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Question: Are fat people (generally) to blame for being fat?
yes   -32 (72.7%)
no   -12 (27.3%)
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Total Voters: 44

Author Topic: Are fat people (generally) to blame for being fat?  (Read 2207 times)
dead0man
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« on: July 21, 2012, 05:11:27 am »
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FAT people are not to blame for being overweight, a top Melbourne academic claims
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Dr Samantha Thomas, who spoke at the annual Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Conference in Melbourne, said the war on obesity was failing because society put too much emphasis on personal responsibility.

"Obesity rates are still increasing because we put all the responsibility on the individual, but are completely reluctant to tackle the corporations that are part of the cause - the junk food companies, the soft drink companies, even the town planners who design new suburbs with no backyards or playgrounds," Dr Thomas said.

Dr Thomas, a senior research fellow at the Monash University School of Marketing, said more should be done to prevent obesity, rather than simply telling people to lose weight.

"It is easy to say 'I do the right thing, why don't they?', but for some people, for a variety of reasons, it is very hard to make the right decisions. We really need to create a healthy environment to help people do that," she said.

Dr Thomas said the anti-obesity fight should be similar to the war on smoking, with big tobacco companies blamed rather than individuals labelled weak or lazy.

"With the anti-smoking movement, we realised that tobacco was being heavily marketed at adolescents and we were disgusted," she said. "Junk food is heavily marketed at children and adolescents but, instead of trying to stop that, we just put all the responsibility on parents."

<snip>
Yes, some people have very good reasons for not being able to lose weight, but they make up a very small percentage of the overweight.  I'm not exactly thin, but I know it's not the fault of fast food commercials or corporations in general, it's my own stupid fault.
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 05:27:23 am »
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Food corporations wouldn't spend billions of dollars on advertising if it weren't effective.
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 06:06:10 am »
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Do you really think people in the West would become thinner if there was no advertising for food?
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 06:18:36 am »
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Do you really think people in the West would become thinner if there was no advertising for food?

Seems quite plausible, if a bit hard to verify.
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dead0man
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2012, 06:22:45 am »
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Well I'm all for experimentation, lets pick a place and try.  I suggest Scotland.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 06:59:05 am »
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No, capitalism is to blame - which means, the owning class is to blame.  They have all the power, and everything which occurs occurs at their command.
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 09:12:01 am »
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No, capitalism is to blame - which means, the owning class is to blame.  They have all the power, and everything which occurs occurs at their command.
That would be more convincing if the "owning class" was universally thin.
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HagridOfTheDeep
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 10:16:12 am »
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I believe people need to take responsibility for themselves. But I also believe some people are more susceptible to becoming overweight than others.

It always irritates me when thin people, who've never been overweight in their lives, suggest people who are overweight are irresponsible or disgusting because of what they've done to themselves. It may be their own fault that they're like that, but these thin people have no idea what it's like. They have no idea how challenging it is or what it's like to feel so dejected.

I think one of the things that actually bothers me the most in his world is when "fit people" tell "fat" people to "get themselves in shape" like it's just some switch they can flick on. As if to say "it's easy for me, so it should be easy for you, you gross pig."
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Redalgo
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2012, 10:37:59 am »
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There is not an option for me to pick here that's suitable. Blame can be dolled out to the individual, firms, society at large, and to nobody at all (e.g. genetic predispositions). As is the case with most problems in society, it occurs on account of a converging of a multitude of factors, with nobody in the process being fully responsible for the outcomes. The respective strengths of those factors in bringing about the outcomes varies perhaps from one nation, area, or even individual to the next.

I also pretty firmly agree with Hagrid's sentiments, by the way.
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fezzyfestoon
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2012, 12:24:23 pm »
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Placing blame never works out. But there is responsibility to be taken by a number of parties that don't seem interested in taking any. The mentally shallow argument that people themselves are ultimately the only ones to blame is ridiculous. In a society, many of our decisions are left to be made by the recommendation of someone's word we trust on the matter because we're all soooo busy with such important things. Unfortunately this country has a massively misguided system of trust based on corporate marketing schemes. Our collective unawareness of being manipulated greatly from all angles. Plus, the preferential treatment that gives unhealthy food an unfair price advantage makes things even more difficult for people. So yes, people should be responsible for what they put in their bodies, but we're being delusional if we think that's where the problem starts and ends.
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 02:44:44 pm »
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nobody is ever responsible for anything they do.
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opebo
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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2012, 02:50:52 pm »
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No, capitalism is to blame - which means, the owning class is to blame.  They have all the power, and everything which occurs occurs at their command.
That would be more convincing if the "owning class" was universally thin.

No it wouldn't, that is irrelevant to my point. 
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officepark
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 03:25:56 pm »
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Yes and no. I never liked, say, McDonald's myself, but then again I don't go there. Everyone knows what to do in order to lose weight, and if they don't do it, it's their choice, and their fault in the end.

I think, however, that the article is based on the desire of people to blame others for their own problems--"But we're not at fault! It's the fault of big business!" (I'm not surprised by the article's choice of target, either.)

This view is probably best summed up by the reply two posts up. "nobody is ever responsible for anything they do."? What?
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 03:56:43 pm by True Conservative »Logged

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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2012, 03:54:20 pm »
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the individual is so dwarfed by the sheer size of the universe and mass of other forces that his agency's power is reduced to the limit as x approaches zero.  infinitesimal, not worth considering.
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officepark
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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2012, 03:55:47 pm »
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the individual is so dwarfed by the sheer size of the universe and mass of other forces that his agency's power is reduced to the limit as x approaches zero.  infinitesimal, not worth considering.

...

Sure.
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2012, 04:13:58 pm »
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     I more or less agree with officepark's view. People can eat better & exercise more than they do. That they don't is why they're fat. While modern society does make it more difficult to keep the pounds off, I think this defeatist attitude that fat people have no say in their weight is disturbing.
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Vosem
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2012, 04:24:34 pm »
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No, capitalism is to blame - which means, the owning class is to blame.  They have all the power, and everything which occurs occurs at their command.

This seems like a statement more befitting a religion than an ideology. 'Everything that happens happens because of really powerful invisible beings.'

nobody is ever responsible for anything they do.

This might be the worst sincerely held ideological belief I have ever encountered on the Internet, and you are facing some stiff competition for that honor.

And, yes, of course fat people are (generally) to blame for being fat.
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opebo
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2012, 04:33:28 pm »
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No, capitalism is to blame - which means, the owning class is to blame.  They have all the power, and everything which occurs occurs at their command.

This seems like a statement more befitting a religion than an ideology. 'Everything that happens happens because of really powerful invisible beings.'

Nobody said they were invisible, Vosem.  If you can elude their guards paparazzi-style, you might be able to glimpse them, and in many cases pictures of them do exist.

For example I remember when I used to live in Columbia Missouri in the 1990s, it was common knowledge that somewhere south of town, in immense compounds, resided (when not touring the Continent) some of the Walton barons.  I never saw them of course, but I do remember once or twice seeing sets of matching SUVs driving by in close order, (usually a string of 3 or 4), and people said 'that's one of them'.



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Vosem
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« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2012, 08:05:14 pm »
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No, capitalism is to blame - which means, the owning class is to blame.  They have all the power, and everything which occurs occurs at their command.

This seems like a statement more befitting a religion than an ideology. 'Everything that happens happens because of really powerful invisible beings.'

Nobody said they were invisible, Vosem.  If you can elude their guards paparazzi-style, you might be able to glimpse them, and in many cases pictures of them do exist.

For example I remember when I used to live in Columbia Missouri in the 1990s, it was common knowledge that somewhere south of town, in immense compounds, resided (when not touring the Continent) some of the Walton barons.  I never saw them of course, but I do remember once or twice seeing sets of matching SUVs driving by in close order, (usually a string of 3 or 4), and people said 'that's one of them'.

Somehow I don't think the Baron Walton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Walton,_Baron_Walton_of_Detchant) lives in Missouri. But on the question of the very rich being the most chiefly responsible for society's woes, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 08:07:08 pm by Vosem »Logged
dead0man
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2012, 01:15:55 am »
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nobody is ever responsible for anything they do.
So we should free everyone from prison?  Diplomas are meaningless?  No more penalties or trophies in sport?

If you honestly believe what you wrote I feel sorry for you, if you don't, you're a disgusting piece of sh**t.  Either way, you should probably start talking to a medical professional that deals with issues of the brain box.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
Redalgo
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« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2012, 02:19:05 pm »
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I dunno. What Tweed is saying delves into the heart of the debate over whether people actually possess free will. I would not say his belief in this instance is ridiculous. Rather, it is simply not a perception compatible with the beliefs of our society as they've culturally evolved up to this point, in much the same sense as is arguing that God does not exist or all religious views are delusions.

If free will does not exist fat people are not actually responsible for their predicament, but despite that it may still be more useful for us to pretend like they are at least in part because of how it may positively affect human behavior. To be honest, the only thing I really consider controversial about this all is that people don't like to notice there is a gap between what is probably "true" in actually and what our society of individuals conditions itself to feel is "true" for whatever purpose, instead.

I do not know whether people have free will... but Tweed's response seems to me like a perfectly legitimate position to adopt assuming that he thinks we do not.
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« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2012, 02:41:05 pm »
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It's complicated and isn't quite a yes or no answer. Some people are more predisposed than others to being fat. I've known people who eat rather normally who are large, and others who have metabolisms such that they can eat an entire box of Eggo waffles every morning and barely have any fat on their body. It doesn't help that it's in our nature to eat what's in front of us - we evolved in an environment where food was not nearly as plentiful as it is today. Modern technology also lets us be much more sedentary, and it's again in our nature to not engage in strenuous activity without need as it burns what would normally have been our limited nutritional resources.

Still, I can't help but sigh to myself every time I see a morbidly obese person chowing down at an all you can eat buffet.
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2012, 04:36:54 pm »
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I dunno. What Tweed is saying delves into the heart of the debate over whether people actually possess free will. I would not say his belief in this instance is ridiculous. Rather, it is simply not a perception compatible with the beliefs of our society as they've culturally evolved up to this point, in much the same sense as is arguing that God does not exist or all religious views are delusions.

If free will does not exist fat people are not actually responsible for their predicament, but despite that it may still be more useful for us to pretend like they are at least in part because of how it may positively affect human behavior. To be honest, the only thing I really consider controversial about this all is that people don't like to notice there is a gap between what is probably "true" in actually and what our society of individuals conditions itself to feel is "true" for whatever purpose, instead.

I do not know whether people have free will... but Tweed's response seems to me like a perfectly legitimate position to adopt assuming that he thinks we do not.

of course I (intentionally) went further than is necessary -- it is possible to simultaneously 'believe' in free will and yet believe that fats are not at fault for their being fat, or at least that factors outside of their control played a significant role in their accrual of fat.
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2012, 04:43:45 pm »
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nobody is ever responsible for anything they do.
So we should free everyone from prison?  Diplomas are meaningless?  No more penalties or trophies in sport?

I will take these in turn.

1. we should free at least the vast majority of people who are currently imprisoned, and pay them reparations.  if there is a certain residual proportion of people who 'have to' be segregated from society in order for both to function closer to an optimal level, so be it, but the conditions inside the prison should more closely resemble a three-star hotel room or college dormitory than a rat cage.

2. they contain whatever meaning the society subscribes to them -- fortunately for yours truly, an Ivy League graduate.

3.  the question of sport and its relation to modern capitalism is a very interesting and complex one... perhaps it deserves its own thread.  but take it in passing that sport looks as it is and is treated the way it is for reasons and not by chance.

Quote
If you honestly believe what you wrote I feel sorry for you, if you don't, you're a disgusting piece of sh**t.  Either way, you should probably start talking to a medical professional that deals with issues of the brain box.

in the former case, I appreciate your sympathy; in the latter case, I pity your handicapping resentment.  I've expressed many times that I do not believe being 'serious' and being 'not serious' are a binary, it is possible to be both, or neither, simultaneously, and certainly, if a line does exist between the two, it is not a line definite enough to be worthy of a switch-flip from sympathy to hatred.
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freefair
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« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2012, 03:27:49 pm »
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTkTffIRyPY. That is all.
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