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Overheard: Whose fault is obesity?
September 19th, 2012
12:35 PM ET

Overheard: Whose fault is obesity?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Obesity is a huge problem in the United States, and it’s linked to serious illnesses such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and certain cancers.

A new report suggests that by 2030 nearly half of all Americans will be obese, and these expanding waistlines will translate into billions of dollars of health care costs. The study authors advocate for nationwide interventions to get children and adults to be more physically active and eat healthier.

More than 400 readers commented on the story. The most popular reader comment came from Joe Skinner, who says:

This is something I've been saying forever, the problem isn't "Romneycare" or "Obamacare," it's fat Americans who are the problem and they are more willing to blame politicians for health care cost problems than to say the 300-pound reading on the scale might have something to do with it.

Bruce Force responded that weight loss alone won’t solve the problem:

I agree that we are responsible for our own health but I think this obsession with losing weight is the wrong way to go about it. When we talk about fitness, we never talk about skills and that's unfortunate because that what being fit is about: developing skills in order to survive.

Chichetr proposed the radical measure of taxing overweight people per pound, a comment that got 59 “likes” :

I'm sick and tired of seeing my fellow Americans waddling around from fast food restaurant to fast food restaurant, their giant bellies swaying and bulging out under their shirts. It's absolutely shameful.

I propose that we start charging health care costs by the pound. How many of these people do you think are going to keel over from 1, 2 or 3 heart attacks, strokes, cardiovascular disorders of every kind? The list goes on and on. How many of these people can actually PAY for the tremendous health care costs associated with their weight? Not many.

I as a taxpayer, I refuse to pay for these people. Tax the overweight and obese NOW!

But pgauthi responded with a more pragmatic approach:

Those of us living in the real world realize we can't just let people "take responsibility," because we have decided that everyone has the right to emergency treatment. So as much as it pains me to pay for the lazy obese I would rather pay for their preventive care than for their emergencies.

I would love it though if medicare tax and/or health premiums were based on BMI and cardiovascular fitness.

Delishus Cake represented the point of view that the high cost of healthy foods compared to fattening foods is part of the problem:

If fresh fruit was affordable year round and a salad didn't cost the same as 4 double cheeseburgers people might not be so fat. Low income people typically choose whichever option looks to be the most bang for your buck. If you've got $4 and you want to eat are you going to buy a salad or 2 double cheeseburgers, a large coke, and a fry?

But halfthestory argues the opposite viewpoint:

So tired of hearing the "it costs too much to eat healthy" argument. Plan your budget and buy healthier foods ... fast food is not much cheaper and is much less healthier. It's a lifestyle change and not a financial issue in most cases. It's just easier to justify when you say "it costs too much".

Chemical BPA linked to children's obesity

Finally, the usage of body mass index as a measure of obesity is imperfect, as readers such as CatMagnet noted. Height and weight are the factors that go into calculating BMI, but for some people that is not an accurate assessment of whether they are healthy.

On Twitter, science writer @miriamgordon responded to the story by citing this New York Times article from Tuesday, which notes that obesity as we know it may not be the whole story: “In study after study, overweight and moderately obese patients with certain chronic diseases often live longer and fare better than normal-weight patients with the same ailments.”

Part of the problem is that if you measure obesity with body mass index, you are ignoring other potentially critical measurements of health, including metabolic abnormalities, lean muscle mass and body fat, the article said.

Another science writer, @daviddespain, responded with an article he had written on his blog suggesting that young Asian-American women may be improperly categorized as healthy using the traditional BMI scale; they may have low BMI but high body fat percentage.

The state-by-state obesity data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not take these deviations from the traditional BMI picture into account, nor do the 2030 predictions.

More from CNN: Is your doctor's role changing in the fight against obesity?


soundoff (627 Responses)
  1. Denice

    I guess all the posters on here that have such animosity against fat people are radiantly healthy. You're all at the perfect BMI. You exercise at least 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. You eat only lean meats, fruits and vegetables. No drinking or smoking. No bad habits of any kind? I'm aware that being overweight/obese increases your risk of many diseases. I'm also aware that just because you're a healthy weight does not mean you are immune to those same disease processes. Yes, fat people need to take responsibility for themselves but realize that everyone is susceptible to the same health issues.

    September 19, 2012 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PBZ

      Actually I do workout at least 5 days a week. I also watch every single thing I put in my body. I do not drink or smoke. No I am not perfect and I may get sick but it will not be because I did not do my best to stay fit.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
    • FFighter2

      True but the obese have a drastically higher rate of heart disease, arthritis, stroke, hypertension and type 2 diabetis. Those costs put a straing on our health care system which drive up costs.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      @ Denice. Well for one, yes I do exercise at 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. I average over 20 miles or roadwork every week. No, I don't smoke. Yes, I drink one beer a day (no more, and sometimes less). Yep, I usually eat one hamburger a week, but usually eat chicken, fish, pork, or lean cuts of beef. forty years ago I was 90 pounds overweight, but I lost it all over a 2-year period back in the 70s and never put it back on, probably because of the aforementioned habits.

      And yes, I was married, with a family and a full-time job, so it CAN be done. You have to want it, or it won't happen. People today want a pill, the quick-fix. You don't get obese overnight and the pounds don't melt away.

      Go make your excuses to other fat people who don't want to put in the work it takes to get healthy.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
    • FFighter2

      I work out every day at least 40 minutes and sometimes twice a day for a total of 2 hours.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
    • OutPastPluto

      Getting up off your fat butt will increase your metabolic rate and make you burn energy faster. It will also improve your muscle tone and your cardiovascular system. Plus there's what ever energy you burn when you don't something besides just sitting on your butt.

      This is balanced against moderation and applying some pretty ancient dietary guidelines.

      The longer you neglect yourself, the worse it gets and the harder it gets to fix.

      It's not rocket science but it does require some ability to restrain yourself.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • Bill Anders

      Hardly. Just because I draw a hard line on responsibility doesn't mean I hate fat people. Many of us are tired of hearing excuse after excuse. My parents are both morbidly obese. 325 for father and 250 for mother. Their myriad of health problems almost all stem from this. Yet they refuse to change diet, exercise, or any habits to improve their condition.

      I am not the picture of health, but I attempt to eat properly, control my portions, and exercise at least a little. What many of us are sick and tired of is the griping and complaining by the obese about their aches and pains, and how the world isn't accommodating enough for them. It is their behavior that has put them in the situation they are in. (some rare disorders being the exception of course).

      Suck it up, make the changes, and watch your quality of life and health improve dramatically.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • SueRH

      There's a difference between having a few extra pounds and being obese. Extra pounds happen as we get older and have less time for exercise and fun in our busy lives. However, obesity you have to work at! That takes effort.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • Sylar75

      Yeah I don't get why fat people draw sympathy. What other addict demands sympathy? Its an addiction to food. Smokers, drinkers and drug addicts are shunned but fat people aren't? Same diffence.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Actually, you have pretty much described me. I'm 49, run 8 miles four days a week and go to Bar Method classes the other 3. I'm a vegan and don't eat junk food at all. I'm 5'4" and my weight is 116lbs. It's possible that I could get sick or even get a disease that is typically associated with obescity, but its not likely; my chances are much less than those of someone who is fat. In addiiton, people like me take far fewer sick days than the obese and have far fewer doctor visits, so we're less costly to our employers and the health care system as a whole. As an aside, I don't buy the argument that healthy food costs more than junk food and that's why people are fat. There are many inexpensive, tasty recipies that are quick to make and there are many inexpensive, healthy foods. One just has to use his or her head, plan out their food budget and not go for the quick fix.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • FISH FRY

      The problem is, people in the US in general love to blame everything else except themselves. I can take a bit of denial, as we all have them, but in the end, you have to take care of your own health. I'll even stand the fact that i'm paying for someone else's healthcare... when i myself haven't had healthcare for the past three years due to the economic downturn. But in trade, at least tell me that you'll try harder to be healthy... instead of me finding you in the line for burgers and pizza, surfing the internet and watching TV at home all night. Because that really gets me po'd.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      There are 3 reasons why people are fat. Only two are usually discussed.

      Reason 1: People eat an excessive amount of calories that the body stories it. This can be peole eating one large meal making the body think it may starve, to continually eating more calories than the person's acvitiy and body can burn.

      Reason 2: Genetic issues can cause obesity. An unbalanced thyroid which controlls metabolism will cause you to get fat quickly. It happened to me. Once my thyroid was correct, my body began removing the excessive fat. Also each person has their own metabolism rate. If more calories are added that exceed the metabolism rate, the body will automatically begin storing it.

      Reason 3: Fat is created in response to storing toxic materials eaten by us. Perservatives, for example, are toxic to our body. Even small doses must be stored away so it cannot harm the body. The body uses fat to do just that. Considering American's eat tons of food with perservatives and pesticides, it is no wonder we are so obesse. Eventually the body will remove the toxins, but until it is capable of handling them it leaves them stored in fat.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • daninmass

      I wear the same size pants as I did in High School (32 waist) and i'm 36. I do exercise 4 – 6 times per week and watch what I eat. It really isn't that hard at all! Why don't more people let their pant size be their indicator of when it's time to really up the diet and exercise? Strive to stay in the same size pants! when they start getting tight, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

      September 19, 2012 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • run

      Uhhhh yea, I do exercise 5x a week for more than 30 mins, do eat healthy, don't smoke, and have the occasional drink like 90% of adults around the world. O yea and I also work 40+ hrs a week and still find time to do these things. Because of this, I GURANTEE I am far less susceptible to any of those diseases/conditions you mentioned than the average obese American. Contrast to what many Americans that have a weight problem may think, it is NOT hard at all to eat healthy. The money spent on all the fast food and delivery can be spent on meals from the grocery store that you prepare yourself if you actually put in the effort. "Its cheaper" Thats total BS. Foods like McDonalds don't have the nutritional value to provide your body with enough sustainable energy, hence your hungry again in 2hrs, hence you spend more money on the same food to stop that hunger when you could've had a healthy meal in the first place. People are obese (with the exception of children bc they really have no control over the food put in front of them) because they lack will power and motivation. If you're a 300lb 5'6 male, do you really really really loook at yourself in the mirror and like what you see? NO. So stop eating crappy foods and get off the couch. "I have a thyroid problem" you have thyroid problem because you developed it yourself from over eating. Food is fuel, not a something to gorge on when you're bored.Find a hobby, do something. Quit making excuses for your weight. And you people have the nerve to lecture the healthy individuals on disease/condition susceptibility. Give me a break

      September 19, 2012 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      Not at all. I used to be 300 pounds. Some of it was due to an injury, but mainly because I didn't want to put the effort into eating right and working out.

      Down to 206 right now and will be at 175 by the end of the year. I is amazingly cheap to lose weight when you stop eating fast food and crap for dinner. Eat the proper amount of the right foods, get up off your ass, turn the TV off and work out.

      I started running. Started out not being able to run more than a couple of hundred yards without almost passing out. This mast May I ran my first half-marathon. Training up for another half-marathon next month and a full marathon next spring. My daily run is now a minimum of 5 miles at least 3 days a week, usually 4-5 days a week.

      Nothing special, nothing spectacular, nothing "Glandular", it's not 'genetics', it's pure "I'm too damn lazy to get off my fat ass and eat right and work out- so I will blame everything and every one except the person responsible – me!"

      September 19, 2012 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ Denice
      So by your logic no one can’t say anything bad about Hitler unless you are the second incarnation of Jebus right? How about you stop defending irresponsible people and have some standards.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      The medical profession needs to stop trying to find a pill that solves the fat problem, and analyze a more permanent solution. I rarely see in a doctor's office offering of non-medical methods to solve a problem. An example is when I went in because I was feeling bad. They ran a blood test and found my colesteral was so high I needed to begin colesterol medicine immediately.

      The doctors never asked what I was eating, how much exercise I was doing, what were my other activities. They never thought about prescribing fish oil and watching my diet. Well I refussed the medicine, and demanded homeopathic remedy. The doctor finally gave me fish oil and I watched all the fast food I was eating (I ate at McDonalds 3 times a day because of my job) and preapred more meals at home. And guess what?

      I went from 240 to 110 in under 2 weeks. The doctor couldn't believe it so I had to run 3 tests. I actually did less exercise during the period. The pills are only to cover the symtoms and keep us buying drugs so the drug companies keep in business. The pills do not ever cure. Show me a pill that cures an illness? The pills sate an illness for a short period of time and make the body dependant on them. Afterall the body balances out and won't try to correct the situation if the situation is being fixed from an outside source.

      And my change of diet and adding fish oil, also fixed my thyroid problem. No thyroid medicine needed. I'm not recommending every thyroid person go immediately off medicines, but review your diet to see if it is forcing the medicine and make the changes for the better. More exercise is not the solution, afterall there are people fit as a fittle that have terrible collesteral.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      One more note about the drug companies and drugs. If a pill ever cures, they would lose money. Money from drugs comes from forcing people to be addicted to them. An addict is someone who cannot live without soemthing. The drug companies have paid off the medical profession so they can turn a profit. That has been my experience with them. I'm 42 and fit as a fiddle. I have a little fat around the belly, but its genetics (my dad had it, and my grandfather had it), but nothing to be alarmed about. I don't even take asprin because they don't cure headaches, usually the water you drink with them does that job. Try just drinking water when you have a regular headache, you will be surprised how well it works.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
    • andre

      Dumb argument. Yes as a responsible human you should (and I do) work out every single day! However, with a healthy balance of fun and work I also drink a beer a day after work, hang out with friends the occasional nights of the week and indulge a bit. I am 10% body fat; as such I am able to be more mobile, do not voluntarily put myself at increased risk to these diseases that obese tubs of lard do; when i have a heart attack, stroke, or any other UNEXPECTED aliment I will take responsibility and work through those struggles. People who are well past obese, and are morbid are fully to blame; do you ever stop to equate how much neglect for health it actually takes to get into the 250lbs weight range if you are an average height?!?! This takes serious dediction or rather uneducated living towards what is good and what is bad for the human body.
      Someones argument above was that fast food is CHEAPER than healthy food. Yeah, if you are uneducated and lazy maybe! A bigmac meal supersized is 6-8dollars; for that same amount (and this is not even discusssing looking at specials on produces at the local stores) would get me almost an enitre days worth of food; Oatmeal and fruit(2$), apple(30c), chicken breast 3$, head of brocili 1.50, uncle bens rice(2$)...for the same price I just got 2 meals and a snack that will all individually fill me up more and keep me more energized then that garbage bigmac will.
      AMERICA STOP BLAMING ANYONE BUT YOURSELF...YOU ARE FAT!!!!...THE PROOF IS IN THE POODING (IF THERE IS ANY LEFT) EVERY TIME YOU WALK INTO A RESTAURANT, EVENT, OR TURN ON THE TV.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Denice, a lot of us exercise a lot, don't smoke, eat a healthy diet and have a great BMI. You talk as if we're unicorns and that we don't exist. Is it so far fetched to believe some of us care about our health? I guess to someone who is fat, it's impossible to believe.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • i am a moron

      Yup, I exercise at least 30 minutes a day 5+ times a week. I don't eat the healthiest in the world but I do consciously try to avoid eating toooooo many burgers and fatty foods. I do occasionally slack off on my exercise and eating habits, but whenever my six pack starts to fade away a little bit I don't go "darn, how did this happen? who can I blame? woe is me!" I just exercise a little bit more often and avoid fast food for a while. Am I going to avoid all illnesses because I try a little bit to keep an athletic body? no. I am very fair skinned and I know I will get skin cancer in my 30's like my father. Probably going to have to have neck surgery like both of my parents did around the age of fifty. Maybe I'll get bone cancer and die like my grandfather at age 51. But am I going to lower my risk of heart disease? Am I going to lower my risk of diabetes? Am helping save money that I will have to spend on obesity related health care later in life? Definitely yes.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
    • Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is my vice

      I work out 6 days a week for 30mins-2 hours. I watch what I eat, but once a week I have McDonalds or Burger King. I eat healthy the rest of the week. I drink socially with my friends. I work and am married. I have NO HEALTH PROBLEMS because I make a effort to live a healthy lifestyle!

      September 19, 2012 at 16:14 | Report abuse |
    • soulcatcher

      There is stong evidence that being overweight live longer and fare better in study after study. Also having low cholesterol and low triglycerides doesn't stop or reduce the incidence of heart disease. Scientists are still scratching their heads at that one. (I have access to a scientific database of studies so I am well informed). I think politicians are trying to get people skinny so they can die off faster. Makes social security more viable.

      The problem is "Obesity" is associated with and increased riesk of many diseases and does not mean it is the cause of a disease. Eskimos who eat a traditional diet need to read this as somehow they do not have those same risks, yet they eat a high fat diet.

      I have about a BMI of 12 in the normal range but I have skinny arms and legs and a fat belly (37 waist). I got diabetes when I was 33 waist 175 lbs 6' 4". It's sad the current treatment for diabetes is basically starvation- if you exercise you have to consume more calories and take more insulin- which doctors don't prescibe you.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
  2. Srikanth Rokkam

    Portion Control! Basic point...
    Food served in plates is twice as much served at restaurants across the world

    September 19, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SueRH

      That doesn't mean you have to eat it all.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
  3. dokein

    Walking is free and not eating as much cost less.

    September 19, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. maximuspl9912

    Obesity shouldnt be blamed on fast food places and unhealthy cheap food. The cause of this problem is people who dont care how they look and are just plain old slobs.

    September 19, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • katsrulz

      I will be honest. I see stuff like this and I want to gorge myself. None of the haters actually cares about people, you say stuff like we are lazy and don't care....but don't care about what? Don't care that we are driving up some jerks healthcare costs that are making hateful comments about us behind our backs? Actually I do care or this article wouldn't upset me as much as it does. I feel hated because I'm not a size two. I always have an I always will and it's because of comments and articles like this. Thanks for making me feel worthless.....which then leads to more comfort eating. I went to the doctor and I got put on an anti-depressent which makes me hungry all the time.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @katsrulz
      Stop making excuses. Man up and take some responsibility. If you are to soft skin to read things you don’t want to hear…stop reading them. Go for a walk instead.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • Rocket

      @katsrulz – how about working some of that stress off in the gym, I promise you will feel tens time better for it, no one says you have to be a size two, that is what is in your head.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:40 | Report abuse |
  5. fiftyfive55

    I laugh hysterically everytime I see health nuts jogging and biking right next to my car exhaust.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cptdondo

      Would you rather that we also drove, adding to the air pollution, global warming, raising gas prices, and getting fat? Instead of laughing hysterically, try taking care of yourself and you won't have to be so bitter.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • SueRH

      And they'll be laughing at your funeral.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • Sylar75

      If you laugh hysterically at people jogging you might have a rare type of mental illness. Might wanna get that checked out.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • Lola

      fiftyfive55 I laugh hysterically when I see people like you getting out of their cars sporting your big beer gut, double chin, and lumpy butt. You think you're funny, huh?

      September 19, 2012 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
  6. JJDLS

    I just hope I'm dead before 50% of the people in the US are obese there are too many now and its disgusting. I don't think everyone should be super skinny either, I'm not, I could afford to lose 5 pounds. I'm so sick of the excuses they need to just quit eating fattening food and get up off their behinds!

    September 19, 2012 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Beakz

    How about this...if you're more than 100 pounds overweight, we don't treat your heart attack as a medical emergency, cause you signed up to die by stuffing your face with crap for WAY too long. Why should I be forced to pay for these "emergency" costs, when they really aren't emergencies??? I have no pity for the smoker who has emphysema and can't breathe...why is that an emergency???? you knew what you were doing.....why should medical costs for super fat people be burdened onto those who have self control, and the right mind to work out????

    September 19, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Midwest1234

      What about paying for emergency care for the person who drove too fast and lost control of their vehicle? Or the bicyclist who choose not to wear a helmet and crashed? Do we pay for them? People become fat generally due to poor choices, I agree. But if they decide to begin eating right and exercising, they get ridiculed when the show up at the gym or go for a walk around the block. Why not try some giving some encouragement instead of disdain?

      September 19, 2012 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • AW

      A lot of the people on here ranting their hate of the obese person should take a minute to stop and think. You're not in that person's shoes. You don't know what is going on in their lives. Some people don't eat just because they are lazy and don't care how they look. As a matter of fact I've seen some overweight people who take more interest in their own appearance than some people who are at their ideal weight range. You shouldn't rush to judgement based on what you see on the outside. You may be surprised how unhealthy a lot of thinner people are. I can tell you that according to my doctor, other than that I should loose a little weight, I am very healthy. My blood pressure, blood sugar, thyroid levels, and cholesterol levels are all within the normal range. I am healthier than a number of my relatives who are all in their ideal weight ranges. Keep that in mind when you think that people should be charged for insurance or pay taxes according to how healthy they are. You could end up paying more than the fat person standing next to you in that fast food line because while they may not look like the are a picture of health, their test results could come back more favorable than your own. Some people just have crappy genes. Plus, any of you who are making negative comments that haven't hit 30 or 40 yet, just wait. While you may be able to hold onto your figures while you're young, your body changes,and as you age, keeping that shape gets a lot harder. And let's get something else straight...all the skinny people in this country do NOT pay for all of the overweight people's medical expenses. I happen to be overweight and I can tell you right now that you don't pay squat for me. I get up and go to work everyday to pay for my own insurance. I take care of myself. For the record, I go to the doctor maybe twice a year. Once for my yearly physical exams and MAYBE once for a sinus infection. While I would love to be a size 6, I don't have enough free time in my days to work out 2 hours a day, everyday of the week. I barely have enough time to work out 30 minutes a day. Let me tell you that 30 minutes a day doesn't do much. It might help a little but it doesn't melt away the fat so understand it's not that easy. For those of you who do think it's that easy, I challenge you to go put on a body weight suit that adds 40 to 50 lbs and wear it all day. At the end of that day, come back on here and tell us just how easy it was for you to work out. While you think that if people would just loose the weight they would be better off, it's getting the weight off that's the hard part.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:07 | Report abuse |
  8. Coop

    Bruce Force responded that weight loss alone won’t solve the problem:

    I agree that we are responsible for our own health but I think this obsession with losing weight is the wrong way to go about it. When we talk about fitness, we never talk about skills and that's unfortunate because that what being fit is about: developing skills in order to survive.

    Huh ?
    Developing skills ?
    This is the kind of unfocused, convoluted thinking that keeps people from doing nothing !

    Lose the weight, then go for skills.

    Lose the weight. It's disgusting and you know it.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jkINC

      Frankly someone who is obese should be obsessed with losing weight, it's for their own benefit and if not obsessed it probably won't happen. I've finally reached the age that being overweight was hurting my health insofar as pre-diabetes, cholesterol, high BP as well as skeletal and muscular pain. I've been obsessed with getting to a healthy weight for 9 months and have dropped 50 lbs, feel wonderful and getting healthier by the numbers. Losing weight is easy, eat a lot less food. Most would be surprised how little food it takes to run the body on an average day, even less as you age. Most overweight/obese people are that way due to habits and are not victims of a disease. Taking control of your life is both physically and mentally satisfying and healthy.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
    • Napoleon

      It's pretty obvious what he means by skills. You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
  9. Susan

    So much blame, blame, blame. I didn't get fat until I stopped being an avid cyclist, and the weight has been impossible to get off. No, literally. It's been a battle for 10 long years. I ate nothing but natural sources of protein, organic vegetables, and no starches for three months and lost a total of 3 pounds. I cut out sugar, carbs, anything processed and lost 2 pounds after 1 month. I got support from WW, and was almost desperate enough to go to Jenny Craig or one of those prepackaged dealios, but decided that my health was more important than my weight (that prepackaged crap is just that...crap). It's sloooooooowly coming off, but that's not good enough when you're making a massive lifestyle change, not to mention how others judge you for "not being able to control your food." I tried increasing calories, decreasing calories, getting 9 hours of sleep, nutritionists and trainers (at my own cost, thank you very much, health insurance Nazis on this board), exercising every day and weight lifting, then I tried interval training with yoga for the yin and yang, then tried drinking more water, then less water, then I tried eating nothing from rice cakes which destroyed my energy and left me cranky. I'm NOT fat because I sit here and eat McDonald's. I don't. I don't drink any kind of soda or anything other than water really. I cheat rarely. I visit the gym regularly. So do me a favor and get the heck off my back unless you've going to pass along some valid information that will actually help me achieve a stable weight because the eat less and more more mantra isn't as straightforward as you all make it sound.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beakz

      Run. 30 minutes a day. Your goal is 45 min. a day. Too winded??? run 1 block, walk 1 block. run 2 blocks walk 1 block...etc... just run and stop eating crap all day.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • PBZ

      Try fitbit. Its actually very easy. Burn more than you take in and your body simply cannot produce fat. Simple 1st grade math. I gained weight because of personal issues but after almost a year of being down I started eating right and working out and lost 85 pounds and I am my ideal weight and height.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Beakz: Would that be on top of the 45 mins I already run each day? And by crap, do you mean the expensive organic produce and free range chicken or beef I eat? No seriously. That's my diet and exercise program. I'm on veggie serving number 9 today so far, and it's only 3:00.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • dragonwife

      I agree 100% – see my own post above. You're not alone by any means.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      I am not an expert, but it seems to me heavy people try to loose weight too fast, and when they don't accomplish that, they give up and balloon up. Continue to do all the things right and you will loose it most likely as fast as you put it on. If you lost it all at once you would die from toxic overload! All of us have the same organs, skin, brain.....people are not born to be fat....its learned. And by the way, I don't see many skinny people drinking diet pop....more chemicals for your body to fight. Eat right.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
    • The Scrutinizer

      I a life-health coach (and drill-sargent like), I would love to watch you go about your routine for a few days to see how you are going about your business. Then I'll tell you everything that you are doing incorrectly.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • TBC

      I'm going to throw this out there, but how much "overweight" are you? If it's something like 5 lbs, you might not be overweight. But if it is 20+ maybe it's a medical condition you might need to look into.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
    • EB

      Have your thyroid checked too. I have always been very thin, but a couple years ago suddenly started gaining weight even though my habits hadn't changed. I couldn't get the extra weight off no matter what I did. My doctor checked my thyroid and found that it was under active. I have been on thyroid supplements for two years and have been able to maintain my normal weight again. Not saying that this is everyone's problem, but sometimes there is a VALID MEDICAL reason for weight gain and not being able to lose it...

      September 19, 2012 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • tcc

      You're either one in a million, or you're leaving out some part of the story.

      And you're not one in a million. I'm sorry, there's no such thing as an obese person who drinks nothing but water, eats nothing but reasonable portions of lean protein and vegetables, and exercises. There just isn't. Stop the gimmicks, WW, Jenny Craig, rice cakes, blah, blah. I bet if you got your stomach stapled, the weight would fall off. You know what stapling does? Cuts calories. That's it. Cut calories, make sure the calories you do eat are robust, nutritious calories, and go sweat your ass off for an hour a day, at least. When you try that for six months, and it still doesn't work, go donate your body to science.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
    • georgieboy

      I say bologna! If you really did all of these things, then you would be an average weight.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • daninmass

      Susan – If you truly do what you say you're doing, you should be losing weight. The biggest thing about weight loss is that it's more diet than exercise. (about 60/40 from what I've read). I suggest really cutting down on proportion size and using a dietary supplement such as green tea fat burners etc. There are many out there. Also try to up your protein intake after exercising by using protein shake either directly after exercising or right before bed. Don't give up! You'll get there.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • Nebur55

      Susan,
      I know that it may sound boring but calories consumed vs calories used is the equation that dictates weight gain and loss.
      I used to run (a lot I admit) and my weight was 155lbs, I had to stop because of knee injuries and 3 surgeries and my weight moved up to 200 lbs over a 10 year period. I was kidding myself over the reasons but I stopped respecting the consumed vs used ratio. I had a TIA, I decided that enough is enough started to exercise seriously again (but not run) and eating much less and my weight is back down to 165. I am older so it will probably never go back down to 155 but still I go out have the odd glass of wine, enjoy life but also work out 7-8 hours a week.
      But remember to respect the equation of consumption ve usage! No secrets formulas I am afraid.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
  10. FFighter2

    1. If healty food was FREE most obese people would still eat fast food because they like the taste better.

    2. I used to be pushing 300 pounds (275). I didn't like that and knew what the health risks were. So after 5 years of hard work I changed my eating habits (haven't eaten fast food in 5 years). I eat better food. Cook more. order out less. I go to the gym and now I run 5K's 10K's and half marathons.

    Now I weight around 180 lbs and went from a size 42 waist to a 30 or a 32 depending on the brand.

    3. It's funny how we make it easy to be fat in this country. Like how you can get a handycap plate so you only need to walk 20 feet to the electric self powered shopping cart.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Coop

      Love it. Thanks

      September 19, 2012 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Fast food is only a problem if you eat it constantly. I love my fast food and I’m 185lbs, 32 waist, 6'1 height. Good job on your weight loss thought and if abstaining completely if what you need to do I support you.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
  11. MJ

    How about blaming the person that keeps stuffing food down their throat...It is called personal responsibility...every obese person does not have a medical condition..some are just gluttons...

    September 19, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • R Burns

      And yet, some DO have medical problems that cause their obesity! We can't just impose a blanket penalty on everyone.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
    • FFighter2

      Yes and there is medication that for the most part can get that under control. However, obesity for the vast majority of americans is self inflicted.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • PBZ

      R Burns we do have a universal penalty on those of us who stay fit. It is called universal healthcare that everyone has to pay for.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ R Burns
      Genuine medical conditions like you describe are extremely rare. People just like to blame their obesity on anything and everything but themselves. Look it up.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:54 | Report abuse |
  12. Darwin

    Let's take the heartless approach to show a legitimate reason why. We have set up our society to no longer rely on the doctrine of "survival of the fittest". Whether for better or worse, our society has decided to protect and maintain those individuals who may not be able to take care of or control themselves or their urges. Because of this they remain in the gene pool rather than being weeded out as nature intends and that can cause the overall physical fabric of society to weaken.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Baby Huey

      Agreed!

      September 19, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It’s not heartless to want the best possible gene pool for your species. It’s heartless to take no responsibility and expect everyone else to take care of you.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
    • mike b

      will power. look into it.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
    • mike b

      whoops wrong post!!

      September 19, 2012 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
  13. Amerifats

    It's your fault, you fat Americans. Just like many other problems in the US and the rest of the world. You are the source, whether you want to realize it or not.
    It's as simple as this; Don't eat more calories than you burn a day. You don't even have to go to the gym, you lazy fu#ks.
    Stop trying to blame everything on other people, because when other people try and limit your caloric intake, you moan about your freedoms being taken away. You are pathetic.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. R Burns

    Obesity isn't just about body weight numbers and healthy vs unhealthy choices! There are so many factors that we don't take into account, including diseases that cause obesity and environmental toxins that we are exposed to and cannot avoid. Some genetic and acquired disorders directly cause overweight, as do pesticides and chemicals given to animals we eat. You can't assume because someone is "overweight" that they have misbehaved!

    September 19, 2012 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Baby Huey

      Gee...thanks for defending maybe 3% of obese people that have a "glandular problem" The VAST majority eat more calories than they burn and are not physically active. PERIOD. That's it!

      September 19, 2012 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
  15. Coop

    "Delishus Cake represented the point of view that the high cost of healthy foods compared to fattening foods is part of the problem:

    If fresh fruit was affordable year round and a salad didn't cost the same as 4 double cheeseburgers people might not be so fat. Low income people typically choose whichever option looks to be the most bang for your buck. If you've got $4 and you want to eat are you going to buy a salad or 2 double cheeseburgers, a large coke, and a fry?"

    Are you kidding me ?!

    Get OUT of the fast food restaurant now.

    You should sue McDonalds 'cause they messed you up (Will Smith-iRobots) lol...

    September 19, 2012 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. POD

    The fault of the people that eat too much of the wrong thing and don't get enough exercise. The unindicted co-conspirators are the companies that produce empty calorie, high fat junk food and the advertising agencies that help them sell it to the uninformed segment of the public

    September 19, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sivick

    we prefer to be called jolly americans.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. T. T.

    I agree with the comment that insurance premiums be dependent on health, although BMI, as stated, isn't a good measuring stick. If someone has high muscle content with low fat, your BMI will still be high. I would say that using percent body fat (different for male vs female) should be used. I understand that obese people have the right to live their own lives as they see fit, but also must understand the consequences of being the way they are. If you are so large you need to buy 2 plane tickets when tou fly, then that's the price you pay for the choices you make.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. upside down

    With no doubt, it's 100% Bush's fault.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. MJ

    staying healthy is a conscious decision and it is hard work...there is no magic pill or program...and no I am not skinny but I am working on getting healthier and feeling better everyday...and as for fast foods...there are plenty of fast food restaurants that provide healthier options but like a previous poster stated many obese people wouldn't eat healthy if it was free...the fattening foods just taste better to them.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. kgt

    It's actually Bush's fault.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. ilvpitz

    Losing weight is really hard because what you really have to do to be successful is beat yourself. Physical and mental hunger are hard to overcome. Mind over matter is not an easy feet. It's not impossible, but it's not easy. To lose weight and keep it off really comes down to conquering yourself and realizing you have to become a different person in order to succeed. When it comes to meal times, I know what I should be eating, but it's not usually what I end up choosing. Sometimes it's depressing to eat what you should eat vs. what you really do eat. To change oneself is very hard. I wish it were easier to make life changes that led to eating better, but it's like losing something very dear in your life. I know some people will think that weird, but I'm sure a lot will understand as well. For those judgmental people, try to think if there are some things in your life that you needed a little extra help on? Maybe some sort of bad habit that you couldn't shake. Everyone is human and we all need help sometimes to overcome things. Try being compassionate to those whose problem is food. We need help overcoming it.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • katsrulz

      Thank you.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      Your first mistake is calling the processed stuff you put in your body food. The reason you are so in love with these bad choices of "food" is because of the addictive stuff they have in them. They leave you wanting more, your a actually malnourished and starving. It could potentially take you years to get back to your healthy weight, start small, cut out a few things from your diet you know are not good for you. Add something new to that list every month, that would be progress.
      I find that even when you suggest these things to people like you who are actually wanting help, very few make the changes. If you drink diet soda, drop that one first! Drink water and start flushing that crap out of your body, before your bones begin to rot.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:28 | Report abuse |
    • Lola

      ilvpitz, Thank you for expressing what I feel is at the heart of many weight problems. I struggled with eating issues, including anorexia, in my younger years, along with yo yo dieting once I eventually gained the weight back. At my heaviest, I weighed 60 pounds more than I weigh now. It was then that a switch flipped-I can do something about this. I can lose the weight, keep it off, but I have to be patient and forgiving with myself. So, I started small. I started walking my dog. Then riding the exercise bike. Then reducing (not eliminating) my fried food consumption. You start small. You avoid not doing things that will discourage you. I never stepped on a scale, but merely gauged my weight by the way my pants fit. I visualized who I wanted to be-not just fit and toned, but alive, energetic, and joyful. It was a struggle to feel that way when I was so self conscious. I began to ramp up the exercises to running. My first one I barely lasted a quarter mile. 5 years later, I was running (and finishing!) an ultramarathon. I’ve become vegetarian, a regular runner, but still manage to find ways to “fill that void” that you are referring to. How? Well, it all depends on the individual. Things that make me feel full are drawing, painting, hiking, playing with my dog, writing funny pieces for my boyfriend and his sons. Oh, and dancing. When I first gave up all of those foods that I used to subsist on, I felt a sense of fear. Yes, it is sort of strange to admit that, but that’s how it feels. You miss it, and the comfort that it used to give you. What I want to convey to you is that you can find that comfort within yourself. If you believe in yourself enough. And just reading your words, I can tell you want to change. You will learn to rely on yourself instead of that external reward. And let me tell you, it is a far better feeling than those donuts (my former weakness) ever used to be. I’ve been on this path for almost 10 years and have never looked back. Yes, it took so much struggle, and sometimes seemed insurmountable and exhausting, but you deserve it. I wish you the best of luck on your journey.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
  23. Kreepy

    If the place you need to do is 2 blocks away, learn to walk and stop driving everywhere. Whose fault is it you are fat?? it's your fault. If your kids are fat it's your fault cause you arent helping the cause. Stop blaming everyone else for your problems. Get up, go for a walk, go for a job and do something. Its not that hard. I eat so much but i walk so many places if it's not worth driving too. Staying healthy isn't hard.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Larry

    We have a society build around cars. Bike paths and even side walks are rare. Compare a San Francisco resident who doesn't make any effort to exercise to a suburban resident who has to drive to even exercise. The San Francisco resident will walk a few miles just doing daily errands. Won't even think of it as exercise.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. MJ

    RBURNS – I am not advocating a blanket penalty...I am advocating personal responsibility...don't blame someone else for your condition ...do something, anything, to improve it. and put down the television remote or the video controller

    September 19, 2012 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. JLD

    As an obese woman who is anything but lazy, here's what I blame:
    1) Time, my employer, and the government- because I am -not- lazy, I work a full-time and 2 part-time jobs. This is becoming our norm. I don't have -time- to prepare delicious, healthy food most of the time–even if I want to. Work schedule, I believe, is the biggest factor. The working day is too long in the U.S., breaks are too short, and vacations are dwindling. I work at a top 10 university and I get 15 days off per year. 15, are you kidding me? Tired, overworked people gain weight, too–not just lazy ones. How will this system change? Unfortunately, because we (employees and employers) are all desperate for money, government intervention or coaxing may be our only way. Require jobs to give employees a minimum number of days off each year. 15 isn’t enough. We’re among the only developed country without laws about this stuff. Take a look: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/07/the-only-advanced-country-without-a-national-vacation-policy-its-the-us/259317/ We not only have less vacation time, but we also have a longer working day than many of our peers—which ironically, decreases our overall productivity.
    2) The FDA – How many foods have BPAs–which were recently linked to obesity. How many foods have transfats that "need" them? How many foods use processed grains instead of whole grains? How many restaurant menus have ingredient lists and complete nutrition information? I could go on forever. The FDA needs to seriously step up their game and force companies to better inform and protect Americans. Link product packaging to the food pyramid, set national requirements for school lunches, require warning labels for transfats and BPA (or outlaw them in situations where these ingredients can be avoided), tax food companies that make poor ingredient decisions that could be otherwise healthier (without a change in cost to the company)... I could go on forever. Healthy food is also more expensive. Seriously, why is this? give a tax break to companies that produce healthy foods. Be innovative. Give special grants to healthy food businesses, subsidies to organic farmers.... The "rich" government-supported food companies like Monsanto need to be a little less rich. Create a government agency with no other task than bettering public health.
    3) Our individualism – We have little to no family unit left in the U.S. Many of us are single, living alone, living away from large (or any) family structure, or immigrants who have little or no family in our country. Cooking, I believe, is something that has to be shared within a group to be realistic in our society structure.
    4) Our lifestyle. I work a desk job—like many Americans. A few things I would like: 1) options to have desks that are elevated so we can choose to sit or stand. Research has recently shown that sitting more than 6 hours per day is more deadly than smoking! Options for special balancing chairs (that my job promotes and pays for—so they become the norm, showers and lockers at work for employees (so we can work out before, after, or during work, an employee lunch program (so I can rely on healthy food coming to me, better wellness support from our health insurance, again, I could go on forever.
    I could keep rambling, but these are the top 4.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Baby Huey

      These are all choices we make. I bet there are many people who have the exact same situation that you do, who find time to work out. I work ten to twelve hour days. I work out every morning...either jogging or swimming. YOu have to want to do it. No one but YOU can make it happen. Not your company, not the government: YOU! I see too many excuses here.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I can agree with this. The government shouldn't be mandating good eating habits through taxation, they should be using their control over the healthy work environment (through OSHA) to change the standards. OSHA should change the standard to allow for 45 minutes of supervised, group exercise three days per week for employees who work more than four hours per day. We did that in the Air Force (though we voluntarily made it an hour and a half, 45 minutes of which was during "normal work hours", 5 days per week), and I was by far the fittest I've ever been. Not only did our job not suffer from less time on the job, but we were more alert and able to get more done in the compressed work day.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
    • JLD

      You are over-generalizing. "We" are likely not the same.
      1) Having a job is a choice? I am an educator, we have to sit a lot, especially because we have to grade a lot. You're right; I could quit being an educator. Give me a break.
      2) Individualism is a choice? My mother is dead. 2 of my siblings are dead. I have little family left. And in order to "make something of myself" I had to move away from the rural area that I grew up in. This is a necessity; not a choice.
      3) Expecting more from my government is a choice? No, it's something I demand! I cannot demand my employer give me more time off no more than I can demand the FDA to require better food labeling.

      YOU are the one making poor choices. Blaming me and saying it is only -my choice- will not help our national obesity epidemic–mark my words.

      You and I are not wired the same way. Research also shows that people who are obese can even be addicted to food with similar brain activity showing up in brain scans as it would for a crack junkie. Is that my choice, too?

      September 19, 2012 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
    • LC

      two words: frozen vegetables. cheap to buy, quick to pack, practically no preparation needed, easy to microwave at work, don't have to worry about eating them before they go bad, practically no calories. often better for you than the pesticidey fresh produce. the only reason people don't take advantage of this is because they "don't like the taste." too bad, no excuses.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Wow, you sure have a lot of people to blame for your being fat. I'm surprised that you didn't demand that the government pay for someone to be by your side 24/7 to stop you from shoving too much food down your gullet. Instead of all those excuses, how about you use your thinking skills to find ways to take care of yourself within the context of how you live your life. I get up at 5am to make sure that I exercise before I go to work and I make my own lunch so that I can make sure that it's healthy. Further, if you think that you don't get enough vacations days, why don't you find a new job with better benefits instead of demanding that the government mandate a required number of vacation days? Everyone can dream up excuses for why they're fat, the people who are in shape are the ones who stop making excuses and take responsibility for themselves. As long as you blame others, you'll always be fat, no matter what the government or your employer provides you.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • Ralph

      Excuses are like a–holes, everybody has got one...and you seem to have more than that. STFU and get off your can and start working out. As for Mike, are you nuts man. What do you think this is, Red China? There's no way that I want my employer or the government to tell me when to exercise.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
    • JLD

      When your husband/wife, child, parent, or friend becomes obese–I hope you say the same things to them. We are among the fatest societies in the world–and there must be some reason for it. Do we have less will-power than all of these other countries–I don't think so, but I guess you do. We need fundamental changes so that the struggle of obesity exists on a much smaller scale. I blame myself, too, for my obesity, but I also don't deny logic where logic exists. I want myself and our country to be better, whereas many of you seem to just want to attack me and call me lazy. I feed bad for you and for the future people like you will create. Kharma will also likely make you fat one day, so that makes me feel better.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
    • Ralph

      JLD: is someone in my family gains weight, I hope he or she is not a pathetic sad sack like you. I'd hope they'd stop blaming others and/or looking for others to hand them a solution and get off their but-s and do something about it. As for wanting our society to be better, I hope you don't think more government in our lives is the answer. Having the government micromanage people's lives to create some sort of utopia has never worked, from Nazi Germany to North Korea. Ultimately, we are responsible for ourselves. The people who figure that out are the ones who get things done. The people who wait for others to help them are, ultimately life's losers. I do have compassion for other people, particularly your students. What a sad state of affairs to have people as helpless as you serving as examples for young people. I'm sorry if that hurts your feelings, but sometimes the truth hurts.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:54 | Report abuse |
  27. Vetern

    I'm an Army Vet. When I was active duty I was a beast! I scored above a perfect score on my Physical Training Test and was 6 Ft. Tall @ 175-200 LBS with a BMI around 7-8%. Fat is bigger than mussel. Meaning 5 LBS of fat is much larger. After I got out, I stopped working out due to injuries from Active Duty and now weigh in at 300 LBS. I have good blood work, no suger issues, or any other FAT related issues. I don't look like I weigh 300 LBS, don't feel like I do, & don't have bad health issues related to weight. But trying to TAX someone because of their weight and saying large people should pay more or obama care is because of FAT people is not only discrimatory and not 100% accurate its downright mean. I consider myself FAT, others don't, maybe i'm too self-consice. So, in my opnion, this conversation is stupid.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • katsrulz

      Thank you for your sevice. <3

      September 19, 2012 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
  28. Van

    Health insurance rates should be priced using the BMI index. For example, at BMI of 25, people pay the average rate. At lower BMI (low risk), people pay a lower rate. At higher BMI (high risk), people pay a higher rate. The risk-based pricing has been used for auto insurance and life insurance, and why not for health insurance. People with high BMI measures consume more medical resources and should pay higher health insurance rates. It is simple.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JLD

      that's fine– if you also do it with:
      smokers - because smoking kills and it's our "choice" to smoke.
      people who are at risk of heart disease - so you could be pencil thin but if your genetics say you're at risk, well then pay up.
      poor people - because not being able to afford nutritious food also makes you fat.
      people who are at risk of certain cancers - because some cancers are genetic and yet still avoidable. Let's tax the ones who don't know about their genetics and the preventative things they could do to avoid getting it.
      people who work in unhealthy work environments - such as oil refinery workers, coal miners, and so on. They cost us more–and it's their "choice" to work there.
      People with desk jobs - if you sit more than 6 hours a day, that's worse for your health than smoking.
      Idiots like you - because your ignorance about obesity makes me flustered, which makes me eat more, which makes me a bigger health risk, but it was all your fault.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:25 | Report abuse |
  29. JLD

    1) Time, my employer, and the government- because I am -not- lazy, I work a full-time and 2 part-time jobs. This is becoming our norm. I don't have -time- to prepare delicious, healthy food most of the time–even if I want to. Work schedule, I believe, is the biggest factor. The working day is too long in the U.S., breaks are too short, and vacations are dwindling. I work at a top 10 university and I get 15 days off per year. 15, are you kidding me? Tired, overworked people gain weight, too–not just lazy ones. How will this system change? Unfortunately, because we (employees and employers) are all desperate for money, government intervention or coaxing may be our only way. Require jobs to give employees a minimum number of days off each year. 15 isn’t enough. We’re among the only developed country without laws about this stuff. Take a look: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/07/the-only-advanced-country-without-a-national-vacation-policy-its-the-us/259317/ We not only have less vacation time, but we also have a longer working day than many of our peers—which ironically, decreases our overall productivity.
    2) The FDA – How many foods have BPAs–which were recently linked to obesity. How many foods have transfats that "need" them? How many foods use processed grains instead of whole grains? How many restaurant menus have ingredient lists and complete nutrition information? I could go on forever. The FDA needs to seriously step up their game and force companies to better inform and protect Americans. Link product packaging to the food pyramid, set national requirements for school lunches, require warning labels for transfats and BPA (or outlaw them in situations where these ingredients can be avoided), tax food companies that make poor ingredient decisions that could be otherwise healthier (without a change in cost to the company)... I could go on forever. Healthy food is also more expensive. Seriously, why is this? give a tax break to companies that produce healthy foods. Be innovative. Give special grants to healthy food businesses, subsidies to organic farmers.... The "rich" government-supported food companies like Monsanto need to be a little less rich. Create a government agency with no other task than bettering public health.
    3) Our individualism – We have little to no family unit left in the U.S. Many of us are single, living alone, living away from large (or any) family structure, or immigrants who have little or no family in our country. Cooking, I believe, is something that has to be shared within a group to be realistic in our society structure.
    4) Our lifestyle. I work a desk job—like many Americans. A few things I would like: 1) options to have desks that are elevated so we can choose to sit or stand. Research has recently shown that sitting more than 6 hours per day is more deadly than smoking! Options for special balancing chairs (that my job promotes and pays for—so they become the norm, showers and lockers at work for employees (so we can work out before, after, or during work, an employee lunch program (so I can rely on healthy food coming to me, better wellness support from our health insurance, again, I could go on forever.
    I could keep rambling, but these are the top 4.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Erin

    It's not the politicians fault. How about the fault of the individual, and their parents? My sons doctor as told me over and over that "We, as parents, can not control how much our children eat but WE CAN CONTROL WHAT THEY EAT". We need better health education. Yes, I remember "Health Class" in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, we never once talked about good eating habits, we talked about sex and noting but. A better America starts with better education on all levels.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Ben

    There is no excuse to be a fatso. I used to be 275 2 years ago and finally decided to live a healthy lifestyle. I began exercising and I count calories and eat right. Now I'm 200 and working on losing another 20 so that I'll truly be in shape. Anyone who complains that its impossible for them to lose weight is only lying to themselves. I don't care what medication you are on. If you burn more calories than you consume you will lose weight. It's simple science. I'm sorry but you dont defy the laws of phgsycis, as much as you may believe that you do. Or maybe you are truly somehow immune to weight loss? We should extract your DNA and study it, because you hold the secret to preventing death by starvation.

    I wonder what the statisitcs are of obesity by generation? I feel like the younger generation is more "into" being healthy, walking, not driving everywhere, etc.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. allenwoll

    I would think that the desire NOT to be an ugly fat slob would be quite enough to keep people slim ! ! !

    Apparently not !

    So, it comes down to a profound lack of self-respect and pride in one's self ! ! !

    September 19, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • katsrulz

      So I won't offend some jerk like yourself?

      September 19, 2012 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
  33. katsrulz

    I will be honest. I see stuff like this and I want to gorge myself. None of the haters actually cares about people, you say stuff like we are lazy and don't care....but don't care about what? Don't care that we are driving up some jerks healthcare costs that are making hateful comments about us behind our backs? Actually I do care or this article wouldn't upset me as much as it does. I feel hated because I'm not a size two. I always have an I always will and it's because of comments and articles like this. Thanks for making me feel worthless.....which then leads to more comfort eating. I went to the doctor and I got put on an anti-depressent which makes me hungry all the time.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Boo Hoo

      Sounds like your blaming everyone else for your own issues. That in itself is a horrible life plan.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • katsrulz

      At least I know the difference between your and you're.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • georgieboy

      You see, the thing is, I was fat. But I decided I would change my life. I started to exercise and I began to eat right (very rarely eat fast food and rarely eat meat). Did the change happen overnight? No. Do I ever eat the things I shouldn't? Sometimes, but I go right back to what I know is best for me the next day. No one can tell you you need to lose weight. You have to be ready to lose weight. It's a choice.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:23 | Report abuse |
  34. Skip

    The problem isn't as much laziness as it is the availability of cheap wheat based processed foods. Go to the supermarket and look at all the food. There are very few foods (meats, cheeses, nuts and produce) that you actually should be eating.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. What They Don't Tell You

    I have struggled with weight my whole life – bordering obesity but never getting far enough away from it to make me happy... They don't don't mention that part very often... about how much fat people dislike being fat. They also don't tell you about our sedentary life being driven by an economy primarily supporting sitdown jobs 8 or 10 or 14 hours a day (i'm personally on the high end of that work day statistic). But the biggest sin of all (IMO) is what they don't tell you about in the medical governmental regulations realm and how that affects our obesity rates. They don't tell you about how they outlawed Phen-fen, or ephedra, or even anabolic Steroids and Human Growth Hormone – all of which, under a doctor's supervision, could turn the tide of our Nationwide Epidemic. What they do tell you is how shameful you are for being fat, and how you oughta get more active, and eat healthier, and be a better citizen. Only, it doesn't seem to be working and no one is really talking about how bad that approach is either.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Baby Huey

      Who is this "they" you are referring to? Another person blaming someone else. GET OFF YOUR ASS!

      September 19, 2012 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • tcc

      "Only, it doesn't seem to be working..."

      WHAT doesn't seem to be working? The "getting out, eating right" isn't working, or that the attempt to GET overweight people to do so isn't working? Exercise and eating right ALWAYS WORKS. It's just that – *ALERT* – sometimes, when you're VERY overweight, you have to work REALLY HARD at it, and for longer than a week, or a month, or even six months. When your previous choices put you (far) behind the eight ball, you may have a long way to go to get yourself out of the hole.

      The obesity epidemic intertwines with another epidemic in the US, which is, we want everything to be easy. We forget what true "hard work" was a long time ago. When you have 100 pounds to lose, or more, it's going to take a lot of time, sweat and pain. There's no way around that. How about you use that fact as your badge of honor, that you worked through it, and not fly it as your flag of despair and hopelessness?

      September 19, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • What They Don't Tell You

      Funny how everyone is jumping on the band wagon of "hard work will get you there" here on CNN... Even funnier how I don't see those same people espousing the same values over on the Political pages where it's perfectly okay to wait for the government to solve our problems...
      Hypocrites.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:02 | Report abuse |
  36. Dave0

    Has anyone else observed that every one of those obese people were required to attend "Physical Education" classes in school? I did, but I do not recall a single mention in P.E regarding healthy exercise and eating habits or the results of unhealthy eating and exercise habits.

    It seems to me the proper place to look for guidance in this area is the Physical Education class. Perhaps instructors should focus on education.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The Principal

      Think back and try to remember how many of your PE teachers were in good shape. None of mine were. One could do well in the weight room but his back was so messed up he could do nothing but walk around and show us movies on the technique of shooting a basketball, throwing a football, etc.

      Crap, my son's PE teacher is a wrinkly old bag that could have retired long ago. It's a good thing I play around with him because he's going to learn nothing but conflict avoidance at his school.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:28 | Report abuse |
    • georgieboy

      Dear Dave, I am a teacher (retired early). You can't lead a horse to water is an old expression that fits here. Of all the children I taught over 15 years, the 10 year olds who weighed twice what they should have broke my heart the most. And always, always, they were obese from what the were getting at home. They were the ones who would refuse the school lunches, yet they were always bringing a huge bag of chips in their backpacks and sneaking them in class. They were the kids who I could not get to do anything physical no matter how fun or exciting I tried to make the activity. I knew they had learned this behavior from someone who had a greater influence on them than I did. They learned this at home.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:42 | Report abuse |
  37. citizenUSA

    Ultimately it's our own faults but food manufactuers and nutritionists don't make it easy for us. One day is cutting calories, then carbs, fat, portion size, anything white. There's good and bad carbs, High Fructose Corn Syrup and all kinds of roadblocks. How do we keep it all straight? Every month there's a new way to eat or a dietary food pyramid. I think we all know the right way to eat but we want better and jump on the latest craze usually enginereed by the food makers which is usually for their own benefit but then again, they're not shoving Oreos down my throat. Mmmmmm... Oreos...

    September 19, 2012 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Use Your Brain

      If everything was easy for us, we'd all have beachfront property, drive luxury cars and have millions in the bank.

      The fact is, there's not much that is easy. Do some homework, figure out what is good for you and your family, plan a budget (if necessary) and execute it. You'd be surprised how easy that actually is.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
  38. guest

    What about all the weight-loss industries that would be out of business if everyone was perfect. That's a lot of tax revenue that would be lost. I don't see mention of sports related injuries which are many and also effect insurance to a great extent.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr. Steve

      Ok, the amount of money spent on covering health care costs for sports-related injuries is almost infintesimal compared to the amount of money spent on health care costs for the obese.

      I know this because I'm in the middle of it. It mostly affects low-income family children who I truly wish could see some of that money than the large percentage of irresponsible people who do.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
  39. woodie

    I find it ironic that the fattest people in our society are also the poorest. I think we forget the psychological aspect of overeating. Unhappy people will not take care of themselves. We don't have a solution for the root problem.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • katsrulz

      No one forgets, they just don't care. As someone that is chronically depressed, society doesn't understand depression. If I say that I'm depressed, the usual response is, "About what?". Depression doesn't need a purpose or a reason however I have noticed that the poor are much more likely to live life with untreated depression. Or in cases like myself, we get treated but most meds cause this gut wrenching hunger that's almost impossible to control. So it's loose/loose and I'm still judged and pressed even further into depression.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
    • katsrulz

      lose/lose even :P

      September 19, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
  40. sallen4507

    I blame the Dinosaurs

    September 19, 2012 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tyrannosaurus

      Roar!!! I resent that!

      September 19, 2012 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
  41. spcjrc

    Apart from our own choices obesity is in great part due to the disgusting ingredient called: high fructose corn syrup.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. SL

    How about forcing the obese to get a thorough checkup, and those people who are obese due to a valid medical condition be easy of them. The ones who are not found to have a medical condition that causes it and is found to be self induced obesity, blast them with the health care costs.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • New Network Programming

      Coming to NBC this fall: The Biggest Loser – 90 million contestants compete for $1 million in prize money over the course of 5 years.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
  43. Smith39

    why cant we just have yearly health screenings and your premium is adjusted accordingly. Not a per pound scale because thats foolish weight does not equal health. But if you are obese for a given period of time without observed improvement or if you smoke or drink then your premium will go up. However if you get a gym membership and can show that you have been going regularly then you can receive a reduction in you premium. This provides incentive to do better and the reduction in cost will help make a gym membership more affordable for people.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Ridgerunner

    The jury is still out on the role of FDA approved food additives and artificial sweeteners plays in the obesity epedemic. Sure it's less painful to be labled as a victim of some previously unforseen metabolic consequence to the ingestion of these "goodies," but you hardliners are still young and have not had a lifetime of consuming those products.
    Since I cut out diet soda, for instance, my belly fat has reduced dramatically. I switched to green iced tea.
    In my youth and through my 40's, my body was like Mick Jaggar's, My suit size was 40 Long. A bout with septecemia which had a devastating effect on my muscle mass, and a motorcycle accident seemed to be the turning point. I have had no success in loosing weight since then until dropping the diet soda. Works for me. So don't flash your youthful fitness at me. Age has a way of leveling the playing field, and in 10 short years you could be joining the throng of waddlers yourselves. Sometimes you have to be obsessive about your intake and your exercise to keep fit.
    What I REALLY want to know is how medicine (remember Hippocrates?) became a FOR PROFIT enterprise. If you want to bark up the right tree, start there. Watch your doctor- I had a urologist who put a sales pitch for a catheter supply service on me BEFORE he examined me! I no longer use him. Many procedures are over sold too. Be careful! Gone are the days when we can trust our doctors- they now have a serious PROFIT MOTIVE that affects the treatment that they advise for you.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mr. Keynesian

      Hello, Hippocrates? I'm Mr. Keynesian. I've got something to run by you....

      September 19, 2012 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
  45. obesityisnojoke

    One of the main problems surrounding obesity is the lack of education. And what exactly do I mean by lack of education? I am not talking about the school system. I am talking about PARENTS. Nutrition education starts at home. A child who is given a bag a Cheetos and a soft drink for a snack everyday will grow up knowing no other way.

    It might be easy at the end of a long day at work to grab a bag of chips or candy bar for your child but in the long run you are not helping them! Maybe next time try handing your child slices of apple or a handful of carrots?

    A friend of mine children have grown up getting carrots and cauliflower for dessert! You should see these children beg for veggies!

    September 19, 2012 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Rocket

    You know, reading this article and some of the responses, I think I have seen every excuse in the book, some people say, well how do you know they do not have some type of health problem that makes them that way, well, I may not know that, but I can tell you, I have never seen a fat person, who eats healthy all the time and exercises, and if they cannot exercise, I have not seen one that eats healthy. Oh it is just easier to eat McDonald's, because I just do not have time in my day to make something. Whatever.

    Do I exercise, yes I do, I play sports, do I eat pizza and drink beer, yep, but here is the thing, I do not eat and drink like this every day, I do it every once and a while, so when I do have a glass of beer or two, or some pizza on a Friday night, I do not have to feel bad about it.

    That is the difference between fat people and people who are generally fit. I am 40 years old, and I am more physically fit, both looking and internally than the people who are half my age in the office. Why, because I maintain a healthy diet and I keep myself physically active. It is not difficult at all.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bug Selig

      Rocket? Is this Roger Clemens? You sure took a lot of drugs...but you had one heck of a fastball. Where are you working now? BALCO?

      September 19, 2012 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
    • Rocket

      @ Bud, Please, I own BALCO now, how do you think I am still able to make a go at the major's.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:04 | Report abuse |
  47. Don't Be So Mean

    Wow. I didn't realize people would be so hateful on this subject. They're almost as mean to the obese as they are to us smokers. I guess the judgmental folks are perfect – never do anything wrong. Well, I'm sorry but I'm a flawed human being. I'm not overweight, but I'm not going to sit here in judgment of my fellow Americans. Does that really help the situation? Yes, by all means let's take personal responsibility for our own health!! – but where is the compassion? Instead of berating your overweight/obese/fat friends, why not ask them to work out with you? Or show them how you eat healthfully? God, people, stop judging others!!!! You're not perfect either, don't you get that?

    September 19, 2012 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Myxelplix

      Boy, nice comment. Hey, I enjoy shooting cute, furry little animals. I don't know how to stop. Can someone come over and show me how to stop?

      September 19, 2012 at 15:46 | Report abuse |
    • georgieboy

      This is ridiculous. Not understanding what they should be doing? You'd have to be living in a cave to not know the right way to eat and that you need to exercise! It's not that we are as you say, predjudiced, against them. It's that they believe that being obese is normal. It is not normal or 'just the way it is'. But, for some weird reason in this country, we have decided 'oh well, I'm just fat'. You rarely see this in other countries.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
  48. Betsy1010

    It's hard to pin obesity on any one problem as there are many causes. The solution to losing weight is not in any magic pill or diet and has been around for years. Although in today's fast paced immediate gratification world it may be hard to achieve. For starters quit drinking soda, get a decent night's sleep and figure out what a normal portion size is and stick to it!! Years ago a regular meal at McDonald's was a small fry, a regular hamburger or cheeseburger and an 8 oz soda made with real sugar not high fructose corn syrup! Most Americans have no idea how many hidden calories they consume in a day and most of that overeating is self medication.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Grim

    The only person to blame is yourself and possibly your parents. Many parents bring fatty fooods into the house, they are fat so odds are high their children will be. It's not as if a 5 year old is doing the shopping. But when you are an adult the blame switches to you. When a man looks down to pee and can't see his junk, it is time to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I don't want to hear glandular BS. Proper diet and exercise is all anyone needs, not McDonald or KFC. I eat meats, vegetables, fruit and on the weekend splurge with some junk (pizza, etc). I do 50 push-ups, five times a day (not weekends) and that's it. I am 5 feet 10 inches, and weigh 175. It's not hard at all to do. Lazy fat asses wait until they are huge, then it is very hard to eat properly (since they are conditioned) and exercise. No one forced you to buy the fatty food you eat at gun point, it's there to eat in moderation, not to pig out on. It's not rocket science people.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. hogarth

    I believe that anyone who is overweight is overweight because they choose to be. I gained 100 pounds and then lost it – not once, but twice, over a period of 8 years. I know how easy it is to lose weight if one chooses to, and refuse to believe anyone who says they can't do it. They can. While I believe that we all should have as much freedom to live our lives in a way that makes us happy, there is a general notion of fairness that dictates that the limit of my pleasure is where it cause others harm, and the fact of being fat does cause others harm. Not a lot, but some. I believe that insurance rates could be lowered for those who stay slim as an incentive, and that they should be slightly raised for the overweight as well. Insurance exists so that we may all benefit, but it is not fair for one group to benefit at the expense of the rest, simply because they choose to stay fat. If they do so choose, let them pay for it.
    Having said that, there is a good deal of anti-fat prejudice, and the responses on this board tend to prove it in spades. Be fair, but be kind.

    September 19, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Myxelplix

      100 pounds up and down? Twice? Wow, didn't you learn the first time? However, if this was due to a pregnancy, I understand.

      September 19, 2012 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.