’d stop in a grocery store to get some stuff. The same ground beef was $4.09 a pound. My parents’ suburban grocery store had about triple the vegetable and fruit stands that mine did, with better quality produce. It was an eye opener I have never forgotten, and for you to assert that it’s not a factor or it’s somehow not a big deal is bullshit, plain and simple.

      I don’t take issue with some of your assertions, but if you’re going to disregard the VERY REAL FACT that produce and lean beef are usually not covered under food stamps, that the way food stamps are structured right now will lead to vitamin deficiencies at best, malnutrition at worst? You can kiss my ass.

      • January 6, 2012 5:47 pm

        Do you still have food stamps in your state? Because in my state, you get an EBT card that gets refilled once a month. You can buy anything you want with it provided it’s not alcohol. How long ago was this?

        I assumed all states did things the same way.

        • January 6, 2012 6:27 pm

          Texas still has food stamps, or did the last I checked, which was a few months ago, but whatever it’s called, you can absolutely not buy anything you want. My roommate is on financial assistance and our grocer didn’t let her buy a pumpkin in November to make pie with.

          • January 6, 2012 7:06 pm

            I guess Maine and New Hampshire are really progressive in that respect. Their main concern is that you stay on budget. Whatever you buy is your problem. EBT cards are getting more popular and hopefully, TX will get with the program.

            It’s ironic. Poor people get accused of being ignorant about nutrition, costing taxpayer dollars with their diseases, etc. and yet we make it impossible for them to do what rich people want. Mmkay.

          • January 6, 2012 8:21 pm

            My state uses an EBT card too, and pumpkins are weird here, you can buy the small pie pumpkins but not large “decorative” ones usually used for Jack O Lanterns. I think it’s how the store codes it.

      • January 10, 2012 10:35 am

        I just got through eating my breakfast of dried fruit and Yoo-Hoo. No, I’m not deliberately on a diet, I can’t afford but one meal a day. And guess what, I’m still hungry and grouchy. I can’t get food stamps because I make “too much money” before taxes and insurance come out. Most of what’s left goes to pay for my (upside down) mortgage on my mobile home. My plumbing doesn’t work except for cold water in the bathroom sink, and I can’t afford to get it fixed. I work full time and earn much better than minimum wage. I am the working poor, Jess, and I am very angry, and I don’t feel like being polite. I am a reasonably educated person and I can read labels. And you can kiss my fat, mentally ill, broke ass.

  6. January 6, 2012 1:40 pm

    Jess, diabetes isn’t caused by just what you eat or your weight, it’s genetic and activity more so, My husband is diabetic (it’s a genetic thing in his family , no one escapes it , yet his family is rather long lived despite this) I’m diabetic and I was a thin vegetarian when I developed it fifteen years ago (125 lbs 5’6″) Our kids will probably eventually be diabetic too. It’s not the end of a persons life, one deals with it and goes on with life (my not fully able to be treated with meds epilepsy is more irritating, but even that is just a matter of living the life you happen to get) If you feel it’s what someone eats,your brother, if he’s an adult has some responsibility to take care of his own health and diet (if he doesn’t want to that’s his choice too. I know a heck of a lot of thin and fat folks who eat “bad” foods all the time and never get diabetes.

    Parents also can’t also do the very best thing all the time , one may be exhausted after work or even ill, at one point we ate all microwave stuff because I was beteen meds and fires had stared before when I cooked because seizures. ( cheap frozen dinners are far better tasting then my dear hubbys “cooking” he tries but….)

    I really don’t think bullying kids will change their eating habits or their familys eating habits, this ad campaign is disgusting , how could anyone choose to create something that will only make things worse peer wise for kids.

    Produce and very lean beef are covered by food stamps in my state, (WIC has a lot of restrictions but is different) but since they cost more overall some may not be the best choice with such a limited amount of food stamps.(around 100$ a week for four people) Although my family eats pretty healthy on them since A. we live in a very odd spot ( cheap housing on the edge of an industrial park bordering a very rich suburb) although we are near four reasonably priced groceries and walking distance of a farmers market, that’s just not something a lot of folks on food stamps have B. I am at home and able to cook most of the time despite being disabled. ( as long as I’m not alone I can use the over or stove)

    • January 10, 2012 10:38 am

      Exactly. If shaming worked to make people thin, there would be no fat people. Thus, obviously the shaming tactic is a failure! As is the multibillion dollar diet industry.

  7. Lauren permalink
    January 6, 2012 1:51 pm

    Hey y’all- first time reader, first time commenter.

    It seems people are missing a big portion of the Strong4Life program- and just focusing on the marketing portion. We should be wondering how they are actually being received in the schools,daycares, etc. It’s my understanding that CHOA has a team that visits schools and hosts physical activity pep rallies and fun runs- has anyone gotten feedback from these schools? As adults we can hypothesize all we want but really we need to talk to the kids to see what they’re thinking.

    As for healthy food being more expensive, I just spoke with a friend in New York who runs a farmers market. Up there they have a program where at farmers market people get double-value for their food stamps- making, in most cases, the food even less expensive than in the store. Do we have a program like that in Georgia?

    • January 6, 2012 5:11 pm

      Lauren,
      Welcome to Fierce Fatties.

      The reason we are focusing on the marketing is because that is the problem: giant billboards with photos of fat kids and degrading comments beneath. That’s it. If they want to increase access to whole foods and places to exercise, then whoopideedoo, I’m on board. But if their “pep rallies” are anything like their marketing, I think I might shit a brick.

      As far as New York, that may be, but not every city has New York’s public transportation infrastructure, let alone the available budgets to fund such a program (if it is a government program). The issue is complicated and we need to approach it from many different angles. But the marketing angle CHOA has decided upon is just plain wrong. Period.

      Peace,
      Shannon

      • Maryjane Heyer permalink
        January 7, 2012 3:02 pm

        also, you need cash for transport to the farmer’s market, which btw is not available all year round, and transportation isn’t really covered in FoodStamps. I think it’s a great program making FS count double in the farmer’s market, but often the food there is twice as expensive anyway. And it doesn’t make up for the many areas in the city where you can’t get decent produce at the local store (what? don’t you have a car?)

    • Kala permalink
      January 7, 2012 9:29 pm

      Where I live, in the capital district of NY, we have a program run out of the community gardens non-profit, that runs a produce truck around to low income neighborhoods every week. Now the prices aren’t always cheaper than the store (especially when the store has a super sale on something they’re trying to get rid of), but they are fair and affordable prices. One can use food benefit tokens there. I think it helps, especially for families and groups that come from cultures where they like vegetables (unfortunately immigrant communities over Americans of any race). However in the end, just having the food access isn’t enough impetus to have people eat healthier. Lack of access to proper cooking equipment, lack of knowledge about how to cook things that are healthy and also taste good, lack of belief that eating better makes a difference, the crushing sense of defeat that often comes with poverty that makes it hard to make changes, etc.

  8. Cindy permalink
    January 9, 2012 12:11 am

    One thing that people can do is to sign a petition to CHOA that in part states. “…Public bullying of kids and adults because of size is not acceptable. The campaign does not consider that kids of all sizes are susceptible to eating disorders, which have the highest rates of mortality with regard to mental health illnesses. Public shaming is archaeic, dangerous, and inexcusable. Weight stigma is extremely damaging and studies show it actually lends to increased weight…”

    The link is here:

    childrens-healthcare-of-atlanta-end-the-stop-sugarcoating-obesity-campaign

  9. Lauren permalink
    January 10, 2012 8:01 am

    To follow up, I found the double-your-food-stamps initiative does exist in Georgia!
    http://www.wholesomewavegeorgia.org/

  10. January 10, 2012 10:29 am

    Shame on “Strong 4 Life.” These are not concepts, they are actual human beings–the most vulnerable of human beings. These children are going to be Scarred 4 Life.

  11. Jeff permalink
    January 12, 2012 8:05 am

    Hi, i was once obese and hated myself. It was not shame or insults that got me to change it was personal desire.

    I know some people have medical conditions triggering weight gain or preventing weight loss, and i also know that a larger chunk of people just do not get off their butt and do some exercise. This is part of working for a healthier life, its not just eating right or taking some pill but get up and run around the house with your kids, go for an extended walk through the mall, take the stairs instead of an elevator. It is not hard to shed those pounds, and I am not saying we should all look like models, no I am saying people need to exercise more.

    These campaigns are going to do the exact opposite of motivate people to exercise. Instead of degrading those children why not show them new ways to get that needed exercise. Heck, go up the down escalator, walk to the local store instead of ride a bus/drive a car. There are hundreds of ways to get that needed exercise without it being some long stint in a gym.

    Like i said at the beginning i was obese, i hated the insults, they never motivated me. The person to finally motivate me was myself and my desire to enlist in the US Military. Most people i know do not ever find that motivating goal without a push, and so instead of insulting and degrading these children give them motivation and encouragement.

    • Mulberry permalink
      January 12, 2012 2:38 pm

      Why do you lie to people and say it is not hard to shed pounds, just because it isn’t hard for you? You are in serious denial of other people’s experiences.
      Why do you assume we fatsos aren’t getting exercise (and perhaps that thin people either are, or shouldn’t be bothered for not doing so)?
      Now you have a choice – you could 1) stomp off in a petulant huff and complain to your friends that those awful fatties just won’t listen to your good advice. That is the easy, lazy way out and that is what trolls would do. Or you could 2) stick around, show a little humility, and try to learn something about people whose physiological responses aren’t quite like yours.
      To be honest, in all the years I’ve been surfing the net, I’ve never seen anyone (who started off preachy) take option 2. It’s only for brave people who don’t mind a cherished belief or two being questioned, and don’t care if their buddies laugh at them for consorting with the fatties.

      • Jeff permalink
        January 13, 2012 9:00 pm

        Sorry for the late response been busy. But mulberry i believe you should go back in and re-read my post more closely. I do clearly indicate that some do have medically sound reasons for difficulty losing weight and for gaining it.

        But i will not sit here and believe that the majority of the obese people are due to some medical condition. It defies probabilities, and flies in the face of logical thought. Some one that puts no effort in and then claims a medical factor is not convincing. If you are active and have a valid medical reason then good on you and more kudos to you.

        So please read it more closely, instead of jumping to the conclusion that i am here to troll or say “hey i lost the weight why cant you fat ass?” cause that is not what i am saying. Some do deserve that said to them, and they are the larger share of obese people, but there are some that have a perfectly valid reason for difficulty with weight, and i applaud them for all efforts they make and wish they succeed in their battles.

        • Fab@54 permalink
          January 13, 2012 9:50 pm

          Jeff, you said:

          “… that i am here to troll or say “hey i lost the weight why cant you fat ass?” cause that is not what i am saying. Some do deserve that said to them, and they are the larger share of obese people, but there are some that have a perfectly valid reason for difficulty with weight, and i applaud them for all efforts they make and wish they succeed in their battles.”

          I get it- So fat people need to *validate their medical reasons* for being fat, or else they deserve to be bullied and shamed and mistreated.
          Now, how would we accomplish that (to your satisfaction)?

          Should I wear a medical alert bracelet or pendant that declares my nearly non-functioning thyroid gland? Would that suffice? Should I mention my diabetes several times through out the course of conversations with new people, coworkers and employers? (You know, just so they know I’m a “good” fatty and not a bad one).

          Should I avoid all public displays of eating and enjoying “bad” foods that only thin people should be partaking in? Will that garner your respect – or at least allow me to escape your judgement and disgust?

          How about I hang a “I really am handicapped” sign around my neck, so that you and everyone who looks at me will know that I literally CAN’T exercise, because of my very painful psoratic arthritis in my knees and other joints?

          Do I have to explain to everyone who looks at me with that
          “Jesus-You’re-Fat!” look that they need not worry because, really,
          I AM ON A DIET RIGHT NOW AND I AM TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT ALL THE TIME! – would you then applaud my efforts and be nice to me?

          ::: nods::: OK, now I know what’s expected of me … except, you will most likely think I’m lying anyway because you KNOW the real reason “the larger share” of fat people are fat, right? Of course you do… you said so yourself.

          You’re a real Peach, Jeff.

          • Jeff permalink
            January 14, 2012 12:38 am

            Heh, gotta love the anger. Yes i did state that a larger portion of obese people need to be told to get up and exercise. Did i say they need to be berated and degraded? no. Did i say anything about negative reinforcements being used to motivate? No.

            Each person has different means to become motivated to do things and their friends and family and themselves know those things better and are the ones best suited to provide that motivation. And if you would go back and read that last paragraph i even stated that i hated the insults as well and that positive encouragement would work best.

            I do not look at an obese person and assume they are lazy, or that they have a medical condition causing it. I just see a person, if they are lazy that is their choice and they should seek a way to improve. If they have a medical condition then so be it, i hope they can get it corrected if possible.

            Your automatic assumption that i am saying all fat people should be labelled or attacked verbally is quite far off from what i stated. I encouraged positive motivations, acceptance that people do not know if that individual has a medical condition and that there is a large portion that need a motivator to exercise due to the absence of a medical condition.

            So please do tell me where i indicated that you should wear a sign around your neck? or that you should go around informing everyone of your medical condition. If you wish to jump to conclusions you are more then welcome to, but i would prefer if you have a critique of my words to phrase it politely and respectfully as i am attempting to do to you.

  12. vesta44 permalink
    January 14, 2012 3:26 am

    Jeff – The problem is that you think most fat people could lose weight if they wanted to and if they would just put down the junk food and exercise. You seem to think that the majority of fat people just haven’t tried hard enough to lose weight, that they aren’t motivated to lose weight. How much more motivation do we need? The crap we get on a daily basis from the media, strangers on the street, our doctors, our families, and our friends isn’t enough? We need these ad campaigns blaming and shaming us too? We’re telling you that most of us have tried, and tried, and tried, and tried, and diets have failed us (lifestyle change, whatever you want to call it, if it’s restricting calories it’s a DIET and it will fail the majority of people in the long run). Just because you were able to lose weight and have kept it off so far doesn’t mean everyone else will be as successful. Why do you think the National Weight Control Registry only has 4,000 members who have lost weight and kept it off for more than 5 years? Out of the millions of people who diet every year, only 4,000 have managed to keep it off for more than 5 years. I’m sorry, but would you buy anything else that had a 1 in 100 chance of working? Or even a 5 in 100 chance? I don’t know about you, but I prefer better odds than that (and I’m being kind when I say the odds of maintaining weight loss for 5 years are 1 to 5 in 100, it’s actually more like 1 in 1,000).
    Pardon my cynicism, but you said you lost weight and you’re not obese anymore. You didn’t say how much weight you lost or how long ago you lost it. I’ll tell you this – come back in 5 years and tell us how much weight you’ve kept off. And if you have kept it off, tell us what you’ve had to do in order to maintain that weight loss. I’d bet that it’s going to be a part-time job tracking every calorie you eat so that you don’t eat too much, and getting at least an hour of vigorous exercise every day in order to maintain. Don’t believe me? Check out the blog Debra’s Just Maintaining (google it), it’s an eye-opener.

    • Jeff permalink
      January 14, 2012 3:59 am

      In 2000 i went from 230 lbs to 165lbs. I currently weight 210 lbs but that is due to weight lifting and bulking in muscle not from regain of fat.

      In regards to how i was able to do it? I talked to a nutritionist and a doctor. With their help i figured out what kind of diet (not cutting foods out but a balance diet of fats, proteins and carbs) would best fit me and i stuck to it. I also started walking instead of driving, if it was possible. Doing daily runs, and some basic weight lifting.

      It took dedication to lose that weight, the physical aspects were not hard to do just mentally draining and i did want to quit but i just stayed dedicated. Which is where the motivation comes in.

      As for maintaining my weight loss, as i said i actually packed on weight through lifting so i actually eat more then i did back then. But during my time in the Military i kept the weight off by eating sensible, it was not some monumental chore, i took a few hours on my day off to plan out meals and i would prepare them in advance. I did not eat 3 meals a day, i ate 5-7 but in smaller portions, currently i eat 6-8 meals and of larger portion size.

      I am not trying to tell anyone that how i did it will work perfectly for them, we each have a unique metabolic process and our bodies all require different levels of protein, carbs and fats. But with dedication and motivation it is possible for those lacking any medically viable reason to easily lose the weight if they put in the full effort. Younger people can burn fat off faster then older, no surprise there the metabolism slows with age. But it does not mean it is impossible, my mother is in her 60s and has already lost 30 lbs by talking to her doctor and a nutritionist and changing the foods she eats and sticking to a mild exercise regimen of 3 times a week for 45mins each.

      • Fab@54 permalink
        January 14, 2012 8:22 am

        Jeff,

        I was not “angry” in my post to you. Honest. I may have been a bit sarcastic with my tone, but not angry. Just sayin’.

  13. Mulberry permalink
    January 16, 2012 1:42 am

    Hi there Jeff! Glad you stuck around I hope you will sign the protest against the Georgia billboards. Because whatever you might personally think or believe about obesity, these billboards are going to have a disastrous effect. If the aim is to encourage health, this can be done without heaping shame on kids who are quite likely to already suffer social isolation.

    Next, “But i will not sit here and believe that the majority of the obese people are due to some medical condition. It defies probabilities, and flies in the face of logical thought.”
    If you believe fat is a pathological condition, and the less of it the better, then your argument makes sense. And why shouldn’t you believe this way? – do you ever see any counterpoint to it?
    We’re telling you that fat is mostly benign.
    We believe that exercise and eating well are good for you, but not because they might make you thin or thinner.
    We’re telling you that calories in vs. calories out ignores a whole lot of processes in the middle that you don’t have a lot of control over.
    We’re telling you that we don’t feel we need to justify fatness, whether we have contributing medical conditions or not.

    So there you go. If you want stats and studies related to any of the above, ask the blogmaster. Or just ask; some folks here can cough up this info on demand.

  14. Shay permalink
    February 12, 2012 2:40 pm

    I live in Georgia. Did you know that GA is #2 for having the most children with HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE? Did you know that the childhood obesity rate is Georgia is steadily increasing? Did you know in Georgia we have one of the top Childhood Diabetes cases? The hospital put these ads up so that people can recognize the problem. Let’s be honest, if there was just an ad that says: “stop childhood obesity.” Would you look at it? Probably not. Yes, these ads are harsh, but if they were not, would we be having this conversation? Probably not. Childhood obesity in GA has BEEN a PROBLEM! The difference is people are now starting to talk about it. Why? Because of these ads! Let’s look at the big picture. This Is a Huge Problem and although harsh, these ads are true. Let’s help our children to become Healthy and stop sugarcoating the problem.

    • Shay permalink
      February 12, 2012 2:42 pm

      The focus of these ads is not on the KIDS!! It’s really a message to the parents: You are slowly KILLING your kids imposing your bad habits on them!

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