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Author: Subject: Very sad, but true

Zen Peach





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  posted on 2/28/2004 at 11:51 AM
http://member.compuserve.com/homerealestate/package.jsp?name=fte/fatphobia/ fatphobia&floc=wn-cs

I unfortunately have encountered this situation....



Dirty Little Secret Most of Us Harbor

<http://cdn.compuserve.com/cp/fte/fatphobia/i/fatphobia135.jpg> Most of us have such a phobia about fat that we think obese friends are bad for our image.

That's the shocking result of a new study from Great Britain that exposes a dirty little secret most of us harbor: We have a fat phobia. It's not news that many people have a low opinion of someone who is overweight, but this study from the University of Liverpool shows just how deep the stigma runs: If you hang out with a fat friend, people are likely to think less of you.

These often unconscious negative attitudes have a profound effect on overweight people, who are less likely to get into college, less likely to get hired, and more likely to get fired.

Even though some two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight, discrimination against fat people is rampant. Sometimes it's subtle and unintentional. Other times, it's overt and cruel. "Weight stigma is powerful, pervasive, and destructive," Marlene Schwartz, a Yale psychologist, told The Associated Press.

The study: British psychologist Jason Halford tested the reactions of 144 female students to two prom photos. Photo No. 1 showed a good-looking, thin young man standing next to a svelte woman with striking ringlets. Photo No. 2 depicted the same man, but was altered to show him arm-in-arm with a beautifully dressed obese woman. The volunteers each got a quick look at just one of the photos and were then asked to describe their opinion of the man, rating him on the researchers' "fat phobia scale": A score of 1 to 5 on 50 negative adjectives that are often used to describe obese people.

The results: When the man was with the obese woman, he was rated 22 percent more negatively than when he was with the thin woman. As the date of the fat woman, he was more likely to be described as miserable, self-indulgent, passive, shapeless, depressed, weak, insignificant, and insecure. The students who were themselves overweight, were even more likely to rate the man harshly when he was pictured with the heavy woman. "It shows that people project negative attitudes associated with obesity not only on the obese but all those who associate with them," Halford explained to AP.

Yale University's Rebecca Puhl said bias against the large begins early in life--as young as preschool. Little children are more likely to describe overweight playmates as mean, ugly, or stupid. "Expressing negative attitudes toward obese people has become an acceptable form of bias," she told AP.

The study findings were presented to the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.


[Edited on 2/28/2004 by WharfRat]

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/28/2004 at 12:59 PM
That really sucks! People who are naturally thin can't begin to comprehend how difficult it is for some folks to lose weight and keep it off. I've often wondered why our society is so preoccupied with appearance anyway. It's a shame.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/28/2004 at 02:37 PM
Wouldn't fat phobia be an irrational fear of fat people? That's not what this sounds like at all.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/29/2004 at 10:19 AM
No,Marley.. Its just prejudice...

 

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  posted on 2/29/2004 at 10:42 AM
I just hang out with my fat self and have fun.
 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/29/2004 at 11:19 AM
Right on phillybob!
I love you WhartRat no matter how you look. Don't be sad...

 

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  posted on 2/29/2004 at 01:52 PM
Our society is filled with shallow people who will never be happy if they believe beauty and perfection will bring them true happiness. I'm glad I'm not one of them.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/29/2004 at 05:14 PM
quote:
Yale University's Rebecca Puhl said bias against the large begins early in life--as young as preschool. Little children are more likely to describe overweight playmates as mean, ugly, or stupid.

I kind of wish they'd supported this instead of just throwing it in at the end as an assertion. Judging people by appearance sucks in general, but something about 'fat phobia' strikes me as being a bit off.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/29/2004 at 05:16 PM
I'm not Fat.

I'm big boned.


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  posted on 3/1/2004 at 04:59 AM
It seems like there's v.little balance in reporting/discussing this issue - on one hand, there are people who, for no blame on them, have clinical conditions which result in them being obese. It is a pretty poor lookout that so many people in the civilised world can't get past the schoolyard "sniggering at fat people" phase; grow up, folks!

Television doesn't help in this respect - find me a drama or soap opera made in the US (and I note Australian TV, of which we get a lot in the UK, seems to be as bad) that shows anyone with even the tiniest hint of "love handles", I dare you! This is not to mention magazines & the attitude coming out of health-fixated Southern California - little wonder that so many people react against these sterotypes.

On the other hand, it seems more than a little irresponsible to simply bracket obesity as a "handicap" or "disability", without examining the causes about why so many people in the US, UK & Europe are overweight. Whilst I am wholly sensitive towards those I know & love who have a weight problem (and I'm not at my ideal weight either, and I know the reasons why), there is a fear in society that telling people to eat less fatty food, go out and exercise more & that carrying many extra pounds is not good for you is somehow prejudiced towards the overweight. It isn't - we still love you, but we care enough to want you to get healthy & not risk serious illness.

Education on attitudes towards obesity needs to start from the ground up - talk to our kids at school (& parents really need to support this) about nutrition properly, give them decent food (school dinners in the UK are a disgrace generally - chips & burgers, on the whole) & foster a caring attitude towards the older generation, who need support to tackle their own weight issues.

My best wishes go to you all.


 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/1/2004 at 05:45 AM
quote:
Right on phillybob!
I love you WhartRat no matter how you look. Don't be sad...


Thanks Pam

quote:
I just hang out with my fat self and have fun.




Well is is March

 

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  posted on 3/1/2004 at 01:41 PM
It is certainly not too cool to denigrate another person for the way they look. I suppose we all forget that from time to time.
 

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  posted on 3/1/2004 at 02:04 PM
I wish I'd been born rich instead of good looking.

 

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  posted on 3/1/2004 at 02:18 PM
Our society is brutal in its treatment of fat people. This especially applies to women. Think back to high school. The "cool" group of guys usually had at least one overweight member who was funny or something like that. But the "cool" girls would never be seen with another overweight female. Hollywood discards women like newspapers when they gain a little weight. I am not overweight per se but I know how hard it is to lose weight. I have run marathons for 3 years and I lose about 5 pounds in the process of training. The older you get, it becomes even more difficult.
That being said, I have a friend who weighs around 330 pounds. He has never addressed his weight in any serious matter. He dsimisses any evidence that his health may be in danger. I have had friends with drug and alcohol problems but I am more concerned about his health than I ever was with theirs. He is in his mid thirties and the clock is ticking. There aren't many 300 pound men in their fifties. Once his back gives out (and it will eventually) it is all over for him. I have resorted to tough love with him because he doesn't get it from anyone else. It may sound cruel but I am trying to save a life.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/1/2004 at 07:34 PM
quote:
Education on attitudes towards obesity needs to start from the ground up - talk to our kids at school (& parents really need to support this) about nutrition properly, give them decent food (school dinners in the UK are a disgrace generally - chips & burgers, on the whole) & foster a caring attitude towards the older generation, who need support to tackle their own weight issues.

Well said. Some people really do have an illness, others just don't take care of themselves. The New York Times ran this story yesterday:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/01/national/01SIZE.html

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/1/2004 at 09:11 PM
I've gained 30 lbs from prescription medications.

There are many drugs that have weight gain as
a side effect.

It's not the chocolate bombs, I swear!



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  posted on 3/2/2004 at 07:05 AM
They don't call 'em "love handles" for no reason..( hee hee..... )

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/2/2004 at 10:02 AM
quote:
There aren't many 300 pound men in their fifties.


This is my primary motivation.

Except i have quite a ways to go to even get to 300.

But I am heading in the right direction

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/2/2004 at 04:18 PM
quote:
Most of us have such a phobia about fat that we think obese friends are bad for our image.


My best friend in the whole wide world was over 500 pounds. i admit that at times it was difficult to go out into public with him, but i never cared. the worst though was when he wouldnt go out anymore. he died two years ago from illnesses related to his weight.

ironically enough, we met over the phone and where such good friends by the time we met face to face, that his weight was almost a non-issue.

quote:
I've gained 30 lbs from prescription medications.

There are many drugs that have weight gain as
a side effect.


Very true. i put on 50 when i was in a fit of depression that the doctors said requried Meds. its coming off, slowly but surely, and coming from a woman who has been thin her whole life till very recently, it was very difficult to not be accepted the way that i was before. People are rude, guys that used to hit on me would tell me that i was getting fat, or whatnot. I was sure to tell them that i wasnt there for their personal enjoyment to begin with, so they should not have felt bad about me getting heavier.

did anyone else notice when they gained weight that friends and family would all say "Gee, you look HAPPY"? what the hell is that all about?

 

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  posted on 3/2/2004 at 05:00 PM
I do not know what that means. I do notice people saying right away, "you've gained weight" to people who have and whom they have not seen in a while. I am pretty thin but feel it is rude to come right out and say this to someone.
 

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  posted on 3/2/2004 at 06:37 PM
quote:
I do notice people saying right away, "you've gained weight" to people who have and whom they have not seen in a while.

Really? I've never seen that... usually you'd think it would be something people would already know. Definitely not polite.

 

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  posted on 3/2/2004 at 06:41 PM
quote:
usually you'd think it would be something people would already know.


Hey Marley, you posted a reply!

 

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  posted on 3/2/2004 at 06:42 PM
A very apt demonstration.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/3/2004 at 09:12 AM
quote:
Really? I've never seen that... usually you'd think it would be something people would already know. Definitely not polite.


unfortuately, rudeness is something that is an everyday occurance with the uneducated. it just proves the point of the story that overweight people are repeatedly discrimated against, and that society is quick to point out when someone doesnt fit into their ideal image. rat bastid society.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/3/2004 at 09:13 AM
oh, i dont mean that uneducated people are the only ones who are rude - what i mean by uneducated is people who havent learned politeness.

 

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