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Is obesity 100% optional?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2013 at 3:59 PM

I can imagine a few scenarios in which one might become overweight through no fault of their own. For example, if you break a bone and you're put on bedrest and thus you become extremely sedentary. And even then, assuming you're not already overweight, you wouldn't balloon in weight, you would just gain a few pounds here and there which might put you into "overweight status."

I am unaware of any reason someone might be obese. What evidence is there that obesity isn't 100% the fault of the obese individual?

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 10, 2013
at 11:57 AM

But I DO believe that obese people are incompetent when it comes to diet/exercise/maintaining or losing weight. If you can show me one person that's eating decently (not even full paleo, just eating 'fine') and exercising semi-regularly that's still somehow obese, I'll show you a pink unicorn.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 10, 2013
at 11:54 AM

^If you don't have control over your body/mind to an appreciable degree, you need to be institutionalized. That's how come the US has so many school shootings - we don't keep crazy people off the street.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 02, 2013
at 03:31 AM

@Roth - you seem to assume/have as a presupposition that people have total control over their bodies/minds and hence are responsible when bodies show evidence of 'bad choices' being made, such as with regard to obesity.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 02, 2013
at 03:26 AM

Hardly. You're asking whether people are at at fault for being obese, and have essentially blamed them for being incompetent/making bad choices etc. Whether you like it or not issues of responsibility/agency are fundamentally linked to issues of a systemic, 'structural' nature. Do you think people are so 'individual' that they aren't connected to other people and broader, more underlying issues?

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 02, 2013
at 03:17 AM

Generally, yes. This doesn't presuppose that you shouldn't be negatively sanctioned for going on that spree. It is a recognition though that 'choice' doesn't exist in a vacuum and that there are factors that influenced the choices available to and your capacities to decide. Yes, I said it: we are not 100% in control of 'ourselves', hence not 100$ responsbile- self is constructed in an environmental context where systemic issues have influence. To think you have total responsibility is to deny your relation to other human beings and the world around you.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 01, 2013
at 09:57 PM

"Instead of blaming the 'fatties' for making shit 'choices', why not target with the udnerlying systemic issues?" Outside the scope of PaleoHacks. Outside the scope of this question too.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 01, 2013
at 09:54 PM

"but it also means that people shouldn't be considered 100% responsible" So if I go on a homicide spree and kill 50 schoolchildren, I'm not 100% responsible because of social factors and because the information the government is sending me is mixed - that ruining people's lives is a good thing and that ruining people's lives is a bad thing.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 01, 2013
at 09:51 PM

"Do you REALLY think that all those people are totally responsible for the problem?" Yes, I do. They got fat by not caring about their diet. Thus, this is their fault.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 01, 2013
at 09:49 PM

Karen, stop crying. I didn't make any assumptions, hence the question.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 01, 2013
at 09:48 PM

Karen, you're a dumb bitch. I didn't make any assumptions, hence why I asked the questions.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 01, 2013
at 02:28 PM

Karen, I see your point -- and it I well put. I agree that the cards are stacked against people. I tried CW healthy diet and was obese despite calorie control and exercise. Yet when I switched to paleo I dropped weight easily. But it was optional -- with proper eating I easily lost the weight. The problem is the options are hard to find

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 01, 2013
at 08:25 AM

have had opportunity, are at a certain place in your 'life journey' etc, others may not (yet, perhaps) be in a similar position.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 01, 2013
at 08:24 AM

@ foreveryoung perhaps there are contextual factors affecting why the devil has a stronger influence on someone at a point in time. Their historical access to educational resources, emotional issues relating to socialation processes etc. That doesn't mean that the person can't become aware of things (eventually) and effect change, but it also means that people shouldn't be considered 100% responsible for their choices. In practice yeah I agree people have certain levels of responsibility (a lot), but it is important to remembber that people have different circumstancesm and that while you may

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on March 01, 2013
at 05:24 AM

+1 Karen. Our modern foods mess with our brain chemistry causing us to overeat on all the wrong things. Telling someone not to eat so much or not to binge, or labeling it as their fault doesn't help at all.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 01, 2013
at 01:55 AM

I do not find it surprising that there is an obesity epidemic. It doesn't take necessarily take 'force' for things to happen, what about persuasion, gurus etc? Instead of blaming the 'fatties' for making shit 'choices', why not target with the udnerlying systemic issues?

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 01, 2013
at 01:52 AM

@foreveryoung choice doesn't exist in a vacuum and there are huge constraints that affect the capacity to 'choose'. It might be easy to blame individuals for making the 'wrong choices' but this shies away from the systemic constraining context in which the 'choices' are embdedded. 'Common sense' is a product of socialisation, and everyone's is different. Indeed if we look at the setting in which many people grow up,, as mentioned by Karen,

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on February 28, 2013
at 09:51 PM

I agree with you, foreveryoung, in that the incentive to make it easy to make the wrong choice does not absolve any of the personal responsibility. However, I'm pretty liberal myself, and agree with Mathgirl that my politics have nothing to do with this.

3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

(803)

on February 28, 2013
at 07:47 PM

the "experts" dont just tell, either, they sell too!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 28, 2013
at 07:06 PM

Sorry the ADA diet didn't work for your prediabetes the way it did to eliminate mine karen. Or maybe they've changed it somehow. It used to work by strictly limit dietary carbs through carb exchange counting. Similar to calorie counting but WAY more complicated.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 28, 2013
at 07:04 PM

@foreveryoung, I'm very conservative and agree with Karen. Bringing political affiliation into this conversation was just ridiculous.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 28, 2013
at 07:02 PM

And are lied to by the "experts" they trust to tell them the things they need to know.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 28, 2013
at 07:01 PM

"Rare populace who have hormonal issues..." Are you kidding me?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 28, 2013
at 06:57 PM

OK Karen even though GT is Atkins' lap poodle, he's very close to being a conventional paleo pundit, and you threw in some more gratis. So here's an outline. If you want more, there's several billion more examples of low bacon/high wheat = no obesity. http://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a1344 Many of these countries do not allow pork consumption, but have superb couscous.

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 28, 2013
at 05:42 PM

Even without proper nutrition education and knowledge of paleo, it is still very easy to maintain a healthy weight though. Before paleo, I used to count calories and exercise more than I do now to maintain the same weight, but it was not difficult to do. Almost everyone understands the correlation between the amount of food and exercise and weight.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 05:07 PM

Also, sadly, if I had found this board and first read posts where political orientation (or lack thereof) were tied to diet habits as my first intro to paleo, I would have run for the hills and never looked back. It's reminding me now of a big reason I stopped hanging out at PH.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on February 28, 2013
at 05:06 PM

@Foreveryoung:Having the basic education, availability, and financial ability to exercise those choices is a privilege, and not one that a lot of people have. Never assume that because *you* can or do do something, everyone else can as well.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 05:04 PM

visible option than paleo. Paleo is getting better known, as are other lower carb eating ways, but it is by no means well known. We have a false impression of it's visibility because we have already found out about it, and now get to bask in paleo info wonderland. The average person gets to hear about paleo mainly as some crazy fad or curiosity with hairy guys gnawing on haunches of raw meat.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 05:01 PM

You're making it sound easy to choose not to accept the authorities advice. Consider that those authorities start teaching "good nutrition" in kindergarten or grade school, that they publish articles in all the major magazines and newspapers, that the vast majority of the diet/health books out there push grains, grains and more whole grains and it's probably hard for most people to know that there is even much of a choice. Bucking authorities is pretty tough for the average person - after all these are the "experts." Even if someone decides to buck the authorities vegetarianism is a much more

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:51 PM

@karen wouldn't it still be optional since they choose to accept an authoritarians opinion rather than forming their own conclusions? Not saying its fair right or moral, but it is a choice.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:43 PM

Where we differ I see is the 100% part. I still think that even if it is a strong influence, as long as it is not law or force, the choice is 100% yours. You count that incentive as a way of absolving some of the personal responsibility. I don't. Agree to disagree.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:40 PM

thhq, re population statistics - correlation does not equal causation. Can I cite Volek, Eastman, Phinney, or are they out because they are "paleo pundits"? Can I just dump the foot notes from Good Calories, Bad Calories in you lap?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:37 PM

There is a devil on my right shoulder strongly telling me to cheat on so and so, and there's an angel on the other whispering to do the right thing and say no. If the devil is a stronger influence and I end up cheating, it is still my choice and my fault. Apparently you would disagree.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:36 PM

Last comment. Guessing my political orientation in this context is doubly ridiculous when considering that I have a very, very negative attitude to the government involvement in all this (see remarks re. USDA, FDA etc) and that the govt policies that I believe have contributed (notice CONTRIBUTED, not total responsibility) to the problem were instituted per recommendations of a Congressional committee head by (wait for it) George McGovern. Right or wrong in any situation is not determined by political orientation. Things are never cut and dried or simple as you seem to think.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:35 PM

@ karen- you missed the point of bringing up your political orientation (i'll bet I'm right about it too). It was to suggest that you are absolving responsibility for your actions and blaming it on exogenous influences. An influence is not a unconquerable force. And just as there are bad influences, there are good one's as well, though you still choose which one to listen to and pave your own way ultimately.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:32 PM

You have no idea of my political orientation, and it is irrelevant here. Personal responsibility is a great thing, but using your political orientation to determine what to do/not do or who is totally responsible for a WORLD-WIDE obesity epidemic is just foolish.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:31 PM

@ karen- Yeah, it is still a CHOICE to eat them. Incentives are not force. Mainstream isn't force. It's little different than someone choosing libertarianism over Liberalism or Republicanism

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:28 PM

Consider than when I was first diagnosed with prediabetes (despite a very CW healthy diet) the big advice I was given was to follow the American Diabetes Association diet. NOW, go read that diet. Then consider how many people are actually going to buck the advise of their doctor, the USDA, the FDA, the ADA and almost every dietician or nutritionist they ever meet to do the research and find out about paleo and buck all that expert advise to "eat like a caveman"!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:26 PM

I chose to be 165 lbs. If I had not made that choice I would still be 215 lbs. For this N=1 obesity was 100% optional.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:26 PM

If it is a choice for one person to get fit, it is a choice for another to get overweight. I don't know your political orientation but I'll take a guess that it's very liberal. No one is literally force feeding you a calorie surplus. No one is saying you cannot eat real whole foods like fruit and vegetables and meat. There's a distinct difference between an incentive and force or law.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:25 PM

*responsible to what degree particularly.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:24 PM

For more on who is and isn't responsible, go take a look at this thread http://paleohacks.com/questions/182393/they-start-to-get-that-sugar-might-play-a-role-in-diabetes-study#axzz2MD8wwP6K

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:23 PM

-1 for being judgemental. How is wheat more addictive than bacon, for instance. Citing the conventional paleo pundits as proof will be countered with population statistics on high wheat/low bacon cultures which do not have obesity problems.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:22 PM

Calorie in, calories out may work mathmatically, but it's a poor way to deal with obesity problems when certain sources of calories are satiating, while others lead rapidly to increased hunger. And the foods that are pushed by most dieticians, government and doctors are the very foods (grains!) that pump up the hunger.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:22 PM

If it is a choice for one person to get fit, it is a choice for another to get overweight (albeit, an easier one). I don't know your political orientation but I'll take a guess that it's very liberal.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:21 PM

It's a choice to be a sheep. It's a choice to get educated. If it was a choice for a fit person it was a choice for an unfit person. I already know that you are a liberal.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:19 PM

You're a liberal aren't you?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:18 PM

"rare population" in the US with overweight or obesity = @ 65% of population. This is up from @30% in 1970. AND it's not just in the US, the problem is becoming world wide. Do you REALLY think that all those people are totally responsible for the problem? Mark Sisson was able to get all the right info and use it, and frankly also won the genetic lottery (something he would gladly admit). How much of the US or anywhere else do you really think knows about paleo as other than "those crazy cavemen are all going to die because they don't eat the whole grains you NEED!" ?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:18 PM

Obesity is also caused by a necessary caloric surplus. That is always a choice unless you are either court ordered to have one or being tortured.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:18 PM

Obesity is also caused by a necessary caloric surplus. That is always a choice.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:16 PM

Seems to me like common sense, education, and productive action are all able to prevent those things from affecting you negatively. Education and productive action are all choices you can make. Common sense is innate.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:13 PM

Taking responsibility for personal health is very, very different from being totally responsible for ones obesity. Particularly when the CW promotes the very diet that leads to obesity and the least expensive food is the most obesity promoting.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:07 PM

+1 but just going to note that having a difficult time with something doesn't absolve one of responsibility.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:03 PM

-1 for incredibly judgmental and ignorant assumption about people with obesity!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:02 PM

All evidence to the contrary is a scapegoat and an excuse for stupidity, misaligned priorities, and/or lack of will power.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:02 PM

-1 for incredibly judgmental assumption about people with obesity!

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6 Answers

4
8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:12 PM

Aside from the rare populace who have glandular issues who cannot control it, I believe that weight-control is the own self's responsibility, 100%. Mark Sisson wrecked his patella a few years back but was able to maintain nearly the same body composition through his diet.

PS - I just read Karen's comment. Chemicals do in fact "poison" our food supply and increase obesity rates, against people's wills. So it's a tricky situation indeed. But, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves on the proper ways of eating and what can potentially sabotage our health, because it's pretty damn visible that the government has never and will never educate us, about anything.

PSS - Flame-suit on. I originally said "rare populace with hormonal issues". Yes, many people's hormones are crappy, and BPAs are increasing the number of people with hormonal issues. But what I meant were those rare people who have extremely screwed up thyroids that are resistant to any kind of treatment. Thus, with a crappy thyroid, they are unable to lose weight.

The phrases "glandular problem" or "thyroid problem" are so vague, it could mean thyroid cancer, or no longer having a thyroid due to removal, or having consumed enormous amounts of chemicals from the crappy foods in our country thus wrecking one's thyroid.

My first comment meant that aside from the people who have a disease/condition which gives them little to no control over their hormones, people are 100% in control of their own well-being.

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 28, 2013
at 05:42 PM

Even without proper nutrition education and knowledge of paleo, it is still very easy to maintain a healthy weight though. Before paleo, I used to count calories and exercise more than I do now to maintain the same weight, but it was not difficult to do. Almost everyone understands the correlation between the amount of food and exercise and weight.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 28, 2013
at 07:01 PM

"Rare populace who have hormonal issues..." Are you kidding me?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:18 PM

"rare population" in the US with overweight or obesity = @ 65% of population. This is up from @30% in 1970. AND it's not just in the US, the problem is becoming world wide. Do you REALLY think that all those people are totally responsible for the problem? Mark Sisson was able to get all the right info and use it, and frankly also won the genetic lottery (something he would gladly admit). How much of the US or anywhere else do you really think knows about paleo as other than "those crazy cavemen are all going to die because they don't eat the whole grains you NEED!" ?

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 01, 2013
at 09:51 PM

"Do you REALLY think that all those people are totally responsible for the problem?" Yes, I do. They got fat by not caring about their diet. Thus, this is their fault.

4
2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:05 PM

From my personal experience (I have no evidence on the experience of others), I entirely control my weight. I could easily choose to be 200 lbs or 100 lbs... at 5'8, I choose to be 125 lbs.

Again, this is my personal experience and others might have a much more difficult time managing their weight than I do.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on February 28, 2013
at 09:51 PM

I agree with you, foreveryoung, in that the incentive to make it easy to make the wrong choice does not absolve any of the personal responsibility. However, I'm pretty liberal myself, and agree with Mathgirl that my politics have nothing to do with this.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:26 PM

If it is a choice for one person to get fit, it is a choice for another to get overweight. I don't know your political orientation but I'll take a guess that it's very liberal. No one is literally force feeding you a calorie surplus. No one is saying you cannot eat real whole foods like fruit and vegetables and meat. There's a distinct difference between an incentive and force or law.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 28, 2013
at 07:04 PM

@foreveryoung, I'm very conservative and agree with Karen. Bringing political affiliation into this conversation was just ridiculous.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:22 PM

If it is a choice for one person to get fit, it is a choice for another to get overweight (albeit, an easier one). I don't know your political orientation but I'll take a guess that it's very liberal.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:07 PM

+1 but just going to note that having a difficult time with something doesn't absolve one of responsibility.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 01, 2013
at 08:24 AM

@ foreveryoung perhaps there are contextual factors affecting why the devil has a stronger influence on someone at a point in time. Their historical access to educational resources, emotional issues relating to socialation processes etc. That doesn't mean that the person can't become aware of things (eventually) and effect change, but it also means that people shouldn't be considered 100% responsible for their choices. In practice yeah I agree people have certain levels of responsibility (a lot), but it is important to remembber that people have different circumstancesm and that while you may

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:21 PM

It's a choice to be a sheep. It's a choice to get educated. If it was a choice for a fit person it was a choice for an unfit person. I already know that you are a liberal.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:26 PM

I chose to be 165 lbs. If I had not made that choice I would still be 215 lbs. For this N=1 obesity was 100% optional.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 01, 2013
at 08:25 AM

have had opportunity, are at a certain place in your 'life journey' etc, others may not (yet, perhaps) be in a similar position.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 01, 2013
at 09:54 PM

"but it also means that people shouldn't be considered 100% responsible" So if I go on a homicide spree and kill 50 schoolchildren, I'm not 100% responsible because of social factors and because the information the government is sending me is mixed - that ruining people's lives is a good thing and that ruining people's lives is a bad thing.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:43 PM

Where we differ I see is the 100% part. I still think that even if it is a strong influence, as long as it is not law or force, the choice is 100% yours. You count that incentive as a way of absolving some of the personal responsibility. I don't. Agree to disagree.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:32 PM

You have no idea of my political orientation, and it is irrelevant here. Personal responsibility is a great thing, but using your political orientation to determine what to do/not do or who is totally responsible for a WORLD-WIDE obesity epidemic is just foolish.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:35 PM

@ karen- you missed the point of bringing up your political orientation (i'll bet I'm right about it too). It was to suggest that you are absolving responsibility for your actions and blaming it on exogenous influences. An influence is not a unconquerable force. And just as there are bad influences, there are good one's as well, though you still choose which one to listen to and pave your own way ultimately.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:37 PM

There is a devil on my right shoulder strongly telling me to cheat on so and so, and there's an angel on the other whispering to do the right thing and say no. If the devil is a stronger influence and I end up cheating, it is still my choice and my fault. Apparently you would disagree.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:13 PM

Taking responsibility for personal health is very, very different from being totally responsible for ones obesity. Particularly when the CW promotes the very diet that leads to obesity and the least expensive food is the most obesity promoting.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:36 PM

Last comment. Guessing my political orientation in this context is doubly ridiculous when considering that I have a very, very negative attitude to the government involvement in all this (see remarks re. USDA, FDA etc) and that the govt policies that I believe have contributed (notice CONTRIBUTED, not total responsibility) to the problem were instituted per recommendations of a Congressional committee head by (wait for it) George McGovern. Right or wrong in any situation is not determined by political orientation. Things are never cut and dried or simple as you seem to think.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 02, 2013
at 03:17 AM

Generally, yes. This doesn't presuppose that you shouldn't be negatively sanctioned for going on that spree. It is a recognition though that 'choice' doesn't exist in a vacuum and that there are factors that influenced the choices available to and your capacities to decide. Yes, I said it: we are not 100% in control of 'ourselves', hence not 100$ responsbile- self is constructed in an environmental context where systemic issues have influence. To think you have total responsibility is to deny your relation to other human beings and the world around you.

3
3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

on February 28, 2013
at 06:40 PM

Well, the food industry worldwide produces 4,000 calories a day of food on average.

Given that the average human only needs 1,300-1,700 GOOD, WHOLESOME, and NUTRITIOUS calories per day...

Ever heard of incentive?

Companies have a reason to trick us into over consuming, why else would we need 6-8 "small" meals a day?

I dont think people choose to be obese or overweight, they just aren't aware of how wrong their eating habits and food choices are.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 28, 2013
at 07:02 PM

And are lied to by the "experts" they trust to tell them the things they need to know.

3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

(803)

on February 28, 2013
at 07:47 PM

the "experts" dont just tell, either, they sell too!

2
E689b5a04588f8050ef5fa6f8b820f32

(286)

on February 28, 2013
at 08:50 PM

Having read all the comments and responses, I think it's dangerous to ask/answer in absolutes. And I think Roth tried to do his best to provide outliers to the rule. But there's a flip side to Karen's comments in that there are many people who are obese for whom it is 100% within their control.

My answer would be - yes, for some people it is 100% in their control and for some it is not. And it's my personal opinion that there are more in the first group than the second group.

2
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:08 PM

Oh, just for the health of it:

Horrible CW dietary advice from the government etc to eat 6-11 servings of grain a day.

Almost unavoidable obesity promoting ingredients in packaged food - HFCS to begin with, but many more.

Food culture that hides helpful information and promotes poor eating, by calling it healthy.

Addicting properties of some of the CW pushed food like WHEAT.

Cheap food being the very most damaging to weight control.

Obeseogens such as BPA riddled through our food supply.

Endocrine disruptors in everything.

and on, and on, and on......

Now go do some actual reading on the problems of obesity and get off your judgmental attitude.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:31 PM

@ karen- Yeah, it is still a CHOICE to eat them. Incentives are not force. Mainstream isn't force. It's little different than someone choosing libertarianism over Liberalism or Republicanism

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:23 PM

-1 for being judgemental. How is wheat more addictive than bacon, for instance. Citing the conventional paleo pundits as proof will be countered with population statistics on high wheat/low bacon cultures which do not have obesity problems.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:22 PM

Calorie in, calories out may work mathmatically, but it's a poor way to deal with obesity problems when certain sources of calories are satiating, while others lead rapidly to increased hunger. And the foods that are pushed by most dieticians, government and doctors are the very foods (grains!) that pump up the hunger.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on February 28, 2013
at 05:06 PM

@Foreveryoung:Having the basic education, availability, and financial ability to exercise those choices is a privilege, and not one that a lot of people have. Never assume that because *you* can or do do something, everyone else can as well.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:18 PM

Obesity is also caused by a necessary caloric surplus. That is always a choice unless you are either court ordered to have one or being tortured.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:19 PM

You're a liberal aren't you?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 28, 2013
at 06:57 PM

OK Karen even though GT is Atkins' lap poodle, he's very close to being a conventional paleo pundit, and you threw in some more gratis. So here's an outline. If you want more, there's several billion more examples of low bacon/high wheat = no obesity. http://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a1344 Many of these countries do not allow pork consumption, but have superb couscous.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 01, 2013
at 01:55 AM

I do not find it surprising that there is an obesity epidemic. It doesn't take necessarily take 'force' for things to happen, what about persuasion, gurus etc? Instead of blaming the 'fatties' for making shit 'choices', why not target with the udnerlying systemic issues?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:16 PM

Seems to me like common sense, education, and productive action are all able to prevent those things from affecting you negatively. Education and productive action are all choices you can make. Common sense is innate.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:18 PM

Obesity is also caused by a necessary caloric surplus. That is always a choice.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 04:40 PM

thhq, re population statistics - correlation does not equal causation. Can I cite Volek, Eastman, Phinney, or are they out because they are "paleo pundits"? Can I just dump the foot notes from Good Calories, Bad Calories in you lap?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 01, 2013
at 02:28 PM

Karen, I see your point -- and it I well put. I agree that the cards are stacked against people. I tried CW healthy diet and was obese despite calorie control and exercise. Yet when I switched to paleo I dropped weight easily. But it was optional -- with proper eating I easily lost the weight. The problem is the options are hard to find

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 01, 2013
at 01:52 AM

@foreveryoung choice doesn't exist in a vacuum and there are huge constraints that affect the capacity to 'choose'. It might be easy to blame individuals for making the 'wrong choices' but this shies away from the systemic constraining context in which the 'choices' are embdedded. 'Common sense' is a product of socialisation, and everyone's is different. Indeed if we look at the setting in which many people grow up,, as mentioned by Karen,

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on March 01, 2013
at 05:24 AM

+1 Karen. Our modern foods mess with our brain chemistry causing us to overeat on all the wrong things. Telling someone not to eat so much or not to binge, or labeling it as their fault doesn't help at all.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 02, 2013
at 03:26 AM

Hardly. You're asking whether people are at at fault for being obese, and have essentially blamed them for being incompetent/making bad choices etc. Whether you like it or not issues of responsibility/agency are fundamentally linked to issues of a systemic, 'structural' nature. Do you think people are so 'individual' that they aren't connected to other people and broader, more underlying issues?

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 01, 2013
at 09:57 PM

"Instead of blaming the 'fatties' for making shit 'choices', why not target with the udnerlying systemic issues?" Outside the scope of PaleoHacks. Outside the scope of this question too.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 10, 2013
at 11:57 AM

But I DO believe that obese people are incompetent when it comes to diet/exercise/maintaining or losing weight. If you can show me one person that's eating decently (not even full paleo, just eating 'fine') and exercising semi-regularly that's still somehow obese, I'll show you a pink unicorn.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 28, 2013
at 06:00 PM

movedddddddddddddddddddddddddd

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