Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fat VS. Tobacco?

"I was at this meal, and it came up that one of the people was a smoker. And somebody else at the table started hectoring them about 'what's the matter with you, don't you know how bad it is for you, it'll do this, that, and the other to you and you really should stop.' And the smoker, rather than saying 'fuck you!' you know, 'mind your business!' Which I think is the appropriate response, was abashed and defensive. 'Oh I tried to quit and yeah, I'm gonna try again and yeah you're right,' and so on. At that same table there was a quite large woman, and I was wondering, what if this guy, instead of confronting the smoker had said to the large woman, 'what's the matter with you, you fat pig? Don't you know how dangerous it is to be overweight? Stop eating, and don't you dare get dessert! and what's the matter with you?' right? Same logic; I'd be hard-pressed to find a distinction between the two. So now one is socially acceptable (to hector smokers) but the other isn't quite, yet. So the question is, at what point will it become acceptable to publicly hector fat people in the way that the smokers are publicly hectored?" - Jacob Sullum (editor of Reason Magazine, 2004)

I'm watching Super Size Me.

For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, a guy (Morgan Spurlock) makes himself the test subject of fast food, McDonalds specifically. He can only eat McDonalds for the next month (30 days), must have each item on the menu at least once, and if they ask if he wants to super size his meal, he has to.

After his 3rd or 4th day, they interview Mr. Sullum (man quoted before page break, sorry for all of the parenthesis). And what Mr. Sullum had to say really made me think, and also made complete sense.

Now, we all know that calling someone a "fat pig" is out of line, but really, what is the difference between criticizing someone for smoking, and criticizing someone for eating such unhealthy food? Smoking is the number one killer (at least of Americans, not sure about other countries) and obesity is a close second, which makes them just about equally dangerous.

Taken by moi. Peace Tea :)
What everyone tells me is basically it's their choice what they eat. And yes, I agree. But it's also someone's choice to smoke. Why is it socially acceptable to judge and hector a smoker but not someone who's obese? What makes one okay and the other not? They're both doing something that could easily kill them. And even with second hand smoke, it's the same with eating badly. If parents do it, so will their kids. Kids are sponges when they're little, and they copy what their parents do. They eat what is given to them. So it's  like second-hand obesity.

Not to mention that fast food is much cheaper than healthy food. Well, at least natural/organic stuff. But you don't have to eat organic to eat healthy. It's not like McDonalds and Whole Foods are your only choices.

Other than price, why do people eat such terrible food, and eat out at restaurants and fast food joints so often if they know it's bad for them? Enough that it could kill them? Why don't they exercise? And honestly, in this case, walking isn't much exercise. Not enough to burn over 1,000 calories from a fast food meal.

I mean, America is one of the fattest countries in the world, there's a couple others that come somewhat close, but we're HUGE! And yet, we don't care. Sure, there's healthy places to eat at, but as if there's enough people going to them and eating right and using the gyms enough to make a difference. It's not like we were recently dubbed as the fattest nation on the planet, so how come so little has changed? Is it really that difficult?


  1. Agreed.
    Not so long ago I was - again - warned of the dangers of smoking by a very overweight friend.
    Now that's hypocrisy.
    And yeah, I did point that out.

  2. Hmm... I see your point. But, smoking ruins the environment whereas eating bad food doesn't. Unless you're farting all the time or dropping your burger wrappers everywhere. xD
    Plus, to be honest, I don't care about my health. I should, but I don't. I don't care whether I die or not. o_O

  3. I'm right there with you on this one. I think it's just a self-confidence thing. Typically (Stressing the typically), smokers aren't deformed nor do they typically obtain any physical abnormalities unless they're far into their smoking careers. I guess in a sense i see it as a cigarette just isn't a part of your body. Making fun of something that isn't a part of who you are like a cigarette is much different from making fun of who and what you are (And in this case, what you're made up of and what you look like). People here have learned to care far too much about their physical traits because at this point its become a fault.

    America is disgusting. I'm sorry, I love where I live, what everyone in history has done for it, and how lucky that i am to have what i have, but it just is; The media, the diets, the attitudes; everything. Even other countries such as France, who also consume large amounts of fatty meals, are still so much healthier than Americans. Their occurrences of fat related problems and diseases are still so much lower than ours because they're much healthier in general and have been for some time. As opposed to something like my family traits, where its doused with all sorts of diseases and problems like diabetes and obesity (One of the very few reasons i take the time to take care of myself). It's sad, but America really has become a laughing stock, and most of the people within it have been so dulled down by the media that they just don't care or they see it entirely backwards, just like you said (i.e. smoking is cool vs. obesity being bad).

    I mean, do you have any idea what some Ethiopian child would probably do if they were to be introduced to a television and shown the show on Food Network where that guy travels from restaurant to restaurant eating as much as he possibly can? While they pick the flies from their rotting ears and eat them, because they lack so much food and proper nutrition? Fucked up, huh? This is one of my main concerns with Obama. The biggest problem lies within this country right now, but i'm pretty sure that i'm right when i say that Kennedy was the last president to actually really care about what happened within the country and the people specifically. There in that statement leaves plenty of room for conspiracies about why he was killed. Maybe, maybe not; I'm sure we'll never know. But bombing Libya under Obama's corrupt reasoning and starting another war really makes me think that we're not really on his agenda.

    Health is also such a low concern in this country. Money runs it and over-rules everything, including providing quality food for the people in the country. Even the FDA has and has had some incredibly idiotic people behind it. It's so unimportant in the eyes of what America is now that most people can't really be blamed because no one cares to educate about health and fitness. I've met so many people that eat McDonalds because simply, they thought that most everything was much more better for you than bad, which just isn't the case. But i mean, that's really only common sense, or it should be. Who really would have thought that the store you were going to get something to eat at really was killing you slowly in the ways that a McDonal's meal would? It really just shouldn't be an issue.

    This is one reason why i'm becoming a personal trainer and physical therapist. I'll be a part of the solution, not the problem. In one session i will teach and leave all of information that a person will need to know in order to get themselves to their physical liking. They'll never have to pay me for another session, unless they want and/or need me to for motivation or whatever the reason may be. Between this and my physical therapy, i will make plenty due for income. And the best part about that is that income doesn't make me happy. Changing that person's life is what will make me happy. No one can put a set amount of money on that.

  4. So true. The same can be said of people who drive motor vehicles. They're oh so worried about second-hand smoke.. but apparently unconcerned with the kilos of noxious fumes they release into our atmosphere every time they take the car to go grocery shopping because they can't be bothered with public transport.

  5. Jodie - I guess it's not AS bad as putting all of the fumes into the air and those around you, but so do cars and other things that put out exhaust fumes. It's the same thing, really. You're still breathing them in. And eating fast food can be just as dangerous to the environment, people are part of the environment and it's destroying us. They mass slaughter animals and stuff them full of preservatives and artificial flavors, then we eat it. How is it any different? It's easier to become fat than it is to get lung cancer after a month of smoking.

    James - I always love your long comments :) I agree with the Kennedy thing, though I didn't live around his time. Not that I think, anyway. But I don't think any president cares more about their country than they do others. They always want to fix everyone else's country to look better to everyone else. But internally is where more problems lie, and they're just ignored. It's great that you're becoming a trainer and PT :D People really should care more about themselves, you only get one body and you should care for it, not stuff it full of fake food.

    Hannah - That's why I've taken up walking to the store and Subway and other stores that are a couple blocks from my house. It'd be pointless to drive so far unless I'm buying many things or going a really far distance. Plus I always get lost on buses... not sure how.

  6. some people = jerks. I think that sums it up.

  7. Yep, I agree. I smoke and it pisses me off when people come to preach about it. Yes, I know it´s shit but it´s nobody elses business but mine. It´s a free country and unless I´m blowing smoke rings in your face, you can stay quiet.
    Otherwise I take care of my body though - I go jogging and to the gym and I stay slim...kind of a contradiction in terms. Anyway I guess my motto is just live and let live.

  8. seriously? Why would it be socially acceptable to hector obese people, Im SURE they know its bad for their health. Would you go and tell an anorexic shes underweight and be like JUST EAT ALREADY! hum? no? cause that would worsen the eating disorder. Did you dummys even REALIZED obesity is/ can be cause by an eating disorder? I think the hectoring is for the doctors, not for randoms. People who know them can nicely sugest to go do something physical with them. ei walk in a park, go to a zoo, idk im sure you could think of something. But don't hector em over their weight. Your just gonna make the person (which it is a PERSON with who would know, but FEELINGS) worse and depressed if their not already.

  9. Emma, if you even READ the post, you'd see that that's exactly my point, but with tobacco.

    Why tell someone who's smoking that it's bad for them when they OBVIOUSLY know that?

    Wow, someone skipped SSR in school...


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