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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 (629 Responses)
  1. Tom

    I’m closing this article so I can go for a run.

    September 19, 2012 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hank

      So true–Here is how i see this issue. There are many factors to blame. Here is my list. 1. Our basic food supply is not that great–too many peservatives and etc 2. Cities are very unpedestrian freindly and favor cars over bikes and walkers 3. To much/little of XYZ foods–to much meat, to much dairy, to little greens...the whole program of eating is about balance. 4. FDA lets whatever into the food supply–its like we have become the lab rats for corporate america HHaaa.

      I will say this and it sounds cliche–but the reason the rest of the world is not as fat is because they walk to thier pubs, food is FAST & Fresh, bread only lasts two days max, cities are dominated by bikes and pedestrians. They predominantly eat local, food is grown more naturally versus forced out of the ground.....so it is not just one factor but many that make us FAT!!

      September 19, 2012 at 17:16 | Report abuse |
    • Nikki

      What you say Hank makes alot of sense! I also believe money is an issue too. It is much cheeper for me to go to McDonalds and get an entire meal than it is for me to buy ingredients like milk, eggs, meat, and veggies for a healthy home made meal. People can claim this is not an issue, but it truely is.
      Plus the chemicles that are used to grow the food and juice that is made with High Fructose Corn Syrup (the other major reason America is fat). I was able to lose weight by cutting out anything that contained HFCS and white things like white bread and pasta.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • self control and discipline

      It is totally up to the person to decide what food they want to eat, having some self control, discipline and understanding that you are important and for people to understand you don't have to make bad choices when you pick your meals. Everyone should want to improve themselves as you get older your body ages and if you want to live longer you must change your diet to a healthier diet. Concerning families you don't need to buy your child fast food or feel like they are starving because they didnt have the chicken nuggets and fries or the pizza. There are many options for a healthier change in your life, everyone should think of themselves as "hey I'm worth it" and let go of bad habits and change your families diet and your diet too and also including excercise. You'll feel better about your self and feel better on the inside out . "no pain no gain" Now go out there and live a healthier life "you can do it"

      September 19, 2012 at 17:45 | Report abuse |
  2. Opee

    Should I wait to comment on the comments of this article about comments?

    September 19, 2012 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lantenec

      That's a Hot Pocket Hot Pocket!

      September 19, 2012 at 17:42 | Report abuse |
  3. Tracy

    We used to live in the agricultural age, Then the mechanical age, then the industrial age and then the "information age." Now, unfortunately, we live in the Age of righteous indignation.. where everybody hates on everybody else just to feel that little bit better... we all think we're zombie killers and accuse everybody of being "kool aide" drinkers.
    I lgotta laugh at constantly offended people who spend all this energy being angry at complete strangers just to blame the neighbors for the causes of all these imaginary 1st world problems. Mind your own business & get a life, people.

    September 19, 2012 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • puckles

      You must be really really FAT.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:57 | Report abuse |
    • David

      Please marry me.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:01 | Report abuse |
    • Truthbetold

      LOL @ Pickles. Thinking the same thing...

      September 19, 2012 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • Truthbetold

      G-Dammit...now I have to LOL at myself for spelling puckles wrong. Where's the edit button on this thing?

      September 19, 2012 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
  4. anon

    Also, what many don't realize is the REASON they have health problems like thyroid disease that prevents them from losing weight is because of all the years, though skinny, they spent eating unhealthy foods. It's a viscious cycle, and even if you appear skinny and healthy as a youth, that food will take it's toll on your system later on in life. It take's a toll on things like your pancreas and thyroid.

    I eat fastfood every so often, and on rare occasions will let my kids eat pancakes, or donuts for breakfast, but it is so imperative to keep that stuff to such a super low minimum, like at most twice a year.

    September 19, 2012 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anon

      Also, seeing a nutritionist is good, but it doesn't take an education in nutrition to realize that we in our culture don't to eat the bread products nearly as much as we think we do. I haven't seen the latest new food pyramid, but the old one where breads were put at the base, and listed as the ones you should eat the most seemed ridiculous to me. Fruits and vegetables should have been at the bottom, and breads should have been right under the top. Thankfully, experts also saw that problem and changed it just a bit.

      September 19, 2012 at 16:59 | Report abuse |
    • Deadlift

      Actually anon, Americans are eating more bread than ever: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/06/08/154568945/what-america-spends-on-groceries?sc=tw&cc=share

      September 19, 2012 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
  5. gary

    Obesity is caused by eating too much food. Period. Eating is a choice. Obesity is a choice. The fault / responsibility is the person who is eating too much. Wanna lose wt? Lower your caloric intake .... it's that simple. Period.

    September 19, 2012 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fred

      You, You're good you. I bet you could be a drug and alcohol counselor too. Amazing. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      September 19, 2012 at 17:02 | Report abuse |
    • Deadlift

      gary has the right idea.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Yep...doctors give up telling people who Don't Respond..
      the patient replies to others, "That doctor just tells me
      the same thing every visit, "you need to loss weight, you are too fat", so what is the point of going."
      And they expect the doctor to say what, "Looking great!, Numbers way higher, keep it up. I am sure the outcome will be a better standard of living."

      September 19, 2012 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
  6. puckles

    Nasty FAT people are nasty and FAT because the CHOOSE to be lazy, FAT slobs. This is a choice. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    September 19, 2012 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Deadlift

      You would love this article: http://chaosandpain.blogspot.ca/2012/06/your-fat-is-unequivocally-your-fault.html?zx=470cf14f3c6f014

      September 19, 2012 at 16:59 | Report abuse |
    • 5k

      @Puckles, you're just rude, and slightly clueless. And, no im not fat, im in excellent physical shape. I run 3 times a week, 3 miles 2 days and 6 on the third. I lift weights the days i dont run. My running partner (whom also runs 6 miles) is heavy. if you looked at her you may think shes fat and nasty as you say.. but shes not lazy by any means. Shes been the same weight since she was 20 years old, and is now in her 50's. she eats very healthy, but probably weighs around 180 and is 5'5" her legs are solid muscle.. she carrys weight in her bottom end and belly, To say its "their own fault" is a very blanket statement and not always the case.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
  7. Rob

    THE PROBLEM WE HAVE IS THAT IN THIS COUNTRY THE PRIVATE SECTOR LOVES THE OBESE. RESTAURANTS CAN CHARGE MORE FOR THEIR FOOD BECAUSE THEY SELL INCREASED SIZES AND PASS THEM OFF AS VALUE MEALS. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO EAT FAST FOOD, GO INTO YOUR NEAREST FAST FOOD RETAURANT AND ORDER ONE OF THESE VALUE MEALS WITH THE DRINK AND THE FRIES. THE SMALL FRY AND DRINK YOU GET NOW 15 YEARS AGO WERE THE MEDIUM SIZED ACCOMPANIMENTS. AND DONT TELL ME DOCTORS DONT LOVE THE OBESE JUST AS MUCH AS MCDONALDS, OUR PRIVATIZED HEALTHCARE SYSTEM DICTATES THAT THE MORE SICK YOU ARE THE MORE MONEY GETS PUMPED INTO THE DOCTORS'/HOSPITALS BOTTOM LINE, WHETHER IT COMES FROM OUT OF POCKET OR YOUR GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED HEALTHCARE. COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO IS 30 YEARS OLD AND WAS ONCE 327 LBS AND AM LIVING SMALL AT 212 LBS. CURRENTLY, IT IS ALL ABOUT PORTIONS!!! END OF STORY. NEXT TIME YOU GO TO THE BURGER PLACE, JUST ORDER YOUR BURGER/SINGLE NO FRIES AND NO SODA. BOTTOM LINE, IT MATTERS LESS WHAT YOU EAT AS OPPOSSED TO HOW MUCH. IF YOU EAT MORE CALORIES THAN YOU BURN YOU GAIN WEIGHT. IF YOU EAT LESS CALORIES THAN YOU BURN YOU LOSE WEIGHT, ITS PRETTY SIMPLE FOLKS. I AM GOING TO SAY THERE IS BLAME TO BE SHARED, THE INDIVIDUAL FOR BEING SUSCEPTABLE TO THE SUPER SIZE FOR 50 CENTS BIT. BUT THESE BIG CHAIN RESTAURANTS KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING, DONT LET THEM FOOL YOU INTO THINKING THEY ARE ONLY PROVIDING WHAT IS DEMANDED. NOBODY EVER DEMANDED 64 OZ OF COKE WITH THEIR BURGER, BUT IN THE LAST 15 YEARS IT HAS COME TO THAT.

    September 19, 2012 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cinderella

      NO ONE is responsible for what YOU put in your mouth except YOU. You cannot blame ANYONE ELSE for CHOOSING to eat crap. This is a choice. No one is holding a gun to your head and making you eat fast food.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:00 | Report abuse |
    • jim111506

      HAIL ROB! THOSE OF US WHO YELL INCESSANTLY SALUTE YOU!

      September 19, 2012 at 17:18 | Report abuse |
    • John J

      The CAPS gave me a headache and I had to stop reading your post, lol.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:21 | Report abuse |
    • Seldom Seen Mike

      "IT IS ALL ABOUT PORTIONS!!! END OF STORY. NEXT TIME YOU GO TO THE BURGER PLACE, JUST ORDER YOUR BURGER/SINGLE NO FRIES AND NO SODA"

      Its great you lost all that weight, but most overweight people probably shouldn't be eating burgers and brown sugar water at all.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
  8. Deadlift

    I agree that the government should not be allowed to tell people what they can and cannot eat. And they don't. You people are getting "your rights" mixed up with regulations on what businesses can sell.
    Just as restaurants/bars are not allowed to serve alcohol to someone who is overly intoxicated, they should not be allowed to serve an excess of unhealthy food, especially to overweight people.
    This isn't an attack on your rights, if anything it's an attack on the business. Get over it!

    September 19, 2012 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Laura

      I would really like to see calories, fat, carbs and protein content listed on menus at all restaurant for all items. I think it comes down to a lack of knowledge for many people about what is exactly in the food they eat. There have been times when I've looked up nutritional information after eating at a restaurant and I find out I've had half or more of my daily intake of calories in one sitting without knowing it. (1000 calorie salads! What the heck!) I understand it wouldn't stop everyone from ordering the unhealthy stuff, but at least it would be a feasible start to help get this epidemic under control.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
  9. ES

    For me the real issue with healthy life style is lack of time. We work full time and we have 2 kids. We get up at 6am, get kids to school by 7am, then to work by 8am. We are home by 6pm and then we usually have some sort of lessons we need to take kids to. So, we are really back at home at about 7.30PM. This is to late to cook anything .
    Any cooking or excercising happens on weekends only.

    September 19, 2012 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jake

      Work out during your lunch hour if that's possible. That's my favorite thing to do. I get back to the office energized and much more productive.

      Also, I try to make big batches of food on the weekend and put them in containers in the freezer so I've got decent food ready to go during the week. It gets a bit tricky, but can be done with a bit of planning.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:05 | Report abuse |
    • anon

      Cook foods on a Sunday evening for the following week, like a big pot full of stew, or ghoulash. It won't last all week, but it may carry you into monday or tuesday. Also, you don't HAVE to cook the meals. Stock up on plenty of nuts, fruits and veggies. Make a plate full of that stuff, or if you don't have time to prepare a salad (5min), then buy the ones premade.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:07 | Report abuse |
    • JudgeDB

      I work out at lunch, and I come back to the office sweaty and tired. For some reason, burning a ton of energy doesn't make me immediately feel more energetic...

      September 19, 2012 at 17:13 | Report abuse |
    • Deadlift

      If you're too stupid to figure it out, it's your own fault. You start work at 8am and aren't home until 6pm? Don't BS. Maybe spend less time sitting on the couch watching movies and spend more time outside with your kids. If you are unable to provide them with adequet diet and exercise, you fail as a parent and should never have had children. You can't even take care of yourself.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:13 | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Deadlift, that's very helpful, thanks for your input. Why is it BS that she works at 8 and gets home at 6? Most people I work with generally work 8 to 6, so it's more like leave home at 7 and get home at 7.

      And yes, working out definitely makes me (and most people I know) feel more energetic. If it doesn't, you're not doing it right!

      September 19, 2012 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
    • Tara

      I hear you, but at the same time, but I feel like it is imperative that kids learn good eating habits at a young age, and fast food should be reserved for friday or sat. night treats. Though I am single, I work from 8-8 during the week, leaving little time for a ton of cooking. Planning out meals on Sunday that can be easily cooked in 20 minutes, or cooking a large meal on the weekends (i.e., whole grain pasta with veggies and sauce) that can be eaten for more than one meal are just a couple of suggestions. A cooked rotisserie chicken from Hannaford with roasted potatoes and veggies is always a great alternative to most fast food choices. I think if you make healthy eating a priority and a lifestyle choice, you can come up with good solutions to how to get around a lack of time.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
    • ES

      > If you're too stupid to figure it out, it's your own fault. You start work at 8am and aren't home until 6pm? Don't BS. Maybe spend less time sitting on the couch watching movies and spend more time outside with your kids. If you are unable to provide them with adequet diet and exercise, you fail as a parent and should never have had children. You can't even take care of yourself.

      Wow, do you even have a job? If you start work at 8am, your work day ends at 5 pm.Another hour is spent commuting and picking up kids from school. And just for your information – I don't watch TV at all. And the only time I watch movies is when I take overseas trip to visit my family, which is once a year. You sound like aperson looking for somebody to hate. Sorry, that is not me.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • Deadlift

      I don't hate people, I hate their BS excuses for being overweight/obese. I stand by what I said.

      Sounds like you fail at life. There are studies in this article that prove that you are a moron: http://chaosandpain.blogspot.ca/2012/06/your-fat-is-unequivocally-your-fault.html?zx=470cf14f3c6f014

      This study is helpful too: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/06/08/154568945/what-america-spends-on-groceries?sc=tw&cc=share.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
    • Avalon

      I second Jake's suggestion of cooking on the weekends. Another take is freezer meals, doing most of the prep time on the weekend, and cooking it up quickly on the weekenight.
      Taking a healthy lunch to work gives you more free time to go on a walk, just be sure to pack any supplies you might need to be comfortable. If you you could find a co-worker or two to do this with, you'll be more likely to stick with it.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
  10. Cinderella

    NO ONE is responsible for what YOU put in your mouth except YOU. You cannot blame ANYONE ELSE for CHOOSING to eat crap. This is a choice. No one is holding a gun to your head and making you eat fast food.

    September 19, 2012 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jake

      That's a dumb statement. You can only put things in your mouth that exist and are available. There are MANY people / organizations involved in determining exactly what options are available for us to put in our mouths.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:01 | Report abuse |
    • Ross

      Totally agree and I am proof of it!

      September 19, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
    • Deadlift

      Then eat less if you are too stupid to find proper food.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:14 | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Deadlift, I wish you'd stop eating all together.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
    • Deadlift

      I could care less what some fat sorry ass thinks of me.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Deadlift, it's highly likely I'm in better shape than you. I'm 6'2", 180. The reason I don't like you is that you're a rude $%#@ who makes posts to be mean and has nothing intelligent to contribute. Go do some more deadlifts (and please change your name because deadlifts are one of my favorite exercises and you're giving them a bad name).

      September 19, 2012 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
    • 5k

      @jake : not sure why, but this seriously made me laugh out loud -
      "Deadlift, I wish you'd stop eating all together."

      September 19, 2012 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
    • Deadlift

      I don't care what shape youre in. I am a woman who can deadlift 225lbs and I have earned my right to speak however I please. Giving deadlifts a bad name? Tell that to my audience at the gym.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
    • Butchie67

      Cinderella, are you a pro-choice person? If yes then the same could be said for aborting a baby that was conceived via consensual sex. It was the woman's choice to get inplanted with child.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:12 | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Deadlift, lifting weights doesn't give you the right to be rude.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:33 | Report abuse |
  11. Jake

    Farm subsidies are the problem people. Get rid of them and obesity slowly goes away.

    September 19, 2012 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Laura

      Not sure about that one. Can you explain more Jake? I assume you are talking about corn and soy subsidies, but I'm not sure how that will help people make smarter and healthier choices in the foods they eat?

      September 19, 2012 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Laura, this is a pretty well-understood and accepted cause / effect in the medical industry (I last heard this from a Dr. at the Mayo Clinic). I don't know how much you know about economics, but subsidies always have the effect of producing more of the subsidized product than consumers actually want (and are therefore usually a bad thing). In the case of farm subsidies, we have ended up producing way more corn than we want to consume. Since we had way more corn than we needed, we turned it into High Fructose Corn Syrup. This is super-cheap since it's subsidized and as a result, food manufactures use it in just about any packaged good you find in the grocery store. High fructose corn syrup is horrible for us and is a direct contributor to our obesity problem.

      Happy to explain further if needed...

      September 19, 2012 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
    • LukeWarm

      if we remove the subsidies on corn and soy then soy fillers and HFC will not be so cheap and easy to use in process foods. Can you imagine big the price of ding dongs would be if the fillers and surgars they are made of are not subsidized? Would anyone pay 5.00 for a donut when they could buy an apple for 50cents?

      September 19, 2012 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      I understand and agree, but even if you replaced that corn syrup with sugar it's still not good for you and I doubt you'd see a significant drop in national obesity if people continued to those eat products. Ultimately I think it would be a good step, but an even better step would to be to educate people. I know this sounds silly because you assume people know that eating donuts are bad for you, but they really don't, especially children. I was a teacher and my students couldn't tell me that chicken was a meat and lettuce was a veggie let alone what was in the processed pre-packaged food they ate. Scary!

      September 19, 2012 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • Avalon

      Yes! The current Farm Bill is getting batted around in congress, and I'm wondering where is the grass roots movement to inject some common sense into our senators and representatives.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Actually Laura, High Fructose Corn Syrup is way worse for you than sugar. Your body doesn't react to it as food because it is not a natural ingredient. Not to get technical, but High Fructose Corn Syrup doesn't release the hormone leptin, which natural sugar does. Leptin speeds up metabolism, releases fat and makes you feel full. There's much more to say on the subject, but the bottom line is, High Fructose Corn Syrup is HORRIBLE for you in many more ways than I've mentioned here.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • JCR

      Hmmm...farm subsidies a big problem in Kuwait and Nauru?

      September 19, 2012 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
  12. Ross

    It's your fault unless it's genetics. I was at 205 lbs about 3 months ago and got fed up with being over weight so I stopped eating out at fast food places, cook my own meals (mainly fish and veggies) and work out 3x a week for about 30 minutes and I'm down to 177 lbs and lost about 2"+ from my waist. If it isn't genetics then you're just being lazy...

    September 19, 2012 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Truthbetold

      Agreed Ross. Some are genetic but its a minority. And kudos to you for your hard work....its not easy to turn that around.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:12 | Report abuse |
  13. anon

    Actually, this problem may turn out to fix itself anyway without the help of the govt. with more and more dr.'s refusing to treat the obese.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Becky

    Wow, lots of nasty comments. If it was as easy as most of you think it is, it wouldn't be such a problem.
    I have worked with many health care professionals including a therapist. No one has the answer, if those of us who are obese could just quit eating so much & excercise we would.
    This problem is much more complex than most people realize. In some cases the obsessive eating is being used to deal with child hood trauma and even though I know that, it doesn't make it any easier to change.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dumbfounded

      Of course it's not easy. But I will bet my life on this. If you run 3 miles a day at an 11 minute a mile pace or faster, and you eat less than 1600 calories a day, with fruits, veggies, and very little fat annd unhealthy carbs. You will NOT be 300 lbs. I understand you may be slightly bigger than most, but there is a difference in slightly bigger and very obese. Dr.s Give my mom about 15 different prescriptions to combat her health issues. Do you know not 1 of them has said anything about her being over 300 lbs? If you always think that you got the wrong end of a deal, I can assure you, no one will be able to help you. Until you want it, and exercise hard you won't lose weight. I'm not talking about walking at a speed of 2.5 on the treadmill either. I'm talking running or working out until your shirt is soaked with sweat.

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

      Yeah no question food is addictive and releases endorphins that make us feel good when we are stressed, traumatized, etc... If you are having trouble losing weight first and foremost simplify other current issues in your life, throw away all finger foods and then follow a rigid schedule of calorie counting.

      When you feel like binging (because that's what addictions make you do) you have to be ready to deny it and not have any cheat foods in close proximity.

      Most people can't lose weight because they have 20 other stressful situations going on in their life, go to eliminate them as best possible first.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
  15. Beatrice

    I started to gain weight and had a change of Metabolism when I was a child. I was sexually molested. I have been fighting with my weight ever since. I am not taking this as an excuse. It's just that I would like people to know that food can be an addiction. A lot of overweight people have psychological problems. They need support like smokers and alcoholics, not disdain and ridicule.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dumbfounded

      I agree with you 100%. Most obese people have psychological issues instead of bad genes and thyroid problems. Knowing one has those issues is the first step. Getting help is the next.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:17 | Report abuse |
  16. richard

    This is a great idea but why stop with fat people. Throw in those that smoke. Then those that drink. Then those that do drugs. Then those that drive fast. Then those that don't wear seatbelts. Then those that sun tan. They those that work too much. Then those that travel to 3rd world countries that could catch something. Then get rid of old people they get sick alot. Then people who refuse to have their kids vaccinated. Then people who don't cover when they cough. The list is endless.
    Get a life.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Having a good laugh

      ...and those that engage in high risk activities requiring high dollar rescue operations (mountain climbing, boating, skiing)...

      September 19, 2012 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
    • happy

      Richard, your post was the only one I've read that has any connection to the real world. thank you for your common sense, and for stating the obvious. Why can't more people see the big picture? It's so easy to attack and malign any given group of people. We need to calm down, try a little tenderness, and work together to solve difficult problems with some RESPECT for one another. Fat people want to be thinner, ugly people want to be pretty, old want to be young, drunks seem pretty happy though eh?

      September 19, 2012 at 18:46 | Report abuse |
  17. robertblumenthal

    It's one thing to have a genetic problems with weight, but it's quite another by eating a super-sized meal at McDonalds every day and then whining.

    Most people do not have genetic problems, so they do need to take responsibility for their health and weight issues. I'm 52 years old and did not begin having weight problems until I was 44-45. I was always an thin athlete and never had problems with conditioning.

    When I stopped working out and ate poorly with no exercise, I gained 53 pounds in a few short years. Three years ago I began walking daily, then jogging and lifting weights, and changed my diet to include lean protein, vegetables, and no sugary snacks. The result: I lost 41 pounds and feel great.

    My point is that most of us have the ability to work out and do something to help keep our bodies tuned and in shape, which helps fight off sickness and aging. We simply choose not to. It's a matter of making the decision and taking responsibility for our own bodies and stop playing the victim.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marianne

      No, your point is anecdotal.

      Americans sure do love their black and white answers to problems, but it's rarely that simple, no matter the problem. Countless studies have been done that prove weight loss and fitness improvements vary WIDELY from person to person (or rat to rat). Even beyond issues like hypothyroidism, one person might have to work twice as hard as the next guy to attain the same result. So while you congratulate yourself for your amazing willpower and no-nonsense approaches, how can you be so sure you'd be able to do this if it took twice as long to get results? You really can't. Nobody can.

      This isn't even touching the myriad psychological issues involved with weight gain. We are far more kind as a society to people who aren't fat but are equally addicted to smoking, drinking, drugs, and even food (there are plenty of people who eat very poorly but don't gain weight as easily). But fat people are immediately labeled as lazy, gross, stupid, and basically worthless.

      All that said, we know that somewhere around HALF our population is overweight or obese, which means it affects people we all know, and purportedly love. The comment above isn't abusive like so many on this page, but it bears mentioning. The people you love don't deserve this kind of abuse, certainly not if you're expecting kindness (or shelter, or work, or money, or service) from them in return.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
  18. Slappy_McGiggles

    Fat people are always trying to place the blame on everybody and everything else. Put down that bag of nachos and get off the couch you fat f*k!

    September 19, 2012 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rgaz51

      Your comments make you seem very ignorant. Not all fat people blame someone else for their situation. If only we could do something with all the stupid people like you.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse |
  19. Josie

    Look at this way...a 100 to 150 years ago, the human race was more active. We were that way to produce the items and the food we needed to survive. Now we have fast food, people who sit in front of computers all day and night with no real form of exercise. They don't adjust their calorie intake to what they are actually using. Now mind you, I do walk when I get the option and try to stay within a certain weight range. For me that means on days I am not so active I don't eat as much, on days I am I eat more. I do understand there are medical problems out there that can cause unwanted weight gain. BUT when I see a lady that is close to 400 pounds at 5'5" come into where I work (Wendy's) and order the largest sandwhich and fries we have...plus more and sit an eat all of it...really people?

    September 19, 2012 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • happy

      It's called addiction. Drug addicts start with a small amount, but after awhile, it takes more to get satisfied. Eventually they are homeless, sick, or dead from abuse. Drugs, drink, cigarettes, food...all the same. But with food, you can never just STOP like AA members or smokers, that makes it a little harder I think?

      September 19, 2012 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
  20. Byron Delaney MS Nutrition

    Caloric restriction and exercise = weight loss. Do you think people evolved by sitting on their behinds stuffing their faces with refined fatty garbage all day? Get out of your car, get off the couch, get away from the desk, and walk for two hours every doggone day. Walk for five hours if you're up to it. If you're walking for four or five hours a day it's a lot harder to stuff your face with garbage because you'll probably puke.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Liz

    In my own battle against obesity, I have found that the responsbility belongs soley to me. However, I believe that small steps, such as full disclosure of nutrition facts on menus (calories, fat content, serving size, etc.) should be mandated. American's may make better choices. Having lost 81 pounds in the past 8 months it's as simple as calories in, vs. calories burned and activity levels increasing. In an environment where people work long hours at inactive jobs and have little time to spend with their families, it's easy to sit at your desk all day, rush home in a car (since cycling or walking to work is usually not an option) and take the family out to dinner because it's just been too long of a day. We need to reevaluate how we live and then we may turn a corner.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Deadlift

      Major props for your weight loss. Biking is an option for most people but they simply choose not to do it. It takes me an hour to bike to work and then another hour to get home. I get up half hour earlier and this allows me to get to work on time. It takes 45 minutes to drive home in rush hour traffic so I gave up my car a long time ago. I do this every day and the best part is it allows me to eat more. I work a desk job and that has never stopped me from staying in great shape or exercising. I go to the gym on my lunch hour on top of cycling to work. Afterall, the cycling is just LIFE, I don't consider that a workout in the slightest.

      I do agree with you that calories and nutritional info should be available easily. But the problem is, only people who are responsible about their health to begin with are going to take that info seriously. I go to McDonalds once a week on average and before I do I go to their website and use the online nutritional calculator to see what I am putting into my body. It takes 2 minutes and to do otherwise is irresponsible in my opinion.

      If you must eat fast food then at least be responsible and order a water instead of a pop. Eat 1 big mac instead of 3. Small steps...

      September 19, 2012 at 17:52 | Report abuse |
  22. jim111506

    It's YOUR fault I'm twenty pounds overweight. Sure I gorge myself on mac and cheese and eat way too much junk food, but it's still YOUR fault. A few weeks ago, I went to Taco Bell and bought a twelve pack of (crunchy) tacos. I took my precious cargo home and carefully added sour cream and extra cheese to each taco, topping them off with plenty of hot sauce. Excellent ... and YOUR fault! No one else takes responsibility for their actions, so ... "When in Rome ...."

    September 19, 2012 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. John J

    If you are fat then it is your fault, duh!

    But I also blame food manufacturers who dump so much !@#$ in to their food. I mean seriously if you want some Mac and Cheese then shouldn't the ingredients be macaroni and cheese. Instead it contains 20 unpronounceable chemicals in it, lol.

    Yeah still though it is your own fault if you are fat, exercise and make smarter portion controlled food choices and the weight will come off. Not easy but nothing worth doing ever is.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Jake

    Stop worrying about who's to blame here and think big picture. The fact is, we have a major obesity problem in our country and it costs us all a huge amount of money in healthcare. It is certainly partially driven by a lack of self-control of millions of individuals. And it is certainly also driven by the supply of horrible food that we have in this country.

    With a few hundred million people, you're never going to be able to force everyone to have self-control and be healthy. What we CAN do is improve our food supply. There's the right-wing way to do this (eliminate farm subsidies) and the left-wing way to do this (regulate things like high fructose corn syrup). That is what we should be discussing rather than making fat jokes.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jake

      That's a great point, I totally agree. It's nice that someone finally gets it and articulated it so well.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:26 | Report abuse |
  25. Dr. SN

    Our genetics determines our longevity by loading the cannon, whereas our lifestyle tells us what part of that longevity we would keep by lighting the wick on the cannon. So BMI in the medical world has now changed to Abdominal diameter. By having a healthy oral maintenance plan and a compliant abdominal diameter, a host of diseases can be prevented.

    Other than this there are risk factors associated with where we live and work which can be addressed through some practical precautions.

    Good luck!

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

      Did your (terrible) analogy have a point, or did you simply abandon it halfway through your post by accident?

      September 19, 2012 at 17:17 | Report abuse |
    • 5k

      No, i totally got what you were saying, and it was a very good point. @JudgeDB, the point Dr. SN was trying to make was that genetics play a huge part in our health, but your life style can either help increase your longjevity or decrease it. It was a point no one else made, its not about genetics or being lazy as some have said, its about a combination.
      for Dr. SN, what is "Abdominal diameter" I've never heard the term.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
  26. JudgeDB

    I think the worst part of these "discussions" are the people who make arguments that contradict the 2nd law of thermodynamics (my thyroid makes me fat!) and those who refer to vegetables as veggies (yay, you save 3 whole letters!)

    September 19, 2012 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jake

      For me, the worst part of these discussions is when people talk about laws of thermodynamics when they clearly know nothing about thermodynamics. Perhaps if you said the First Law of Thermodynamics, you'd have had a point.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
  27. Paul

    I started eating whole natural foods. I started excercising. I started getting better sleep. I Stopped eating sweets (as often) and I have never felt better. It takes effort. Just do it.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Beth

    The bottom line is this: it is not strictly genetics, it is not strictly diet, it's not strictly one single thing. Sure, genetics play a role in obesity, but it should not be used as an excuse. My whole family is overweight (and I will be too, if I don't watch it), so you know what that means? It means I have to work harder at it than most people. That's just the way it is. It is fair? NO. But it's what I have to do. My husband can eat pizza every night and never gain weight. I can't. As a matter of fact, in order to keep my weight down, I eat lean meats, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds. No bread, no starch, no sugar. So I eat the diet that works for me, I work out 5 days a week, and I stay at at good weight. Again, not fair, but it's just THE WAY IT IS. Don't use genetics as an excuse. Some people are just gonna have to work harder at it than others.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Trying

    I agree most people are just lazy. they need to get out and be active. I see to much of it in my field, people no giving a shi... about what they do or eat or live like. Ik im not perfect and I will admit in the last year and a half I have put on a few pounds but I was going threw a rough patch with no money in the account and maxed out my credit and switching careers to. but now I am on the right track out of dept with money in the pocket and now starting to workout and get healthy again and it feels great. Just gets me even more motivated.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 5k

      Im exactly like you.. my whole extended family is obese, my immediate family can gain weight from looking at a soda, me included. It does suck,my sisters and I have to work out far more than our friends to stay at healthy weights. I cant do 30 mins 3 times a week to maintain like most articles say, i have to do 1 hr 5 days a week to maintain... if i want to lose, i have to work out 1.5 hours every day for a month haha, my sister is the same way! genetics suck, but you can over come them if you truely want to. My other sister doesnt want to put forth an hour 1/2 a day every day to lose weight... so she's normally on the heavy side. Its a Choice she makes.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:36 | Report abuse |
  30. BigBerthaLee

    Obesity is the fault of every person who fails to close their mouth and who stops shoveling it in!

    September 19, 2012 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. CJ

    My doctor tells me that I'm obese because I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It's wrecked my metabolism and my fertility, and I'm constantly fatigued and in physical pain. Call me lazy if you want, but since I listen to my doctor and not random people on the internet who don't know anything about my health, I'm blaming my obesity on my diagnosis.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim111506

      You're lazy.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      CJ–PCOS IS one of the few hormonal disorders that causes obesity. It produces hyperandrogenism, which in turn causes your body to store more fat. It also causes fatigue, hair growth, and many other problems. I honestly know that people who suffer from PCOS cannot control their weight due to hormonal imbalances. But, it is one of the few syndromes that causes weight gain. Some people will use any excuse. Yours is not an excuse.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
    • Deadlift

      your doctor is an idiot and so are you for listening to him. Who the heck goes to their dr for weight loss advice anyways?

      If you exercise every day and eat properly, which you surely don't, then I might feel sorry for you.

      Yes, you are lazy.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
    • humtake

      Sigh, another person who won't do something because they are fatigued. Not many people truly like to work out. They do it because they have to in order to stay fit. Fatigue, hypothyroidism, etc. are all definitely problems to get fixed, but while you are going through the symptoms nothing is stopping you from working out. NOTHING. It's just you. Fatigue doesn't stop you from getting on a cardio machine, it is an excuse not to get on one. Fatigue is not a thing with arms that can physically stop you from doing anything.

      Pain is obviously different. However, you have to put it in context. The only workout I can stand is cardio. Running, elliptical, etc. However, I have pretty bad gout sometimes. During the attack I can't do anything. But once the brunt of the attack is gone, my foot is still in a lot of pain. But that doesn't stop my arms from working. I hate weight lifting. I don't like the feeling. However, if I can't do cardio, I end up doing some weight lifting. Even though I hate it, I take control of my body. You should try the same.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:45 | Report abuse |
    • ranch111

      Go vegetarian. Don't listen to your doctor. They just prescribe poison that doesn't cure anything.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:48 | Report abuse |
    • JP

      @Deadlift I imagine you must get some kind of perverse fix out of spouting your hateful comments. You're mean and wrong, but so long as you pat yourself on the back for being rude and insensitive I guess that's fine, right?

      September 19, 2012 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
    • jim111506

      @JP. You know, informal negative sanctions in the form of insults are effective means of social control. You just might be saving an obese person's life by making an issue of his obesity, e.g., "You are a lazy fat slob. No one will ever love you, fatty!"

      September 19, 2012 at 18:09 | Report abuse |
    • The Eternal Satyr

      And why do you have polycystic ovary syndrome? Could it have been something you ate? Or maybe it's the chemicals leaching out of the plastic containers that literally everything we eat and drink comes in now? People are fat because of many reasons. I would be inclined to look first at our environment as the main culprit.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
    • Alan S

      This comment is actually to JP, rather than CJ. JP, your criticism of Deadlift interested me. Deadlift is blunt, unsympathetic, and uncompromising, but I wouldn't call her hateful. I think I've read all her comments on this thread, and I can't find hate in any of them. Frustration with excuses, yes, but not hate. What concerns me more is that we now live in a country where anyone who criticizes anyone else, no matter how valid the criticism, is attacked as being hateful, or discriminatory, or some similar word.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
  32. Scrap Iron Chef

    BMI is very flawed in a measure of health and fitness. The military utilizes BMI almost exclusively to the detriment of many personnel. For several years I ran the "fat boy" program in my unit. I took the people assigned out each week-day and worked them out, then ran them 1.5 to 5 miles depending on how much work-out occurred before hand. I did not stand there watching them, but rather always set the pace for them at the minimum needed to pass. I averaged 15 miles of running each week. Yet during this time I always had a BMI that was close to being placed on my own program. I had a person on the program for 2 years that the tape measure said was 33% body fat. Yet he was a weight lifter that worked out daily, was a vegan and could run 5 miles at record pace at the drop of the hat. Yet he left the military in disgust due to the way he was treated by the supposed accurate BMI.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. John Humphreys

    It's simple. You're not hunters and gatherers anymore. You are not spending 4,000 calories surviving cold weather, hunting for food, and traveling 15 miles a day or working fields. So why are you still eating. B/c your brain rewards you. I eat 1 chicken breast a day for dinner, and a banana for lunch. I drink water and coffee. No sugar. I also snack on veggies. This diet drops 1lb or so off me per day. I don't work out. Once I hit my target weight I kick up my target weight and begin working out again. It really is as simple as not eating.. how hard is that? Almost as hard as it was for me to quit smoking. It's difficult, your brain/body love to be spoiled. GL

    September 19, 2012 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Seldom Seen Mike

      First of all, hiking 15 miles a day you'd probably be burning like 6 to 8 thousand calories. Secondly, do you get around all day on an electric wheelchair? How could anybody live on one chicken breast, one banana, and some veggies per day? We're not hunter-gatherers anymore obviously, but we still need sustenance and at least 2200 calories a day if you dont get as much exercise as you should.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
  34. humtake

    Time and time again the same thing happens. It doesn't matter what the topic is, if two or more people are debating it the same problem happens. NOTHING. Everyone wants a perfect system that doesn't exist. So, while we argue about it, nothing actually gets done. BMI is not the best way? Well, find a better way. But while we wait for you to do that, then BMI should be the standard. Of course there is a better way. If human history has shown us anything it is that we can improve on whatever we want. But while we work on the improvement we need a standard to go by. It might not be perfect, but it lays the groundwork for society.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Robert

    There are many reasons why obesity is so rampant in this country and you can't say that all obese people are just lazy fat slobs. Our food is tainted with preservatives, HFC, hydrogenized oils, and other unhealthy and questionable substances. Most foods have way too much sugar and sodium. Most parents are busy and stressed (and broke) and do not have time or funds to have a perfect healthy balanced meal every night. Plus, eating sugary crap makes you feel good and when something makes you feel good you want it more and more until you become addicted. Lastly, I see ads for crap food all over the tv, internet, and highway billboards. It is ridiculous what we will do to make a buck at the expense of our nation's health.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim111506

      Well gosh, Robert, I guess we should pass more laws to help the lazy fat slobs stop being such lazy fat slobs. Forcing a fast food joint to list the caloric content for the crap they sell will definitely prevent the average lazy fat slob from acting on his lazy fat slob impulses. Those evil corporations are ruining this country's lazy fat slobs.

      September 19, 2012 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
  36. jyves95

    Let me think about it.. I eat, rest, eat, reat and eat. I'm tired, so I eat. I watch TV and.. eat. I grab a snack while working, and I eat... I know!!! It's because I'm sick.. Obesity is a disease !!! So, it's not my fault if I eat too much and do not do any exercise.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Jack LaLanne

    Obesity is not a physical disease, it is a mental disease. It is not hard to stay in shape. Obese people are just too stupid to realize that you need to put down the twinkies.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Deadlift

      Jack LaLanne, one of my biggest inspirations. And I have his juicer too!

      September 19, 2012 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
  38. ranch111

    Look in the mirror, fatties.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. JR

    I was overweight/obese throughout my childhood and adolescent years and didn't lose the weight and get in shape until I was 19 years old. I can say from experience that diets don't work, you need to change your entire lifestyle. Now I love endurance running/cycling and swimming and don't even think about doing it for health reasons. I don't have a gym membership because I can't stand those places and don't really like weight training but only do it because it helps me swim better. I do eat junk food occasionally but I don't eat much because I don't like the way it makes me feel afterward. Almost everyone is capable of losing weight but they just need to figure out what makes it click for them.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Jimmy Rustler

    Corn subsidies. /thread

    September 19, 2012 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. John

    Forget scales, BMI, use the "my belt is getting tight and I need to get off my tush and get some exercise and quit eating the potato chips. I love fattening food just like the next guy, but I know that I can't burn it off as I have gotten older, so I sniff the donuts, and feel good that I didn't eat one.

    Let's lay a little of the problem on the grocery stores, if you put the cookies, coffee cake and donuts as you come in the door, before people get to the veggies and fruit, you are not helping anyone but the bottom line. Put it still comes down to personal responsibility, and if someone wants to commit suicide, know all the while that they are, let's help them out by not helping them.

    September 19, 2012 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JR

      John,
      It is not fair to blame the grocery stores, they sell what they do because people want to buy it. If everyone going to the grocery store demanded fresh fruits and vegetables that is what the grocery store would display prominently. Just like McDonalds; if everyone who went to McDonalds wanted salads then you better believe they would only sell salads (they don't make any money on the burgers anyway).

      September 19, 2012 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
  42. Claudia

    I blame the person and the Dr for the weight problem. yes you should watch what you eat but when your Dr sees you putting on pounds he should talk with you about it and get it under control right away before it is a problem with you.also get all the cooking shows and food commercials off the air might help ..people wouldn't be so tempted....have you ever counted how many come on in a day?????

    September 19, 2012 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JR

      "get all the cooking shows and food commercials off the air might help"

      I think you're blaming the symptoms instead of the real problem. If everyone was active then infomercials would sell running shoes and bicycles and every show on Food Network would have healthy cooking shows. TV channels don't care what they are airing they just want as many viewers as possible.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:12 | Report abuse |
    • Deadlift

      People only follow the advice of their Dr when it's convient for them. Like when they give excuses for their obesity.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
  43. Frank

    "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."

    I think that's putting it very diplomatically. Incredibly flawed is more like it. Any active athletic person is going to build muscle which weighs more than fat. In the best shape of my life, meaning no fat around the middle, I was at 5-11 and 200 lbs, borderline obese by BMI standards. I was very active in those days and in top condition. I'm pretty sure there are millions of Americans who still work out and play sports.

    September 19, 2012 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Matt

    Chichetr better hope that karma isn't real. If it is, he's likely to have a costly debilitating medical problem in the future.

    September 19, 2012 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Food stamps fault

    If you would do a study on folks that receive food stamps you will see HIGH Obesity .

    September 19, 2012 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim111506

      Yes, I've noticed that. They're ugly, too.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
  46. Task Master

    You can place the blame where ever you want but the reality is ,unless theres a medical reason for being overweight, the fault lies directly with the overweight person and now people like Adolf Bloomberg in New Berlin wants to dictate what and how much a person can eat and drink.We may as well cut the crap about a free country and find A good Nazi like Hitler and put him in charge.

    September 19, 2012 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Jim

    As a freedom-loving fat man, I agree that my fellow taxpayers should not be burdened with the cost of my healthcare. If I want healthcare, I'll pay for it (and I do). That said, I shouldn't be saddled with the cost of healthcare for anyone else, either. Regardless of how sick or poor or wonderful or uninsurable you may be, that's YOUR lot in life. If you don't like it, tough – change it or get used to it.
    Further, if you don't like seeing your "fellow Americans waddling around from fast food restaurant to fast food restaurant, their giant bellies swaying and bulging out under their shirts," as the popular comment in the article reads, feel free to mind look elsewhere and mind your own business. It costs you nothing, and in no way infringes on any of your rights (unlike Obamacare).

    September 19, 2012 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim111506

      You make some good points, Jim. It's just that morbidly obese people like you are so viscerally disgusting. Even if I were to avert my eyes from your grotesque appearance, I could hardly "unsee" the hideous image that has been imprinted on my mind. I think a better solution would be for people like you to avoid going out in public. On those occasions in which you must venture out of doors for some reason, perhaps a full-body, burqa-like covering would be most appropriate.

      September 19, 2012 at 18:34 | Report abuse |
    • JCR

      Jim, do you pay an extra premioum because of your weight? (note, I don't think you should, but if you aren't, you aren't paying "for" your increased risk)

      September 19, 2012 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
  48. Bill

    I used to be obese, who's fault was it, mine, I can't blame anyone else for it. Now I'm healthy and fit, work out daily and my BMI is 23.2. I feel better than I have in years, and I don't have a nutritional expert or trainer that I work with. I't just common sense.

    September 19, 2012 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Johnny

    "Overheard: Whose fault is obesity?" – I know! I know! Pick me! My answer? The people who eat too many calories and don't burn them off. It's their fault.

    September 19, 2012 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. I hate being overweight!

    I moved from Sweden to the U.S. 5 years ago and gained more than 30 pounds 😦
    Too much fast food!

    September 19, 2012 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
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