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647 replies

travelinterest · 12/10/2018 08:59

After a conversation with friends, and with obesity (especially in young people) becoming a bigger crisis than smoking in our society, am I unreasonable to think that as we villanise smoking and drinking, should we fat shame more to encourage people to change their lifestyles. It's certainly worked with reducing smoking rates. Don't attack me (I've lost 2 stone). Just wondering why we target smoking more than fast food?

OP posts:
Biancadelriosback · 12/10/2018 10:04

You've got to be an absolute idiot to think that fat shaming will help make people lose weight. It'll make them take extreme measures to lose weight quickly such as purging, taking ephis and other illegal drugs etc. Certainly did to me.

Tinty · 12/10/2018 10:04

Fat shaming makes people feel worse about themselves so then eat more. So it wouldn’t work imo

^ ^

My Ddad has spent his life complaining at Dmum for being fat, she has got fatter because of all his nastiness. He used to complain at my brother and I because we didn't back him up. We thought that there is already one arsehole being a mean git to her and she doesn't need her DC who love her agreeing with the git even if she was too fat. We could also see he just made her unhappy and she would eat more.

Fat shaming does not work. As far as I can see.

GoldilocksAndTheThreePears · 12/10/2018 10:05

Rewards for weightloss would be a slippery slope. Technically you could lose weight by simply not eating, maybe smoking or chewing away the hunger pains. Thinner to look at, smaller number on the scales, and a person who is far less healthy.

Binge eating and compulsive eating are mental health disorders that no one seems to take seriously. Anorexia is seen as a health condition, obesity due to eating disorders is seen as greed. There is no help.

OnceUponATimeInAmerica · 12/10/2018 10:06

I don’t think shaming is the way forward on an individual level. But, as a population, we need to be more aware and get obesity under control. The number of times I have read on here people saying they are ‘only’ a size 16, so they are average and can’t be fat. 16 may be average, but that is because the majority of people are fat.

I am a size 10. And I am overweight for my build. BMI doesn’t work for me in the opposite direction to many. It tells me I am fine and could put on another stone. It ignores my very small frame. I already have rolls on my belly and a muffin top.

MaryDollNesbitt · 12/10/2018 10:09

I think more food and exercise education within schools and at home and lots of visual aids on packaging would be hugely beneficial. We may 'see' obesity, but we aren't necessarily seeing the impact of it on the body until it's too late.

The nutritional information on packets needs to be MUCH bigger imho. It also needs to be 100% clear - none of this 1/119th of a packet contains 45 kcals to make it look 'better' than it is. You tell people exactly just how much fat, calories, etc. is in the whole pack then and there when they pick things up in the shops. I would also be attaching gory pictures to certain food and drinks packaging - rotting teeth on full fat bottles/cans of pop and so on. Pleasant to look at? Nope. Off-putting? Absolutely.

Fat shaming is not the way to go, but people do need to be educated properly about the dangers of obesity, eating a poor diet and not keeping active enough. We need better campaigns and advertising on healthy lifestyles, and we need to tax the shit out of unhealthy products like we do with alcohol and cigarettes. It is NOT cheaper to pick up a 4 pack of chocolate bars and a 6 pack of crisps (both on offer at £1) than it is to pick up a big bunch of loose bananas at anywhere between 80p-£1 and/or whatever fruit/veg is on offer at the supermarket week by week, sometimes for as little as 39p, depending on where you shop. We need to abolish the idea that heathy eating is expensive. It does not NEED to be. It is only expensive when you don't know how to prepare and cook food and/or have a lacking education in healthy eating, and are therefore buying ready made meals/convenience foods in abundance.

Clandestino · 12/10/2018 10:10

Fatshaming? That will not work. And it's awful, it's bullying.
Anti-drink and -smoking campaigns don't work through bullying, they work through pointing out health risks.
Fatshaming - would it be showing fat people in adverts and pointing out how horrible they look?

Autumnrocks · 12/10/2018 10:10

"Aren't we meant to have this daily mile thing being implemented across schools?
It's too late for many of us, but I definitely think that will solve the younger obesity crisis"

I'm all for it but it's not going to solve the obesity crisis! Not when these children are fed too large portions and endless snacks.

RandomlyChosenName · 12/10/2018 10:10

Obesity doesn't causes all cancer, heart attack and strokes, but it is a leading cause.

I would like to see the statistics that someone with anorexia is more likely to die of something caused by anorexia than an obese person is likely to die of something caused by obesity. I am genuinely interested.

I don't blame the person anyway, but it doesn't mean that being fat is ok.

Lizzie48 · 12/10/2018 10:16

1. My overeating doesn’t have an impact on anyone else’s health, only mine.

2. You can give up smoking for good, you can’t give up eating.

This definitely. Also, smokers impact on other people's health not just their own, ever heard of passive smoking or expectant mums smoking through pregnancy??

Also, a lot of overweight people have very low self esteem and their response is to 'comfort eat'. How is fat shaming supposed to help them lose weight??

I do agree, though, that something needs to be done about obesity in children and young people. But there needs to be a careful balance. There's too much pressure on children about weight issues as it is, especially on girls. My DDs already worry about getting big tummies, and looking fat in what they're wearing. (Personally I blame Barbie and Disney princesses.) The reality is they're both as slim as anything and they're very active, which helps a lot.

I've had a lifelong struggle with my weight and I've always been careful to make it a non issue in our house.

ArcheryAnnie · 12/10/2018 10:18

If fatshaming worked in making fat people lose weight, then we'd all be slim.

Don't be so ridiculous, OP.

PerpendicularVincent · 12/10/2018 10:22

I think you've cracked it.

Insult people and solve the obesity problem. Well done Hmm

SupremeDreamz · 12/10/2018 10:22

I always get the impression that people who fat shame others want an extra reward for being the right weight. It's not enough to have that aspect of life covered, they need to accentuate it by pointing out other people haven't done it.

A friend of mine was fat shamed as she bought a pizza in the supermarket while wearing unflattering clothes. Sadly for the shamer she was working full time and spending every other spare moment supporting 2 very sick people and trying to do everything that comes with that, hospital visits included. She gave them an enormous dressing down and they had to stumble away, red-faced, as other shoppers laughed their (various sized) asses off.

So, if you want to help people out by mocking their extra weight you might want to prepare yourself for some kick back.

arwenearlythereyet · 12/10/2018 10:23

"Don't attack me (I've lost 2 stone)."

Should we have attacked you when you were fat?

Vagndidit · 12/10/2018 10:24

Um, ok. 🙄

It's easier to eliminate cigs and alcohol from our lifestyles because we don't BLOODY need it. We do, however, NEED to eat..

Hideandgo · 12/10/2018 10:25

Fat people are already fat shamed on a daily basis so YABU to think they are not.

partyanime · 12/10/2018 10:26

We've definitely gone too far in celebrating obesity

Hairspray for example

Plus size women clothing shops all over the high street and advertising on tv

Body confidence is great... but we've jumped from body confidence and avoiding telling our kids through media that they should look like an airbrushed skinny plastic doll... to normalising something equally unhealthy and promoting it as okay

I love when I see advertisements like (is it River Island???) where they have models with visible disabilities

I don't love when I see unhealthy sized people promoted as fashionable

I've already said... I'm obese. Where I live, I'm also a fairly normal woman. Every other person is obese.

arwenearlythereyet · 12/10/2018 10:26

I don't look fat - so the OP's proposed fatshaming model would not work for me - but I need to lose weight and have been told to do so by my GP.

I asked her for advice. She said 'Try the 5-2 diet.' I asked her if it works. She said 'I don't know.'

So maybe GPs or practise (c?) nurses need better training and more time to advise.

Lalliella · 12/10/2018 10:27

OP it depends what you mean by fat shame. If you mean shouting “oy fatty” at overweight people then clearly YABU. If you mean not normalising obesity and not praising people for deciding to be whatever size they want to be regardless of how unhealthy that size is and encouraging people to be within a healthy weight range then I think you have a point.

There’s a danger that we can we be too afraid of upsetting people to speak the truth - being overweight is bad for your health.

I’m not sure about the poverty thing either - there are plenty of healthy cheap foods - veg, pasta, tinned tomatoes, etc. I bought 2 (very posh) bananas for 28p at Waitrose the other day, the friend I was with bought crisps for 80p.

Ontopofthesunset · 12/10/2018 10:27

Well, for me the question really is what does the OP mean by 'fatshaming'? I actually hate the term, because it is widely used when people are not 'shaming' at all. Fatshaming to me would be jeering at fat people or throwing insults at them, whereas in fact I see the term used all the time on threads about health when there is no 'shaming' going on, just a statement of fact.

Jaxhog · 12/10/2018 10:28

Keep in mind that we don't need to smoke or drink, but we do need to eat. You can completely give smoking and drinking up without risking your health. You can't stop eating. It is much easier to give something up than to moderate your consumption (think alchoholics).

For as long as every other TV advert, and quite a few programmes e.g. GBB etc, show food as a highly desirable thing, it's a bit unreasonable to fat-shame.

pumpastrotter · 12/10/2018 10:29

Anorexia actually carries a much higher mortality rate - should we skinny shame too?

People do skinny shame, I'm a completely average size (8-10) and have spent my entire life being skinny shamed by my 'friends' or larger people. 'Go eat a burger' 'I can see your bones' 'You've got no curves' Ironing board' 'you look ill' (I've never dieted in my life and have always eaten more than most). Girls I went to school with who were naturally skinny were mocked and called Skeletor or had rumours spread they were anorexic, but god forbid you call someone fat, then you're a horrible bully apparently.

Fat shaming is probably a bad choice of words, but yes I agree to an extent and it's disappointing to see so much obesity celebration in the name of 'body confidence' (looking at you, Tess Holliday). There was was furore when the cancer ad went up stating obesity increasing chances of developing because it was 'fat shaming'; it's not fat shaming, it's a bloody fact and the people offended by it are the same people who are fat out of their own life choices.

Leighhalfpennysthigh · 12/10/2018 10:29

Just to put the cancer Research uk data into,perspective...4 in 10 cancers are preventable and the leading cause of cancer in this group is smoking and then, second is obesity.

That means that 6 in 10 cancers aren't classed as preventable. So people giving messages that obesity will lead to cancer are not telling the whole story.

I've been fat and I've been dangerously underweight. I'm now at a healthy weight and one that works for me and my build. I pay little attention to BMI because I tend to spend most of my day working with incredibly fit people who, according to BMI, are in the morbidly obese category and so I see what bollocks it really is.

Yes, being thin and eating a shit diet, smoking and drink isn't healthy....but society doesn't see that because society (and MN) already fat shame (and thin shame if we're being honest).

People are overweight for a variety of reasons, same as some people are naturally slim. Overweight people are also not a homogeneous mass of poor, stupid and uneducated like some people assume on here. My mother was overweight and she was a gynaecologist. My father is overweight and he is a GP. Neither of them uneducated. Neither of them stuffing sugar and pies and yes, their portion sizes were perfectly ok too.

When you are fat everyone judges you for what you eat, for what you wear, when you exercise (shock, horror fat people exercise too!) and just for existing. Shaming people because of how they look is disgusting. Treating people as stupid because of how they look is disgusting. What sort of society are we becoming when people get judged for not meeting the narrow criteria of what is supposed to look good? And it is looks that people are judging. Unless you have x ray vision and can see inside someone's body or have access to their medical records when how do you know their health status?

One final point. Derailing a bit. We can afford a decent NHS and decent public services. It is just a matter of priority. We just happen to have a govt that doesn't prioritise it.

blueyacht · 12/10/2018 10:31

The fat shaming that goes on in the street is truly shocking. I’ve never been on the receiving end but when I go out with my friend it’s appalling how people* shout stuff in her face and even slow down their cars to abuse her.

She’s a lovely person. She’s a doctor. She’s fully aware of her size and the impact on her health. Name calling doesn’t help.

I do think there should be more help available for people who want to lose weight, just as there is for people who want to stop smoking.

*men. It’s always men.

Stonebake · 12/10/2018 10:33

I don’t think shaming is the answer at all. I am a former smoker and am not overweight fwiw.

I remember being really spurred on to quit smoking when I heard about the benefits of quitting rather than the shame of continuing. Carrot rather than stick. I wasn’t really a hardened smoker though as I only smoked for a few years at university.
Maybe it would have been different had I been a longer term smoker.

kalokagathos · 12/10/2018 10:34

I have been fatshamed at 13. I was chubby. I could not stop myself from the pleasure of eating, that was it. My mum was spelling out exactly what I was doing, I felt embarrassed by the lack of self control I had. Ever since then I have always adhered to healthy eating and exercising. I think that with smoking, people knew it was bad but continued until they felt ashamed (& penalised) to do it in public and stopped. I believe looking at a lot of my friends, people are not embarrassed by eating junk food, they unashamedly invite & introduce children to eating sweets and present it to them every day, creating dependency on sugar, and these are not treats anymore, this becomes a staple offering every day . They should not be. Your body is your temple, your enterprise, do not disrespect it.

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