July 21st, 2010
09:18 AM ET

Obese patients need larger, more costly supplies

Could the obesity epidemic be leading to a boom in business for U.S. specialty medical suppliers?

A June 2010 survey from the medical supply contractor, Novation, which includes hospitals in the University HealthSystem Consortium and VHA member health care organizations, found that a majority of the facilities had purchased at least one type of bariatric equipment including lifts, beds, stretchers or transfer devices to accommodate the rise in morbidly obese patients, people with a body mass index of 40 or greater. Nearly 80 percent of the hospitals also reported using special wheelchairs, walkers and blood pressure cuffs for larger patients. The supplies, though needed, are also very costly.

"The cost of these supplies is significantly more compared to standard supplies with bariatric beds costing more than $20,000 more, and bariatric wheelchairs costing almost seven times as much," the researchers explain.

Millennium Research Group, a Canada-based medical analysis group, estimates that U.S. hospitals will spend more than $1.2 billion by the end of 2011, purchasing supplies to accommodate the obese patients.

“It’s definitely a growing market," says Tiffanie Demone, a senior analyst with MRG. She says their analysis indicates that a standard hospital table now accommodates patients up to 600-pounds, and runs about $30,000 USD. The price of a bariatric sized table, for patients weighing up to 1,000 pounds, jumps to just under $45,000 USD, she says.

“There’s definitely a necessity based on the rising obesity levels in the U.S. That alone is fairly substantial.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 34 percent of adults age 20 and older are obese, and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery estimates that around 220,000 obese Americans underwent bariatric surgery– a  common type of weight-loss surgery–  in 2009.

In a report on Medical Care for Obese Patients, the NIH encourages hospitals to "create an accessible and comfortable environment" for morbidly obese patients who may often avoid preventive care. This concern remains a priority for public health officials, however, the costs remain equally concerning for many hospitals and insurance companies.

In the Novation survey, for example, 80 percent of the hospitals indicated that purchasing or renting special beds accounted for the greatest spending increase at their facility. A 2009 study by the CDC and the non-profit research group, RTI International, found the direct and indirect costs of obesity could be as high as $147 billion annually. [Read more: Fact Check – The Cost of Obesity]

soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. Leo

    Now, would someone tell me, when I ensure that I put in the effort to eat right and exercise at least five times a week to keep my weight down, WHY should I be partially responsible for paying the extra bill for these people?

    July 21, 2010 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Denise

      For the same reason that I am required to pay extra on my insurance to cover the costs of people who smoke, abuse prescription drugs and drink alcohol to excess, all of which have documented adverse effects on health.

      July 21, 2010 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
    • Ruth

      Obesity should be considered a pre-existing condition

      July 21, 2010 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      Ruth–actually, in many cases it is. My mother was dropped from her insurance because of her weight, and was told that she would not be covered by that company unless she got healthier. I really hope that it was a wake-up call for her to take better care of herself.

      July 21, 2010 at 13:49 | Report abuse |
    • Jaci

      And why should I pay more taxes than parents do when I choose not to spawn? You want kids, YOU pay for 'em!

      Let's face it, we all have to pay for each other's choices, good or bad.

      July 21, 2010 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      for the same reason i'm paying for your childrens' education. it's not all about you and me, it's about the collective good.

      July 21, 2010 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
    • Jaci

      Scott, unless I was comatose for 9 months and had a baby without my consent (which obviously did NOT happen), I DON'T have kids.

      I just resent having to pay more in taxes, just because I chose to be environmentally responsible (fewer people = less demand for natural resources) as well as socially responsible and not reproducing, since my priorities lie elsewhere (my career, volunteering, having more freedom to travel, etc.).

      I figure I paid enough taxes to cover my public education. When do the childfree catch a break instead of being punished for more responsible choices?

      July 21, 2010 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
    • JR

      And for the same reason we pay higher car insurance rates because other a-holes in our area are lousy drivers. It's the American way.

      July 21, 2010 at 23:48 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Sorry dude but that's how it works. It sucks but we all get hammered by welfare milkers, having to pay school taxes when I have no kids. I have to pay more taxes to support those who milk the system, got to pay the government to live in my own paid for home. It just goes on and on how we have to support other peoples bad choices.

      July 22, 2010 at 00:55 | Report abuse |
    • carole

      How many people weigh over 600 lbs to 1000 lbs? Maybe one hospital in each state should have this equipment...not every hospital. I am overweight but not over 200 lbs. Maybe there should be one regional center and all the 600 lb to 1000lb people could go to that one facility. This is excessive for hospitals to spend that kind of money ! Just another gimmick in the health care industry to justify the continuous waste of money!

      July 22, 2010 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
    • Leo

      Please note here, people:

      I DON'T HAVE KIDS. I will not be having any children. So I'm paying for your kids, too. I don't have a problem with that. Educating and raising the next generations benefits everyone, even us non-breeders.

      However, supporting people who have let themselves become unhealthy and obese doesn't benefit anyone. If we're talking about the common good, then the best thing would be to cut the cord for these people and make them realize that our society can't and WON'T continue to support their French fry habit.

      July 22, 2010 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
  2. CutTheCarb

    If you can prevent obesity, all these costs won't be necessary, http://bit.ly/duSiUK

    July 21, 2010 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Kat

    There is no part of this that isn't pathetic. People so fat they have handicap parking spaces and scooters to shop for more Coke and Twinkies. What happened to their pride? Maybe they ate that, too.... And we are supposed to be 'sensitive' when there is an elephant in the room, literally.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ravenous

      @Kat and Guy and all the rest of the jerks posting.

      I am 6'4" tall and topping 500 lbs. I don't have a scooter, nor do I have a handicapped sticker for a parking space. I go to work every day and I stand on my feet for most of it. If you walked a mile in my shoes, as I do every night, you might shut the f@#K up every once in a while and notice that fat people have feelings too, you little miscreant bastards.

      I grew up with people like you, constantly bullying me about my weight, taunting me, excluding me, all the while I was running, weight training, boxing, biking, hiking, and everything else that everyone told me would help me lose weight. It didn't. Sometimes, it won't. I constantly tried to find ways to make it through my young adult life constantly harassed by the likes of you. Small minded twits, who can only enrich themselves by destroying others, you are the bane of my existence.

      I hope that some day, you are afflicted with some plebian disease that confines you to a chair 24 hours a day, where your only outlet is to eat. Even better, mayhaps you develop a thyroid disorder wherein no amount of exercise or starving will help with your weight.

      Yes, I may seem vindictive, and that is because I am. Not that I am not strong enough to rip your arm from your body and beat you with it, no, you little guys always fear me sitting on you the most...

      So shut the hell up, your rhetoric about fat people is nothing less than harassment, and in this day and age of Political Correctness, will soon be a crime.

      Break a leg.


      July 21, 2010 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Ravenous, it is definitely possible to manage a thyroid/metabolic problem and maintain a healthy body weight. I do it every day. Yeah, I have to manage caloric intake and exercise for 45 minutes 6-7 days a week, but it's what I need to do to stay healthy. I've been on prednisone, too, which makes you insanely hungry. I totally understand that sometimes things are somewhat out of your control due to hormones and medications, but it's wrong to take the defeatist attitude that "well, I have problem X, so I guess I don't really have to watch what I eat, because I'm gonna be overweight anyway." We don't always have complete control, but we're still accountable for our choices over the things we can control. If you can't exercise, then eat right, or if you can do both, then do both.

      July 21, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
    • Jaci

      Some folks turn to alcohol and drugs to deal with life's struggles, but I reckon a lot more run to food, and this is the result.

      As a recovering food addict, I can definitely empathize with the obese. However, instead of belittling these folks, especially food addicts, they need our encouragement to get healthier. Since the end of February, I have lost 54 pounds and am now to a BMI of 35 (still obese, but at least I don't qualify for bariatric surgery anymore!). What started the weight loss for me? It was just time to do something about it...and that's what it takes most food addicts to get to the point where they'll do something about their health.

      So before you get all self-righteous, understand that there are a lot of addicts out there, and they need our help, NOT our ridicule.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      I sit around and play video games most of the time at home. I work 8+ hours a day sitting in a chair (accountant). When I do this, I don't eat horrible food. I bring two turkey sandwiches with me rather than go to McDonalds. At my computer, I drink tea to suppress my appetite, or eat an apple with Greek yogurt. It's called eating healthy, you ignorant fool. Just because you can't stand up doesn't mean you're incapable of keeping your fridge supplied with healthy food.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
    • Midori

      @Ravenous: So do you have a thyroid disease or something of the sort? Is that why you haven't been able to lose weight?
      If that's the case then Kat's comment doesn't apply to you. Kat was referring to those who can probably do something about their weight but choose to remain the way they are and making excuses about it, like "needing" a handicap space when they can get off their scooters and lay off the Coke and overeating of food.

      July 21, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • e.l.

      TO ALL HATERS : Remember this. You could easily become Fat/Obese someday. People like Kat need to thank their lucky stars they are normal weight. Yes, I am fat and I have spent years trying every weight loss method there is. There are many reasons people gain weight: Physical or Psycholigical. I am electing for Surgery as a last attempt. I have learned to ignore ignorant angry losers such as all of you. You are pathetic and disgusting. 1/3 of Americans are overweight. It could happen to you."What goes around comes around !"

      July 21, 2010 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      A lot of people have _medical_ reasons for their weight. Hormonal imbalances are a primary cause. Some medications also cause weight gain. Assuming someone is just lazy or eats like a pig is a typical but often wrong, and very hurtful to those who are suffering from these conditions.

      July 21, 2010 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
    • Leah (TXanimal)

      @ e.l. : Kat and the rest of the people you refer to as "haters" are talking about people whose obesity is a result of poor lifestyle choices. So those of us who choose to maintain our healthy habits will NOT become obese as a result of eating clean and exercising. The whole "it can happen to you" bit is a bunch of hogwash when it comes to things within our control. If any of us is struck with some rare condition that causes massive weight gain, that is an entirely separate issue.

      July 21, 2010 at 16:41 | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      Leah, the problem is you cannot know by looking at someone if their weight is caused by a medical condition or by simply overeating/lack of exercise. It's obvious that the people are judging on appearance, and their first judgment is always negative.

      July 21, 2010 at 17:02 | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      People seem to think the conditions that cause weight gain are rare, and that excuses their negative attitude ('hate') towards fat people. Women with PCOS are not uncommon. It's as many as 1-8 women, or as few as 1-10, depending on the study. PCOS causes insulin resistance which means the cells are always asking for food/energy but the insulin which acts as a key to get that food energy towards them is being resisted... the liver then turns just about everything you eat into fat and stores it. This is NOT uncommon, people, and it's only one of Many possible disorders. Learn a little compassion.

      July 21, 2010 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
    • Leah (TXanimal)

      @ Krista:

      I hate to use anecdotal support, but... I have PCOS. I'm also a competitive bodybuilder who steps onstage at about 5% bodyfat.

      About 5% of women of childbearing age have PCOS, and it's estimated that about half of those are overweight or obese. However, in many of those cases, the individual was obese BEFORE the onset of PCOS (though that wasn't true for me)...and the jury is still out on whether obesity causes PCOS or PCOS causes obesity. So while there is a *correlation* between PCOS and obesity, it's not as clear-cut or as common as you might think. In any case, diseases that cause SOME weight gain can be considered "less rare", but diseases that cause MASSIVE weight gain, as to push someone from the "normal" weight category into the "obese" category? Hardly common.

      And PCOS is not a barrier to weight loss, obviously. In fact, once an individual begins to lose bodyfat, the symptoms of PCOS pretty much go away (at least in my case...although with the low BF, my menstrual cycle is still irregular). I know other women with PCOS who sit around and feel sorry for themselves and eat Cheetos. Well guess what, of COURSE they're going to gain weight! It really doesn't matter *what* causes weight gain, it matters what you do about it!

      July 21, 2010 at 17:49 | Report abuse |
    • Ravenous is Hungry Again..

      @ Ravenous:

      I couldnt walk a mile in your shoes but I bet I could swim in them!

      August 2, 2010 at 19:45 | Report abuse |
    • Ravenous is Hungry Again..

      @ Ravenous: You weigh over 500lbs and you run and box? YEA FREAKIN RIGHT! Do you think we are stupid? Give us a break. You are fat because you donuts. Accept it. Krispy Kreme is making a KILLING from you so be thankful you are putting something back into the economy. Thank you Tubbo.

      August 2, 2010 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
  4. DrFood

    In my opinion, many obese people are carrying around alot of mental baggage (low self-esteem, depression, social awkwardness, etc.). I think that an effective intervention must deal with these issues before any real progress can be made.

    I also have a hunch that insurance companies would aggressively pursue preventative care if they were forced to carry the financial burden of the obese themselves rather than transfer the cost to others somehow.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KC

      I was BELOW the bottom weight on the height/weight charts until a doctor gave me a prescription that has weight gain as a side effect. Although the prescription didn't do what it was supposed to, and it was soon stopped, the metabolic changes remain. I am now, technically, obese. No amount of diet and exercise (I used to be a dancer and I walk a lot) has taken the extra weight off. A good friend had the same problem - she was basically down to ice water and a few vegetables because the doctor constantly telling her to eat less was unaware that another doctor had prescribed multiple pills that cause weight gain. I suspect a goodly portion of people who are obese have been on some prescription that changed their metabolism.

      July 21, 2010 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • Csh

      KC – I had that problem with an antidepressant. The effect wore off after about 2 years. I've had to take this stuff about 3 times and I'm getting pretty good at getting the weight off afterwards. Exercise & particularly weight-lifting seems to help get the weight off. But you're right. The effect hangs on years after the drug is stopped.

      July 21, 2010 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
  5. J-ok

    The sad thing is the more and more we go on the more and more that the obesity becomes the norm. Being overweight is one thing but being obese is another story. If you cant work out then you watch what you eat. Dieting will help slim your self if your getting overweight. And DrFood mental problems are no excuse for effectively eating yourself to death. You can motivate someone all you want, but if they cant make up in their mind that they are fat and do something about it not a thing we do will influence them. The old saying "You can lead a horse to water but you cant make them drink" is true for them.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. WinterClover

    I truly believe that obese and overweight people should pay more for average health insurance than normal weight indivduals. Drug treatment is not covered by standard insurance, and neither should fattness. It is no wonder that the weight of Americans is going up as there are no consequences for being obese, instead you get your own TV shows and drive up health costs for everyone else. I seriously can not justify paying over $300 a month for standard health care when I am totally healthy, and yet the 400lb lady in accounting pays the same as me!

    July 21, 2010 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ravenous

      I have an idea to add to yours Winter, how about people who have kids pay taxes on having kids for taking up space and adding to the population, instead of getting breaks for it...

      Yeah, see, I would be on the good side of that, as I made sure I won't be having kids.

      Or to really get everyone riled up, if you are white, you pay more. Right, cause whitey's got the money and power??? and whiteys are fat and lazy??? Flipside, minority, you pay more... All the minorities are fat and lazy, right???

      Yeah, the slippery slope of taxing people's problems only works when it is an external force, such as cigarettes and liquor.

      Leave money out of it, as if we are fat, we are probably already paying more in food costs than you, so more taxes already. Right?

      Whiney skinny people.


      July 21, 2010 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
    • Ravenous

      I have a solution that should make everyone happy. It would be at no extra cost to the taxpayer either.

      How about we tell the medical manufacturers, that we aren't going to buy a bed or any sort for the price of a new car... I mean, come on. That's like the 5000 dollar toilet seats in the Pentagon, from the 80's.


      July 21, 2010 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
    • Maci

      Ravenous – I completely agree!!!!! If we forced these skinny people that have 8 kids and live off my fat paycheck to pay for their own kids medical, food, & living expense we would be better off.. Or how about we charge premiums for single mothers because its not our fault they mated with bad choice fathers and can't pay their bills. But no, instead attack people that are generally obese because of genetic or otherwise uncontrollable health factors.. These people that "hate" fat people.. Do you have a job, because I hate people that don't work. Do you smoke? Because I hate people that smoke.. Are your kids stupid? Because I hate that my intelligent child has to go to school with your stupid cigerette smelling like kids. Do you drive an SUV with only 1 person in it? I hate you too because you can't drive and you can't park and you are wasting our resources. I actually just have to laugh because its funny... If their stupid butt was falling from a cliff they would surely reach for my fat hand to save their skinny stupid rear. And for the military guy, he should be ashamed of himself. At least they want to serve.. I would gladly shake their fat hand for wanted to protect me and my family.. You on the other hand might only want to protect the skinny americans... Thanks for nothing.. Idiot.

      July 21, 2010 at 13:25 | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      Ravenous made sure he wouldn't be having kids because he's so fat, lololololol.

      Also, having a more educated population is better for society, so I don't have a problem with paying taxes for public education (I don't have kids now and won't for several more years). I also support taxing smoking, alcohol (I drink, by the way), soda, and other junk foods, because it's people who abuse these products that cost the health care system so much money.

      Fatties gotta learn to think with their heads and not their bellies. They just sound silly otherwise!

      July 21, 2010 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
    • Nice

      Winter:you pay the same amount of money as obese people because you have no brains.

      July 21, 2010 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
    • Ravenous

      Look, I know I am a fat slob, but that's MY problem. I am making 3 racks of fried ribs as we speak. I cannot wait to dig in ! It's my pre-dinner snack.


      August 2, 2010 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
  7. ms03

    This is absurd. All of this "fat accommodation" is adding to the problem. And damn if I don't have to get on a plane tomorrow. Watch – some lard a89 will try to squeeze his/her 400 lb self in the middle seat and crush me. Put down the fork. Move away from the table. It's not rocket science.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jaci

      It's not always that easy...but then, of course, YOU'VE never had ANY problems in your life, have ya?

      Hope you don't live in a glass house....us fatties (and those that have been there) are piling up the rocks!

      July 21, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      I hope you develop a metabolic disorder.

      July 21, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      .... because maybe then you'll actually develop a hint of compassion.

      July 21, 2010 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
  8. Sonia

    So much judgement about people with obesity. Do you honestly think that extremely obese people WANT and CHOOSE to be obese? No, they do not. Overeating is not like smoking – you can not just quit cold-turkey and you are constantly bombarded with food & food ads in everyday life.

    Most obese people have hormonal issues, thyroid issues, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, PCOS or who knows how many other conditions that contribute to obesity. It also doesn't help that the FDA continues to feed us this lie about how many servings of breads/grains we should have per day. A large segment of the population can not be a healthy weight eating a high-carb diet. And yet they are constantly told to lower their fat intake (which usually ups their carb intake).

    If you want obese people to pay more for insurance fine – but then, so should everyone else that has a higher-costing condition. Are you willing to up the price for cancer and heart disease patients as well? It seems like it would be easier to give discounts for healthy people rather than base it on weight – especially since their are plenty of unhealthy skinny people and some healthy obese people.

    July 21, 2010 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guy

      If they weren't comfortable with being fat and disgusting, then they wouldn't be spending so much of their money on twinkies and McDonalds. It's much cheaper to buy decent healthy food. A box of pasta is $2 and can last you several meals. A couple doughnuts can cost you the same and is nowhere near as filling or healthy.

      July 21, 2010 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • Sonia

      A box of pasta is no more healthy for an obese person with carb issues (which is a LARGE percentage of obese people) than McDonald's is. You and the FDA are sadly mistaken.

      July 21, 2010 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
    • Megan

      That's not to say they cannot be held accountable either. I think that's where all the frustration is- yes, they didn't chose too and there's a lot of misinformation, but the obese aren't helpless victims, either.

      July 21, 2010 at 12:28 | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      sorry sonia...but even with a problem such as the ones that you have listed it is relatively easy to maintain a healthy weight. healthy of course being their body mass index. you say they are "constantly bombarded with food and food ads" well so am i, and yet i maintain a healthy weight and am also in very good shape. now i know i am a different from most people in that i force myself to the gym and work out for a few hours, and for those who make the argument "oh i dont have time for that, or i dont have the money for a gym membership" those arent viable arguments, because it isn't hard to wake up about 30 minutes earlier and go for a quick run, and if you're not in running shape? put on some heavy clothing and go for a walk, not a stroll a brisk walk where you actually do something above your normal level of activity. honestly fat people just annoy the shit out of me, especially in the damn military(yes i am in the military as well) if you feel that you can be fat and in the military then you are just disappointingly sad and really need to consider: if shit hit the fan right now, would i able to react well to it? more often than not no, and sadly the base i am stationed on right now has a ridiculous amount of fatties and people who can barely pass the "fitness test", which is no more than a joke, all in all: the us has turned into a sad country where instead of holding ourselves to a high standard: we have the cater to everyone policy

      July 21, 2010 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      A BOX of pasta is not more healthy than McDonalds, no. But eating 200 calories of whole wheat pasta and nothing else for the next 3-4 hours is far better than scarfing down two 500-calorie burgers and getting hungry again a few hours later. Calories in, calories out.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:35 | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      Guy, you simply Have No Clue. I'm a vegetarian. I don't eat fast food. I admit to eating chocolate now and then... that's a necessity of life, but I probably eat less than and better than you do, and I'm technically obese. I have a condition called PCOS which causes insulin resistance, and in my case, at least, the treatment options are limited.

      There are people who probably eat and exercise more than you do, who you look at with disgust and call "fatty". I just hope that one day you suffer something out of your control that makes others look at you with disgust. Then you'll realize just what an idiot you have been.

      July 21, 2010 at 16:47 | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      I know vegetarians who only eat potato chips because it's still "vegetarian". Keep on rolling, fatty. Literally.

      July 21, 2010 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      Guy, you simply have proven that you don't _care_ what causes a person's obesity. I doubt you've bothered to study any of the causes that people have mentioned here. You'd rather assume the worst of everyone. As far as you're concerned they should all be hated. I don't know what your underlying mental problem is that causes this attitude... but people like you are the ones who should be despised.

      July 21, 2010 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
    • Leo

      Sonia, I have PCOS. I've had it since I hit puberty, and I'm about to turn 30. At the age of 11, I got my first cycle, and I BALLOONED into a little fat-azz. By the time I was 13, I decided I'd had enough. I stopped eating sweets, I started eating lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies, and whole grains. I started RUNNING. My parents didn't make me do it – I chose to do it on my own. Since then, I've competed in ten different sports, set state records in weight-lifting competitions, earned the Army Achievement Medal for physical fitness (yes, I joined the Army), have run half-marathons, and at the age of 30, I'm still trim. How do I keep doing it? I WORK FOR IT. I exercise almost every day. I watch what I eat. When other people order French Fries, I order a salad with fat free vinegarette.

      I'll never be supermodel skinny. I'm still "solid" in build. But ya know what? I fit the rides at the amusement parks. I don't feel squished on airplanes. I can wear a bikini without shame. And I FEEL HEALTHY. I have to work at it, but it's worth the effort. Now, if only the painful ovarian cysts would just stop.

      July 22, 2010 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
    • Ravenous

      ME WANT COOKIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 2, 2010 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
  9. DrModestProposal

    The obese must carry their load, like everyone else. How? Taxes. Instate a food item tax based on BMI at all stores selling food. The revenue from these taxes, paid disproportionately by high BMI's, will go towards paying for the special entitlements and other services for the obese, such as special hospital accommodations, added health care directly resulting from obesity (e.g., type 2 diabetes). Why should the rest of us pay this tax? Which is what we are now doing. Such a tax will make it pay to lose weight, a good thing for most Americans. (Not me though;BMI of 20.)

    July 21, 2010 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • angela

      i like the idea, but you cant use BMI as an ine=dex, as it disproportionately targets athletes and others with larger than average muscle mass

      July 21, 2010 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
  10. Maci

    Sonia – You are so right. These people just have no education in regards to health at all. My sister has PCOS and diabetes and due to that has always been overweight. She eats a diet from the dr that he monitors monthly and exercises four times a week. None of this excellent health lets her lose weight however due to her health conditions. Her dr. says she is healthier than most people that are not overweight. Yet, I work next to a girl that weighs about 110 and lives on cigerettes, mt dew, cookies, chips, & candy. She brags that she hates veggies, fruits etc. She also feeds her children the same diet but they are skinny as well. I guess those are the people we should want to be like in order to be "healthy". Morons get health confused with weight all the time. People love to attack fat people. If they want to raise the costs for fat people, then raise the cost for smokers (and not by $10 like my company does), raise it for diabetics, cancer patients, heart patients, erectile disfynction, you name it...

    July 21, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KC

      AMEN! I actually got sicker when I weighed 117 than I do now that I weigh, well, a lot closer to 217 than 117. For example, I used to get bronchitis for 6 weeks every other winter; haven't had it once since I gained weight. Other health problems also cleared up when I gained weight. Fortunately, my doctor understands that it's possible to be overweight and healthy, and is more concerned with the big picture than what number happens to appear on the scale.

      July 21, 2010 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      There may be some Macy, who have rare underlying issues that cuase obisity. There are also genetic dispositions that make it easier to store fat. But the majority of what we see today is based on lifestyle and diet. It may take more will power and work for some than others but 30%+ obesity rates are not becuase 30%+ have underlying health factors. If so, then how is it for 200 years of US history we were under 20%?

      July 21, 2010 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
  11. Cinpat

    Thank you for speaking up to help clarify obesity. What I don't understand is why all the animosity against obese people. Why aren't we discussing the medical suppliers' exploitation of the situation. Can it possibly cost an additional $15,000 for a bed to support 400 more pounds, or 7 times as much to manufacture a wheelchair that is 26" rather than 19"? I tend to doubt it. Let's not just blame obese people for the costs they incur but rather the suppliers who are getting richer on their backs.

    July 21, 2010 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tanna

      Anything made in smaller quanitities is going to cost more than something that is more mass produced. Also you can't just make it bigger, it has to be structurally different to hold the load, therefore a redesign, so yeah, I can see why it would be more, though 7 times more seems unreasonble

      July 21, 2010 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
    • wasting time

      When a product is not part of the standard production line, it costs far more to make. Sure, the materials won't be that much more, but it is basically custom built. Basic economics..

      July 21, 2010 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
  12. Denise

    It is an unfortunate fact that most people in this country, and certainly those whose ugly and uninformed comments appear above my own, have no idea that the most up-to-date and documented medical research supports the contention that obesity is a far more complex issue caused by genetics and metabolic flaws and not, as "GUY" so ignorantly posits, "too much twinkies and McDonalds." It's far too easy for these people to pat themselves on the back and feel superior to others when they have clearly never walked a mile in the shoes of a person suffering this devastating health issue. While I agree that healthy eating and a healty lifestyle are to be applauded and encouraged, the sad fact is that many people who eat healthy foods and avoid fast food and sweets nonetheless fight their weight issues throughout their lives. Heartless and ignorant abuse from people who have no clue what this is really about is not helpful and frankly, just proof of their ignorance and prejudice. I find it just as miserable sitting next to a stinking smoker or a mother with unruly screaming children on a plane, as you may feel sitting next to a person who is obese I do not, however, feel it necessary or appropriate to excoriate them in a public forum or in any other context. You "superior types" might want to put the blame for your misery on the fact that the airlines are attempting to squeeze people into ever more narrow seats, rather than on the person who is already carrying more than their share of misery, living in a world where they are constantly abused by people like the commentators above. Truly, slender people are not better or more worthy human beings, nor more deserving of praise and acceptance just because they were blessed with a body that does not have this particular problem. But if you need to make yourself feel better by virtue of abusing others, have at it. You are the pathetic ones.

    July 21, 2010 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brandon

      you're a fatty aren't you. i see your sneak attempt at trying to get sympathy, but it won't work

      July 21, 2010 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
    • Denise

      Brandon, you (like Guy and Kat and others above) are so moronic and sad that I wish we could legislate a "moron tax" and do away with all of you. Or, at the very least, quarantine you so that intelligent individuals would not be subjected to your garbage. Thanks for proving my point by your "lowest common denominator" comment to my post. You have proved my point in about as perfect a fashion as I could have hoped. You are a sad, pathetic fraction of a man.

      July 21, 2010 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
    • Maci

      Yeah and that idiot is in our military.. Their mental health checks must be as laughable as the physical ones if they let Brandon in...

      July 21, 2010 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      Nobody here abuses fatties until they start blobbing over onto our side of the seat, or jacking up the cost of our health care, or ruin our experience at the beach when their stomach totally engulfs their bikini. NOBODY actively seeks to make fatties feel bad about themselves. It's only when your disgusting, abhorrent lifestyle is thrust onto me that I have a problem with you. If you don't want people ridiculing your horrifying cellulite, then stop wearing shorts.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • Denise

      Guy -
      Your own writing proves you are both wrong and lack a scintilla of intellectual integrity. You wrote "Nobody here abuses fatties until they start blobbing over onto our side of the seat, or jacking up the cost of our health care, or ruin our experience at the beach when their stomach totally engulfs their bikini...." You don't think that referring to people as "fatties" is abusive? Or writing about people in the ugly and infantile way you have throughout these postings? Sit down and pull up a clue, buddy. You are not only an ugly excuse for a man and a human being, you are dishonest with those of us reading your excremental posting and even more sadly, you are dishonest with yourself. Perhaps one day you and the others posting here who have opted for such easy insults rather than thoughtful discourse will one day have reason to develop a sense of empathy for the shortcomings and foibles of their fellow human beings. Perhaps there will come a day in the not-so-distant future when you will find yourself in need of just that kind of empathy. I hope there will be someone left whom you have not offended to provide you that comfort when that day arrives, as it surely will. Only an insecure and desperately unhappy individual goes so far out of his way to attack people he does not even know who have never had an opportunity (or inclination) to hurt him. Time for some serious introspection.

      July 21, 2010 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Denise: Stop try to make excuses. Your long-winded paragraph says one thing: I LIKE BURGERRRRSSS!!!

      August 3, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
  13. John

    Are there people with genuine medical conditions that make it difficult to lose weight? Yes. Are most obese people like this? No. If you are one of the few who can’t lose weight no matter how much you diet or exercise then you have my eternal sympathy. But we haven’t experienced an epidemic of glandular disease in the last 20 years, people have just gotten lazier and the food less healthy. When I’m grocery shopping and see an obese person’s cart full of Oreos and soda don’t expect me to have sympathy. I go to the gym nearly every day and am lucky to see one overweight person there a week. To those that go to the gym I give my utmost respect – but they are a rare breed. We all make choices in life and you are entitled to eat and look how you want, but don’t demand me to always respect those choices.

    July 21, 2010 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Not a Gym Rat

      Do you ever wonder why you don't see overweight people at your gym? Probably because of the attitude of people like you. I've tried the gym and the nasty looks and sideways glances were enough to make me quit. I'll walk for free outside before I'll ever go to another "holier than thou" health clubs.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • Jaci

      Not a Gym Rat, you are TOTALLY preaching to the choir.

      However, not all gyms are built alike. I'm still obese (5'5, 209 pounds, down from 263), and luckily, I found a gym that is laid back and the folks that go there are cool with everyone, because we're all going towards the same goal.

      The gym I joined before my current one, though? Twice the price and tons more attitude. I wasted a year's membership and only went there a handful of times, because I wasn't ready, and moreso because of people's attitudes.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      John mentions in his post that he respects fatties who go to the gym, and yet it's "people like him" that keep fatties from the gym? Hahahahaha. I think your stomach is obscuring your vision because people like him and me support fatties exercising and working to stay fit. I believe in giving most people second chances. It's when you fatties come to my gym and spend 2 hours on the equipment I want to use, plowing away at 0.5 mph and sweating all over the place that I get annoyed. But if you at least clean up your puddle of grossness after you're done (rare), then I'm okay.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:50 | Report abuse |
    • Veggie1970


      I've spent a lot of times in gyms and by and large I find YMCAs to be the most inclusive for all levels, shapes, sizes and ages of exercisers. Most offer a wide variety of programs, something for everyone. They also typically have pools and aquatic exercise programs, which are excellent choices for clients who are obese; they can work a little harder without joint stress.

      Your story is inspirational, I wish you continued success!

      July 21, 2010 at 15:09 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Not a Gym Rat – I won't disagree with you that some gym patrons will give dirty looks to an obese person, but they are in the minority. Most people give a lot of credit to anybody who takes time from their day to go to a gym and exercise. Just walking in that door says a lot about the respect you have for yourself and your body. So don't let their looks bother you. The same people who stare and judge at an obese person are also staring down that skinny twig who just walked in. Jerks will be jerks, you just need to get over it and focus on your own body.

      July 21, 2010 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
    • Jaci

      @Guy: us fatties (and recovering fatties) rest our case, especially in light of your response in this thread.

      @Veggie 1970: Thanks! I have no desire to stop! It's funny...about 3 weeks ago, they found a clot (deep vein thrombosis) in my left leg, so I couldn't exercise for a week. I was my doctor's worst patient that week, because the first thing I'd ask each time I talked to her was when I could start exercising again!

      July 21, 2010 at 17:26 | Report abuse |
  14. Kathy

    I've been obese my whole life (I am 40 now) and I am not going to say I am blameless for my condition–yes, I know what I eat, but I will also tell you it never fails to amaze me how cruel and hateful a lot people are to you when you are fat. It is not as simple as put the fork down and walk away or I would have done that years ago–do you think I enjoy the sometimes physical and definitly emotional abuse I get from others that dont even know me? I do have medical conditions that contribute to easy weight gain and make it very difficult to lose weight, but I will also admit I have not done everything possible to take care of myself either. Eveyone fights their own demons, some are just more visable than others. It breaks my heart sometimes when I think that is how people that dont even know me see me but I have to remind myself that you cannot understand something until you have been through it. I do not smoke, I do not drink, I do not do drugs, yet I dont begrudge tax dollars coming out of my check to help someone who has a problem–no one is perfect and if your situation was different (genetics, emotional setbacks, depression) you might find yourself in the same position I am in. I'm not going to read this post anymore because I dont want to be hurt by the additional things I'm sure some people will say but all I ask is that you try to have an open mind. We are all human beings and being treaty poorly by people who think fat people are lazy and weak minded hurts more than you will ever know.

    July 21, 2010 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jaci

      So true....but I believe that everyone has a time in their life when they finally say "ENOUGH!" and have the courage to make the changes they need to make in their lives. I hope yours comes soon with some peace of mind. 🙂

      July 21, 2010 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
  15. Charles

    To all those who use hateful speach to make thier points, shame on you. Those who are obese don't want to be obese (for the most part). They do suffer from space, health issue etc. Many have self esteme issues and their obesity leads to myriad other health problems.

    To those saying it is a non-controlable issue and therefore back off, I say be honest with yourselves. in 1980 fewer than 20% of the population was obsese. Now we are over 30%. There has never been a time in human history with these rates of obesity. There a few (very few) who have metabolic diseases that cause increased weight, most weight is gained due to poor diet choices and lack of exercise.

    Once there it is a bear to get rid off (I am 42, 6'-1" and currently 195lbs – I was 238lbs at 35). To loose weight I kept my calorie intake to under 1500 for 8 months, calories from fats at under 10%, and ran 6 miles a day – religiously. It worked but took a long time. The hardest part that good diet and exercise habits are as easy to develop when young as bad ones. Once the bad ones take root, it is no less difficult to break than a drug addicition.

    So for the haters, show compasion for those who are obese. Provide support for those who need and want the help. For those who are obese, admit to yourself some of the errors in your choices and try to improve.

    Nothing makes me sadder then to see the morbidly obese women who does a great job running my duaghter's reading program. She had gastric bypass surgery but all the weight is back. She eats fast food, and always has a giant starbucks slush drink in her hand. In her other hand is her 8 year old daughter – with a 20 oz coke.

    July 21, 2010 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ruth

      "She eats fast food, and always has a giant starbucks slush drink in her hand. In her other hand is her 8 year old daughter – with a 20 oz coke"

      There's the real problem. Being overly compassionate is not what's needed there. Some tough love might help people learn to make better choices. This woman is not only ruining her life, she's ruining her daughters life too.

      I've had some serious weight gains during tough times. It never lasts for too long because I know how to eat right and actually enjoy exercising when I'm not super depressed. I don't think obese people should be given a free ride. If I can take the weight off, and you can take the weight off, so can most of them. The number of people who really can't lose weight is tiny compared to the number of obese people in this country.

      July 21, 2010 at 13:50 | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      I have no sympathy for people who buy a ridiculously unhealthy (and OVERPRICED) drink like a giant latte from Starbucks and wonder why they're so fat and disgusting. IT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE PUTTING THAT INTO YOUR BODY 24/7!

      July 21, 2010 at 14:52 | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      Guy and Ruth. I agree in many respects to your position but not your attitude. My comment was to illustrate that she tried, but she is blind both to her own habits and the effects it will have on her daughter. She wants to loose weight but has not yet found the way (will power and lifestyle changes) break the addictive trap she is in. It is hard, it is not impossible. Being told you are an idiot and moron will never help her. Someone willing to help her change her lifestyle might (See Ben's comments below) That was my point.

      July 21, 2010 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      Anyone who has access to the internet can find out how many calories they burn in a day. Anyone who has been through a few years of elementary school can add up the total calories they consume in a day by reading the packaging. There is simply no excuse to be putting so much into your body when you live a completely sedentary lifestyle.

      July 21, 2010 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
  16. Terri

    To all of you supercilious people who have all the answers: I hope you never have 3 spinal surgeries to fuse all of your lumbar vertebrae together and also suffer from advanced osteoarthritis that has eaten away cartilidge in your knees and hips so that even walking is painful and difficult. Can't afford the deductible to have knee and hip replacements done, still paying off the last surgery. Tell me I need to go for a brisk walk. Wish I could.

    July 21, 2010 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ruth

      No, you need to cut your calorie intake to what your body burns.

      July 21, 2010 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      Every single fitness trainer, nutritionist, health and human fitness major, and website about fitness I have read has told me that being fit and healthy is at LEAST 70% diet. The other 30% is genetics, physical activity, stress, etc. If you don't eat anything, you won't gain weight. It's a simple fact that you can't create matter from nothing. Stop ingesting thousands of calories and you won't gain hundreds of pounds.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
    • Charles


      As the others have said, calorie intake relative to calorie burn is the key. I know fat runners and I know skinny laggards because the equation has two parts.

      As to my knees, There may come a day when I have to stop running. According to my orthadepist, runners have a tendancy later in life to have knee issues, but to a less extent than the obese. So on top of high blood preasure, heart disease, diabetes, increased cancer risk, etc etc etc, the obese also have tend to have higher rates of joint issues.

      Futhermore, 20 years of research is showing that the runners who tend to have joint issues are the obsesive one, those who do not rest when they have a minor injury, and those who have terrible form (ie bounce). As hard as I tried to loose weight when I was over weight, I also study, learn and practice good running habits. I don't bounce or heal strike (bent knee flat/ball strike issues 80% less force to the knee) and I rest whenever injured (once in five years vs. runners average of once every two years). A lot still has to do with genetics so about my parents...

      July 21, 2010 at 15:28 | Report abuse |
  17. Ben

    I used to be overweight. Severely overweight. I had sleep apnea and diabetes and would get infecctions on my legs and on my skin. My doctor told me I was not going to live to see 40. I met with a nutritionist-best money I EVER spent and then started walking and swimming at a local pool. 3 yrs later I weigh 190 lbs at 6'1. I no longer have to give myself insulin or take pills for my diabetes. I don't have sleep apnea anymore. I'm training for my 1st half marathon.The pills I do take-antidepressants. Very important in the overall decsion to make some changes, as well as therapy. B/C I can tell you that fat people hate themselve.

    July 21, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charles

      Awsome Ben. I hope some posters on both sides of the divide here read what you wrote and understand both the work and the payoff for what you have done. Best of luck on your half!

      July 21, 2010 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
  18. Ben

    I used to be overweight. Severely overweight. I had sleep apnea and diabetes and would get infections on my legs and on my skin. My doctor told me I was not going to live to see 40. I met with a nutritionist-best money I EVER spent and then started walking and swimming at a local pool. 3 yrs later I weigh 190 lbs at 6'1. I no longer have to give myself insulin or take pills for my diabetes. I don't have sleep apnea anymore. I'm training for my 1st half marathon.The pills I do take-antidepressants. Very important in the overall decsion to make some changes, as well as therapy. B/C I can tell you that fat people hate themselves

    July 21, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. DrFood

    The bottom line? It always someone or something else's fault.

    July 21, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Csh

    You know, I get tired of whiny, stingy people who think they are paying their own way and eveyone is taking money out of their pockets. When you live and participate in a society, you get as much from that relationship as you pay in. You don't like paying for 'fat' people? Well those folks are consumers just like you and contribute to the economy that provides you with the job that pays you money that goes to paying for these 'fat' people. All this talk about how much obesity 'costs' society is nonsense. Any cost goes back into the economy and pays for somebody's job.

    July 21, 2010 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DrFood

      True. Sometimes the problem with people in general is that they focus on appearance/viewpoint/behavior and generalize people based off these observations. We should all remember that these are people we are dealing with...

      July 21, 2010 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      It doesn't matter that "the money goes back into the economy". If fat people required hamburger-injections to survive and hospitals had to supply them, then sure, McDonalds would make tons of money. But if the fatty was so damn fat, then that money could be used to instead, oh, I dunno, help out someone with a health problem that is UNcontrollable? The problem is that being fat is SO easy to avoid, and the money spent on keeping fatties comfortable could be better used to keep other people ALIVE.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
  21. NonnyMouz

    As always, I'm amazed by the nasty, vitriolic comments that are doled out whenever the discussion of weight & health are mentioned. It is never alright to verbally, emotionally or physically abuse anybody for any reason, including weight. The person you see with the Starbucks drink: Do you know what is in the cup, or are you assuming it is one of the high calorie drinks with syrups & whole milk? Starbucks custom-makes drinks, and offers both stevia and splenda as options for sweetners, both fat-free soy and dairy-based milk.
    Do not make assumptions that a person who is obese does not exercise. Unless you live with the person, and know that they do not exercise, you cannot know.
    And while it is true that the majority of people who are obese are that way because they eat, there is a percentage of people who are overweight because of a medical condition. Medical issues including endocrine disorders, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Cushing's Disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, and even cancer cause weight gain.
    Our medical professionals often treat people who are obese the way many posters here do. And for those who are obese and try to find help in medicine or in exercise, the only solution they are likely to be offered is gastric bypass surgery. Personal trainers aren't willing to work with those who are obese, and its often unsafe for a person who is obese to exercise on their own.
    I don't expect this to change anybody's mind, but I almost hope that one of the people posting the nasty comments, suggesting it is perfectly acceptable to abuse somebody who is obese, actually gets one of the disorders mentioned above. It would be even better if it was a constellation of symptoms that do not really result in the name of an actual disorder. I wonder if that would change the attitude, but I doubt it. You can't fix stupid.

    July 21, 2010 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jaci

      I'll have to disagree with you regarding personal trainers. The ones that I know DO work with obese people (I worked with one for a while when I lost weight the first time...) and usually modify workouts to be a bit easier on the joints.

      I think the major issue that obese people have, especially at the gym, are the snide looks that other gym-goers can make towards them...I know I've gotten my share of them, but I just don't sweat it...no pun intended!

      As far as exercising on your own, I started off with walking around the neighborhood, then moved on to the walking trail around my community. Then I introduced weight training and cardio at the gym. 54 pounds gone, 64 left to go for me...I just remind myself that it didn't take overnight to pack on the pounds, so it's not going to take overnight to lose it. So I'm in a 118 pound loss marathon, and so far, I'm winning! HOORAY!

      July 21, 2010 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
    • Veggie1970

      As a personal trainer, I wonder where you've gained such vast experience with our profession that you can generalize that we don't work with the obese? I'm sorry, that's an absolutely ridiculous statement. What we don't do is come into the homes of the obese and drag them out. If they come for help, they are helped. Unfortunately, many people reach a point where it is simply too embarassing or intimindating to utilize a fitness facility. Additionally, it is most certainly not dangerous for the obese to exercise on their own; quite the opposite, they are in mortal danger every day that goes by that they do not exercise. A simple visit to a physician (which would most likely also be required by a fitness facility anyway if there is hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, joint issues) can clear a person for moderate cardiorespiratory exercise such as walking as well as a sensible strength training program. A simple internet search can direct one to reputable sites (such as sparkpeople.com) which can provide excellent guidelines for people of all fitness levels. Even 20 minutes of moderate exercise for a beginner shows tremendous gains early on. It doesn't cost much. A pair o sneakers? You can walk outside, or buy a Leslie Sansome walking tape for inside (about $5 at Walmart). You don't need to spend money on weights; early on, some 16 oz. cans will provide enough resistance for a new exerciser, and there are plenty of exercises that rely solely on body weight for resistance.

      One major issue I see that leads to obesity is the overestimation of exercise and underestimation of calories eaten. Be aware of serving sizes and be truthful with yourself about how much you are eating. Fitday.com is an excellent resource for tracking not only what you eat, but what your carb/protein/ratios are, and how many calories you really need with consideration for your level of activity. Also be honest about how much moving you've done, and what the energy demands of the activity were. For instance, if you run a mile, you have not earned a Snickers. You've earned a banana, and that's only if you want to completely cancel out any caloric deficit of the activity.

      Certainly there are diseases that cause weight gain. That small percenage of individuals aside, the reality is the obesity epidemic is the result of overprocessed foods, extreme portion sizes and exceedingly sedentary lifestyles.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
    • Jaci

      Veggie1970, I totally agree.

      Another great (and free!) website that has helped me with my weight loss is sparkpeople.com, which also tracks carbs, fat, protein, calories, as well as a TON of other nutrients. I also have it set to track my fiber, calcium, iron, and sodium intakes as well. The site also adjusts your calorie, carb, fat and protein ranges to go along with your weight loss goal and how many calories you burn when you exercise.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
    • Leah (TXanimal)

      I'm a personal trainer and ALL of the trainers at my gym worked with obese clients. I agree with Veggie: the problem isn't that personal trainers WON'T work with obese clients, it's that we CAN'T because in general, those individuals become so self-conscious that they won't set foot in a gym (and this applies to the whole population, not just obese people)!

      Oftentimes, people become obese because they either do not have or have forgotten healthy lifestyle habits. Having a personal trainer or a fitness consultant (or just talking to a gym rat) can help reinforce healthy habits, we can answer questions, help make daily food plans and point out other support resources. A lot of times, just the fact that someone is holding you accountable is enough for people to reign in their bad habits.

      Do you NEED a personal trainer? No. But they sure can help!

      July 21, 2010 at 16:04 | Report abuse |
  22. Stephanie

    It seems like one of the best things we could do, as a country, would be to change around all our agricultural subsidies. Let's not subsidize corn and soybeans anymore and instead focus on making fruits and vegetables more accessible. As the cost of fast food and heavily processed food goes up, people will choose foods that are better for them. Even normal-weight people will probably be healthier, and I'll bet it'd have a big impact on the obesity epidemic.

    July 21, 2010 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Jewels

    It's a business – eat smoke waste your whole existance away- complain – we're making money of you – in a few i'll be investing in cementary plots, and fancy urns – i'll have your name engraved- keep eating keep smoking keep self-destructing- I'm just watching the money roll in- stupid a$$e$ the whole of you – unless you have a hormone problem or some kind of accident that left you unable to exercise stop complainning – oh poor little wittle me everyone hates me- they need to send you all to boot camp or better yet six months in ethiopia might cure your "issue". . but who knows maybe you'll just eat the ethiopians – whatever

    July 21, 2010 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Mari

    You know it is not right to just pinpoint fat people as being lazy. You don't know there medical history, I myself have always been in shape up until 2005 I was diagnosed with a medical condition. My weight more than doubled and no matter how hard I worked out I couldn't drop the weight. Sometimes it is out of there hands. I am now 30lbs lighter and will continue to get in shape. Some obese people help themselves and some don't. Health is a big concern for me and I am not in a good financial situation where I can buy all these good foods that are healthy for you. I watch my intake and continue to exercise because I do not want to be part of that statistic and have to pay more $$ for clothes and such. So to all you obese people who say that it is out of there control, I believe you that it is but at the same time for some it is not. Stop the pitting yourself and complaining that you have serious medical conditions that prevent you from working out. You see I used to be that person it is that mentality state you are in that keeps you from losing weight. Stop being lazy, stop eating a lot and get healthy!

    July 21, 2010 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jaci

      Maybe, but best bet is to drop the whole self-righteous attitude, dearie. It's not very attractive.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      Exercise is the least important thing to do to control your weight and healthiness. Your diet is far more important.

      July 21, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
  25. Jewels


    E T H I O P I A

    July 21, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Imagine being a fat kid sitting there while the rest of your family and friends who are boardering on starvation and trying to explain to them how your genetics and medications cause you to be so fat.

      July 21, 2010 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
  26. Jewels

    Keep this picture in your wallet and take a look at it before you gorge http://www.nigeriamasterweb.com/10mbebe/StarvingBiafranChildren.jpg

    July 21, 2010 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jen

    Stories like this make me so angry because we've got to stop accommodating people for their own bad habits and bad choices. However, I will say that I also blame our government for not regulating the horrible foods being offered to consumers. Most Americans are very ignorant about how deadly the food is these days. It's been designed in a lab and it's made to make you become addicted to it and pack on lbs (especially belly-fat). After watching Food, Inc. I radically changed my diet and with that along with exercise I've lost 30lbs. I think a lot of the obesity epidemic can be contributed to the way food is being artificially processed these days. Why is it even legal to sell at 3,000 calorie burger when we know how un-healthy that is? The government regulates what can be put in the cosmetics, drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol we buy because of the potential health dangers so why not food?? I've lost 30lbs in six months by switching to a mostly vegetarian-based diet, eliminating processed foods, and exercising religiously on at least six days a week (8-9 times per week) for 45 mins to an hour and a half a day. I went from a size 12/14 to a size 6. But when people marvel at my transformation and ask me how I did it then you should hear all the excuses they make for why they can't or won't do the same thing I did to get healthy. So basically, I don't have much sympathy for obese people because 99 times out of 100 it's caused by what they put in your mouth and by not exercising just as it was for me. If you have time to watch an hour of reality-tv then you have an hour to exercise instead. If you have $6 for a meal at McDonalds then you have money for a salad instead. Americans must take charge of your health and become informed about what’s really in the food that you eat. If we allow the food industries to keep filling us up with this toxic crap then I shudder to think what the future holds for us.

    July 21, 2010 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Tyler

    On the one hand, yes, sometimes overweight/obese people have medical/genetic conditions that prevent them from adequately losing weight, if at all. On the other hand, I highly doubt that it accounts for more than a fraction of the overweight or obese people in the U.S. Ridiculing fat people is not cool, but neither is playing the "genetics" card. I have only met one person ever who can truly claim to have a genetic predisposition. She never eats out, and is watching her food intake, yet is still obese and approaching diabetes. If you're fat, chances are it's not completely out of your control. I'm obese and have at one point taken a medication that slowed down my metabolism. Yet, I'm not blaming my fatness on this. The medication got me fat, but I kept me fat. I have lost several pounds in the past. Ultimately, its up to me to maintain it and not fall back on all my bad eating/inactivity.

    In short, skinny people: don't make fun of fat people, and fat people: don't use it as a crutch. Chances are, you probably can do something about it. If you truly can't, that's one thing, but I doubt as many people can claim that as they attempt to.

    July 21, 2010 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. OnePhatGirl

    Hell, I am getting a laugh at all the comments. I am "fat" I have been "fat" all my life. However I do not blame anyone or anything I eat to dam much and don't move it’s that simple. Yes I have thyroid issue also but I was "fat" before that. I have health coverage and I use it only when necessary, I don’t complain or run to the doctor with each ache or pain because I know many of the issues are probably related to my being “fat".

    I don’t blame anyone who isn’t "fat" for discriminating its human nature to dislike people for what we see rather than who that person is . I hate "fat" people too, I see people at 300/400+lbs and I am disgusted also, so it’s not just angry skinny people who judge. I agree if your healthy you should pay less, however who determines who is or isn’t healthy? The goverment? The insurance company?

    Most insurance companies will deny you coverage for stupid shit like a migraine you had once five years ago, oh no that's pre-existing sorry your un-coverable. I work in medical insurance so I know firsthand; you can be a size 2 and still be denied health coverage.

    There is NO clear cut answer, however I will say it is cheaper to eat poorly then it is to eat healthy. That is just the way it is. And yes many, many "Fat" parents breed "fat" kids and people in the US are "fat" unless they can and want to change, things will remain the same.

    There are NO valid excuses we all make choices as to what we eat and don't eat. Food addiction, mental health issues, bad family, dysfunctional adolescence please its all BS. It’s just placing the blame where it doesn’t belong and removing ownership of one’s own problem, your relationship with food. You must eat to live NOT LIVE TO EAT!

    July 21, 2010 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guy

      Produce and pasta are very cheap, and so is a lot of meat (you don't need to buy the leanest, freshest meat for it to be healthy). Junk food like candy and doughnuts are VERY expensive. Especially when you factor in how many of each thing you have to eat in order to be full.

      July 21, 2010 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
  30. Jen

    Amen, John.

    July 21, 2010 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. AL

    I am one of the lucky ones who has never had to worry about my weight my whole life. however after I had my first child I was not over weight, but I still had to loose the weight I gained and I now understand how hard that really can be. Yes I did it by eating healthier and working out a few days a week (which really does make you feel great!) But what really shocked me the most is how unbelievebly expensive the healthy food is. It is easy to ridicule others and tell them just eat healthier, but for so many millions of people out there that stuggle to pay their bills each month, it is no surprise that they opt to eat a 1 dollar cheese burger rather than have to spend more on the heathier choices. So instead of saying they need to pay taxes for being fat, maybe america needs to make the healthier foods more affordable. Also for everyone who is saying how much they hate "fat" people- I am sure you have no problems yourself. Smoking, Drinking, Drug use all raise health care costs. And what about the anorexic and bullimic people out there, they are not obese but I bet their health problems are just as costly. No one is perfect and every person makes decisions that are going to effect others and raise cost somewhere. Get off your high horse and do something about your own problems first.

    July 21, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Mike

    So do all of these medications that make it "impossible" to lose weight on contain a really high number of calories? I'm guessing not. Sure, losing weight is not always as simple as eat less, excersize more, but I guarentee you that if you use more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Pounds of fat don't magically attach to your body due to some medication that you are taking. You people need to stop making excuses. Instead say, "It is not worth the sacrafice for me to lose weight," and leave it at that. It is amazing how humans have gone millions of years without medications and problems with obesity. So strange how rampant use of medications and obesity has taken us over in just the past fifty years.

    July 21, 2010 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Krista

      Mike, you need to do a bit more studying. First there are medical problems which cause a person to be hungry a lot, for high energy foods, but when they eat them the disorder doesn't "feed" the cells that are crying out for energy. Instead the food gets turned into fat and stored. This is usually termed "insulin resistance" which can be caused by several medical problems (PCOS, diabetes, etc.). Some people can basically 'eat like a bird' and still not lose weight. They won't have any energy either, of course, since their body isn't getting the energy it needs... so you probably don't see them exercising much either. It's a vicious circle, and one most people just don't know about or care to find out. Instead they enjoy having a class of people to look down on.

      July 21, 2010 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
  33. James

    We have known for ages how to avoid gaining unneeded weight and how to lose it: reduce portions (reduce caloric intake), eat healthier foods (optimize nutrition), and increase physical activity (increase calories used). Eating healthier foods includes substantially more fruits, whole grains, and vegetables than most Americans eat. Reducing portions to those within what we actually need takes practice, but simple ways to avoid overeating are to decrease the amount on one's plate, chew and appreciate the food's flavors, and stop eating before one feels full, as there is a lag time between stuffing our face and feeling full. Increasing physical activity can be accomplished by avoiding the use of elevators and escalators, walking to stores or businesses or for social visits where achievable, and slowly increase one's participation in recreational activities. These practices are well known to promote health and fitness, but not often implemented as an active and persistent plan for action toward fitness by either the clinician or the individual seeking a healthier life. Public awareness is changing about the use of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) in many common food items sold in the USA, as well as the need for healthier (pesticide-free and organic) foods, and the need for a persisting increase in physical activity. Even gardening and housecleaning are useful forms of relatively easy exercise that can readily add to improved health. As always, consult with a healthcare provider before beginning a weight-loss program, as well as consider a support group for permanently embedding better health practices in one's life.

    July 21, 2010 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Dcip5416

    I was skinny all my life up until my first desk job, babies, and high doses of prednisone for ulcerative colitis. I tried so hard to lose weight! It wouldn't budge! After four years of hell with my weight, I finally figured it out (with the help of a dietitian and allergist). I am allergic to gluten, casein, peanuts, eggs, pecans, and oats! I've cut out all the offending foods, started doing Zumba 3-5 nights a week, running 2 miles every other day (sometimes on the same day as Zumba). It took me MONTHS but I'm FINALLY losing weight. It was as if my metabolism completely stopped. I've lost 15 since Easter. I have about 10-15 to go. I feel so good! It was hard to figure all this out but I finally did!

    The answers were very hard to swallow (bad pun), but there is a SOLUTION! Sometimes when you hear galloping, it's a zebra, not a horse. The last thing I thought of were food allergies. I blamed so many other things.

    July 21, 2010 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Joeanne

    The people on the front lines who have to physically take care of obese patients are nurses and nursing assistants in hospitals. The backbreaking work involved in taking care of a non-ambulatory obese patient is disgusting and downright abusive – I don't care how many lifts are involved. Hospitals are not properly staffed for these types of patients (1 person per 50lbs to move them). Nurses – protect your backs! People, quit eating so much and get exercising.

    July 21, 2010 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • People on Glass Houses

      Where do you work? You're the worst example of a caregiver.

      July 21, 2010 at 18:22 | Report abuse |
  36. Anne

    “It’s definitely a growing market," says Tiffanie Demone, a senior analyst with MRG.

    No pun intended, right?

    July 21, 2010 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Craig

    This is america. If you want to be fat, be fat. As a country we pay/waste money for smokers, alcoholics, criminals, and people with no education that have baby after baby. Why should this group of people not be allowed to be who they wanna be. I am fit, I work at that every day, and honestly dont understand why more people dont do the same. However, just because I feel differently about my health does not give me a reason to treat a fellow human unfairly or differntly.

    July 21, 2010 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Odalice Yolanda Feliz

    Obesity in people is a mayor problem, People need to watch how much they eat, sucks not to be able to fit in a chair.....diet!!!

    July 21, 2010 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. People on Glass Houses

    Wow! What a dialogue! There were some very insightful comments posted here and some pretty hateful comments too. There are all sorts of reasons why people are overweight, obese, or severely obese. Severe obesity is as problematic for professionals to deal with as the most serious anorexic. In fact, there isn't a lot that separates the two groups - anorexics and seriously obese individuals. In many cases, they both have unhealthy relationships with food. They didn't just get out of bed one day and say, "hey, I want to eat EVERYTHING...give it to me." These are patterns that developed over a very long time, aided by genetics and family dysfunctions. As an adult, you need to step up and take responsibility for yourself; how you do that will have varying levels of challenges depending on the cards you've been dealt. I do know this. Seriously obese people hate their bodies, hate what food and lack of exercise does to them. Do you hear me? No one is saying they have every right to be this way and they're happy this way. Do we say that someone who is an alcoholic or a compulsive shopper is worthy of the level of disdain that some of you are casting toward the seriously obese population? I would never look at people even like Guy and say that I understand what makes them mean and judgmental. So unless you've walked in someone else's shoes, you need to keep your hateful opinions to yourself. And referring to someone as a fatty is as mean a thing as I've ever read.

    All I say is, worry about yourself. You're going to pay for the insurance costs of others in your risk pool or employer group. That's the way it works. Guy and others: When you need the serious psychiatric help, we'll be paying for that too. Because you have a black hole where your heart is supposed to be. And I promise you that karma is a bitch. Truly - remember that - it all comes around.

    July 21, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Dan

    This whole article is disgusting! I guess we should get rid of fossil fuels, too, since all you anti-obese maniacs are killing yourselves and your planet. People are obese for many reasons other than the fact that they choose to eat a lot. Genetics can cause one to be obese regardless of attempting to loose weight. What ever happened to freedoms granted in the Constitution? This explains why our country is the way it is. You maniacs spend all your time on detailed bull shit, while you let yourselves die from something greater- fossil fuels, the oil spill, crime, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 2012 dickheads– all i got to say.

    July 21, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Violet

    To Guy (and the other who feel the same way): since you like using the term fatties so much I can just image all of the other terms you use for anyone who is different than you – terms that I continue to hope will eventually be out of our vocabulary. I won't use them because they are offensive.
    I really wish losing weight was as simple as you seem to think it is. It's not. I'm happy that you're perfect – most of the rest of us are not. We have to put up with sedentary jobs, no one to cook good meals for us, loneliness, bad knees, and an overabundance of cheap, unhealthy food. In addition we get bombarded with "advice" on how to lose weight – eat only 3 meals a day with no snacking, eat 6 small meals every day, don't eat any fat, don't eat any carbs, don't eat any sugar, drink green tea, take acai berry, take hoodia, eat whatever you want and just exercise away the fat, eat these foods and you don't need to exercise, listen to what you're body needs and eat that, follow this strict meal plan. There is so much conflicting infomation that we are paralyzed.

    July 21, 2010 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. oh no you don't

    yeah, i'm fat. but y'know what? you don't know me. you don't know any part of my life. how I grew up, what i suffered, how i coped. and you don't get to pass judgment on me. all you self-righteous pricks out there? can bend right over and plant one on my fat butt. yeah you hate me, but y'know what? i make more than most of you. i have a lovely marriage with a wonderful man, and i like myself right here, right now. and most of you whinging on here would kill to be in my shoes. so keep on hating, and see how far it gets you. toodles!

    July 21, 2010 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. FlipSide

    Could someone please explain to me why we have so many people in America with "metabolic issues" and the rate in Europe is so much lower? The difference is that many Europeans get around via foot – EXERCISE! How novel! The obese people you see in Europe tend to be American tourists.

    July 21, 2010 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. mary

    As a human being I am ashamed that the human race could think of some of the things people have commented on this article. They have used this article to bash people who are obese and overweight instead of actually discussing the point of this article, which is the price of insurance. Insurance prices do not go up solely because of a group of people with one health problem, they go up for many reasons. Before anyone continues to bash this one group of people let me ask you all a couple of questions. If you can answer yes to any one of these questions, you have no right to be speaking against people who are overweight and obese causing insurance prices to increase. Have you ever eaten fast food? Have you ever smoked? Have you ever drank alcohol? Have you ever used an aerosol can (which does in fact make insurance go up because it makes holes in the ozone which allows the suns harmful rays to pass through the atmosphere and cause skin cancer)? Have you ever had a vaccine against a virus (similar to the unnecessary distribution of the H1N1 vaccine this winter)? Have you ever been injured and needed to go to the hospital? These are just some of the reasons insurance goes up people. It's not just one group of people that make it go up. No one is perfect. Some people have the tendency to be overweight and obese hardwired into their genetics. Some people have diseases that, in order for them to survive, require them to take medicines. Some of these medicines have side effects that can cause weight gain. Some of these medicines have side effects that cause other diseases that can decrease the ability for an individual to be physically active. We don't pick our genetics and we certainly can't pick and choose what diseases and disorders we do and do not get. Anyone of you who can please speak up! I'm waiting.

    July 21, 2010 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. star

    Many obese people do not over eat or eat badly, and exercise as best they can given their limitations and pride. Those who do not lose weight despite diet, exercise, and bariatric surgery have an underlying disorder of adaptive thermogenesis, which is only just now beginning to be studied and understood. In the meantime, because it is commonly believed that all fat people are lazy pigs, they are not believed when they insist they stuck to the program and still did not lose. This is a medical condition no one wants, even those who do eat badly. Some who eat large amounts arent fat because they ate large amounts, they eat large amounts because they are fat and it takes a lot of calories to run the machine. the hate and prejudice spewed at obese people is ignorant and unconscionable.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Veronica13

      Star, God bless you for your caring and understanding. Why would anybody choose to be in one of the most persecuted classes in society? If you look at society, you will see that the obese often (not always) are the lowest socioeconomically. Lack of education, the poor school lunch system, not having access to healthy foods, but most of all the knowledge of how to eat healthy and keep active are extremely elusive to many people struggling with obesity. When I read all the hate and anger I wonder what is really behind it. Do these other people feel better pontificating and in the like, hurting others? Instead of doing something constructive, they gather together whenever there is a story about obesity and start their hate parade. I am very sad for them because their lives must not contain much love. The fat people I have known at least have that...at least have love, the most basic of human emotions. Peace to you.

      July 21, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse |
  46. Dave H

    The article says the "normal" table can handle people up to 600 lbs, while the upgraded one can handle up to 1k lbs. I don't know what the stats are but I'm guessing there isn't many people in the world that weigh 600+ lbs.

    People tend to go by BMI to determine if someone is healthy or obese, which is wrong. I have a BMI of about 33 but I can bench more than my weight. I've seen people with healthy BMIs that are weak and constantly sick. The chart says my ideal max weight is about 164 for someone 68 in tall. Yeah, I haven't weighed that since oh around highschool..

    Why does everyone want to tax or charge extra for everything in our life? Smokers of course are getting hit hard but 2nd hand smoke does kill. An obese person doesn't affect anyone second hand. We all pay higher insurance rates because claims are high for your age or type of car you drive. Is that fair? They can tax or "fee" us to death if they want and people are letting it happen (look at airlines for an example). They are talking about taxing soda and sugar here in Utah. Alcohol is of course already taxed heavily (not due to health reasons also). Insurance rates will go up and I beleive we haven't seen the worst of them going up yet. The more we want the government to tax certain groups, the more then will tax everyone eventually.

    If people worried more about their own lives instead of someone else then this world would be a better place. After reading some of the comments on this article I can see that this world has serious issues.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Veronica13


      July 21, 2010 at 21:39 | Report abuse |
  47. cdallas

    Can I say "No Sh*t!" on here? How is this 'new' news?

    July 21, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. cdallas

    Oh, and Dave S by the way at the hospital I work at I can tick off a dozen names, maybe more if I thought about it of frequent flyers whose wt. is > 750 lbs. And, that is just a small community hospital. But problems like these have existed for years, and continue to be a costly problem- for pt's, staff, and hospital admins alike

    July 21, 2010 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. jennybean

    Obesity, GENERALLY SPEAKING MOST OF THE TIME, is related to diet and exercise. While there are SOME people with health conditions that make it hard to maintain a healthy weight, that does not account for the recent increase in obesity rates in the country. Please consider reading books such as Fast Food Nation. Most food is crap full of empty calories. Also consider the average amount of sedentary activity that fills your day. Most kids do not even have a PE class anymore. Exercise seems to be so hard to find time for these days for some people, but there is of course computer time and hours of TV time ....

    It is so sad that hospital's require custom built equipment for the obese. Obesity, however, should not be considered normal. I can understand the need for some sympathy when dealing with this sensitive topic. However, the overall message is the same. Most overweight and obese people are not dealing with physical conditions that are causing the weight problem. STOP eating because you are sad and bored or upset ... get some psychotherapy if needed to deal with the stressors in your life. . GET some exercise at least 4 times a week. KNOW what you are eating and putting in your mouth. Also, STOP externalizing (saying it is not your fault AT ALL that you are overweight/obese) and take some responsibility for yourself ...

    July 21, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. PAUL

    On the flip side, if anyone remembers the movie called "solvent green" mmmm i bet all those fat men and women will taste just delish, as Rachal Ray says all the time......

    July 21, 2010 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
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