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Comment count is 25
Rodents of Unusual Size - 2012-08-09

This is the part that has a hopeful ending, with people acting on solutions to obesity. But the other three parts are pretty grim, especially part 3: Children in Crisis.

Part 1 - Consequences


Part 2 - Choices


Part 3 - Children in Crisis


Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2012-08-09

heh heh heh! fat americans!

maggotlimbo - 2012-08-09

But, I like fat chicks. Where's my advocate?

memedumpster - 2012-08-09


Blue - 2012-08-09

Wait, you can call in fat to work?

Blue - 2012-08-09

Bad post! You do not belong here.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2012-08-10

I concur. This is not a Safe For Work Fetish Week video.

jreid - 2012-08-09

Aren't shows like this what began The Learning Channel's decline into whatever it is now?

Old_Zircon - 2012-08-09

The difference is that this is pretty much 100% right.

The only reason industrial agriculture is cost effective for the consumer is government subsidies. It's real efficiency is that it concentrates profits in the hands of as small a group of people as possible.

Old_Zircon - 2012-08-09

Well, except that woman explaining HDL and LDL as "good and bad cholesterol," which is comprehensively incorrect (although not uncommon).

Blue - 2012-08-09


I just found this. It's a searchable database of healthy recipes. They're searchable by price. You can also put in what appliances you have available.

Also, why the fuck didn't anybody ever tell me about pickles? They're low in calories, and fucking awesome to eat while high. You can get a bucket of them at Jimmy John's. Even if it's not the only food you eat, it'll dramatically reduce the number of calories you take in.

Old_Zircon - 2012-08-09

Yeah, but all thesalt will kill you faster than any calories would.

dead_cat - 2012-08-10

Get cultured pickles. They have less salt and are better for you anyway.

Bort - 2012-08-09

I'm gonna LJ here, because there's no place else to do it anywhere else on the Internet. Over the past five months, ol' Bort has actually, finally been losing weight. Here's what works for me:

- Doctor: Went to see a doctor to check my state of affairs. (Thanks ObamaCare!) The only thing particularly wrong with me, beyond weight itself, was a Vitamin D deficiency. Makes sense, I don't drink milk. But Vitamin D capsules are cheap, and they make me feel less sore and run-down.

- Exercise: bicycling. Since it can be combined with errands, it feels less pointless than, say, a stairmaster.

- Diet: I aim for high protein foods, yer chicken, lentils, veggie burgers, and the like. Protein satisfies my hunger very well and for the long haul. I also consume fat and carbs because you need those, but I'm careful to make sure they're not EMPTY fat and carbs.

- Psychological: I discovered a mental bug that has probably had everything to do with my weight. I'm one of those dopes who generally stays off the pain pills, but there was one pain I realized I had an overactive fear of: hunger pangs. This has doubtless been steering my choices for years now, where I've been careful to eat not just enough to fend off hunger, but to make sure I won't be hungry any time soon. That's a sure recipe for putting on pounds. So recently I've made a point of letting myself experience hunger pangs, and reminding myself that it's just another meaningless ache that I'll get through. Now I am pretty much okay with the pangs, meaning I eat smaller portions and I stop when I'm no longer hungry (because "no longer hungry" now registers as "enough"). That's big.

Old_Zircon - 2012-08-09

Buddhists say your stomach should be 2/3 full. But Buddha was a total porker so maybe they're not the ones to take advice from.'

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2012-08-09

I'm proud of you! Keep going!

My sister is obese. She is 5'6" and weighs over 300 pounds. I saw her last Christmas and hadn't seen her in years. She had gained at least a hundred pounds since I'd seen her last. I took inventory of what she was eating. She believed onions and iceberg lettuce counted as vegetables and this was so sad I didn't even know what to say. She has children. She is feeding them crap. All this salt filled, calorie filled crap. The amount of ice cream and cookies and chips and heavy cream based items (dairy products and cheese filled up the fridge) shocked me.

So I tried cooking for her and her family. She refused to try my food. I made couscous with vegetables. Eggplant, bell pepper, cauliflower. I made quinoa. She literally refused to eat my food and as a result my niece wouldn't eat it, either. I was trying to be nice, to be a good influence, to basically show them that food didn't have to be heavy and fucking gross fast food junk.

That is when I realized what American children are really up against. My own mother gave us a lot of crappy TV dinners and shitty fast food growing up and I started to cook for myself in my teens and became super conscious of what I put in my body. I taught myself about food and watched cooking shows about healthy cuisine. I wanted to give my niece a taste of something different, but she wouldn't have it. She doesn't like vegetables. Her mother doesn't know how to make them.

What's worse is my sister's attitude. This is how I am. I'm not going to change for anybody. She is also manic depressive and refuses meds. I can't do anything. It is so bad she would not even come into Trader Joe's with me because she told me that people would look down on her if she went in there. And she was convinced that they would not have any food that she could possibly enjoy.

I watched this documentary all the way through and it is really well done. One of the best works on obesity to date, period. I really recommend it. I would buy it for my sister but I know she would refuse to watch it. She thinks she needs food because she has already given up. It's so sad. I really encourage anyone to try and lose weight and not do that, not just throw in the towel and think it's impossible.

HarrietTubmanPI - 2012-08-10

Excellent and sobering points. Not only that, but it's a lack of good quality exercise. I'm amazed how many people are wimps when it comes to basic cardio, or learning how to run, or learning what foods are good or bad for you and how to read the nutritional labels.

I went to our whole foods clone today and got a weeks worth of food for 60 bucks. It wasn't cheap, but I have fresh veggies, real pasta, good bread, real fish, ground bison for burgers, and even got some good cookies for fun.

Then I went to Walmart to get some cheap bathroom items and was sickened by what I saw in every cart. Junk food. Cheap cardboard pizzas. Gallons of nasty pasta sauce, Oreos, fried chicken, pounds of bacon, HFCS sodas, candy and cheap potato chips. No wonder they were all lardasses.

Then if I bike or run on the greenway, I'm usually blazing past mst people except massive pro bikers on road bikes. I'm not an Olympic runner, but nobody seems to pass me. I worked on my heart rate with cardio, and ran an hour for 7.5 miles at an 8 minute mile time which is great for me, and my pulse hovered around 170 the whole time. But at the gym I see people barely running two miles in 25 minutes, or attempting to run at 3.5 mph. Then they grab a cheeseburger. Or they actually trust the machines to tell them what they've burned when it's always off and higher than the real value.

If you're willing to sweat and not gorge yourself, you will lose weight, and feel fantastic about yourself.

HarrietTubmanPI - 2012-08-10

I'll also add that if you consistently exercise, be meticulous, write down what you did, and constantly improve, you'll do things you never thought you could do. The thing is, you CAN do it, but most won't try and stick to it long enough to know the results.

When I see a ham beast say they've tried everything, I know they haven't.

Bort - 2012-08-10

Thanks, RoUS! I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. I'm trying to think if I have any tiny shred of advice that might take, but I'm not sure exactly where she lies. It could be that your sister feels it's too hopeless to even try to change, so she takes a stubborn pride in not changing ... I can get that.

Trying to show the other person a radically different, radically better way to eat is helpful, except that you also need to realize you're going to rouse their defensiveness, and you need a way to get around that. So small steps. One thing you can honestly tell your sister is that this fat guy you know on the Internet (me) finds that a helping of vegetable protein makes him feel a lot better -- a bowl of lentils or a Morningstar Farms black bean chipotle veggie burger. I've actually gotten to the point that I have mostly cut meat out from my diet, by accident: I think it's been three or four days since I've eaten meat, I don't miss it. (But don't tell your sister that or she'll smell a rat.)

As far as convenience goes, those Morningstar Farms black bean chipotle veggie burgers might be appealing too: microwave for three minutes and you've got a burgery sort of thing you can put on some bread and eat. You won't mistake it for beef in a million years, so don't think of it as a meat substitute, think of it as another fast and tasty food in your food arsenal. As a human being I'm an omnivore, and I will exercise my right to eat any animal OR vegetable I choose.

(See what I just did there? I made it a point of pride that I will eat even vegetables if I so choose. That way, a vegetable is not a tacit admission of a poor diet, an unhealthy lifestyle, and failure at life. That's the sort of defensiveness you'll be up against.)

I went a bit at length about how I was responding to hunger pangs, because I wonder how prevalent that is. Maybe it's just me, or it could be a lot of people go through a variant. I think Louis CK talks a bit about that, or something similar, in "Chewed Up": he notes that normal people will say "I have consumed enough nutrients so I will leave the table now", but that's not how he knows he's done. That's not how I knew I was done either, but these days I know better.

HarrietTubmanPI: I'm not about to fault the "ham beast" who feels they've tried everything, because in my case, that's where I was for the longest time too. Then I somehow realized where I was making a wrong turn (hunger pangs), and until the moment I made that realization, I would have sworn up and down I'd tried everything. You can only perceive what you perceive.

BTW I don't mind being called a "ham beast" myself because I see the evidence, but I don't know the other guy's story so I'm reluctant to go there with other people. Weight is a complex matter involving physiology, upbringing, habit, emotions, and psychology; at some very simple level the equation is straightforward ("to lose weight, expend more calories than you consume"), but the fact that human minds are complicated keeps it from being straightforward.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2012-08-10

Bort - good points, there.

Giving my sister recipes is something I've done. I gave her a list of foods last Xmas. My stepfather is also overweight, and actually wanted the list. I was happy to see him accept it and get excited about it. So I did have some success. He's had two heart attacks and is desperate to change his situation.

I should add something important they don't include in this doc, which is the taste buds of people who get obese can be affected by fast food. All those chemicals in fast food actually do change your mind's perception of what it good. It's kind of scary. People who eat these foods more frequently get addicted to the chemical satisfaction that comes from eating them.

But exposure and knowing about those foods are also important. Like I said, my sister and I were not raised in an environment where we were taught about food. We ate canned green beans for vegetables and that was the literal most my mother ever gave us in terms of green veggies. The difference between us is I really wanted to learn more about good food and have gone through dozens of cookbooks in my life and she has stuck to comfort food because it is so linked with her emotional state. People who understand the psychology of addiction know that some people really do replace their feelings with food and even though I don't relate to it, I get why it occurs.

On a personal note, I gained just ten pounds when I got sick for a few months and since I've been in a foreign country I've had to really look harder for food that's healthy. When I first got here I couldn't find anything I was used to so I just ate a lot of crappy junk food. I felt like CRAP. That's just ten pounds. I joined a gym. I ran it off. I'm back to semi normal. I need to cut some of the fat from my sides but a majority of my food comes from fresh fruit and vegetables. I adapted, basically. Now, I know a lot about food but I felt totally out of my element, like I had no idea what to buy. Everything was in a foreign language. I expect that is how a lot of obese people feel who don't know anything about eating healthy or preparing foods they are unused to. It's scary, it's challenging. It's venturing into new territory.

I just really hope the situation in the US improves. I think it's tragic and it's amazing to me that people are fine with the government interfering in public policy so we have cheaper oil but god forbid they interfere when 30% of the population is dangerously overweight. It's okay to interfere when rich people get richer but what about our goddamn pride as a people?

Bort - 2012-08-10

"I expect that is how a lot of obese people feel who don't know anything about eating healthy or preparing foods they are unused to. It's scary, it's challenging. It's venturing into new territory."

The biggest problem is finding something that works for you. On a very basic level, you want foods that keep you alive, and help you feel full (or overfull as the case may be -- hunger pangs etc). If whatever you're eating doesn't get you there, it's not working.

So a blind leap into Healthy Eating is a non-starter. You first need to experiment and see what will work. If you find enough things that work, they can become the new core of your diet. That's how it worked for me.

Some of the things you described (such as eating primarily fruits and vegetables) may work for you, but I'm about 100% certain that wouldn't work for me. Unless it so happens the vegetables you're talking about are the high-protein variety (lentils or soybeans or wheat germ), but my assumption is you're talking cucumbers and carrots and the like ... wouldn't do it for me. Quinoa is a step in the right direction, but it's still not high enough protein to be satisfying.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2012-08-09

She thinks she needs shitty, highly caloric food, that is. It really is amazing the disconnect. I have heard this from other obese people, too, that vegetables don't taste good. I just can't conceive how anyone could think that.

Blue - 2012-08-10

I used to feel that way. I've been forced to restrict my caloric intake because of poverty, and now I can't eat out anymore. I have to get a box every time, and I can't even eat pizza. Fatty foods don't taste good anymore. Vegetables taste better now.

MissLadyArtemis - 2012-08-14

SO, I think we aught to put surgeon general's warnings on junk food. We could get that through, right?
I also personally make a point to try to buy foods without corn syrup in. Yeah, I want a cookie, but good luck finding one in a store without corn syrup!

Bort - 2013-08-10

I still want SNAP to be reformed so that it requires some out-of-pocket expenditure for crap foods, while paying in full for nutritious foods. I would even allow that nutritious foods can give you credits to apply to the out-of-pocket expense on crap foods; call it the "if you don't eat your meat you can't have any pudding" rule.

And yeah, heavy amounts of corn syrup would be a prime indicator that a food should be categorized as crap.

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