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Thoughts on the “glamourizing/normalizing” obesity vs body positivity conversations

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  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,165 Member Member Posts: 8,165 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    I don't think it's a moral and upstanding thing to make obese people feel bad about themselves. The idea that making people uncomfortable will improve their lives in the long run ... like fat shaming makes you a superhero ... it's pretty sanctimonious.

    Other people's choices are their business and responsibility.

    Will you be saying that when/if we have socialized healthcare in the US and you have to pay (even to a greater extent than you do now) for other people's bad choices?

    How is this even a question? Does money give you a right to lord things over people? Auto insurance isn't socialized but it's pooled, everyone who has the same insurer as you can affect your rates with big claims, do you lecture strangers for speeding? No, because it's not about the money (that's an excuse) it's about the fat people.

    But as someone who hasn't had any accidents and just a couple speeding tickets in 40+ years of driving, my rates are considerably lower than someone with multiple accidents and reckless driving tickets. So even though the risk is pooled, the person causing the increased cost pays more.

    Doesn't a person with a higher BMI pay more as well?

    Not so much in the U.S. right now, where most people who are lucky enough to have insurance get it through a group policy from their workplace. In my experience and second-hand knowledge of other people's experiences, it's currently rare to have to have even a cursory medical exam to get insurance through the workplace. in the U.S. And given how much individual insurance (outside of a group plan, which is far more likely to require some kind of medical exam, or at least attestation on certain health issues, which could lead to a denial of coverage if you lie about anything, including your height and weight) costs even for someone in good health, I can't imagine there are many people with an obese BMI getting their insurance that way. You would have to be obese and wealthy.
  • MikePTYMikePTY Member, Premium Posts: 3,823 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,823 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    I don't think it's a moral and upstanding thing to make obese people feel bad about themselves. The idea that making people uncomfortable will improve their lives in the long run ... like fat shaming makes you a superhero ... it's pretty sanctimonious.

    Other people's choices are their business and responsibility.

    Will you be saying that when/if we have socialized healthcare in the US and you have to pay (even to a greater extent than you do now) for other people's bad choices?

    How is this even a question? Does money give you a right to lord things over people? Auto insurance isn't socialized but it's pooled, everyone who has the same insurer as you can affect your rates with big claims, do you lecture strangers for speeding? No, because it's not about the money (that's an excuse) it's about the fat people.

    But as someone who hasn't had any accidents and just a couple speeding tickets in 40+ years of driving, my rates are considerably lower than someone with multiple accidents and reckless driving tickets. So even though the risk is pooled, the person causing the increased cost pays more.

    Doesn't a person with a higher BMI pay more as well?

    Not so much in the U.S. right now, where most people who are lucky enough to have insurance get it through a group policy from their workplace. In my experience and second-hand knowledge of other people's experiences, it's currently rare to have to have even a cursory medical exam to get insurance through the workplace. in the U.S. And given how much individual insurance (outside of a group plan, which is far more likely to require some kind of medical exam, or at least attestation on certain health issues, which could lead to a denial of coverage if you lie about anything, including your height and weight) costs even for someone in good health, I can't imagine there are many people with an obese BMI getting their insurance that way. You would have to be obese and wealthy.

    I know we are getting off track here, but individual insurance in the US does not require any sort of medical exam or information. You can get it through the internet in minutes. They can't charge you more based on your health. The only thing they base your rate on is your age and if you are a smoker.

    As far as "expensive", well that depends on the eye of the beholder. It is subsidized for people of lower incomes so it is actually quite cheap for many people who get it. Full price for older individuals it can certainly be expensive. Its not necessarily any more expensive than employer based care without subsidy but employers usually subsidize about 2/3rds of it as a "benefit" (although really it depresses your overall compensation).

    The truth is a large portion of Americans already recieve government (or socialized) medicine. Almost as many as are on employer based plans. Between Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and the VA, we'll over 100 million people are covered.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,165 Member Member Posts: 8,165 Member
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    I don't think it's a moral and upstanding thing to make obese people feel bad about themselves. The idea that making people uncomfortable will improve their lives in the long run ... like fat shaming makes you a superhero ... it's pretty sanctimonious.

    Other people's choices are their business and responsibility.

    Will you be saying that when/if we have socialized healthcare in the US and you have to pay (even to a greater extent than you do now) for other people's bad choices?

    How is this even a question? Does money give you a right to lord things over people? Auto insurance isn't socialized but it's pooled, everyone who has the same insurer as you can affect your rates with big claims, do you lecture strangers for speeding? No, because it's not about the money (that's an excuse) it's about the fat people.

    But as someone who hasn't had any accidents and just a couple speeding tickets in 40+ years of driving, my rates are considerably lower than someone with multiple accidents and reckless driving tickets. So even though the risk is pooled, the person causing the increased cost pays more.

    Doesn't a person with a higher BMI pay more as well?

    Not so much in the U.S. right now, where most people who are lucky enough to have insurance get it through a group policy from their workplace. In my experience and second-hand knowledge of other people's experiences, it's currently rare to have to have even a cursory medical exam to get insurance through the workplace. in the U.S. And given how much individual insurance (outside of a group plan, which is far more likely to require some kind of medical exam, or at least attestation on certain health issues, which could lead to a denial of coverage if you lie about anything, including your height and weight) costs even for someone in good health, I can't imagine there are many people with an obese BMI getting their insurance that way. You would have to be obese and wealthy.

    I know we are getting off track here, but individual insurance in the US does not require any sort of medical exam or information. You can get it through the internet in minutes. They can't charge you more based on your health. The only thing they base your rate on is your age and if you are a smoker.

    As far as "expensive", well that depends on the eye of the beholder. It is subsidized for people of lower incomes so it is actually quite cheap for many people who get it. Full price for older individuals it can certainly be expensive. Its not necessarily any more expensive than employer based care without subsidy but employers usually subsidize about 2/3rds of it as a "benefit" (although really it depresses your overall compensation).

    The truth is a large portion of Americans already recieve government (or socialized) medicine. Almost as many as are on employer based plans. Between Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and the VA, we'll over 100 million people are covered.

    Are you talking about getting it through the ACA pools? I guess I was more thinking about what it was like in my 20s when I was fresh out of college and my first job didn't offer healthcare, and it sure seemed pricey to me, despite being a health 20-something who didn't smoke and had no pre-existing conditions.

    But surely there is still private, individual insurance? Ten Democrats who want to be the next president just spent what seemed like 20 minutes arguing about whether Medicare for All should abolish private insurance, including the prohibition on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. T

    his affordable individual insurance without a medical exam purchased on the Internet that you're talking about has been around for about five years, and if the current president and his party have their way, it will just be a blip in the timeline of medical insurance in the U.S.

  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Member Posts: 1,904 Member Member Posts: 1,904 Member
    Corden's response was perfect, but it won't make a dent in Maher's idiocy. For what it's worth Maher has been shooting off at the mouth about and at obese folks for years. Anyone remember his shots at Christie? Something to the effect of "Gov Fat Fatty". Poking at Maher's insensitivity is like complaining about a certain potus being rude. Really? Ya just now figuring that out? :p
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 5,654 Member Member Posts: 5,654 Member
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    I don't think it's a moral and upstanding thing to make obese people feel bad about themselves. The idea that making people uncomfortable will improve their lives in the long run ... like fat shaming makes you a superhero ... it's pretty sanctimonious.

    Other people's choices are their business and responsibility.

    Will you be saying that when/if we have socialized healthcare in the US and you have to pay (even to a greater extent than you do now) for other people's bad choices?

    How is this even a question? Does money give you a right to lord things over people? Auto insurance isn't socialized but it's pooled, everyone who has the same insurer as you can affect your rates with big claims, do you lecture strangers for speeding? No, because it's not about the money (that's an excuse) it's about the fat people.

    But as someone who hasn't had any accidents and just a couple speeding tickets in 40+ years of driving, my rates are considerably lower than someone with multiple accidents and reckless driving tickets. So even though the risk is pooled, the person causing the increased cost pays more.

    Doesn't a person with a higher BMI pay more as well?

    Not so much in the U.S. right now, where most people who are lucky enough to have insurance get it through a group policy from their workplace. In my experience and second-hand knowledge of other people's experiences, it's currently rare to have to have even a cursory medical exam to get insurance through the workplace. in the U.S. And given how much individual insurance (outside of a group plan, which is far more likely to require some kind of medical exam, or at least attestation on certain health issues, which could lead to a denial of coverage if you lie about anything, including your height and weight) costs even for someone in good health, I can't imagine there are many people with an obese BMI getting their insurance that way. You would have to be obese and wealthy.

    I know we are getting off track here, but individual insurance in the US does not require any sort of medical exam or information. You can get it through the internet in minutes. They can't charge you more based on your health. The only thing they base your rate on is your age and if you are a smoker.

    As far as "expensive", well that depends on the eye of the beholder. It is subsidized for people of lower incomes so it is actually quite cheap for many people who get it. Full price for older individuals it can certainly be expensive. Its not necessarily any more expensive than employer based care without subsidy but employers usually subsidize about 2/3rds of it as a "benefit" (although really it depresses your overall compensation).

    The truth is a large portion of Americans already recieve government (or socialized) medicine. Almost as many as are on employer based plans. Between Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and the VA, we'll over 100 million people are covered.

    Are you talking about getting it through the ACA pools? I guess I was more thinking about what it was like in my 20s when I was fresh out of college and my first job didn't offer healthcare, and it sure seemed pricey to me, despite being a health 20-something who didn't smoke and had no pre-existing conditions.

    My understanding is that under the ACA various new regulations were imposed on insurance companies, and those included no higher prices due to preexisting conditions, and that obesity counted as a preexisting condition. The exception to that is not with private insurance, but workplace insurance where wellness programs could be used. In the wellness program there has to be an alternative to BMI to meet the wellness targets and get the lower rate (like other health markers, exercise programs, etc.).

    But given that everything keeps changing, I do not believe this is currently the law re private insurers, but that the Rs have removed a lot of the ACA regulations.
    But surely there is still private, individual insurance? Ten Democrats who want to be the next president just spent what seemed like 20 minutes arguing about whether Medicare for All should abolish private insurance, including the prohibition on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

    All private insurance is regulated as to what they can charge more for, so the surcharge for obesity issue is not really an issue of private insurance or not in that all the Dems would support at minimum the ACA regs.
    This affordable individual insurance without a medical exam purchased on the Internet that you're talking about has been around for about five years, and if the current president and his party have their way, it will just be a blip in the timeline of medical insurance in the U.S.

    Yes, true.

    Re wellness programs, I thought this was an interesting piece: https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterubel/2016/02/25/is-your-company-using-health-insurance-premiums-to-stigmatize-fat-employees/#3c454ac959e6
  • Sunshine_And_SandSunshine_And_Sand Member Posts: 1,320 Member Member Posts: 1,320 Member
    I don’t have the insurance offered at my job as my primary insurance, but I am in a position that requires me to help organize the wellness screenings that are required for those who do.
    Anyway, for this particular insurance, the higher premium is not based on the results of the wellness screening. It is based on if you actually do the wellness screenings (or go to your regular doctor to do the screening if you prefer). If you fail to meet any of the parameters of the screening, you have to do the health coaching/counseling session which can be done online or over the phone. However, you can fail the same aspect of the screening repeatedly with no consequence so long as you do the coaching/counseling every time. If you don’t do the screening at all within the given time frame, you pay a higher premium each month until you do it.
    That said, back to topic, fat shaming or body shaming of any kind is NOT ok, and it’s rarely to never helpful. BUT to the thought that providing bigger seating is the responsibility of businesses, I don’t necessarily see the too small plane seats with the airlines requiring larger people to buy two seats and restaurant with less roomy booths/chairs as intentionally denying fat people of anything. I also have a hard time believing that any business that is trying to make money would intentionally go out of their way to shame their potential costumers or purposely make it so that a costumer couldn’t spend their money there. That’s all about the bottom line and businesses are out to make a profit/pay their own bills and take care of their own families. If they thought having fewer but bigger chairs would make them more money despite being able to seat and serve fewer people, then that’s what they would do. If an airline had bigger seats at the same price, they’d have to sell fewer tickets = less revenue.
    There was a discussion about restaurants accommodations as well as one about the plane seats a while back that was interesting.
  • jafinneartyjafinnearty Member Posts: 59 Member Member Posts: 59 Member
    MikePTY wrote: »
    I've stayed out of this thread but, did anyone see Late late show with James Corden tonight?
    He, as a person who is overweight, talked quite passionately about fat shaming.

    Of course this is not a research project, or study, just one man putting out on TV his interpretation of the down side of fat shaming.

    Cheers, h.

    ETA: Slightly off topic as body positive and fat shaming are not the same thing, but the thread has travelled.

    I thought this was truly wonderful. And very on topic. It almost feels as if it was written in direct response to a number of posts on here. Here is the link for those interested:

    It also does not surprise me at all in the slightest that Bill Maher is pro-fat shaming. Because while he is intelligent and sometimes insightful, he is also a jerk and an incessant bully. Watch the video and see him make his arguments and James make his arguments, and really tell me if you would honestly think Bill Maher's are made in good faith attempts to help obese people. I don't think so.

    Thank you for posting that. It almost brought me to tears...and had I not been at work (on break), I'm sure it would have. I've never watched James Corden's show, but that video has piqued my interst on who he is.
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 5,600 Member Member Posts: 5,600 Member
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Marginalizing the obese doesn't help them become less obese.

    Out of curiosity why would you think that it wouldn't decrease obesity rates to marginalize obesity? It certainly decreased the number of people who smoke when society marginalize smoking and made it inconvenient to be a smoker and if you are a smoker quitting isn't an easy fix and often takes years.

    Just to be clear by "societal pressure" and "margalization" I don't mean being verbally abusive to overweight people, same as I don't mean that you should be verbally abusive to someone who smokes. That said I think having a bit of a mantra in society of how smoking or obesity are things to avoid and shun is a positive force overall, even if some people feel disadvantaged because of it.

    There is also a big difference about having empathy for an individual and having just global societal acceptance of what could be argued is a negative trait. I think society should put pressure against obesity...doesn't mean I can't have empathy or understanding for an individual who is overweight. Not wanting society to accept obesity is not the same thing as promoting fat shaming.

    How are you defining "marginalization" in this context? I suspect your definition isn't similar to the way the world marginalization is commonly used in areas like sociology, public health, and the social sciences more broadly. That is to say, the way you're using the word is likely different to the way that people who are doing research in fat studies are using the same word.

    That is why I put it into quotes. Problem with these sorts of online debates is people read into what you are saying based on the words they choose for you. I started using marginalization only because other people said what I was talking about was marginalization.

    All I mean is that society should actively discourage obesity in the same way we started actively discouraging smoking. Being obese should have some consequences within society. We shouldn't go out of our way to accommodate obesity. Trying to push for larger seats to accommodate people who are morbidly obese or acting like being obese is perfectly fine would be like having smoking sections in restaurants or programs on TV glorifying smoking. Wanting everyone to feel good about themselves is admirable of course but I think it can cause real damage to just act like obesity isn't a health issue. And yes, I do get that there is second-hand smoke but there isn't second-hand fat so the two aren't directly comparible, I still feel like the analogy does convey more the types of "marganilization" I am talking about . A society that has made it clear that that trait is something to be addressed and fixed by the individual rather than accepted.

    What I do not mean is that I think its a good idea to mock individuals for their appearance.

    Second hand smoke gives people cancer. Acting like other people's obesity is perfectly fine doesn't. A smoking section circulates the air through the restaurant.

    The point of the analogy wasnt to equate the health risks of smoking and obesity...I acknowledge that they dont equate in exactly the way you are saying in the very post you are responding to if you keep reading past the part you highlighted to the part I highlighted.

    The analogy is to the affect societal accommodation has on the proliferation of negative traits. Smoking was identified as a problem and the first response was to accommodate that by having separate areas for smokers which had no impact on smoking rates. This is at a time where everyone was already aware of the health risk. What really drove smoking rates down was the decision by society to no longer accommodate it.

    I wasnt trying to act like you could get sick by being near overweight people come on man no reason to act like I was somehow claiming that. The analogy is more to say putting doublewide seats in all public transit vehicles to accommodate the morbidly obese.

    I think the biggest problem with your position is that it has the implicit assumption that non-accommodation or other roadblocks will actually discourage obesity. Given some research shows that a person's feelings of fat-shaming are correlated with weight gain, I'm not sure that's a safe assumption - it seems the opposite might be true. Indeed, given the general understanding of the psychology of shame, it makes sense that it will stress, cause feelings of dehumanization, and overall reinforce the behaviors that promote obesity.

    I would also ask, it seems you feel society has some kind of authority to influence people about behaviors/conditions that do not harm others. Do you have a principle of what separates which of these are acceptable? Would it be okay for society to be non-accommodative of say left-handedness? Sure, left-handedness is a fairly innate behavior, but it is possible to force them into right-handedness. Left-handedness even does negatively impact life expectancy.

    Off topic a bit, but it’s likely that left-handedness impacts life expectancy because there are basically two different ways of ending up left-handed - to simplify, either having a stronger left side (including brain connections, etc) than expected, or having a weaker right side than expected. Since the second type can be caused by any number of things causing minor developmental delays, some of which are associated with other bad health outcomes, it’s probably why overall, statistically, left-handers have a shorter life expectancy. Left handers also have a higher rate of being geniuses, if I remember correctly, presumably because of ones of the first type. It’s not that left-handedness causes mortality, it’s correlated with it, which means that stopping people from expressing their left-handedness wouldn’t prevent the mortality.

    Obesity is different in that it apparently causes problems, and is not just correlated with them. There’s some disagreement about this (some scientists think both diabetes and obesity are caused by a third factor, for example), but the proof that it’s true is that lifestyle interventions do work. Obese people who lose weight are less likely to become diabetic or have heart problems.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,165 Member Member Posts: 8,165 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    I don't think it's a moral and upstanding thing to make obese people feel bad about themselves. The idea that making people uncomfortable will improve their lives in the long run ... like fat shaming makes you a superhero ... it's pretty sanctimonious.

    Other people's choices are their business and responsibility.

    Will you be saying that when/if we have socialized healthcare in the US and you have to pay (even to a greater extent than you do now) for other people's bad choices?

    How is this even a question? Does money give you a right to lord things over people? Auto insurance isn't socialized but it's pooled, everyone who has the same insurer as you can affect your rates with big claims, do you lecture strangers for speeding? No, because it's not about the money (that's an excuse) it's about the fat people.

    But as someone who hasn't had any accidents and just a couple speeding tickets in 40+ years of driving, my rates are considerably lower than someone with multiple accidents and reckless driving tickets. So even though the risk is pooled, the person causing the increased cost pays more.

    Doesn't a person with a higher BMI pay more as well?

    Not so much in the U.S. right now, where most people who are lucky enough to have insurance get it through a group policy from their workplace. In my experience and second-hand knowledge of other people's experiences, it's currently rare to have to have even a cursory medical exam to get insurance through the workplace. in the U.S. And given how much individual insurance (outside of a group plan, which is far more likely to require some kind of medical exam, or at least attestation on certain health issues, which could lead to a denial of coverage if you lie about anything, including your height and weight) costs even for someone in good health, I can't imagine there are many people with an obese BMI getting their insurance that way. You would have to be obese and wealthy.

    I know we are getting off track here, but individual insurance in the US does not require any sort of medical exam or information. You can get it through the internet in minutes. They can't charge you more based on your health. The only thing they base your rate on is your age and if you are a smoker.

    As far as "expensive", well that depends on the eye of the beholder. It is subsidized for people of lower incomes so it is actually quite cheap for many people who get it. Full price for older individuals it can certainly be expensive. Its not necessarily any more expensive than employer based care without subsidy but employers usually subsidize about 2/3rds of it as a "benefit" (although really it depresses your overall compensation).

    The truth is a large portion of Americans already recieve government (or socialized) medicine. Almost as many as are on employer based plans. Between Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and the VA, we'll over 100 million people are covered.

    Are you talking about getting it through the ACA pools? I guess I was more thinking about what it was like in my 20s when I was fresh out of college and my first job didn't offer healthcare, and it sure seemed pricey to me, despite being a health 20-something who didn't smoke and had no pre-existing conditions.

    My understanding is that under the ACA various new regulations were imposed on insurance companies, and those included no higher prices due to preexisting conditions, and that obesity counted as a preexisting condition. The exception to that is not with private insurance, but workplace insurance where wellness programs could be used. In the wellness program there has to be an alternative to BMI to meet the wellness targets and get the lower rate (like other health markers, exercise programs, etc.).

    But given that everything keeps changing, I do not believe this is currently the law re private insurers, but that the Rs have removed a lot of the ACA regulations.
    But surely there is still private, individual insurance? Ten Democrats who want to be the next president just spent what seemed like 20 minutes arguing about whether Medicare for All should abolish private insurance, including the prohibition on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

    All private insurance is regulated as to what they can charge more for, so the surcharge for obesity issue is not really an issue of private insurance or not in that all the Dems would support at minimum the ACA regs.
    This affordable individual insurance without a medical exam purchased on the Internet that you're talking about has been around for about five years, and if the current president and his party have their way, it will just be a blip in the timeline of medical insurance in the U.S.

    Yes, true.

    Re wellness programs, I thought this was an interesting piece: https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterubel/2016/02/25/is-your-company-using-health-insurance-premiums-to-stigmatize-fat-employees/#3c454ac959e6

    Thanks for this.
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