Today I visited a new messageboard on ivillage. It was the Weight Discrimination board. The description of the board basically led me to believe that it was a board where you could go and vent about the discrimination you may feel as a person who is overweight.
What I actually came to find out on this board is that it is meant to be a place for those who are overweight to glorify being overweight.
The first post I stumbled across was "Is child obesity abuse". I thought it was an interesting post as a mother detailed a recital she attended where parents were talking about how overweight the children were. However a person posted "obesity doesnt kill you". This of course caught my eye and I immediately had to respond because I couldnt believe that someone would be that ignorant! Sure, obesity doesnt kill you in that once you are obese you cant stop yourself from downward spiraling, however the effects of obesity range from just being out of breath to heart attacks. Needless to say, this person didnt like me telling them that obesity kills and said that she had never heard of anyone obese dying from heart attacks, blood clots, stroke, inability to clean themselves and their skin, etc.
The next post I came across was labeled "Diets do not improve health" or something like that. Now yes, I dont really believe in a "diet" per say, rather a lifestyle change, however I do think that someone who is using a "diet" such as WW or LAWL, or whatever, should be commended for making that change. That was all I stated and I got attacked! All these people started commented on how diets always fail and doctors dont recommend people eating healthy, etc. WHAT?!?!? It was like they were defending why they shouldnt diet or eat healthy. One poster found all these statistics and manipulated them (and being a semi statistician I know quite well how people use statistics in any way to sell their pt) to back her up in saying that what is the point in dieting or eating healthy when you will just fail? Well of course you will, if that is what you believe before even trying!
And finally, another post was about how overweight people are not always unhealthy. This I agreed with fully because I think a lot of circumstances, if you an overweight person and you eat right and exercise, you probably are a lot healthier than someone who is of moderate weight and sedentary and eats like crap. I have better blood pressure than my boyfriend does and he is of normal weight for a man (160-165). Plus I see people like my sister who weigh 100 pounds if that and she will certainly be dead before me (and she is younger than me). However, once again, a poster criticized and attacked someone who stated that yes while you can be overweight and healthy, it never hurts to still work out and exercise and lose some weight to lower the BMI.
My point with all of this is that I was deeply disturbed that there are people who are comfortable being not just overweight, but unhealthy. That they can actually tell themselves that they are ok, that they wont get any diseases/conditions associated with obesity. Im all for pride of ones self. Even at my highest weight, I still thought I was pretty, and I still dressed myself the best that I could. However, I would LISTEN when someone told me, such as a dr, that I needed to lose weight, etc for my health. One poster on the board said that drs are just discriminatory and I know drs make overweight people feel like crap sometimes because they are honest. But that honesty can save a life. I guess some people are just in denial and dont want to believe that what they are doing isnt healthy and isnt going to help their life any.
I guess most of all it just saddens me because I feel lucky that I found the willpower to change my behaviors. Regardless of what these people beleive, I know the effects of obesity. I have seen them with my grandparents. I have seen obese people all around me struggling to do things that everyone should and DESERVES to do. I guess I dont see why someone would rather live in the dark and in denial. I know I probably sound like a know it all, and believe me I dont. I realize that a lot of these people probably are scared and dont know where to start. Or they are not ready to make a change and commit to it. But obesity is not like AIDS, you can stop it, you can win the battle and I guess its hard for me to see why someone would not choose a healthy life over one thats not. I guess thats the choice that people make every day with other vices such as drugs and alcohol. This board just really opened my eyes to people who walk around with hatred towards anything that may help them or benefit them in becoming healthy. I am sure a lot of people have been hurt by discrimination due to their weight and carry that hurt with them. But they have to realize that a lot of the literature and their drs are right...they arent being discriminatory, they are just trying to save a life.