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To feel depressed by this DM article re size 16

(286 Posts)
Rachtoteach Tue 18-Jun-13 07:21:09

After 37 years on this planet I have finally developed something I wish more women could have - an acceptance of who I am and the ability of being happy in my own body..... even though - shock, horror - I am 5ft2, size 16, 11 something stone. Anyway, I don't cry in the changing rooms anymore wink. I exercise 3 x week, eat a balanced-ish diet, don't smoke, blah blah blah.

It just makes me sad and mad that the DM have taken 4 size 16 women who each turn out to have some health issues, and declare (effectively) all us size 16 women a picture of ill-health! On the results of four women?!! And implying, or least leaving the reader with the impression, that any other (smaller sized) women would conversely be in tip-top health - all of them, simply based on their size!

AIBU to think that there must be some healthy size 16 women out there and probably some not so healthy smaller women? If I am BU then I may as well give up now as I know I am unlikely to ever be much smaller than I am now.

chillinwithmyyonis Fri 21-Jun-13 09:55:23

None of these women had outstandingly bad health problems, slightly higher cholesterol, bp, or a 1/100 chance of developing diabetes is nothing to write home about IMO. Anyone of any size could get those problems.

Technotropic Fri 21-Jun-13 09:48:27

Fair point Chunderella. I stand corrected smile

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 09:46:00

I think weight is just relative to shape height etc of the individual. Some people may be healthy at a size 16 some not. On the other end of the scale some people may be healthy at a size 8 and others not so. I'm 5"10 and after my ds was a size 16. This was unhealthy for me. I was tired all the time and generally not as all round well as I should have been. I am now a size 10 and feel much better. I don't excersise too much, just walk a lot with an active toddler and eat good stuff and bad stuff. Its different for everyone. I know some truly stunning healthy women who are a size 16, and the same who are 6/8.

Chunderella Fri 21-Jun-13 09:33:06

Yeah techno but none of them are in the DM! I'm not saying there's nothing out there about male obesity, just that the Fail likes to infantilise and hector women, not men. Not all newspapers are as bad. If, say, the Guardian had done a piece like this, or the Mirror, it would have a totally different context.

Toadinthehole Thu 20-Jun-13 20:05:39

What fasterstronger said.

There is definately too much emphasis on appearance and dieting. There is not nearly enough recognition of what a healthy diet looks like, which is why I find myself surrounded by people whose occasional treats (e.g. sweets for the children, a bag of crisps, something pastry-based) aren't as occasional as they ought to be.

And - a point that I made earlier - I wouldn't be surprised if people take more medication (for perfectly good reasons) than they used to, and weight gain is a side effect.

Technotropic Thu 20-Jun-13 10:43:53

Also, I totally agree with FasterStronger. Many wise words spoken IMHO.

Technotropic Thu 20-Jun-13 10:43:06

Techno I thought men were at more risk of some things cos of being more likely to store fat on the belly?

TBH I'm no expert but just know that women naturally carry more fat than men. FWIW there are a fair amount of articles relating to men too:

FasterStronger Thu 20-Jun-13 09:13:57

I think it is really important to separate out women being judged for their appearance (in a way men aren't) and an increasing number of people being overweight to the point its damaging their health and life expectancy.

they are very different issues.

looking at dress sizes is obviously a simplification but for the average height women (5 foot 4 or there abouts) , a dress size of 16 is a sign someone is overweight.

so not only is an average woman overweight, but overweight is now normal - meaning we can all loose sight of what healthy looks like.

I have 3 close friends who are highly educated (one soon to be a science professor in a RG uni, one a national newspaper journalist and the other successful in business) who are very overweight.

across income and education levels we are loosing sight of what healthy looks like & it is a very bad thing......................................................................

Mimishimi Thu 20-Jun-13 05:18:22

YANBU to be depressed but it's true that abdominal fat where you are storing it around your organs rather than it going to your hips/bum is really dangerous and massively increases the risk for a whole host of health problems like diabetes, heart attack etc.

All four of those women in that article looked really good to me though. I am a size 12 but I don't think I look half as good as they do in photos - mainly because most of my weight is on my tummy and my face is not as pretty as theirs. I think if you have a really pretty face, you can get away with a bit of extra weight.

Toadinthehole Thu 20-Jun-13 04:45:16

Even were it not for the NHS, obesity remains a public health issue and it is perfectly reasonable for the general public to discuss it. Were it not for that, there would be no scrutiny of the rubbish that big business puts in our food. It is no good saying that issues of weight are too personal. That is not what living in a society is about. It is true that a lot of the discussion is postively unhelpful, but that is a different issue to whether it should be discussed at all.

Kittykatmoll Wed 19-Jun-13 20:49:56

I'm the best part of 5' 9'' and even when I was barely 9 and a bit stone I was still consistently a UK size 16-18 in various shops. At 9 and a bit stone I was verging on 'underweight'. Short of shaving bits off my pelvic and rib bones there's no way on earth I could have been smaller.

Many HCP are now thankfully much more enlightened when it comes to the limits of using weight, size and BMI to assess someone's health.

There's only one thing you can tell about someone who has a certain amount of fat on their body and that's that they have a certain amount of fat on their body.

I have no time for any type of body shaming or appearance Facism. Mental health plays a substantial role in people's relationships with nutrition and physical activity and assaults on anyone's self esteem is unhelpful in this respect. Poor mental health is also much more likely among lower socio-economic groups and these groups are also those who live in areas and circumstances where access to affordable nutritionally valuable food is relatively compromised. There's more to health than simply educating the supposedly 'ignorant' out of their 'unknowing' ways.

Many of the misconceptions about X size = Y health are not supported by independent, large scale, longtitudinal and academically rigorous research. Research that's not funded by companies and individuals with a vested interest in the multi-million pound diet industry.

Dr Linda Bacon's work on Health at Every Size is fascinating in this respect, especially regarding how loosing weight and then regaining it is substantially more damaging to a person's long term health than if they'd simply remained at their original weight. The Health at Every Size Movement has conducted and is conducting a wealth of research on the limits of BMI, the role of genetics and the importance of exercise, regardless of size, too.

As a woman I feel compassion for other women because our characters, intelligences, attitudes, capabilities, motivations and patenting skills are constantly judged by others on the superficial basis of our appearance.

fridgepants Wed 19-Jun-13 18:27:05

"I am also shocked at how many very young women I see that are blatantly obese. 17/18/19 year olds at a size 20+. And flaunting it in strappy tops, hotpants and saggy tummys hanging over too small jeans in crop tops. Like some sort of perverse badge of honour. "

That's an odd thing to say. Yes, they are large, and that says something about society. Probably. But what should they be doing - wearing sacks as penance until they slim down? Frankly I'd like the confidence to be able to wear a crop top...

Would you be saying the same of an underweight woman who was wearing something showing her clavicle or ribcage?

SugarMouse1 Wed 19-Jun-13 18:20:27

Its the bloody Daily Mail, what do you expect?

They should feature an article about four average DM readers, to show how misinformed and bigoted they are.

Take no notice.

Does your GP or anyone say that you have any health problems?

fridgepants Wed 19-Jun-13 18:17:40

Dress size denotes a set of measurements, not a weight or body type. To say that all wearing size A are healthy and all wearing size Y are not doesn't really explain anything. The circumference of my chest and someone else's hips does not tell us how active they are, what their blood pressure is like, or whether they can comfortably walk up a hill.

It's as arbitrary as denoting bra sizes as obese.

Chunderella Wed 19-Jun-13 18:11:20

Techno I thought men were at more risk of some things cos of being more likely to store fat on the belly?

EMUZ Wed 19-Jun-13 15:16:51

Owllady. Stick another 2 stone and a few pounds on top of your weight wink

DuckworthLewis Wed 19-Jun-13 14:46:46

Basically, what FasterStronger said:

If the individual funds their own heathcare, then I agree that their weight/health/whatever is entirely their own business.

If, as in the UK, the rest of society has to fund the individual's healthcare, then it is quite reasonable for the rest of society to have an opinion, surely?

lashingsofbingeinghere Wed 19-Jun-13 14:45:40

I think the point about the DM article is that size 16 is a nice neat label (even though we know one shop's size 16 is another's 14/12 etc).

It just makes a snappier headline and allows women of different ages, heights and weights to be compared by a common denominator. It isn't women hating - that is simply shooting the messenger.

I agree DM should do a similar article for men. What is the male equivalent? Collar size? Waist size? Average male waist size is now 38 inches - perhaps find four blokes who fit the bill and compare their health markers? interesting

DuckworthLewis Wed 19-Jun-13 14:44:03

The NHS still pays a fortune for cancer treatment for smokers, people ill through passive smoking, smoking related illnesses

The difference being that smokers contribute disproportionally to the Treasury through taxes on tobacco products.

There is no similar tax on calorie dense foods.

I'm aware that the causes of obesity runs deeper than this btw, but to be fair, the same can be said for smoking

ButternutSquish Wed 19-Jun-13 14:21:29

Thanks to everyone who said 'well done' to me. I know I' not perfect and why I read the DM online, I have no idea. Everyday they show the worst of the press.

I would love to see men put through the mill too!

Smokers used to get all this shit but as it's illegal to smoke inside a public building it's a bit like, 'out of sight, out of mind'. The NHS still pays a fortune for cancer treatment for smokers, people ill through passive smoking, smoking related illnesses

Technotropic Wed 19-Jun-13 13:33:33


I'm not saying you're wrong but it depends on your POV and how you want to take the information that's been presented.

I believe it is a fact that women store fat differently than men and as such are a higher risk. Men die earlier but that may/may not have anything to do with the 'here & now'. I will worry about my longevity when I approach old age but for the present I want to know that I am in good shape.

I think FasterStonger's links have shown that raising this issue is perfectly valid and not simply an attack on women for sexist reasons.

Chunderella Wed 19-Jun-13 12:18:14

Forgive me for not finding that the most convincing reason for why the DM are hectoring women but not men, techno. Indeed, men die earlier than women and are more likely to store their fat round their bellies so if you want excuses to target men over women, you'd not be short of them.

FasterStronger Wed 19-Jun-13 11:18:01

we have the heaviest women in Europe

Technotropic Wed 19-Jun-13 11:07:18

Regardless of the accuracy or otherwise of this article, it says it all that the DM have done it for women but not men

It depends on your POV but women generally carry more fat than men and use it differently (for biological reasons). Thus it's not unreasonable to target women as they are a relatively higher risk.

primallass Wed 19-Jun-13 11:00:39

The difference in the size:weight ratios is mind boggling. I am 5ft5, 11st12 and a comfortable size 14. At 11st I get into some 12s. I'd have to be about 9.5 to be a 10 though I think.

Thanks to changing my useless thyroxine my weight is starting to creep down.

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