Recognizing my own bias or prejudice .....

Posted by ellerbracke @ellerbracke, Sat, Aug 31 5:14pm

I know I am very guilty of classifying people in general, and regarding weight in particular. Living in the bible/heart attack/ diabetes belt, it simply blows my mind how many obese people I see every single day when out and about. Granted, fewer of those at Dillard’s than Walmart. Still, in addition to being concerned, I am also judging those people. I know I should not, but how in the world can someone get that fat? It would take years of dedicated overeating to reach that. No, I really don’t think that all of them have a medical issue, seeing what’s in their grocery carts. Someone help me get a less judgmental attitude when I’ve been semi-denying myself all those chips and cookies and fries for decades?? I live and eat well, but treats should be treats, not daily food.

@debbraw

@ayeshasharma – Very interesting video. To echo a little of what @contentandwell talked about, I thought it was interesting that I didn't hear any questions that related to health – e.g., do you think your weight affects your health? or your ability to participate in healthy social activities? It seemed to focus entirely on attractiveness – acceptance of body image – etc. I guess, if I had to come down on one side or the other, I think I would view extreme obesity in the same way I would view addiction to anything – drugs, alcohol, nicotine. It's not healthy, it limits your life choices, and it shortens your life expectancy. I would try to help my children or family members overcome a food addiction that resulted in obesity in the same way I would try to help them overcome a drug, tobacco, or alcohol addiction. I wouldn't love them any less, but I would want them to be as strong and healthy as possible.

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@debbraw
I agree…I feel sad when I see obese adults and children, drug or alcohol abusers….
,…thinking about their life expectancy. Sadder than I do if I see an amputee or blind person. They had no choice.

FL Mary

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@ayeshasharma

@ellerbracke @imallears @debbraw @contentandwell I came across this video the other day and I thought you all might find the different perspectives interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsDLOuXSy7k

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@ayeshasharma : thanks for a thought-provoking video. Interesting to hear that the people mostly don’t feel like they want to or need to lose weight, even though some of them would be ok with it if they did. Like Florida Mary, I was put off by the exaggerated suggestion that you work out 8 hours a day to get skinny. And regarding the comments about the world being geared to average and slender people – yes, I somewhat agree. But in the particular reference to airplane seats, or movie theater seats, I definitely disagree who is at a disadvantage. If I have an oversize person next to me who takes up both armrests, and part of my allotted seat space on top of that, it is I who is very much disadvantaged.
Also, in general I would say that the increase in the number of overweight people has been snowballing. I recently went through a box of old photos, from roughly 1940 on, taken in Germany and Austria. Not a single adult or child in any of those photos is anything but very skinny, no matter how the individuals ended up later in their lives. War and food rationing will do that to you. People had bigger worries than self image.
Setting aside medical or emotional issues, I agree that there needs to be more of an education and push by physicians to reduce the weight epidemic. I mentioned at some point that I have a grandson who, at age 14, had gradually packed on about 20 lbs. No gentle steering (at that age you don’t really formally put someone on a diet or preach daily to him) worked. UNTIL he attended a lecture about the effects of juvenile diabetes. Bingo! He voluntarily cut out all sweets – which he loved -, and is now at 16 average to below average weight.
And lastly, compared to the 6 women and men in the clip, while they are definitely overweight, that is nothing compared to what I routinely see on a daily basis around town. Think an additional 60 or more lbs. on top of what the heaviest person weighs, trouble walking, often even in fairly young persons. There is one (male) worker at our local Lowe’s store who’s pretty tall, perhaps 6’4”, but his upper arms (not muscle) are about the size of my waist. Consequently, he’s not very efficient in his job, as I found out when I needed help some months ago shopping for new entrance doors. He could barely walk to the display models, almost impossible for him to get his arms between the samples, etc. At this point I think acceptance of his choice should be weighed against his ability to perform his job.
PS. My PCP recently moved to a different location, and on my first visit to his new digs I noticed that half the seats in the waiting area, and the patient’s chair in the examination room, were X-wide. Sad reality. Second time within 3 months that I saw that in a medical office setting.

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@ellerbracke

@ayeshasharma : thanks for a thought-provoking video. Interesting to hear that the people mostly don’t feel like they want to or need to lose weight, even though some of them would be ok with it if they did. Like Florida Mary, I was put off by the exaggerated suggestion that you work out 8 hours a day to get skinny. And regarding the comments about the world being geared to average and slender people – yes, I somewhat agree. But in the particular reference to airplane seats, or movie theater seats, I definitely disagree who is at a disadvantage. If I have an oversize person next to me who takes up both armrests, and part of my allotted seat space on top of that, it is I who is very much disadvantaged.
Also, in general I would say that the increase in the number of overweight people has been snowballing. I recently went through a box of old photos, from roughly 1940 on, taken in Germany and Austria. Not a single adult or child in any of those photos is anything but very skinny, no matter how the individuals ended up later in their lives. War and food rationing will do that to you. People had bigger worries than self image.
Setting aside medical or emotional issues, I agree that there needs to be more of an education and push by physicians to reduce the weight epidemic. I mentioned at some point that I have a grandson who, at age 14, had gradually packed on about 20 lbs. No gentle steering (at that age you don’t really formally put someone on a diet or preach daily to him) worked. UNTIL he attended a lecture about the effects of juvenile diabetes. Bingo! He voluntarily cut out all sweets – which he loved -, and is now at 16 average to below average weight.
And lastly, compared to the 6 women and men in the clip, while they are definitely overweight, that is nothing compared to what I routinely see on a daily basis around town. Think an additional 60 or more lbs. on top of what the heaviest person weighs, trouble walking, often even in fairly young persons. There is one (male) worker at our local Lowe’s store who’s pretty tall, perhaps 6’4”, but his upper arms (not muscle) are about the size of my waist. Consequently, he’s not very efficient in his job, as I found out when I needed help some months ago shopping for new entrance doors. He could barely walk to the display models, almost impossible for him to get his arms between the samples, etc. At this point I think acceptance of his choice should be weighed against his ability to perform his job.
PS. My PCP recently moved to a different location, and on my first visit to his new digs I noticed that half the seats in the waiting area, and the patient’s chair in the examination room, were X-wide. Sad reality. Second time within 3 months that I saw that in a medical office setting.

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@ellerbracke
You are so right and kudos to your grandson for being smart enough to listen. Also right about being on the receiving end of sitting next to an obese person. Doctors don’t do enough to “push” their patients to lose weight. A simple reminder or suggestion is not going to work. The obesity epidemic in this country affects all areas of our government and society and workplace and your pocketbook.
We are in crisis mode in America. It’s not always okay to accept who you are . I think videos like the one we saw do more damage and make people more complacent. It’s not easy but if you can fix the problem then you should.
Learn about the foods you put into your body and how they affect your health. Don’t be enablers. The food and agricultural industry doesn’t care about you….pharmaceutical companies don’t care about you. Boycott the junk foods so prevalent the supermarkets and make the companies pay attention. Only you can do it.

Go to a book store and spend an hour or two. How many books on diet and nutrition do you see next to cookbooks on southern fried foods and decadent desserts? Do some reading….read the science behind food. There are sensible doctors and authors amid all the fads and nonsense on the shelves and everyone is making money off of you.

FL Mary…..still learning

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@imallears

@ellerbracke
You are so right and kudos to your grandson for being smart enough to listen. Also right about being on the receiving end of sitting next to an obese person. Doctors don’t do enough to “push” their patients to lose weight. A simple reminder or suggestion is not going to work. The obesity epidemic in this country affects all areas of our government and society and workplace and your pocketbook.
We are in crisis mode in America. It’s not always okay to accept who you are . I think videos like the one we saw do more damage and make people more complacent. It’s not easy but if you can fix the problem then you should.
Learn about the foods you put into your body and how they affect your health. Don’t be enablers. The food and agricultural industry doesn’t care about you….pharmaceutical companies don’t care about you. Boycott the junk foods so prevalent the supermarkets and make the companies pay attention. Only you can do it.

Go to a book store and spend an hour or two. How many books on diet and nutrition do you see next to cookbooks on southern fried foods and decadent desserts? Do some reading….read the science behind food. There are sensible doctors and authors amid all the fads and nonsense on the shelves and everyone is making money off of you.

FL Mary…..still learning

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@imallers jumping in here . It will take an act of congress to bring fast food places to retool there foods they serve to non fat low sugar products. Granted some fast food places are trying to change the way they serve food but a lot don't . Not only is it a social issue but a health issue for those who gorge them selves on fatty foods. I'm not naming name as that wouldn't be right to single out places. Education is the key to starting the children then it may correct itself in time. Does this make sense?

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@lioness
I agree that educating children and providing good examples is the key. But we are an instant gratification society and we are surrounded by fast food places wherever we go. Children are bombarded with tv ads. They get use to the salt and sugar at an early age.

I also think that those fast food chains that are advertising “healthier” options are just doing so as a marketing ploy to sucker you in. They don’t want to lose your business so they try to convince you that you are making a good choice when you should not even be in there in the first place. They read the signs of the times just like any other industry. Even the organic stores and whole food stores carry junk…making it organic or gluten free doesn’t always mean it’s healthier. It’s hard for young people not to succumb to what is around them and the influence of their peers. It’s hard for adults too.

People don’t want to be educated or learn about food…they want a quick fix. We are all busy with jobs and raising families. That’s no excuse.
We have to do so much better in this country.

We talk about this all the time in our family and with our friends. It’s hard for me to get off the soapbox at times but hopefully some of my rants didn’t fall on deaf ears.

FL Mary back from the gym and a healthy lunch…yes I’m proud of me lol.

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@imallears

@lioness
I agree that educating children and providing good examples is the key. But we are an instant gratification society and we are surrounded by fast food places wherever we go. Children are bombarded with tv ads. They get use to the salt and sugar at an early age.

I also think that those fast food chains that are advertising “healthier” options are just doing so as a marketing ploy to sucker you in. They don’t want to lose your business so they try to convince you that you are making a good choice when you should not even be in there in the first place. They read the signs of the times just like any other industry. Even the organic stores and whole food stores carry junk…making it organic or gluten free doesn’t always mean it’s healthier. It’s hard for young people not to succumb to what is around them and the influence of their peers. It’s hard for adults too.

People don’t want to be educated or learn about food…they want a quick fix. We are all busy with jobs and raising families. That’s no excuse.
We have to do so much better in this country.

We talk about this all the time in our family and with our friends. It’s hard for me to get off the soapbox at times but hopefully some of my rants didn’t fall on deaf ears.

FL Mary back from the gym and a healthy lunch…yes I’m proud of me lol.

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@imallers I agree with everything you said . I know it is hard I don't really know what the answer is since the fast foods and ads are everywhere . Wonder how the other countries did it like India. My daughter in law her parents are from India an she is a vegan son is vegetarian so they are watching what my grandson eats but he is now going into the teen age years so I'm sure things will change . But I hope not , will see.

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@lioness
Hi,

Interesting about India. They have their own fast food places with cultural dishes. Since Hindus and Muslims don’t eat beef or pork , maybe that’s why some American fast food chains have folded. I thought that places like Mickey Ds we’re trying to get around those dietary restrictions with chickpea and what not burgers or tacos. A lot of Indian food is unhealthy too…many fried dishes and dishes high in cholesterol. We’re not that dissimilar I guess. How neat to have a grandson with Indian heritage. I bet he’s handsome.

FL Mary

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@imallears

@lioness
Hi,

Interesting about India. They have their own fast food places with cultural dishes. Since Hindus and Muslims don’t eat beef or pork , maybe that’s why some American fast food chains have folded. I thought that places like Mickey Ds we’re trying to get around those dietary restrictions with chickpea and what not burgers or tacos. A lot of Indian food is unhealthy too…many fried dishes and dishes high in cholesterol. We’re not that dissimilar I guess. How neat to have a grandson with Indian heritage. I bet he’s handsome.

FL Mary

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@imallears Yes that is true but she doesn't eat that when we all go out the Mom tells me which dish Id like they know I don't eat hot spicy food My grandson is starting to have that beautiful olive skin Out here some places are using the Beyond meat which is substitute for hamburger ,haven't tried it do you have it there? Grandson is handsome Thanks he has his Dad,s outgoing personality as she is a introvert

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@lioness

@imallears Yes that is true but she doesn't eat that when we all go out the Mom tells me which dish Id like they know I don't eat hot spicy food My grandson is starting to have that beautiful olive skin Out here some places are using the Beyond meat which is substitute for hamburger ,haven't tried it do you have it there? Grandson is handsome Thanks he has his Dad,s outgoing personality as she is a introvert

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@lioness
Hi,
Yes I’ve seen Beyond Meat in a lot of stores but haven’t tried it. It has a lot of sodium. I like veggie burgers and quinoa burgers but always read the labels. Don’t remember the price of the Beyond. Personally would rather eat a grass fed burger. I guess it’s a save the planet thing by not slaughtering cattle. I don’t like spicy food either. I made such hot chili a couple of weeks ago I had to douse it in Greek yogurt before I could eat it…I was crying . I use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream…whole milk plain.

My iPad is running low so signing off for the night and going to binge some Hulu. We have Netflix , Amazon Prime and Hulu.
Too much to watch …would never leave the house if I tried.

FL Mary

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@imallears

@lioness
I agree that educating children and providing good examples is the key. But we are an instant gratification society and we are surrounded by fast food places wherever we go. Children are bombarded with tv ads. They get use to the salt and sugar at an early age.

I also think that those fast food chains that are advertising “healthier” options are just doing so as a marketing ploy to sucker you in. They don’t want to lose your business so they try to convince you that you are making a good choice when you should not even be in there in the first place. They read the signs of the times just like any other industry. Even the organic stores and whole food stores carry junk…making it organic or gluten free doesn’t always mean it’s healthier. It’s hard for young people not to succumb to what is around them and the influence of their peers. It’s hard for adults too.

People don’t want to be educated or learn about food…they want a quick fix. We are all busy with jobs and raising families. That’s no excuse.
We have to do so much better in this country.

We talk about this all the time in our family and with our friends. It’s hard for me to get off the soapbox at times but hopefully some of my rants didn’t fall on deaf ears.

FL Mary back from the gym and a healthy lunch…yes I’m proud of me lol.

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@imallears : stay on your soapbox. I was a stay-at-home mom to 3 kids most of my life… not necessarily by choice. When I came to the US, smack into the middle of a booming textile industry, I was elated. With a BS in textile engineering I thought I had it made. Nope, even though I had had relevant employment in Austria and Switzerland, the new South wasn’t quite ready for the female engineer at the time.
Anyway, with a single earner household there was pretty much no eating out, especially not fast food. Cooking from scratch, a good bit of vegetables raised in my garden, meat sparingly, home-baked bread, etc. – you get the idea. So my kids grew up fairly healthy, and they also always participated in school athletics. Fast forward: oldest son has married a very health conscious wife, and he himself takes great care of his body. Second son is the main cook in his house because he enjoys it, is good at it, and also keeps it on the healthy side. At age 44 he still sports a 32” waist. Daughter has some spare pounds (about 10), single mom, working highly paid, but highly stressful job with frequent 12 hour workdays. When she can, she cooks, and does it well, but sometimes good intentions fall by the wayside because of time pressure.
All in all, I think I laid a good foundation. For example, whenever I had to take the kids along to the grocery store, I was able for years to convince them that the candy displays near the checkout counters were just advertising samples for the big bags found in the candy isle. I NEVER had any whining for treats because the kids just assumed that the individual sweets were not for sale. Mean? It worked, until the kids were old enough to know they would not get any, no matter what, and never any of the tantrums i often see with children today.

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@ellerbracke
You're my kind of woman. Children learn from their parents. Your family is on the right track because of you and you put a lot of American homemakers to shame. Cultural differences ? Not always.

Fl Mary

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@ayeshasharma

@debbraw I love that

Here is a video with some of the same participants, in conversation with fitness enthusiasts. Health is discussed quite a bit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVZJFULZVfA

It's interesting–I guess I didn't realize that a number of the participants would come forth speaking about health diagnosis/mental health issues that have contributed to weight gain.

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Yes, @ayeshasharma – very interesting dynamic. Thanks for sharing.

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I agree with advocacy for education around nutrition as well as policy change to regulate the food and drink industry. Completely. The fast food/fast fashion/fast entertainment direction we're headed toward is doing way more harm than good. But one element of the conversation that I think is missing is that suicide rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed in the past 2 decades–increased 33% from 1999 to 2017. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for people ages 35-54, and the second for 10-34 year olds. Regardless of whether we think body image is a significant issue for others to have, it's proven that teens who think they're overweight, or are actually overweight, are at increased risk of attempting suicide.
https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/03/trends-suicide
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520064349.htm
The folks in the first video "Do All Plus-Sized People Think the Same?" were being influenced by each other, for sure. I think one of them was a bit judgmental to the others, for whatever reason. But something I liked about this video, and the channel's basic series template of, "Do All _________ Think the Same?" is that legitimizes Experts by Experience, as the Connect community does as well. It asks plus-sized people about plus sized issues. Other episodes interview veterans about being veterans, etc.

I'm Indian, and my parents are both health professionals. They eat Indian food almost every day, not anything fried or fatty (containing ingredients like ghee/butter) and their parents ate the exact same thing. When they were just starting out in this country, this diet was kind on the wallet, because North Indian food (where my family is from) is basically just beans and rice (and onions and tomatoes, etc, lol). Similar to what some call the poor man's diet. I feel rather fortunate to have been raised with a cultural knowledge of healthy, low-cost ingredients and healthy cooking, like your kids, @ellerbracke. This sort of family knowledge is invaluable to pass on.

At the same time, I think education and policy change will always be stronger than prejudice. I've heard of too many kids getting bullied when we have structural problems we could focus on instead of shaming individuals.

Just my two cents

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@ayeshasharma

I agree with advocacy for education around nutrition as well as policy change to regulate the food and drink industry. Completely. The fast food/fast fashion/fast entertainment direction we're headed toward is doing way more harm than good. But one element of the conversation that I think is missing is that suicide rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed in the past 2 decades–increased 33% from 1999 to 2017. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for people ages 35-54, and the second for 10-34 year olds. Regardless of whether we think body image is a significant issue for others to have, it's proven that teens who think they're overweight, or are actually overweight, are at increased risk of attempting suicide.
https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/03/trends-suicide
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520064349.htm
The folks in the first video "Do All Plus-Sized People Think the Same?" were being influenced by each other, for sure. I think one of them was a bit judgmental to the others, for whatever reason. But something I liked about this video, and the channel's basic series template of, "Do All _________ Think the Same?" is that legitimizes Experts by Experience, as the Connect community does as well. It asks plus-sized people about plus sized issues. Other episodes interview veterans about being veterans, etc.

I'm Indian, and my parents are both health professionals. They eat Indian food almost every day, not anything fried or fatty (containing ingredients like ghee/butter) and their parents ate the exact same thing. When they were just starting out in this country, this diet was kind on the wallet, because North Indian food (where my family is from) is basically just beans and rice (and onions and tomatoes, etc, lol). Similar to what some call the poor man's diet. I feel rather fortunate to have been raised with a cultural knowledge of healthy, low-cost ingredients and healthy cooking, like your kids, @ellerbracke. This sort of family knowledge is invaluable to pass on.

At the same time, I think education and policy change will always be stronger than prejudice. I've heard of too many kids getting bullied when we have structural problems we could focus on instead of shaming individuals.

Just my two cents

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@ayeshasharma

Just a footnote to your reference to being overweight with a poor body image and suicide….There is a direct link between diet and depression in teens and young adults and older adults. Granted that’s not the reason for all suicides but there is overwhelming physical and psychological evidence of that link. I am sure there are a lot of parents who are not aware of that.

FL Mary

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@lioness

@imallers I agree with everything you said . I know it is hard I don't really know what the answer is since the fast foods and ads are everywhere . Wonder how the other countries did it like India. My daughter in law her parents are from India an she is a vegan son is vegetarian so they are watching what my grandson eats but he is now going into the teen age years so I'm sure things will change . But I hope not , will see.

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@lioness @imallears @ellerbracke @ayeshasharma
I need to put in my 2 cents worth. First, I have to admit, my kids ate somewhat healthy but I did allow trips to fast food places occasionally, and although at age two my son didn't know what a cookie was, as they got older I did bake desserts like cookies. I, and I think people in general, were much less conscious of healthy eating then, in the 80s and early 90s. Interestingly though, my son and his wife are health nuts to an extreme most of the time. I actually think he eats too few carbs. They are both extremely fit.
My daughter and her husband (he is of Indian heritage and was brought up as a vegetarian but will now eat chicken and fish) also generally eat pretty healthily but they do sometimes indulge in less healthy foods – they both love mac and cheese. So, bottom line, our kids are often influenced more by outside influences than by their parents. My husband and I do eat more healthily now, and have cut way back on our meat consumption portions.

Beyond Burgers and the other one, Impossible Burgers (?) do not have meat but they have been found to be no more healthy than real meat burgers. If anyone lives near a Five Napkin burger, my daughter loves their veggie burger. I have no idea of the nutritional value. She was a vegetarian for a while, actually before she met her husband, but then relapsed. She still eats vegetarian a lot but does also eat meat. Funny aside – my daughter used to write for a blog in NYC, "Woman about Town" and she once wrote an article on becoming a vegetarian and said her mother was upset! I was upset — not that she became a vegetarian, but that she said that, because I was totally supportive of her. She said the editor wanted her to take that viewpoint. It was also funny because the picture she put of herself on the article was terrible.

There are a few things that they do have to have from their youth. When I visit my son in Denver I always have to make a huge pot of meatballs and sauce. We have it for dinner and then there's enough left for them to freeze for about three more meals for two. Healthy, I don't know. I do use lean meat (92%), and tomatoes are good for you. I add no salt and use unsalted tomatoes in my sauce, and being a very large pot I add a whole bottle of red wine. I figure it cooks for a couple of hours so the alcohol, which being post-liver-transplant I am not supposed to have, has cooked off.

I do have to carefully consider what we will eat when my son-in-law is here. You can only eat so much chicken and my husband expects meat at every dinner.
JK

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