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Obesity and the NHS

iwihbn

Don't the sun look angry at me?
#1
Mods, feel free to delete if it goes against community guidelines.
So, the statistics suggest that 9.7 billion pounds are spent on treating this. Having been in the NHS' mental health system since I was 13, and never seeing a counselor because they were so booked up, I can't understand why government programs to tackle this problem are so controversial, especially since it could help mental health issues and education.
Like, I'm aware that there are small genetic components to obesity, I'm aware of the concept of food deserts, and that its more difficult for people on the lower socioeconomic end of the scale, but at the end of the day, eating less than you burn will lose body mass?
We could also introduce third-strike rules for those who are obese and refuse to lose weight (like we currently do with alcohol or cigarettes), as well as setting up more groups and positive reinforcement.
What do others think?
 

Walker

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#2
Well I guess they could also institute a rule for people to refuse to get less depressed then. It's not dissimilar and relating that obese people are just able to drop weight because they "feel like it now" is the same as saying that depressed people can just get the fuck over that now so go on with life.
 

iwihbn

Don't the sun look angry at me?
#3
Well I guess they could also institute a rule for people to refuse to get less depressed then. It's not dissimilar and relating that obese people are just able to drop weight because they "feel like it now" is the same as saying that depressed people can just get the fuck over that now so go on with life.
Hmmmm, that's certainly interesting. I would argue that its at least more simple to drop weight than to 'get less depressed.' I don't know what makes me less depressed, or how to fix it, because its a complex issue. Obesity, however, seems as simple as eating less than the calories you burn, which seems easily controllable.
Thanks very much, its interesting to get other perspectives on this.
 

Walker

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#4
Obesity, however, seems as simple as eating less than the calories you burn, which seems easily controllable.
You go on and give that 20 years when your metabolism doesn't work anymore and let me hear back from ya. I was under weight at 19 too. (and assumed that fat people were fat for the same reasons)
 

iwihbn

Don't the sun look angry at me?
#5
You go on and give that 20 years when your metabolism doesn't work anymore and let me hear back from ya. I was under weight at 19 too. (and assumed that fat people were fat for the same reasons)
I weightlift, run, and eat quite healthy (about 1800kcal a day on a cut, 2200 on bulk). Spend around 30 pounds a month on food. And that is fair! I didn't consider naturally decreasing BMRs as a factor, although it is still only 1660 for a 40 year old, which isnt too hard.
I'm thinking twice about my initial position, and I think I was just annoyed by a uni group suggesting that government attempts to help people combat obesity were somehow fatphobic, racist, and the assertion that obese people were just as healthy as thin people,' so I massively overreacted and went to the other 'crazy' end of the scale.
 

Walker

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#6
Yeah, I don't think that trying to make obese people thin is "fatphobic" (and why the hell is that racist?) And I don't think that *most* obese people are likely as healthy as thin people but that's not to say that even that is always the case. BMI is concentrated on nothing other than height and weight. You say you lift weights so your BMI is already thrown off right there. You automatically get shafted into a higher BMI because you have an athletic build with a lot of muscle. Many Olympic athletes are actually overweight because they have so much muscle. And I realize we're not talking about that, but rather people who are spending a lot of money on health care on the NHS and keeping others from getting help on an already overworked system. I do get that. The system is clearly broken as shit. There's not great solution, especially over there where they tell suicidal people to go home and have a cup of tea or have a bath when they say they're going to kill themselves. That's part of what keeps SF in existence, right?
 

iwihbn

Don't the sun look angry at me?
#7
Yeah, I don't think that trying to make obese people thin is "fatphobic" (and why the hell is that racist?) And I don't think that *most* obese people are likely as healthy as thin people but that's not to say that even that is always the case. BMI is concentrated on nothing other than height and weight. You say you lift weights so your BMI is already thrown off right there. You automatically get shafted into a higher BMI because you have an athletic build with a lot of muscle. Many Olympic athletes are actually overweight because they have so much muscle. And I realize we're not talking about that, but rather people who are spending a lot of money on health care on the NHS and keeping others from getting help on an already overworked system. I do get that. The system is clearly broken as shit. There's not great solution, especially over there where they tell suicidal people to go home and have a cup of tea or have a bath when they say they're going to kill themselves. That's part of what keeps SF in existence, right?
Yeah, SF is honestly great though. Even though I've only been here for a short amount of time, its nice to have people that I know won't yell at me or judge too harshly. And I agree, there is a problem with BMI. I think I've been much too judgy in my opinions tbh. Their reasoning for the racism was that 'it was a scale created by a white able bodied cis man in 1836,' and doesn't factor in present realities. I agree to some extent (disabled people, for example, probably have different needs which cannot be met by BMI) but I fail to see how its racist as well, apart from the fact that the bloke who made it was white.
I think I may have been too harsh on the individual judgement, but sometimes I just get sad and angry that a fixable problem is being defended so heavily, but its online politics, and at the end of the day, it doesn't matter haha.
Thanks for understanding btw, its the first time I've had an actually good talk about this issue.
 

Freya

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#8
As a (very recently) formerly obese person and now still overweight person, I don't think that programs to tackle obesity are fatphobic or problematic at all. I think that they are probably going the wrong way about it - e.g. sugar tax was all well and good, but perhaps just making food and drink more expensive if it is unhealthy isn't the answer if you are not going to use that money to make the food that is healthy and nutritious affordable. I think that the programes are well intentioned but as long as you can buy a 4 pack of snickers for half the price of a 4 pack of apples or a single portion of berries, it is a problem that is not going away.

I do think that the 'eat fewer calories than you burn' thing is not as easy as it sounds. I have a metabolism so slow that if I eat over 1000 calories I gain weight, period. I have no idea why this is the case - I have an underactive thyroid but even medicating that makes no difference. I know people who eat what SHOULD be a calorie deficit for any normal human and who lose nothing. I think similar to the BMI thing ignoring a multitude of things to the point that it is useless, the premise that everyone's body operates the same way is also untrue. I have a friend with Cystic Fibrosis - they have to eat an exceptionally high glucose diet (they basically have to drink these gross supplement things that are almost pure sugar). Some people have to eat an exceptionally high salt diet for medical reasons. I can't consume 2000 calories a day which is meant to be my recommended daily calorie allowance because I would immediately pile weight on.

I think, as well, that mental health plays such a large role in the weight issue that it cannot be ignored. For people suffering from depression it can be hard enough to get out of bed. I was already obese so it was certainly not the fault of mental health problems that I got that way, but there was a solid several months where I ate nothing but fast food because I could not find the motivation to shop, cook, clean... anything really. Had I not already been obese I am sure I would have been after that! I don't think any kind of 'strike system' should be in play for healthcare. There are too many variables.

I think that fatphobia is a real thing - I have experienced it more times than is reasonable. There are a lot of assumptions and prejudices around 'fat' such as that fat people are stupid, lazy, etc. and, for some reason, it seems to be the last remaining 'socially acceptable' thing to make fun of, say mean things about etc. I don't think that wanting your population to be healthy is a bad thing for a government, particularly not in a country where the healthcare is government provided and it is already under significant financial strain. That isn't fatphobic - it has nothing to do with socially acceptable body standards or how anyone looks, it is a medical fact that being very overweight is a health problem.

I hugely respect your ability to reassess your position and adjust your opinion by the way. I see way too many people cling to a position just to 'be right' and I was very impressed with your response to an alternate position!
 

Sunspots

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#9
Obesity and mental health can become a viscous circle and very interlinked. I'm by no means saying that everyone suffering from a mental health condition is obese. But psych meds can cause weight gain and increase appetite. Depression can make us sluggish and take away our motivation. The more we don't care about ourselves the more easy it can become to give up on healthy eating, we just grab whatevers closest and easiest to eat. And then of course there's the comfort eating which has been a massive issue for me. I wish it was as easy to give up as many people think. I found giving up smoking recently much easier than saying no to some cheese and crackers or a packet of crisps.

The government are now massively reducing the criteria for bariatric surgery. I'm not sure that's entirely the right way to tackle it, not in the first instance anyway. But to be honest I'd go for it if it was offered.

It becomes a lot harder to lose weight as you get older. For women especially after they reach menopause. I could happily drop a stone in two or three weeks in my twenties but in my fifties? Nowhere near as quick, I'm lucky if I lose a lb a week.

There could be all sorts of contributing factors for that. Our hormones and metabolism changes, just as they did as teenagers. As we get older we become less active. And of course as we put on a bit of weight that activity goes down even more.

It comes down to the fact that everyone's different. My husband can only say the word "diet" and he loses a stone or two (I hate him!)

It's a right bugger.
 

iwihbn

Don't the sun look angry at me?
#11
As a (very recently) formerly obese person and now still overweight person, I don't think that programs to tackle obesity are fatphobic or problematic at all. I think that they are probably going the wrong way about it - e.g. sugar tax was all well and good, but perhaps just making food and drink more expensive if it is unhealthy isn't the answer if you are not going to use that money to make the food that is healthy and nutritious affordable. I think that the programes are well intentioned but as long as you can buy a 4 pack of snickers for half the price of a 4 pack of apples or a single portion of berries, it is a problem that is not going away.

I do think that the 'eat fewer calories than you burn' thing is not as easy as it sounds. I have a metabolism so slow that if I eat over 1000 calories I gain weight, period. I have no idea why this is the case - I have an underactive thyroid but even medicating that makes no difference. I know people who eat what SHOULD be a calorie deficit for any normal human and who lose nothing. I think similar to the BMI thing ignoring a multitude of things to the point that it is useless, the premise that everyone's body operates the same way is also untrue. I have a friend with Cystic Fibrosis - they have to eat an exceptionally high glucose diet (they basically have to drink these gross supplement things that are almost pure sugar). Some people have to eat an exceptionally high salt diet for medical reasons. I can't consume 2000 calories a day which is meant to be my recommended daily calorie allowance because I would immediately pile weight on.

I think, as well, that mental health plays such a large role in the weight issue that it cannot be ignored. For people suffering from depression it can be hard enough to get out of bed. I was already obese so it was certainly not the fault of mental health problems that I got that way, but there was a solid several months where I ate nothing but fast food because I could not find the motivation to shop, cook, clean... anything really. Had I not already been obese I am sure I would have been after that! I don't think any kind of 'strike system' should be in play for healthcare. There are too many variables.

I think that fatphobia is a real thing - I have experienced it more times than is reasonable. There are a lot of assumptions and prejudices around 'fat' such as that fat people are stupid, lazy, etc. and, for some reason, it seems to be the last remaining 'socially acceptable' thing to make fun of, say mean things about etc. I don't think that wanting your population to be healthy is a bad thing for a government, particularly not in a country where the healthcare is government provided and it is already under significant financial strain. That isn't fatphobic - it has nothing to do with socially acceptable body standards or how anyone looks, it is a medical fact that being very overweight is a health problem.

I hugely respect your ability to reassess your position and adjust your opinion by the way. I see way too many people cling to a position just to 'be right' and I was very impressed with your response to an alternate position!
Hmmmm, that really is interesting.
I agree with you that fatphobia is totally wrong. Multiple sources have evidenced that people lose more weight in positive environments geared around healthy weight loss, and fatphobia negates and attacks this. Its why I get so motivated when I'm in gym and I see someone of a larger size working out.
Yeah, for a lot of my recommendations, I was just slightly angry for not much of a good reason. What if we taxed high fat high sugar foods and put that money towards farming subsidies to grow healthy, nutritious food and make it cheaper for the consumer?
I guess the point about depression doesnt seem the same as my experiences. Most of the time when I was in a huge low I'd eat a salad and nothing else, then gym obsessively till I was on at least a 400 kcal deficit. However, I understand more, now, that my experiences are not necessarily the same as others.
I guess I really need to practice empathy a bit more haha. I'm so unused to feeling anything that anger put me into this whole spiral of blatant reeing.
Thanks very much! This helps a lot.
 

EmB

Absolute Peach!
#12
Without getting too political, the government doesn't have a real drive to deal with obesity. As much as there's pressure on health care services, the money they earn through junk food and fast food purchases far outweighs it, because all things come down to - at the end of the day - is money. They tax sugary drinks but that money doesn't go anywhere because its not about dealing with obesity, it's about a way to gain more money. People don't impulse-buy healthy food in the same way they do with fatty or sugary foods, because they're quick, easy, and honestly, sugar can be super addicting (from my own experience - once I cut sugar, my food cravings vanished).

Just my slightly depressing input! Hope that's okay :)

Sending hugs
 

iwihbn

Don't the sun look angry at me?
#13
Without getting too political, the government doesn't have a real drive to deal with obesity. As much as there's pressure on health care services, the money they earn through junk food and fast food purchases far outweighs it, because all things come down to - at the end of the day - is money. They tax sugary drinks but that money doesn't go anywhere because its not about dealing with obesity, it's about a way to gain more money. People don't impulse-buy healthy food in the same way they do with fatty or sugary foods, because they're quick, easy, and honestly, sugar can be super addicting (from my own experience - once I cut sugar, my food cravings vanished).

Just my slightly depressing input! Hope that's okay :)

Sending hugs
I do agree that sugar is quite addicting, but the money concept doesnt really hold through. For example, Tobacco sales are heavily taxed despite being a massive industry, as is alcohol. Since the government doesn't make profit, they'd have to spend it somewhere?
Continuing from the impulse buy point, people don't impulse buy things which are highly costly
Lots of love :D
 

EmB

Absolute Peach!
#16
I do agree that sugar is quite addicting, but the money concept doesnt really hold through. For example, Tobacco sales are heavily taxed despite being a massive industry, as is alcohol. Since the government doesn't make profit, they'd have to spend it somewhere?
Continuing from the impulse buy point, people don't impulse buy things which are highly costly
Lots of love :D
But tobacco and alcohol are addicting, they can afford to put a high tax on them because they know people will buy them anyway. The money does go somewhere - usually pay rises for MPs, I've found. You too! Your point is interesting :) if I've misunderstood let me know!

Sending hugs
 

iwihbn

Don't the sun look angry at me?
#18
But tobacco and alcohol are addicting, they can afford to put a high tax on them because they know people will buy them anyway. The money does go somewhere - usually pay rises for MPs, I've found. You too! Your point is interesting :) if I've misunderstood let me know!

Sending hugs
Don't think its a misunderstanding, particularly, and since all tax is pooled it means that, even if government is taking more than they should, it'll still be helpful, somewhat. Maybe it wont all be used to heal the problem, but anything helps. I'm somewhat sure that junk food is addicting- it affects dopamine centres in the brain, just not so obviously harmful as alcohol or cigs. Thanks for your input, I'm trying to moderate my views a bit more :D
 

Aurelia

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#20
While it's true that there are usually numerous factors involved that make it difficult for some people to lose weight, it's certainly not impossible. Slower metabolism just means that the body is slower at burning calories, but it does still burn calories. And actually, you don't need to burn MORE than you eat. Depending on the person's weight and height, they need a certain amount of calories per day. The body absorbs those without the person gaining extra weight. It's the extra calories that are eaten beyond that amount which cause weight gain. And you don't even necessarily need rigorous exercise. Everything we do, including sleeping, burns calories. Granted, not as many, but it does. Me, for example, I need maybe about 1200-1400 calories per day. If I eat that many, I won't gain weight nor lose it. If I eat less than that, I'll lose it. Though, the pace at which I lose it would depend on how much less I eat and how much I burn. But I'd still be losing weight. And obviously, if I eat more than that, and don't burn it off, I'd gain weight. But my point is, it's possible for just about anyone, and it more so depends on what/how much you eat than it does on exercise. I've lost weight before by simply just cutting my calories in half without exercising. It's easier for some people than others, but it can be done. The problem is a lot of people just don't know exactly what to eat and how much to burn.
 

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