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Obesity is a chronic disease not a choice and it should be treated as such.
By both “body positivity” challengers who too often say obesity comes from laziness and lack of strong will and by obese people who also too often shield themselves stating “this is how I am, it is impossible to change it” when in fact they do not want to accept that fat is literally killing them.
Thoughts?

likefunnyuplifting
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I understand that it’s chronic in that many of us have a difficult time losing weight and some people really do have a much more challenging time compared to others. Totally agree. But by and large, even for those of us who need to work extra hard to lose weight, I think you can still attempt to live a healthy lifestyle. As others have said many times, if you are eating well and exercising, even if it takes you longer than someone else, you should be able to see progress in terms of slimming down.

In my own opinion, if someone is doing everything right - trying to be healthy (mentally, physically), focusing on eating non-processed foods, getting in activity, drinking enough water, sleeping well, getting their vitamins, etc but they are gaining weight despite all of that, that is a serious cause for concern.

But if you’re obese and you just keep living the same lifestyle that may not be healthy, or you don’t reaaaaallllyyy put any effort in, then that’s on you.

I think people want results fast and many of us try to be “healthy” but don’t see enough of a change in the timeframe we want and so we just give up. But I do think that people who are chronically obese can and should stick with better habits and they will see results EVENTUALLY. Just like all of us eventually do.

Also, something else that comes to mind is how foods that people used to eat years ago don’t have the same ingredients or the same portion of ingredients they do today. So you may be eating well, but still gaining weight. The other day I had some kind of chocolate candy like a KitKat or something and I couldn’t even taste chocolate, it was just sugar. And I don’t remember it ever being that sweet… so that’s also an issue for all of us, especially in the US where so much of our food is processed or has stuff sprayed on it

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I think a few people need to google the definition of “disease”. As I read posts, I kept thinking about my favorite quote.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” -Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride.

Something gets labeled disease when there is a “disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant”. Obesity is a disorder of structure and function.

There are many treatment plans. And like most treatment plans there are many “if x then test y” options. If your doctor cannot help you troubleshoot to a reasonable plan, then switch doctors.

Sometimes the treatment that works is focused on calories in/calories out… but there are some common reasons why a large percentage of people struggle with weight / health. Example, depression can interfere with weight loss.

Obesity is complex because the human body and brain are complicated. For example the health of your gut microbiome matters for your mental processing.

The key to weight lose / health is to keep troubleshooting until you hit the right combination of things.

Everyone who says that it is just “will power” and people should stop being “lazy”… you make the world a worse place to live in. Acknowledging that obesity is a disease does not mean your points are invalid. It is important for everyone to take personal responsibility. It is important for me to create the supportive network for my health.

It does take will power to be compliant to a treatment plan. It takes will power to keep trying different options to figure out what works. You have to keep trying and failing.

I went through many experiments…. to figure out that I need to exercise right after I wake up. This gives me the best chance of managing my weight.

likeupliftingsmart
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can you explain why 35% of USA is obsese and only 3.5% of Japan is? Unhealthy habits, my friend. Then, case by case, you may find people that are actually sick, but that is the exception not the norm

likeupliftinghelpful

Food quality (industrial oils are not good for you), food quantity, feeding frequency, and movement

I think if obese people exercised regularly and ate nutritiously they’d be less obese. It’s that simple. I understand achieving this is hard for some people. Heck it’s hard for non obese people. Still, there it is.

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DCG1, actually eating too little while exercising can cause weight gain because the body goes into starvation mode and slows everything down. Add that to doctors telling people to eat an amount of calories that is considered starvation level I. E. 1200 a day for women, 1500 a day for men instead of customizing it to the person's base metabolic rate causes a nasty spiral (I. E. Yo-yo dieting). You eat less and exercise but slow your metabolism so when you reach your goal weight and increase your eating, healthy or not, to what your body needs to function without loosing weight (which can be as little as a couple of hundred calories a day), your body holds onto that energy as fat, causing your weight to go back up again.

That's why the current recommended approach (which a lot of doctors don't know because they're not up to date and it's not their specialty) is moderate calorie restriction, customized to the person's bmr, and moderate exercise, again, customized to the person's needs. I'm in an insurance sponsored medically supervised program currently and the first few MONTHS don't even focus on calories, etc. The first priorities are incorporating things like a piece of fruit per meal and an extra cup of vegetables to lunch and dinner, establishing awareness, etc.

I'm fortunate, I already knew a lot of the initial steps of my program, and I actually don't eat a ton and I eat pretty healthy. I just can't do any intense exercise due to injuries and illness. Yet here you are passing nasty, hateful judgement on everyone who is overweight by default. It isn't simple and it isn't easy. Everyone has different circumstances. Most people I know who are overweight work HARD to try to get the weight off and are better about eating than the average skinny person.

I'm probably wasting my time and effort on a troll who is close minded and ignorant, but I feel I need to at least attempt to educate you on a complex issue. I just hope you are never in a situation where you gain weight and are unable to get it off, it might cause you to open your mind and heart to others.

likeuplifting

These comments are disgusting. This should be obvious, but outside of physical diseases, there are also mental/cognitive disorders that can cause obesity, namely ADHD, ASD and Binge Eating Disorder. Trauma and CPTSD are also major contributors. If you watch any of the TLC shows, almost every patient has a history of severe trauma, often childhood sexual abuse. Having a mental disorder that causes you to turn to food shouldn't be met with shaming. Many abuse victims turn to drugs instead. I've never seen a thread of people saying that those people aren't disciplined enough or are too lazy to quit using. Both groups deserve compassion and appropriate treatment. Another consideration, you can't go sober on food and eliminating whole food groups to lose weight is a great recipe for an eating disorder. If you've never been obese you have no right to talk. Even doctors know nothing about losing weight. I lost 40 lbs because a doctor put me on a 1200 calorie diet. Guess what happened the second I started eating 2000 calories. I gained it all back. Look at the studies on past contestants of the biggest loser, most of them gained the weight back. If you truly think that the obesity epidemic is an issue of personal willpower, you are a willfully ignorant bigot.

likefunny

I agree that a lack of knowledge about nutrition is an issue but it’s pretty easy these days to read up on it on any smartphone. I give people that are overweight a pass because genetics and lack of nutritional options play a part; however, as you approach obesity you have to realize that changes need to be made and eat less crap. You can still eat crap and be overweight but can’t eat mountains of crap.

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Yes I definitely think being obese is should be treated as chronic disease. My sister was born fat (twice my weight), she struggled loosing weight all her life she’s been doing yo-yo diets and she’s still overweight at 25 yo but she has a very healthy lifestyle now and she has no health issues. She eats way better than me (balanced and nutritious meals) and she goes to the gym but it’s very difficult for her to loose weight. It just takes her so much time and effort it’s crazy but I think she has a very slow metabolism. I was born skinny and never had any issues loosing weight very quickly and I don’t have the healthiest lifestyle at all. It’s mentally exhausting for her but I always remind how proud I am of her and the most important is for her to have a good health bc she’s doing the right thing.

likeupliftingfunny

Yes she saw few doctors but it didn’t help so far. Thanks I’ll recommend her this book !!

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I always see people talking about eliminating whole food groups but no legit dietician, fitness professional, personal trainer, or doctor has ever suggested people do such a thing. It’s just eliminating processed foods and drinking less alcohol — neither of which are food groups. One big problem with the obesity crisis in America is people thinking those things are food groups to begin with.

I agree that people with underlying health conditions, past trauma, etc. that drive them to eat more and unhealthy food should be treated with compassion. But I highly doubt there’s any statistical way that the majority of obese people in this country are obese because of the issues you mentioned.

People have developed poor eating habits. Habits are very hard to break, but they are nonetheless habits and not inherent biological conditions.

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You cannot judge what a person eats or if/how much that person exercises based on what that person looks like. You also cannot judge health based on looks.

Promoting health behaviors (not eating disorders) and making sure fat people are treated with respect and are not discriminated against would go a long way in promoting health.

But society doesn’t care about health, and instead wants people to just be thin. Just like people come in different heights, people come in different weights. Trying to get people to meet the thin standard has only lead to yo-yo dieting and yo-yoing in weight, which is bad for health.

Health includes eating a variety of foods, hydration, sleep, movement, stress reduction, living in a safe environment, etc. Health does not mean weight.

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There’s so much disinformation on the subject, it is actually hard to get to the root of weight loss facts and forming good habits for weight loss. Even with those facts, losing weight and keeping it off consistently isn’t an exact science for everyone hormones are another part of the equation among the other things mentioned like trauma. Not to mention, communities of color were left off from accurately measuring BMI and it being a system built for European ideals.

If we care so much about people losing weight, then we need to stop building cities for cars, embrace walking, include gyms in insurance policies, feed children healthier food in school, and more. But nope, no one wants to front the bill, just complain people are fat and it’s all their fault, which it’s not all their fault. There is a system at play here. Coca-cola is cheaper than drinking water!

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ACD1, I’m not hinting at convince at all! There is literally systemic socioeconomic factors at play that range from education to access. Yes, people have a smart phone and can Google info, but there is a lot of misinformation on what proper nutrition likes like and what it actually takes to be an underwear model if you do choose to be.

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Honestly I'm getting to the f it stage with my weight loss efforts. The only way I loose weight is simply not sustainable. I've tried calorie restriction with moderate exercise, it doesn't work. The only way I lose weight is intense intense exercise with a reasonable diet. By intense, I'm talking 2 hour workouts doing weights and HIIT intervals 6x a week. I lost about 25 lbs over a year but I couldn't keep it up when work and family obligations changed. My children are almost old enough that I don't have to play taxi finally but injuries have made it so I cannot do the intense high impact exercise anymore. I'm sorta screwed and I really don't want to do gastric bypass. I've known a lot of people who did it and are dealing with serious malnutrition and side effects because their body can't absorb vitamins and minerals the way it should anymore.

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You should be proud of doing your best AE1. We’re humans, we’re not robots nor perfect.

likeuplifting

The set point is not the same for everyone- I would love to see more research on environmental pollutants and hormones on weight gain. For me, I do what most would consider unhealthy/obsessive things to stay moderately overweight instead of morbidly obese. Daily hour long strength workouts, additional cardio, macro counting with a nutritionist and weighing every ounce/gram of my food and eating what everyone (including my nutritionist) thinks to be far too little food for my size. I’ve also seen holistic medicine doctors, eliminated entire foods groups, alcohol, take supplements, and other such things. But if you looked at me, objectively you’d never know any of this. And this gets me to the largest standard dress size of 14. So no- I don’t think it’s just laziness and no I don’t think it’s just math.

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The only people who would say that obesity is disease and not out of laziness are people who are obese and lazy. Learn basic nutrition and stop shoving food in your mouth. That being said, autoimmune disorders can contribute so don’t rule that out.

likefunny

I lost way more. And I also changed the diet. But it took me more than 30 years of my life and countless failures to figure out how to change it and why should I change it this way and not any other.

So many posters with opinions on other’s weight. In my experience the ladies that enjoy eating also enjoy life. Enjoy your life and stop worrying about other people’s waistline. As a guy with three ex wives one of which became plump during our marriage I wasn’t turned off but was excited by her carnivorous lusty insatiable passion.

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I suspect you are very fun to go out to eat with

likefunny

I disagree. I’ve lost 60lbs in the last 7 months because I decided to stop being lazy and depressive and to do something about it. Im still morbidly obese, but only a few pounds away from just being obese and I’m ecstatic! I will get to a normal weight, no doubt about it, because I’ve figured out the tools I need to do it and I do it consistently.
So my lack of healthy habits lead me to obesity, not some unavoidable disease. I will say I was abused as a child and it absolutely contributed to my weight problems, but it is controllable.
I’ve never found it helpful for others to tell me it’s not my fault I’m fat, I think it just made me fatter and more unhappy. Im in control.

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I salute you 👏

Lack of accountability should be labeled a chronic disease as well.

Eat less, move more.

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I understand that for some it may have to do with underlying health issues outside of their control, but when you have a third of the population being obese, I question how many of those cases are health related vs just poor life choices. This is coming from someone who was about 18 kg overweight in May and is now halfway through to his normal weight. Just eat healthy (I’m sugar obsessed, I know it’s hard to say no) and workout (find an activity that works for you and that you enjoy, this is key). You don’t have to kill yourself with unreasonable diet and injury inducing exercise, you can take it easy and slowly, making sure you build new habits that you can sustain for life. But you shouldn’t hide behind what for most obese ppl (not all) is a lie and an excuse (I’m this way and it’s not my fault).

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Thank you.

As someone with a hormonal disorder, not everything is as it seems. I work out on a regular basis and because of my PCOS it's very difficult for me to lose and maintain my weight.

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I feel your pain. I struggle with PCOS also and understand the struggles. Some of the comments are atrocious with a lot of generalizations and over simplification.

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I think part of it is most people need therapy. Most societies seem to put having healthy mind and emotions on the back burner to deal w later. Then only to realize hey we have a drug problem, hey we have obesity problem.

This doesn’t mean being disrespectful is ok, but people need to get realistic with what the problem is. For me once I stopped snacking late and eating junk food I lost weight. I realized I don’t have self control when it comes to salty crunchy food. Like I eat it til it’s gone not until I am full. If I am stressed I go for junk food not alcohol. The irony is I could have a beer and be full enough I feel relaxed and not hungry. But something in my head says drinking bad, but food is better.

I’m not sure how to encourage fat people to make better choices. I am not obese but I have a long way to go before I am where I would consider fit. To me the issue is why people are over eating and treating that.

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I think for many, including myself, there are emotional and mental health issues also at play. I have become genuinely depressed as a result. I end up thinking so much about how fat I perceive myself to be, that just eating food makes me feel bad because I think about my weight, and going to the gym (which I do regularly) is a nightmare because my brain starts thinking that I’m just never going to lose weight. It’s a pretty awful cycle. My weight is a constant thought in my mind. I think about it every time I walk into a room or meet someone new. It’s pretty bad.

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I second that last line. My growing interest in combat sports is helping motivate me to workout every day, which is something I like to do anyway, but lose interest in quickly. There are enough free UFC fights on YouTube to keep me plugged in for awhile though 😅

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Losing weight is a really difficult thing to do, and your body will fight your attempts to do it.

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I’ve never been medically diagnosed with hypoglycemia; however, I definitely get hangry and when my blood sugar is low you don’t want to be around me. For whatever reason it doesn’t seem to have the same affect on me at night as it would during the day. Meaning, I have no issues with low blood sugar at night but definitely see some impacts during the day. I often times lift weights at night after my kids go to bed around 9pm and have no issues despite not eating since 6 or 7. I’m not a morning exerciser so that might be an issue after fasting for much longer.

My only thought is that you seem like you’d be really fun at parties.

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Can you elaborate on the logical steps you made to arrive at this conclusion? 🤣
I am fat myself for most of my life. I know it is a disease and I am very actively fighting it, winning big time and failing, multiple times going through the cursed yoyo loop.

I respect both myself and other overweight and obese people. What I do not buy is „fat acceptance”. You should not accept something which is killing you in the long term.

As someone who used to be 400+ lbs and I’m now around 280; NO!

It’s not always a disease.

Sometimes the underlying cause is due to chemical imbalance.

However, Most often it’s because as a child you had no portion control or age fast food every other meal.

GUILTY AS CHARGED my mom and grandma stuffed my face as a child and then scolded me when I got too big. At 19 I couldn’t walk a full flight of stairs without resting. When I was sleeping I sounded like I was dying; my sister used to wake me up in middle of the night to make sure I was still alive.

I am not diminishing the fact that people have chemical imbalances or diseases that make it MUCH harder to manage nutrition but that doesn’t mean you give. If someone has curable cancer and they give up would you blame them. YES. Look at the extra 100+lbs of fat as a malignant tumor.

Body positivity is the worst thing ever when dealing with morbidly obese individuals (BMI of 40+).

likeuplifting

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