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We're not responsible for being obese?

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  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Posts: 4,017Member Member Posts: 4,017Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    The article is annoying, but I think it's important to distinguish between two separate things:

    (1) Are you ultimately responsible for your choices and are there things you should and can do to help yourself make better choices? Do you have a significant degree of choice in what you do, including (of course) what you eat? Yes, and that is important for people to realize when it comes to weight loss and maintenance.

    (2) Are there also societal (cultural and other) influences on how people as a group act, on average that may affect what we do? Of course this is also true. We aren't just fatter now because we got lazy and weak compared to people in the past. Put us in the same situations as them, and them as us, and you'd probably get the exact same results as you have now (and did then) -- it's not that people are different, but that circumstances do affect behavior. (This can be such things as having no option but to move more, less food availability (which is not inherently good, obviously), and different cultural norms and taught behaviors.) To compare something like addiction (which the CNN piece did, I'm not convinced that's a great comparison here), clearly people ARE responsible for their own behaviors, but that doesn't change the fact that cultural norms and attitudes and availability and family background WILL make a statistical difference in behavior on average. We can acknowledge this and think about whether there is anything that can be done to tilt outcomes in a better direction without absolving people of responsibility. In fact, understanding what the influences are can be very helpful.

    I'm of the opinion that trying to identify and understand the influences on my behavior can help me exercise more responsibility.

    Trying to make all the "right decisions" without accounting for and understanding your environment is like trying to swim upstream.

    A recent example comes to mind: my husband and I watched a news show last year that discussed the trend of over-prescription of strong, potentially addictive painkillers in emergency room settings for patients with things like broken bones who probably didn't need that level of pain management and how it was potentially driving new addictions. A few months later, my husband broke his wrist in a fall. In the emergency room, they gave him a prescription for the exact type of painkiller mentioned in the story. Based on the news story combined with the level of pain that he was feeling, he decided not to fill the prescription. Knowing the overall trend allowed him to make a better decision. I don't doubt his personal responsibility and will power for a minute, but knowing there are all sorts of people struggling with addiction problems with the US I'm glad we were aware and could avoid unnecessarily bringing a highly addictive substance into our lives (we both come from families with histories of addiction).

    This has been a couple years ago, but when I last visited the ER, it was like they wouldn't let you leave without your souvenir prescription for Oxy. I went more than once trying to get help for a recurring condition and each time, boom, thirty day prescription. I didn't want or need pain meds, I needed care. Out of curiosity I looked up the street value of all the drugs they wanted to force on me and it was something like four thousand dollars. After I finally got a correct diagnosis and surgery they sent me home with yet another scrip for Oxy. I took ONE Percocet in the hospital to sleep the night after surgery and was fine after that. But I had like three months' worth of pills waiting for me to fill them.
  • lorrainequiche59lorrainequiche59 Posts: 504Member Member Posts: 504Member Member
    I haven't read each & every comment but scanned enough to see the common thread is marketing, advertising, big business etc etc...if I missed the point about self-medication, the whole "food is love" that some of us have been taught from infancy...there is an emotional & psychological component of overeating that seems to have been missed on this thread...if it has been addressed I apologize...oooops!! If not, I will address it because it is real...it is part...likely a large part of why 95% of people who lose weight WILL gain it back. It isn't only lazy people or unmotivated people or people lacking self control who become obese...as the comment above re: 2 of the last 4 presidents were overweight/obese.

    YES it IS a personal responsibility to monitor what we put in our mouths, but what are the contributing factors to the choices we make about what we put in our mouth...?? It is not an exaggeration that the in-your-face food industry HAS contributed to our attitude about eating!! AND our desire to eat etc etc. To say anything to the contrary is naive.

    We have access to more information about how to get healthy & stay healthy, an overabundance of info about nutrition, weight loss, fitness than EVER in history, YET there is an obesity EPIDEMIC!!!!! That says something more to me than Just say NO!!! It isn't so much what we're eating as what is eating us...isn't there a book with that title?? Anyway, assigning blame is NOT going to solve the problem. Getting to the core of WHY?? will. And that is our individual responsibility to ourselves.

  • J72FITJ72FIT Posts: 4,775Member Member Posts: 4,775Member Member
    wmd1979 wrote: »
    It might seem bizarre to you to focus on individual responsibility, but in my opinion that absolutely should be the focus. It is up to each individual to hold themselves accountable for what they put into their body and not use advertising or "evil" corporations as an excuse.

    ^^^100%
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