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If the truth hurts, sue the bastard

Here in Cow Hampshire, we have a doctor named Terry Bennett. Dr. Bennett runs a family practice, and has a reputation for giving his patients the blunt facts. And that has gotten him into trouble. Like a lot of people, Dr. Bennett has noticed with concern the rising obesity of Americans. (blush) And as a doctor, he sees it as his duty to get his patients to live more healthy lives. In that spirit, he told one of his patients to her face that she was obese, she would most likely outlive her obese husband, and she would probably end up alone because men tend to not be attracted to obese women. He also spelled out for her just some of the many other health problems that obese people face. The patient didn't take his advice to heart. Instead, she took it to the state medical board. Dr. Bennett responded to the formal complaint by saying, in essence, "yeah, I said it, but it's all true." He also wrote an apology to the woman. That isn't enough for the board. They've referred the matter to the state Attorney General's office, which is considering ordering Dr. Bennett to attend an educational course and admit he was wrong. Dr. Bennett is having nothing to do with that plan. Another of Dr. Bennett's patients is organizing a petition drive in support of him. One of the signers is quoted:
Melinda Haney of Rochester has been Bennett's patient for 15 years. She had more than 100 people sign a petition asking Lynch not to re-appoint Ayotte as attorney general because of the investigation. Like the woman who filed the complaint, Haney is obese. "For 15 years Dr. Bennett would tell me 'Mindy, you're overweight and you smoke,'" she said. " 'You are going to get diabetes or cancer or have a stroke or heart attack.' The whole time I was saying 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm young, those things only happen to someone else.'" She said now she is a diabetic, has had cancer and failed a stress test terribly.
I am dumbfounded at this anonymous complainer. She apparently feels she has the right to be obese and not be called that, not even by the doctor she is seeing to help her live out a healthy life. And if she doesn't get her way, she'll make damned sure that that doctor pays the price for telling her the truth. (Disclaimer: Yes, I am carrying around quite a few more pounds than I ought to. And yes, I'm not doing very much about it. But what this whacko is doing is so beyond the pale, even I feel the need to call her on it.)

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Comments (110)

I always enjoy the weighty ... (Below threshold)
arb:

I always enjoy the weighty matters discussed in this blog.

Is her objection to the who... (Below threshold)
joe:

Is her objection to the whole line of statement by the doctor, or just the bit about obese women not being likely to find mates?

There is a militant fat population out there. They call it "size acceptance."

JayFirst of all, I... (Below threshold)
John:

Jay

First of all, I don't think she's upset at being called fat. I believe she's upset because the doctor called her unattractive.

I think a doctor can and should inform a patient of all the health reasons one should lose weight. Among those reasons should definitely NOT be the physical appearance of the patient, nor the probablity she may outlive the spouse and therefore require weight reduction to attract a new mate.

While I think it's tad rash to sue the doc, I am certainly not "dumbfounded" by her behavior.

My wife was subject to similar horrible bedside manners by a doc. After our second child was born, she experienced what I would call normal post-pardom blues. When telling a PA (doc wasn't available) about the depression, he told her that if kids depress her, maybe she should have thought about that before conceiving the second child. She came home crying, and while I didn't sue, I did call him up and give him my two cents worth, and as I recall called him an asshole.

So, perhaps a lawsuit is a bit much, but I sympathize with the lady.

"Avoiding offence means that w... (Below threshold)
"Avoiding offence means that we don't accept each other as equals." --Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dutch politicianThis woman wasn't injured by the doctor, she just wanted to get even with him.
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" --William Congreve
Woops, let me try that agai... (Below threshold)

Woops, let me try that again (sorry):

"Avoiding offence means that we don't accept each other as equals." --Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dutch politician

This woman wasn't injured by the doctor, she just wanted to get even with him. Insult does not equal injury.

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" --William Congreve

The doctor should have stuc... (Below threshold)

The doctor should have stuck with medical advice, pearls before swine, etc. He's not paid to be a life counselor or shrink. That her husband will likely predecease her and that guys don't like fat chicks is probably not news to this lady.

That said, the woman is free to find another doctor, which she may have done; her name is nowhere in the article, and the action being taken is at the behest of the state's Board of Medicine, which seems to be taking the matter way too far. I'd like to think that involving the AG's Admin Unit is an effort to publicly vindicate Bennett, but that would be terribly naive.

John,There's one k... (Below threshold)
Gizmo:

John,

There's one key difference between the comment uttered to your wife and the ones mentioned to the women in the story... there wasn't anything your wife could "do" about her situation.

Perhaps the doc should have steered clear of her potential for finding a mate due to her size (for starters I've seen a lot of "fat" people in wedding attire), but this hardly rises to the level of an actionable offense.

On a lighter note, this reminds me of the old joke "A doctor tells a woman that she needs an operation. The lady says 'I'd like a second opinion.' The doc shoots back 'OK, you're ugly too!'". [insert rimshot WAV]

Also, this news flash just out today: "Study: Nearly All States Getting Fatter": http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,166518,00.html

Actually, many GP's are cal... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Actually, many GP's are called upon to be life counselors and shrinks, even if they don't want to. They have to offer support and advice and sometimes a kick in the pants to get people to change health threatening behavior.

A doctor being sued for calling someone obese is rediculous. I would love to have a GP that cared enough about me to take an active interest.

Does he get to sue her when she gets diabetes and cancer for not following his advice?

I agree with John, you don'... (Below threshold)
cancon:

I agree with John, you don't make snide personal remarks as part of your lecture to the patient, no more than anyone would appreciate snide remarks from a lawyer if you were going bankrupt for example or any professional - stick to the facts, they are scary enough.

And in fact that works both ways, any male doctor these days better watch out any comments he makes praising the looks of his more attractive patients as well - fine lead doctors doth tread.

It would be like a hardcore... (Below threshold)
model_1066:

It would be like a hardcore heroin junkie taking offense at a doctor telling him that infected trackmarks, collapsed veins and brain abcesses probably aren't too good for your health, aside from the attendant psychological problems and leathery, skeletal appearance.

I with some of the others..... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

I with some of the others...I think she's objecting to her request for a second opinion and him answering "Well, I think you're ugly too."

Or dating prospects. And he... (Below threshold)
model_1066:

Or dating prospects. And her doctor didn't say she was unattractive, he said that obesity is unattractive to the majority of her potential mates should she outlive her husband. So presumably, if the doctor didn't say that, and she did outlive her husband, and did have a hard time getting a date, she'd probably sue him for not telling her that most guys don't go for fat, depressed widows.

Correct me if I'm wrong, bu... (Below threshold)
Malibu Stacy:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's no lawsuit here, just a doctor who got in trouble with the state medical board over the way he treated a patient.

The article gives only the doctor's description of the nature of the complaint; if it were truly as trivial as he outlines it, I'd like to know what the state medical board were thinking when they referred the matter to the AG's office. Are they wasting the governments' time and taxpayers' money just to shift the disciplinary burden elsewhere (and shield themselves from accusations of negligence), or might there be more to this case than what the good doctor is telling us?

Either way, I want answers, and I want them eventually!

The appropriate response wo... (Below threshold)
Mike:

The appropriate response would be for the fat, offended lady to write a letter to this doctor's boss/hospital detailing the exchange and then changing doctors.

The idea that this doctor should be investigated by the attorney general is ludicrous and an awful waste of taxpayer dollars and government time.

The ugly, fat complainer should go on a diet and shut up!

Are they wasting the gov... (Below threshold)

Are they wasting the governments' time and taxpayers' money just to shift the disciplinary burden elsewhere[?]

That would be my guess. Just because it's a medical board doesn't mean they're not bureaucrats.

Maybe the doctor was trying... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Maybe the doctor was trying to drive her away as a patient?! Maybe he got tired of physicals which involved lifting rolls of fat and finding TV remotes, loose change, cheese doodles, small dogs, etc......

Hey, on the bright side, he... (Below threshold)
Half Canadian:

Hey, on the bright side, he's no longer liable for any health problems due to obesity, and he may have gotten McDonalds etc. off the hook too.
She just lost the opportunity to sue anyone for being obese.
And for that I thank him.

Err, for all us fair-minded... (Below threshold)

Err, for all us fair-minded lawyers, lonesome, the least you can do is properly punctuate your sentiments (heh heh) -- but this piece remnds me of the Jerky Boys piece about "He hurt me with his woids," to which the lawyer responds "you've got a very sophisticated injury and you should make an appontment right away."

And WTF!!!! Woulda shoulda coulda --the doc's tryin to scare this lady healthy when (apparently) nothing is convincing either her or her fat husband to wake up.

If he says "er, excuse me and no offense intended, but you really really should stop smoking and eating so freakin much or you might suffer terribly."

Jay, this sounds like it's coming from Massa-two-shits here, not from the cradle of liberty.

Can't tell if you're on the... (Below threshold)

Can't tell if you're on the doctors' side or the patients side. If he told her she was obese, he said it because it's dangerous to her life - she could weigh 300 to 500 pounds and that's not good; you don't say her weight in your article.

As to you Jay, you are not obese - I think you're pretty perfect myself.

Cindy

Doc was on GMA this morning... (Below threshold)

Doc was on GMA this morning and received very positive, encouraging response from Charlie Gibson, who said "Good for him."
Cindy, rereading my comment, I can see its ambiguity -- you're right. Let there be no mistake -- th3e doc was right, and nobody should be disciplining a doctor for telling his patient the truth.

I APPLAUD Dr. Bennett - I t... (Below threshold)

I APPLAUD Dr. Bennett - I too have worked in Medicine for 20 years and PEOPLE DO NOT MODIFY THEIR "behaviors" UNLESS THE SHOCKING TRUTH IS DRIVEN HOME -

I have done the same thing: WWW.KILLERSTARCH.COM - it is my shock jock anti-diabetes MESSAGE for this epidemic in aging baby boomers and now KIDS even - Take a look - MY intention is for this to be SHOCKING, FUNNY and in your face. AND...it works. Go Dr. Bennett !!

If you are offended by what... (Below threshold)
The Bottom Line:

If you are offended by what this doctor said it's probably because you are fat. If you feel like this woman should sue it's probably because you're a fat, ugly woman. Put down the Ho Ho's, I'm sick of my health care costs being sky high because of a bunch of undisciplined people with no self respect can't stop super sizing the #2 at McDonalds.

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
George Orwell

I would like to know why th... (Below threshold)
Barbi:

I would like to know why the woman was seeing the doctor. Many times when I was heavier I would go to see the doctor about some unrelated issue, like a rash, and would come away having been smartly lectured and handed a 1200 calorie diet; my rash mostly ignored or blamed on being fat. It's no wonder heavy people avoid doctors (and no wonder they have more health issues).

This doctor is excused because he's "known to give the blunt facts." I guess it would be okay for him to tell a cancer patient, "Look...you're dead in six months and your fat wife won't be able to find another husband." Maybe to the parents of a sick child, "Look, this kid's a gonner.... better try to have another."

No, unfortunately, people who are fat are blamed for it and because of that it is apparently okay to use any manner of rudeness to bring it to their attention.

If this doctor had addressed any other medical condition besides obesity in this manner you would all be calling for his license. But he just attacked a fatty, so what's the big deal?

Hey Barbi, you want the tru... (Below threshold)
The Bottom Line:

Hey Barbi, you want the truth? Your stupid. Being fat is not the same as having cancer or a sick child. You don't see the differance between the two? You go to the doctor and he says "You have cancer" and you are surprised and shocked. Do you need a doctor to tell you you're fat?

Doctor: "Your fat"
Patient: "Really? How? I never realized. I just thought my feet were shrinking."

I JUST WANTED TO ADD SUPPOR... (Below threshold)
robert:

I JUST WANTED TO ADD SUPPORT FOR DR BENNET. ACTUALLY YOU SHOULDN'T EVEN TRY TO HELP FAT PEOPLE, ALCHOHOLICS, DRUG ADDICTS, GAMBLERS, ETC. UNTIL THEY RECOGNIZE THEIR PROBLEM AND TRY TO HELP THEMSELVES.

One person said Dr. Bennett... (Below threshold)
Mary Farrell:

One person said Dr. Bennett isn't paid to be a life counselor or shrink. Sorry but he IS an MD and he IS a psychiatrist! He's not only paid to be a life counselor and shrink, if he didn't do his job he'd be neglecting his patients.

I'm very proud of him for speaking bluntly and would be happy to support his defense. My husband is a retired MD in California. He was equally blunt with his patients. These people who say they're "fat and fit" are dreaming. If you have extra weight on your body, you leave yourself open for more cardiac disease, joint problems, respiratory problems, etc.

All I can say is I hope Doctor Bennett will keep fighting. Having the AG involved is not necessarily in order to vindicate him. We had a former patient here who asked for my husband's help when her regular physician "forgot" to sign her out of a nursing home and into the care of some rather unscrupulous people (none of us realized they were like that at first). My husband did her the favor. Then the "caregivers" denied access to her by her friends and family. On behalf of her family, I went to the government protective services -- at the family's request. It caused an investigation. Long story short: the "caregivers" had taken control of this woman. They got her to sign a paper filing a complaint to the medical board. Hubby and I went to the so-called hearing. Because hubby was just starting to show signs of forgetfulness, the board sent the "case" to the AG. Hubby was forced to (and willingly did) give up his medical license. Damned if the medical board didn't put it in the records that his license was revoked because of mental illness. The damned thing wasn't revoked: he gave it up (BTW, he was trying to retire the damned license when this all happened!). So, here's a man who had 40 years of impecable service to his patients being treated like some sort of loser. He's never recovered from it.
Sorry. I didn't mean to spout off like this. But the truth of the matter is: if a person is fat, they need to be told and helped to lose the weight. And, yes, I was fat. Thanks to medical people being honest with me (even though it hurt), I found a way to lose 30 pounds so I can live the life I'm supposed to live.

A key piece of information ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

A key piece of information that has been overlooked was that the doctor told his patient to lose weight in order for her to attract another man after her husband - also fat - died (due to fat, of course).

Sexist AND sizist - a fantastic combination.

Hi. I'm for fat rights.

The most annoying thing is ... (Below threshold)
antoine:

The most annoying thing is when people with a problem deny it and blame others. I really dont understand why this story is making headlines. A woman who is obese obviously will get offended if someone calls her fat or overweight, but if a doctor says it, he or she is saying it in order to help or positively impact the obese woman. Word to the fat lady: now millions of people know you're fat. What are you gonna do now? Try losing weight or live with it. Dr Bennett we all got your back, if that fat lady tries to hurt you well send her to jenny craig or fat camp or something.

yeah antoines right, send h... (Below threshold)
caron:

yeah antoines right, send her to fat camp. why do people sue doctors..theyre just trying to help you. DO YOU UNDERSTAND: THEY DEDICATE THEIR TIME TO HELP OTHERS...(and make money). People in poor countries who dont get medical care would gladly take doctors. people like this fat ass need to learn from that. god damn it makes me sick to see people defending that woman.

Becasue the million times a... (Below threshold)

Becasue the million times a person goes to Jenny Craig or fat camp, their health, their money and their self esteem is lost antoine. And they're still fat.

The most annoying thing I hate the most is when people who don't know the whole truth, rely on stereotypes and bigotry to base their opinions.

The woman in question is, like the millions of other fat people in the world, tired of doctors giving the "fat talk" over any ailment whatsoever. She knows she's fat. She just has to look everywhere around her in our society to see that she is fat. Everyone and anyone will tell her she's fat. Wake up, she probably knows she's fat.

What's disgusting is that this woman went to her doc after her husband died and his advice was for her to loose weight.

Hi Paul. I'm for for fat rights also.

I am obese and wish my doct... (Below threshold)
Stephanie:

I am obese and wish my doctor would speak this plainly to me. God bless you Dr. Terry!

Some of us are fat becau... (Below threshold)
Andee Joyce:

Some of us are fat because we followed doctor's orders. Case in point: me. I gained 70 pounds on a medication over a 7-year period; my doctor insisted that it couldn't possibly have been the drug that was causing it, although I was actually eating less and exercising more than I had been before taking it. Finally I changed doctors and medications and the gain leveled off, but didn't go away, and may never.

And if this woman takes her oh-so-concerned doctor's advice to go to Jenny Craig so she can get another husband after her current one expires (yes, that is exactly what he told her to do), she will likely wind up fatter than she is now. Yes, fatter. That is what low-calorie diets do to the majority of women who undertake them (many of whom do so repeatedly).

You will never see Jenny or Weight Watchers release their long-term success figures, because they don't have any! The number of people who manage to lose a significant amount of weight on these diets and keep it off forever is so tiny you could write it on a grain of couscous. He might as well advise someone with cancer to go visit one of those "psychic surgeons" down in the Philippines who pretend they're pulling Saran Wrap out of your guts. The success rate is about the same.

"A key piece of information... (Below threshold)

"A key piece of information that has been overlooked was that the doctor told his patient to lose weight in order for her to attract another man after her husband - also fat - died (due to fat, of course)."

You don't really believe that garbage, do you? He's a physician and was surely urging her to lose weight primarily for health reasons. Maybe the attract-a-fellow comment was gratuitous, but if he hadn't added this and the episode had still come to light, it's clear you would be complaining about something else the doc said or did - your site is a flaming train wreck of displaced self-hate and perverse reasoning.

You say you're for "fat rights." what does that mean? Do "fat rights" include not only freedom from illegal discrimination but making up facts to suit, taking no responsibility for your own health and behavior and blaming others for all your problems? Wish I could waltz though life like that.

You already do.... (Below threshold)
Andee Joyce:

You already do.

I beleive that Dr. Bennet s... (Below threshold)
chandra:

I beleive that Dr. Bennet should be applauded for speaking up on the obesity issue, though he had no buisness saying that his patient may not be attractive to males, etc. I can't think how many patients I might have offended in the last 20 years of my practice, since I also give them a problem list of bad things that could happen as a result of obesity, in the context of post operative complications.
I think our society is getting so soft that one has to have special training to communicate with them, lest we offend them. They sshould focus on the meat of the message rather than how it was said.

Too baad she didn't smoke a... (Below threshold)
Bill from Dover:

Too baad she didn't smoke and drink... she could have gone home with the bank.

"You already do."L... (Below threshold)
Mark:

"You already do."

LOL. Good comeback Andee.

if you substitute another p... (Below threshold)
cc:

if you substitute another physical trait -- race -- for the description of this woman's size, the world would be outraged that this idiot doctor was telling this woman she was in danger of becoming a loveless widow. You may say, well, race isn't a health threat like size -- hmm, have you looked at the studies lately? And you can say, well, you can't change your race but you can change your weight. IF YOU'VE NEVER TRIED CHANGING YOUR WEIGHT AND MAKING IT STICK, DON'T GIVE ME THAT C**P. You can lose a few pounds temporarily by starving yourself and simultaneously exercising like mad. Then if you so much as dare to go back to even a slightly normal life, the pounds come rolling gleefully back with a few friends in tow. Once you've gone through that a couple dozen times, you realize it's futile and your best goal is to live as healthy a life as you can. I'm twice as healthy as every person I know who's half my size. Surgery and "diet drugs" run a high risk of killing me. My size does not, no matter how rampageous the anti-fat propaganda gets.

cc and the rest:Ye... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

cc and the rest:

Yeah, I've tried changing my weight. Succeeded, too. Then slacked off and put it right back on.

I have a right to be overweight. I don't have a right that others simply turn a blind eye to it. There's no Constitutional right to "freedom from being judged." Especially by someone I'm PAYING to aid and counsel me on health matters.

This woman is whining because he told her in no uncertain terms that she was obese and miserable, and would die from it -- most likely alone, going by actuarial odds. He didn't blow sunshine over her plentiful posterior; he laid it out for her. And she didn't like it.

If I don't like hearing the truth about myself, I either change that truth or don't ask the question. I don't insist others lie to me.

J.

Barb is right. Being fat IS... (Below threshold)
Paula:

Barb is right. Being fat IS a sickness like any other physical ailment. Do you honestly think anyone is hungry enough to eat the amount of food required to make a 5'4" woman 350 pounds? No! There is a psychological problem involved. Now I realize that too many schmucks out there don't hold mental illnesses in the same regard as physical. While they would never tell a cancer patient to "pull yourself up by your bootstraps", they can and do say that very thing to those suffering mental problems. And, as proven by this board, they do show no sympathy for those afflicted with obesity--both a physical and emotional condition. The woman should not have sued the doctor. But the Board would be justified in reprimanding him. He should no more have brought personal issues into his diagnosis--inability to find a mate, etc.--than if he were speaking to someone with, say, a cleft palate.

I pity you all who think th... (Below threshold)
LoH:

I pity you all who think that fat "Kills". Pity you! F*ck, where do you get this sh*t from? medical companies- paid by diet companies, aiming on getting money? Pah. I, for one, choose to be fat. I enjoy it. I enjoy my full health, I exercise to ensure this. Not all fat people fit your stereotypical views.

"I pity you all who think t... (Below threshold)
Barry Yatrick:

"I pity you all who think that fat "Kills". Pity you! F*ck, where do you get this sh*t from? medical companies- paid by diet companies, aiming on getting money? Pah. I, for one, choose to be fat. I enjoy it. I enjoy my full health, I exercise to ensure this. Not all fat people fit your stereotypical views."

Sure, it's all propaganda created by diet companies who buy off the entire medical community, which would never act in people's real interest. Also, medicos have NO financial stake whatsoever in developing a lareg-scale weight-loss scheme for Americans, even though such a thing would make lots of people very rich.

Thing is, doctors were making note of the various health problems associated with obesity long before Weight Watchers et al. came into existence. Explain that one. Intrinsic hate of fat people by doctors? I can tell you from first-hand experience (sorry if I'm your worst nightmare) that docs in training are more idealistic than they probably ought to be about fat people, although luckily most of them actually care about their health.

It's easy to come up and propagate with these wacko conspiracy theories until you step outside we-fat-we-happy-land and are actually forced think about them. Then you see that they make absolutely no sense at all. Even if people's motivations were what you'd envision them to be, the world stands nothing to gain by becoming home to greater and greater numbers of super-sized whiners.

It is truly remarkable that a bunch of bitter illiterates with no medical training can convince themselves that it's the rest of the world that's wrong. You're like someone who scoffs at that idiot Isaac Newton and modern aerospace engineers with their goofy ideas about "gravity" and "flight" as you jump off a cliff and flap your arms like mad, positive even as you plunge toward an ugly demise that if everyone would just see things your way, you really could float around at will.

At some point the scapegoating moves beyond merely bizarre and into downright pitiful territory. You can be as fat as you like without living in a dream world or calling for the heads of people who are doing their jobs - and not ignoble jobs, as you suggest. If you think your MD is overly harsh about his or her advisories, feel free find a new one, but you have no grounds for reporting him to medical boards and deserve any ridicule that results from such idiocy. And if you don't like what's written in the media or in places like this blog (i.e,, the truth), quit seeking them out and stick to your fat-fantasy sites.

Just to add to the fun of b... (Below threshold)
CMM:

Just to add to the fun of being in Dr. Bennett's position - if you discuss obesity, you may get a reputation as someone who "discriminates" against obese people (and obesity, incidentally, is a disorder with objective criteria - not just an individual's opinion). Even weighing patients at checkups has been blasted by some groups. On the other hand, doctors have also been sued by families for not addressing obesity with a patient who later developed problems that could have been prevented or ameliorated by weight loss. Swell, huh?

"obesity, incidentally, is ... (Below threshold)
Barry Yatrick:

"obesity, incidentally, is a disorder with objective criteria - not just an individual's opinion"

Yes, but keep in mind what "fat positive" people do. They point out that the BMI is inaccurate because it doesn't apply to the small fraction of people with BMI >30 who are heavily muscled and use this as justification for trashing the whole crazy idea that on a statistical scale, BMI and numerous health problems are indisputably correlated. Somehow I don't think powerlifters and NFL running backs are part of the "fat rights movement."

Of course, since these people think excess fat is no more harmful than tons 'o muscle, it wouldn't matter to them if even if the BMI was a perfect metric of body fat and fat only. Nor would it matter if all docs were super-compassionate because the pro fats don't believe in the principles that motivate health care workers who dare utter a single peep about obesity being bad for them - they just doctor shop until they find one willing to leave their weight issues alone.

Some people are just committed to acting in their own worst interests, I guess.

New Hampshire has the worst... (Below threshold)
ctc:

New Hampshire has the worst doctors of any state in the union, so you need to worry more about them killing you then them calling you fat.

HAHAHA, I love these fat pe... (Below threshold)
The Bottom Line:

HAHAHA, I love these fat people making excuses. I gained weight due to a bad diet and laziness. Loosing it was very, very hard. Harder for me than quitting smoking. Keeping it off was even harder but it can be done. WAKE UP FAT PEOPLE! Stop assigning blame. Being fat is your fault in 99% of the cases, with the EXCEPTION of medication or a thyroid gland problem. I have the right to laugh and stare at you all I want because you chose to get fat and/or not to lose the weight. It's not normal to be fat and it's not healthy. Stop taking my arm rest on air planes and movie theaters. Stop bitching that the booth at Denny's isn't big enough. You are NOT in the same catagory as a minority or a handicapped person. They had no choice in the matter and discriminating against them is wrong. You can lose weight if you are dedicated and motivated but alas most fat people are not. So stop saying the general public shouldn't discriminate against you. Why shouldn't we? All you are is lazy, unmotivated and have a complete lack of self respect for your own body. You are no different than smokers except that 2nd hand fat doesn't kill anyone. Healthy people also have to bear the burden of increasing health care costs because you have to get a large pizza and a side of cheese fries. EAT A SALAD! It's your right to be fat if you want to, nobody is denying you that, it's my right to laugh at you if I want to. Cause and effect. So stop acting all shocked when a doctor tells you it's unhealthy, IT IS! Don't be shocked when he tells you that the majority of people don't find fat attractive, THEY DON'T. Don't get made when the airline says you have to buy 2 tickets for your fat ass, YOU TAKE UP 2 NORMAL SIZED SEATS! (they key word being "normal sized") Why should the poor person who lives healthy, denies themselves the fatty food have to suffer next to a fat persons? What about that persons right to not have their space on that plane, that they paid for violated?!? I'll apologise for me picking of fat people when you give me back the money your costing me. Till then tubby, get use to it, we skinny people had to.

What a brave woman she is t... (Below threshold)

What a brave woman she is to complain. She is obviously up on the research that weight loss does much more harm than good. Beyond futile (90% of diets fail in the long run), yo-yo dieting doubles the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. There have been 17 studies in 83-93 that looked at longevity and wl, and found those who lost weight died earlier than those who did not. Another was mixed and one that did find wl beneficial only found an 11 hr increase per lb lost (it would take a 796 lb loss to gain a year).Geasser Big Fat Lies. WL is especially dangerous for people middle age and beyond. Curious that Clinton had clean bills of health and only developed heart disease after rapid wl. There are studies that confirm that pattern! Furthermore, not too many people realize that most of the scare studies are sponsored by the diet/pharmaceutical industry and they do NOT control for risky weight loss practices. There has not been a single diet drug on the market that has not caused harm, yet fatalities are coded under obesity, not diet drugs. Interestingly, in cultures where fat is not stigmatized, fat people are much healthier. It is not fat that kills, it is weight obsession and nagging that does us in. I debate this issue all the time and I am amazed at how uninformed our population is. People will scream and yell and pontificate, yet they won't go to the medical journals and see for themselves. Instead, they are perfectly content to believe media distortions. It is a sheep's right to chose sheephood, just as it is might right to be fat and happy. But don't malign a courageous woman for getting both sides of the story and sticking up for her rights. I myself would sue any doctor who badgered me about my weight just to make a point about how archaic this "treatment" really is.

To those of you arguing wit... (Below threshold)
Violet:

To those of you arguing with the "fat's rights" persons, you won't get anywhere. It's staggering how many distortions and lies come out of their mouths. Check out www.bigfatblog.com for a textbook case of denial and self-abuse. Don't bother posting. Like flat-earthers, they censor anyone actually talking sense.

Trying to convince them of the otherwise obvious denial they are in is like trying to tell an alcoholic to stop drinking or a crack addict to check into rehabilitiation. It's pointless until they realize they have a serious problem. Unlike most addicts however, fat activists want society to cater to their addictions. Hell, even enable them. They are killing themselves, and I'm fine with that. I just wish they would do it faster and not burden the rest of us so much with their lawsuits and soaring insurance premiums.

you know this is not only a... (Below threshold)
RR:

you know this is not only a hot topic, but it brings out the best and worst in some people, bottom line you and others seem like you are speaking with hatred and anger.

why? you have been lied and duped by the myths that you speak of. that is not you talking but the propaganda being protrayed on the tv directly and indirectly.

first of all I know plenty of skinny lazy people who eat all the time at mcdonalds and other fast food all the time and do not exercise. so why are they thin? because they have self control and are not pigs?

so if someone is fat they are pigs? and as for the comment you can't believe that a person's body can make one eat enough to weigh 350 pounds. it can and does. I seen it a hundred times over the years the results of undereating for weight control.

I have seen the research on how the body works when under various stresses, including the stress of dieting (eating less, restricting whatever you call it)this stress is a survival threat and if anyone understands the body's responses to survival threats will understand how a body can get a person to eat enough to weigh 350 pounds.

it really is a shame that the hatred is focused in the wrong direction. if those who want to get mad at fat, maybe you should be directing all that hatred and anger to the dieting industry who is the one pushing the propaganda that is causing such a fat hatred, and causing the self loathing people have for their own fat and striving to get rid of it only to be mocked with more fat in the long run. all to make money lots of it, and get repeat business too.

direct your anger to the lies and the robbery of the taxpayers, such as subsidies to the rich at the expense of the poor , the cooking of the studies that push hidden agendas getting people to direct their attentions and anger to the wrong people, so they can keep raking in the money.

fat is not costing the money, stealing and mismanagement and price gouging is. pollution, poisens in our air water and food are causing the harm, not fat. people are getting sick due to these factors not the fat itself, fat is only a symptom of the famine/feast cycle and not diesease.

it is this cycle that gets one fat. not food itself, or not even overeating since how do you define overeating? there are many opinons on that that are not based on facts but prejudices and personal beliefs.

of course the dieting industry and weight loss surgeons don't want you to know that because that would hurt their bottom line big time, people would stop dieting and over time they would stop getting fatter, and they would start to love their bodies and treat it better for better health, irregardless of fat loss, and some would even lose some weight all without fanfare, nagging or anything like that, people would start doing what they love because they would no longer feel self conscious, but of course getting people to be satisfied with their bodies the way it is doesn't make money for anyone.

RR

What a brave woman she i... (Below threshold)
Barry Yatrick:

What a brave woman she is to complain.

No, the physician was brave to tell the truth. That's what our victim-saturated, blame-deflecting society has brought us to. If the woman had any real guts she'd face the facts.

She is obviously up on the research that weight loss does much more harm than good. Beyond futile (90% of diets fail in the long run), yo-yo dieting doubles the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. There have been 17 studies in 83-93 that looked at longevity and wl, and found those who lost weight died earlier than those who did not.

Seeing what we wish were really there, are we? I am effectively trying to argue medicine with a two-year-old here. What you wrote above is, from an epidemiological standpoint, pure garbage. If "diets" fail it's because people quit working at maintaining healthful patterns, not because the benefits of being lean aren't available. If you really believe fat people who lose weight through increased activity and dietary modification don't enjoy both improved health and improved quality of life, then you must not get out much.

You would neither understand nor accept the biostatistical flaws in your "reasoning" pertaining to those 17 studies (vs. the many hundreds establishing beyond any doubt obesity's health impact) so I won't bother explaining them.

Who has the agenda here? Angry fat people frustrated by their inability to change themselves or society, or doctors doing their job?

Another was mixed and one that did find wl beneficial only found an 11 hr increase per lb lost (it would take a 796 lb loss to gain a year).Geasser Big Fat Lies.

Glen Gaesser, the man who has written a book on weight loss? Funny. Keep reading only the words and pages you can best twist to your liking...

Curious that Clinton had clean bills of health and only developed heart disease after rapid wl.

Yeah, a sampe size of one is really meaningful, especially when it's obvious that damage he did to himself was during his fat, indulgent years and was not caused by his weight loss. Again, you are not medically literate enough to grasp these things.

There are studies that confirm that pattern! Furthermore, not too many people realize that most of the scare studies are sponsored by the diet/pharmaceutical industry and they do NOT control for risky weight loss practices. There has not been a single diet drug on the market that has not caused harm, yet fatalities are coded under obesity, not diet drugs.

So undertake reasonable weight-loss practices instead of risky ones. You idiots act as though the only options are "radical" diets and drugs, which you know is BS.

Interestingly, in cultures where fat is not stigmatized, fat people are much healthier. It is not fat that kills, it is weight obsession and nagging that does us in.

With this you have officially earned a diaper and a straitjacket. I guess the same applies to cigarettes and drinking? Damned lethal naggers!

I debate this issue all the time and I am amazed at how uninformed our population is.

You aren't debating anything. A debate requires thought and consideration of alternative viewpoints. You just shout and wave your arms hoping a real problem will just vanish because you don't like its implications.

People will scream and yell and pontificate, yet they won't go to the medical journals and see for themselves.

Next time you crack a medical journla please enlist the services of a translator.

I myself would sue any doctor who badgered me about my weight just to make a point about how archaic this "treatment" really is.

This is the one thing you have said that is true. I'm sure you would. Please stay home and avoid health providers in the future. You have no use for them and vice versa.

"first of all I know ple... (Below threshold)
Barry Yatrick:

"first of all I know plenty of skinny lazy people who eat all the time at mcdonalds and other fast food all the time and do not exercise. so why are they thin? because they have self control and are not pigs?"

That's right, there are plenty of people who live the lifestyle of a typical fat person but don't have the genes to gain much weight, just as some people can eat low-fat diets and still have high TG/cholesterol while others can live on animal fats and be normolipidemic. But the obvious idea is that if you're not endowed with a complement genes making it easy for you to stay lean even if you gorge yourself (and few are), you ought to try doing something about it instead of bitching about how you were shafted by mother nature.

Same old stuff. Blah, blah, blah. Food restriction, paradoxically, only leads to weight GAIN, and everyone advocating weight loss is the enemy. How long does it take to achieve this level of self-delusion? Is Koolaid involved?

"Check out www.bigfatblog.c... (Below threshold)
Iif you can't join 'em, beat 'em!:

"Check out www.bigfatblog.com for a textbook case of denial and self-abuse. Don't bother posting. Like flat-earthers, they censor anyone actually talking sense."

Ha. The strange thing is that they linked to Wizbangblog, as well as to many other sites that contradict their opinions, meaning that they LIKE having reasons to get [email protected] Helps fuel the denial I guess...but how this is supposed to promote "fat acceptance" is unclear. Also it appears they like littering other blogs with their stupid claims, but only let members chime in on their own...gee, I wonder why...

"Here's the situation, folks. There are allegedly more fat people than there were three years ago."

Allegedly?! What an ass...deny that being fat is unhealthy if you want but isn't it pretty much impossible to deny how much average weights HAVE gone up?

Cue 'X Files' music...

"People who are not fat are arguing over what to do to "cure" fat. These people shape public policy and corporate agendas. We are the majority! We are in a position of power to demand equality."

Guess he doesn't understand the only reason "fat acceptance" gets any play, at all, is the sheer number of fatties out there. If 80% of the population smoked you would see the same bullsh*t about cigarettes and their "exaggerated" harmful effects. But, a majority opinion does not equal a correct one, not that most fat people are at all deluded about themselves. Of course they read a post like this and just chalk it up to 'fat hate' so they don't have to think about it...easy to see how something as dumb as fat acceptance can be self sustaining.

I'm getting sick of people ... (Below threshold)
The Bottom Line:

I'm getting sick of people like RR who feel the need to mention diet pills every time someone else talks about weight loss. Diet drugs are short cuts for fat lazy people who are to fat and lazy to do what should be done to lose weight properly. WAKE UP FAT PEOPLE. There are no short cuts, diets don't fail, YOU DO! Fat people need to do what it takes like watch caloic intake and exercise. Then not go back to their bad habits. It's a never ending struggle staying healthy. The weight doesn't magically reappear after you lose weight, you go back to your same bad habits. Dieting is not like running a race. You don't get to your target weight and say "I'm glad that's over" like a runner crossing the finish line. There is no finish line. Once you get to where you want to be you have to contiue the battle to keep the weight off. Oh, and yes, some people do have the metabolism of a humming bird and they are lucky. I am not one of them. I have to fight the urge everyday. I love grease and junk food and soda. I also love cigeretts. But all of the aforementioned items are bad for you and I avoid them all for the sake of my health. I'm sorry it's hard, I'm sorry we don't all have the matabolism that allows all of us to eat what we want, I'm sorry but...LIFE IS NOT FAIR, GET USE TO IT! GET OFF THE SOAP BOX, USE THE WOOD TO BUILD A BRIDGE AND GET OVER IT!

I think this whole situa... (Below threshold)
DJ:

I think this whole situation is ridiculous!!!

I think the doctor was basically giving this lady the facts, it's a known fact that women and/or men who are obese are most likely to have all sorts of health problems evenually if they don't already.

I was married for many years to someone who is in the catagory of being very overweight and he was and is told all the time to loose weight by doctors for health reasons. That's why we go to doctors to help make us healthy, so I see it as he was telling her she wasn't in a healthy situation...

Heck what is she going to do next time she see's another doctor and he tells her you need to loose weight, do the same thing again??

Looks like this is going to turn into just another frivilous lawsuit to clog up the system.

I know Dr. Bennett personal... (Below threshold)
tb:

I know Dr. Bennett personally. Please understand that he is a total jerk to his family and every one around him. He was even Bin Laden's doctor for the fat cash it provided. Do not believe for a second that the helpful but blunt words he described was how it actually went down.

Okay ladies and gents... # ... (Below threshold)
Tleanne:

Okay ladies and gents... # ONE YES THIS LADY Needs to work on herself but no one - and that includes the doctor! Should get to tell anyone that they are fat. Fat Girls live every day knowing and this...they don't need anyone telling them that they are going to end up Fat & Alone. Yes there is a problem in the states and it is that Fat people stand alone, next to some highly unlikely ideal that says u need to be a size 2. This doctor should have to wear a fat suit for a month before he can ever give his "tough love" again.

This isn't about being a si... (Below threshold)
S:

This isn't about being a size 2! It's about being morbidly obese and putting yourself at risk of developing diabetes and other health problems. He was her DOCTOR! Not some idiot on the street! He is PAID to guide her to better health. That is what doctors do!

This really is rather pathe... (Below threshold)
Mary Farrell:

This really is rather pathetic.

Yes, fat people -- for the most part -- know they're fat. But they can do something about it. I agree Jenny Craig doesn't work. Have you seen her in her commercials????SHE'S STILL FAT!!!! Not morbidly obese, but a good 30 pounds overweight.

When I was fat, I managed to lose the weight and it's staying off. Why? BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO DIE FROM OBESITY OR THE MEDICAL CONDITIONS IT CAUSES!!!! And, no, I am not going through any yo-yo effect because I watch my weight. Everyone is on a diet of some sort. Fat people are on a High Fat, High Calorie diet. They have no self control when it comes to food. They need someone like Doctor Bennett to knock some sense into them with brutal honesty.

Doctor Bennett told this woman that she wouldn't be able to attract another man after her porky hubby died. Rather than sue him for being so blunt and brutal (or for being a jerk if you really want to call him that), she should show him that he's wrong about another thing he probably also said to her: namely that she'd probably never be able to lose weight because she's got no self control. That one challenge is all it took for me to decide to prove the SOB was wrong!

Wake up, Fat People. You're increasing the cost of medical care for all of us and you're trying to force your fatness on the rest of us.

I am a pediatrician, and I ... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

I am a pediatrician, and I am passionate about my patients' health.

When I saw a ten-year-old boy who weighed more than 240 lb, I alerted his mother that his obesity makes him a high-risk candidate to get diabetes.

I specifically asked him to drink more water and more milk, and less juice, soda, and Gatorade. Unfortunately, he's drinking Gatorade the moment I am telling him that.

The mother suddenly got up and left the room, saying that I am "the ruddest doctor she's ever met". Now, I was working in urgent care, and if I had cared less, I would never have brought the issue up. I just had to treat his flu, and get on with my life.

But no, I feel that as a responsible doctor, I need to go the extra mile for my patients, even if it takes up more of my time and I stay later at work. My passion for my patients' well-being was repaid with a complaing letter sent to my department, and I was reprimanded for the incident.

So from now on, I would keep my mouth shut and watch the army of obese children die from complications of diabetes and heart disease. I need to protect my career.

To RR:So what you ... (Below threshold)
anonymous:

To RR:

So what you are saying is that being overweight does NOT pose a health risk for getting diabetes or heart disease?

If that's what you believe, then I would stop telling people to eat healthy and exercise.

In fact, they should take up smoking and heroin while they are at it, because they are all healthful activities.

1. Next time I hear some A... (Below threshold)
Andee Joyce:

1. Next time I hear some Atkins-addled asshat whining about "fat people costing me tax dollars," allow me to remind you that fat people pay the majority of the personal income taxes and the majority of the health insurance premiums out there. The scrawny rich have private health care and/or tax shelters that get them off the hook. Why should I have to pay for first-rate health care for you, O Thin Virtuous One, and passively watch my own health care be flushed unceremoniously down the crapper? Do you really imagine you will go your entire life without ever needing any procedures or tests or drugs related to your "lifestyle"? If so, I suggest putting your fingers gently to your forehead and feel those veins a-throbbin'. Chronic resentment's not healthy either, y'know.

2. And Young Doctor, if your story is actually real and not some chunk of welfare-queen fakery, let me ask you this: Did you just assume this boy's weight was all due to his gluttony (horrors! he was drinking Gatorade! what a pig!), or did you actually bother to test or question him to make sure he didn't have some sort of endocrine disorder and/or a history of low-calorie dieting that had already crushed his metabolism all to shit? Oh, wait a minute, I forgot about the Alternate Hippocratic Oath, the one they have you say in private: "First, when a fat patient visits you for any reason, including a hangnail or an ear infection, refuse to treat the illness in question and instead throw a huge shame trip on them about their weight." It might not make the patient any better, but I'm sure it does wonders for your health.

Here's a corollary scenario... (Below threshold)
Andee Joyce:

Here's a corollary scenario:

You're a middle-aged guy who's worked at 7-11 all your life and never made more than $10 an hour or gotten anything like real benefits. Your wife, a chain-smoking former Auto Zone manager, is dying of lung cancer. You go see a financial specialist to try to arrange things so you don't have to go bankrupt after her passing. The financial specialist tells you "you're going to outlive your wife, and good riddance to her anyway because she smokes, and women don't like to date guys who work in convenience stores. So you'd better get it together NOW and get a professional career that brings in real money, or you'll never get another wife."

Do you file a complaint?

To Andee Joyce:I d... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

To Andee Joyce:

I did ask the boy of his diet, and it consists of primarily fast foods. He drinks mostly soda and Gatorade, and he snacks on chips daily.

I did treat his flu first before I brought up his obesity issue. So you are basically asking me to skip the counseling completely and pretend I don't see a problem in front of me.

I stated the fact, and I was very careful not to blame him for it. Instead, I was trying to tell the mother that she should stop buying soda and chips for him.

Was that wrong?

Or I should really just turn a blind eye on their problem.

And are you saying that I am a liar? I did go through this on January 10th of this year. I have the patient's name, but I cannot divulge that due to patient confidentiality.

I am losing faith in humanity. When I am sincerely concerned about another human being, all I get is cynicism and criticism.

In the future, I should just assume all people are ignorant unless proven otherwise.

People who are obese never ... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

People who are obese never become that way because they consume too many calories. It's always because of some emotional issue or some endocrine problem that's completely beyond their control.

So as a nation, we should stop advocating a healthful lifestyle. We should encourage all of our citizens to consume high-calorie food and never exercise. it's a lost cause anyway.

Because obesity is just an image problem. We need to accept people the way they are, even if they prefer to live with diabetes and heart diseases.

No, Dr. Lipophobe, you're s... (Below threshold)
Andee Joyce:

No, Dr. Lipophobe, you're supposed to advocate a healthful lifestyle including nutritious eating and exercise, give fat patients the same treatment for their health conditions that thin people get for the same conditions, and leave the damn scale out of it unless you're administering anesthesia or chemo. What part of that is so frigging hard for you and 98% of the rest of the world to understand? My nurse-practitioner understands it just fine, and she doesn't even have the vaunted MD next to her name.

I did advocate a healthful ... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

I did advocate a healthful lifestyle to the obese ten-year-old, as I do the same for kids who have very healthy weights.

But the other parents did not storm out on me. The other parents actually paid attention to what I had to say and listened.

Should I not warn people about the risk of obesity? About the danger of diabetes?

That's really what you're asking, correct?

And P.S., doc...thanks bunc... (Below threshold)
Andee Joyce:

And P.S., doc...thanks bunches for not answering my question, or should I say, answering it by passive omission. Weren't you even curious to know whether this kid had ever been tested for an endocrine disorder or not? Or, if he really was binge-eating to that severe a degree, to find out why? Or did your disgust prevent you from finding out the whole truth? Have you really seen enough 240-pound 10-year-olds to determine that they're all the same?

I did check his thyroid fun... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

I did check his thyroid function test from two years ago, and they were normal.

He was not binge-eating, he was just eating the wrong types of food. He could consume just as much food and be healthy if they consist of fruits, vegetables and lean meat.

But instead, he chooses to eat chips and drinks soda.

There hasn't been a day that goes by without me seeing a severe obese child in my office. One in four kid is overweight in this country, so it's not difficult to get plenty of experience treating them.

I graduated first in my class from UCLA, and first in my class from my medical school. I assume I have higher than average intelligence.

I eat a lot myself, but my ... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

I eat a lot myself, but my weight is healthy. I pick healthy foods, and I want my patients to know what are the healthy foods to choose from.

Unfortunately, some of them prefer not to listen.

Warning fat people about "t... (Below threshold)
Andee Joyce:

Warning fat people about "the health risks of obesity" is a little like warning poor people about "the health risks of poverty." We know we're fat. We know what the numbers are. We're not blind or stupid.

But too many of us have tried and tried and tried until we've bled from our goddamn ears to get thin, often from the time we were kids, very often at our doctors' behests, and all it did was make us fatter and more miserable and less healthy than we were before.

Surely you know that every time someone loses weight and regains it, particularly a large amount of it, it's far more stressful to the vascular and endocrine system than if they never lost it to begin with. Why advocate weight-loss dieting when it's been proven over and over again not to work for most people long term?

It doesn't really matter whether it's "unhealthy" to be fat if there's no safe, reliable way to turn fat people permanently into thin people. A few fat people "win the lottery" and manage to get thin. Bully for them. But why doom the rest of us to a life of ill health, when you can advocate a weight-neutral approach to controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, cortisol and other health markers, that encompasses gradual healthy lifestyle changes, including the incorporation of joyful movement and high-quality eating?

This works. Studies have shown that a health-at-every-size approach is more effective for improving patients' health than harping on them about weight loss. Here's just one example, from a Medical News Today article about a study recently done at the University of California at Davis:

Non-dieters more successful at boosting health than dieters, study finds

This is the wave of the future. You can be a visionary, or you can be a sheeple. Your call, doc.

This exchange is absurd. Pa... (Below threshold)
Albert Ellis:

This exchange is absurd. Pathetic, in fact. "Dr. Lipophobe?" Did you make that up yourself? When it doubt, externalize blame, and if this doesn't seem to work the first time, try again, adding increasingly more inane analogies and straw-man hypotheticals each time.

Andee, if you really believe what you say, you need to be tested for a neurological disorder. Only a true idiot or someone in the throes of organic brain disease could claim that if 98% of the world disagrees with her, the it's the world that has the problem.

I've been fatter than I wanted to be, and I know you are completely full of shit. You can hide from the truth by surrounding yourself with fellow losers, but you can't change it. Therein lies your frustration.

I don't think it's just stupidity or self-brainwashing, though, that inspires such wayward outbursts. There's a strategical aspect to these - your contrarian, idiotic, slippery-slope ad hominem ranting is surely designed to elicit just the kind of venom you can then use to "prove" doctors and others are out to get you, reinforcing your victim complex. It's clearly part of the whole black-dreamworld package.

All of these comments from the righteous fatters will ultimately have one effect on medical practitioners, who are sick of being accused by lardballs of everything from ignorance to bribe-taking to outright savagery: it will make them quit caring. And I hope this happens, because the sooner a bunch of terminally irate, disproportionately ill, emotionally beyond repair, aesthetically corrupt people exit the planet and the gene pool, the better life will be for everyone else. Somehow I doubt this end meshes with fatters' stated aims, but hell, if you can't get over your own shortcomings in life, you might as well burn every bridge you cross.

Dear Barry Yacker(or whatev... (Below threshold)

Dear Barry Yacker(or whatever), actually I am not a 2 yr old but a 44 yr old college instuctor whose best subject was research. But hey, what gal doesn't want to be younger lol! From your rabid reaction to the statistics I mentioned I see the truth must have struck a nerve. I can just see foam coming from your mouth, hope you didn't completely saturate your keyboard :)

Dear Young Doctor - No one is asking you
to ignore risk factors. But people are not statistics. Is it not reasonable to also understand the social, emotional, and psychological aspects of patients? You must understand doctors have often emotionally abused fat people. Not just given them reasonable counsel on exercise and nutrition, but insults, threats, humiliation, and denial of treatment. A decades old study found drs have characterised fat patients as sloppy and weak willed. Kelly Brownell of Yale and the Rudd Institute (hardly a fat friendly dr himself) recently validated this study. We have had fatphobia for almost a century and it is clearly not working. So why not a fresh approach? Tell me, do you support the Academy of Pediatrics position on schools dispensing birth control? It sounds reasonable to me. Although we would like our teens to completely abstain, human nature being what it is, we will never get 100% success. So isn't it better to at least protect teens against pregnancy and STDs. Why then can't we apply that humanistic and pragmatic approach to weight? The truth is people are NEVER going to all fit into some arbitrary height/weight standards.(Nor should they, the more diverse a species the better its survival.) But we do know that there can be tremendous health improvements even if people stay fat, with exercise and healthy eating. Would you be willing to try and minimize risk factors even if folks don't lose weight? Many many of your peers absolutely resist that notion and it is completely irrational. (Actually, as a sociologist, I believe the prejudice is functional to the medical community but that takes it to a different level.) There are some great articles on the net about the negative experiences larger people have had with drs. and also how drs. can approach the subject with compassion. I would love to e-mail you a few if you are interested.

Thank you, Sanders. It's r... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

Thank you, Sanders. It's refreshing to converse with a sensible and rational being.

I do advocate a healthy lifestyle to everyone I see, regardless of their weight. I never try to blame or humiliate (and I believe Dr. Bennett had crossed the line there). Particularly for my patient population, where food choices is often controlled by their parents, I recommend the parents to shop for healthier alternatives instead of soda and chips.

But I do believe I have a responsibility to warn patients about their risk for diabetes. And when patients or parents turn a deaf ear, I become frustrated. Or worse, they complain about my compassion.

I try my best to approach this sensitive topic, but every now and then, an unappreciative patient would blow up and turn against me. It makes me want to give up on them.

[quote] Not just given them... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

[quote] Not just given them reasonable counsel on exercise and nutrition, but insults, threats, humiliation, and denial of treatment. [/quote]

That's not only poor bedside manner, but lack of respect for another human being. If there are any doctors who condone such behavior, they should not be in the health profession.

Unfortunately, without weight loss, much of the health benefit of a healthy lifestyle would not be adequate to deter diabetes and other health problems associated with obesity. I wish that were true--it would be much easier for everyone to lead a healthy life.

And with that particular patient, I didn't want to overwhelm him with a complex dietary regimen. Instead, I wanted him to start gradually. I asked him to cut out juices, soda, and Gatorade from his fluid intake. Apparently, that's too much for the parent to listen.

[quote] gradual healthy lif... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

[quote] gradual healthy lifestyle changes, including the incorporation of joyful movement and high-quality eating [/quote]

To Andee Joyce:

That was what I was advocating. I wasn't trying to tell him to stop eating, or even eating less. I was just asking him to pick healthier foods, and gradually exercise more (like walking around the block after dinner).

But I was confronted with anger and accusation. Doesn't that make me want to quit caring?

Albert, you forgot to tell ... (Below threshold)
Andee Joyce:

Albert, you forgot to tell me that I'm ugly and my mom dresses me funny. If flamebaiting is your sole occupation, at least learn all the tricks of the trade.

We have become a nation of ... (Below threshold)
Lord Walrus II:

We have become a nation of wussies. I can't believe I'm even reading this. She's obese! And obesity kills! I'm tired of people blaming someone else for their troubles. Instead of crying and pouting, how about reflecting that obesity kills? Since when do we go to doctors to hear what we want to hear?

I'm so pissed. People in this country don't want to change themselves for the better...they want to blame someone else for their own problems. IMHO, it's her own damn fault and she's immature to deal with the fact that obesity kills and that she has the power to do something positive about it.

Look, when people criticize you, don't whine and cry. Make it into a positive and THINK about WHY the criticism was leveled! And take it like a freakin' MAN (or woman!).

'Nuff said.

Young Doctor: You might ve... (Below threshold)
Andee Joyce:

Young Doctor: You might very well have had a parent on your hands who has "given up" on her kid. Sadly enough, not everyone with reproductive organs is qualified to use them. Wish it were otherwise.

But, but...I still think it was shortsighted to automatically attribute this kid's weight solely to greed without fully investigating other causes and/or referring the family to a specialist who could do so. There are many other endocrine disorders besides hypothyroid which could impact weight, as well as genetic disorders such as Prader-Willi syndrome that can cause out-of-control binge eating, or even depression, which can certainly lead a kid to self-medicate with comfort food. Besides, as you said, the TSH you had on him was two years old. A lot can happen in two years, especially to a 10-year-old. Wouldn't it make more sense to rule out all other possible causes before just blaming it on simple gluttony?

If you had a kid who was unusually thin and becoming more so every year, would you just tell him he wasn't eating enough and that he should lay off the carrot sticks and Diet Coke and have more steak, or would you make absolutely sure there wasn't some deeper reason for his weight loss first? Probably the second thing, right? I know I would if I were treating him. So why should it be any different when treating a kid whose weight is going rapidly in the other direction?

If you put it in those terms and the parent still goes off on you -- well, at least you did your job. But if all you're doing is harping on her that her kid is fat, I can't blame her for shutting her ears and walking out. Children in that situation need compassion, not yet another helping of disgust.

[quote] Prader-Willi syndro... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

[quote] Prader-Willi syndrome [/quote]

I don't think you even know what you're talking about. Kids with Prader-Willi have severe developmental delay. Being obese is not the only problem. I can guarantee you that this child I was talking about does not have Prader-Willi syndrome.

If a child is losing weight (we get lots of that too, but primarily babies), we get very concerned. But we start doing blood tests and all sorts of scans only if we have determined that it's not from a lack of caloric intake or malabsorption. We find out what the problem is first before ordering all sorts of fancy tests to diagnose rare conditions.

Do you even know what the prevalence of Prader-Willi syndrome is? I bet you have to Google it to find out.

So, are you saying that 25% of all kids need to go through elaborate testing to make sure that they don't have exotic endocrine conditions, even though you have ascertained that they are taking in too many calories?

Now I have exhausted my benefit of the doubt for you, and I believe you're just plainly ignorant. I am sorry I have to reach this conclusion.

It takes more than a walk a... (Below threshold)
Dr. Anonymous:

It takes more than a walk around the block after dinner. You are born with a body, much like an automobile it needs to be maintained if you want it to function well. Maintainence isn't fun, but it's a choice. If you want to be healthy you need to do certain things, and those things are no secret.

I have no respect for lazy people of any weight.

[quote] I still think it wa... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

[quote] I still think it was shortsighted to automatically attribute this kid's weight solely to greed without fully investigating other causes [/quote]

I did not automatically reach this conclusion. I had obtained a detailed dietary history, and I found out that he consumes primarily high-calorie foods.

I believe you are defending him simply for the sake of defending him, even though you are running out of reasonable arguments.

Whether obesity is genetic ... (Below threshold)
Lord Walrus II:

Whether obesity is genetic or by choice is not reason for an excuse. However you subscribe to the cause for obesity means you have to have the guts to stop it: if it's genetic, then you work harder to treat it. Life sucks.

Someone used alcoholism as a comparison...good call. Alcoholism is believed to be genetic. Perhaps we should be compassionate to the drunk? "You should really work on this..." as opposed to "You're alcoholism could cause you to die young, destroy your finances, family, self-esteem, appearance, etc."

So maybe obesity doesn't kill others, but if complications from obesity cause you to die younger and cause your loved ones to suffer, wouldn't you at least TRY to help yourself? Or would you rather sue Nabisco and McDonald's? What ever happened to self-accountability?

Don't blame the messenger. He/she's trying to HELP! It's your sensitivity that makes you think it's trying to HURT. Knowing the difference is called maturity.

This story is amazing and I compare it to the McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit. Since when is reality someone else's fault?



This is my typical talk to ... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

This is my typical talk to the parent of a child who is overweight:

"I am concerned about his weight. He is a bit too heavy for his height, according to the growth chart."

"And I am worried about him because I know that kids who weigh too much have a much higher chance of getting diabetes in the future, and I don't want him to get diabetes ever."

"Now, I don't want him to lose weight rapidly. It's very dangerous for a growing child to lose weight in a short amount of time."

"Instead, I want him to maintain his weight and just keep on growing taller. This way, he can grow into his height."

"I want him to have three meals a day, with a snack in between meals. It's very important for him not to skip breakfast. And I don't want him eating any less. In fact, skipping meals and eating less is the worst way to have a healthful diet. Instead, I want him to eat until he's full, regardless of how much he eats. However, he has to consume healthful foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and lean meats."

"And instead of drinking soft drinks and juice, I want him to drink only water and milk. I am not limiting the amount of food or drinks, but only asking him to change the type of food that he takes in."

"I am worried about him getting diabetes because I spend many occasions giving parents the bad news when their sons get diagnosed with diabetes for the first time. I always feel terrible, because it's an incurable condition. Once you have diabetes, you're going to have it for the rest of your life."

And I turn to the child:

"Do you know what diabetes is?"

Usually the kid shakes his head.

"Well, it's when your blood sugar becomes too high. And you need to get shots everyday when you have diabetes. Do you like to get shots everyday?"

Usually, unless the kid is extremely disturbed, the answer is nay.

"That's why I don't want you to get diabetes, ever. Because I hate seeing kids getting shots."

And sometimes, that message still doesn't get through some stubborn parents. Occasionally, they cut me off and stop listening completely, saying that their kid is simply "big boned", and there is no problem at all.

Yes, the last time I saw a ten-year-old weighing 240 lb, he's just big-boned.

If that sounds like a lot o... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

If that sounds like a lot of talking and a lot of time, it is. It would be much easier to save myself the trouble and skip all that. I would have more time for lunch and get home earlier at the end of the day.

Perhaps that's exactly what I should do in the future. Everyone is happier, including my wife (who puts up with my long working hours).

"Now, I don't want him to l... (Below threshold)
Samus:

"Now, I don't want him to lose weight rapidly. It's very dangerous for a growing child to lose weight in a short amount of time."

Wish my doc had known that one. I was placed on a 1200 cal diet as a kid, lost 57 lbs, got gallstones, those went undx'd, complications were acute pancreatitis, peritonitis, now have adhesions, chronic pancreatitis have to live on enteral formula (fat malabsorption, MCT oil-you know the drill)Not a big fan of diets since that happened!I only weighed 150 (five foot 4) when the doc put me on that diet (age 12).

Going back to Andee's argum... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

Going back to Andee's argument...

If someone has lost significant amount of weight, and he tells me that he hasn't eaten anything except for water in the past three weeks, am I going to go on a medical expedition and hunt for some exotic endocrine problem? Or should I just recommend him to start eating slowly?

Is it such a mystery that people gain weight because they consume excess calories? Must we always investigate the unprobable causes instead of accepting that the extra calories are the cause of the weight gain?

No, that's just too much responsibility. We must never blame anyone for their own behavior. It must be an act of God or something else that's making them eat those high-calorie foods. Anything but their own volition!

If someone breaks a bone after falling from a two-story building, it must be the cause of some strange endocrine disorder that makes their bone so brittle. Why would anyone break a bone when they fall more than thirty-feet?

That's just incomprehensible.

<a href="http://www.antipro... (Below threshold)
A Psychiatrist:

http://www.antiprocess.com
(Not my website, but I think that the mechanisms it details are pertinent)

Anti-obese bigotry, like height-based bigotry, is common and well-documented.

Also well documented is the tendency of people, including many doctors, to deal with the issue in an unhealthy, obsessively pound-counting manner.

At the same time, obesity remains an important health issue, and it does not seem rational to dismiss all health concerns about obesity or overweight as being a result of bigotry and insensitivity.

I personally feel that Dr. Bennett's comments were insensitive and inappropriate, but do not feel that regulatory board action is the best way to respond to his behavior as publicly described.


Current research does not support the goal of thinness through dietary restriction as being a healthy goal. However, it is important to recognise that YoungDoctor (and many other doctors) have a much more nuanced approach than that. Not all recommendations for dietary change fall into the clearly harmful pattern of "yo-yo dieting".

It's important also to note that the grey area of uncertainty surrounding the possible significance of a few pounds in excess of some mythical ideal becomes less and less grey as an individual's weight increases. Weight in excess of 100 pounds over a normal range is clearly associated with health problems. That degree of overweight is a clear risk.

I generally second YoungDoctor's comments above, and warn him/ her to be painstaking in self-protection from burnout as well as from the questionable responses of some parents. A certain amount of self-protection on the part of doctors benefits both doctors and patients in the long run.


When facts are uncomfortable, some people will not want to hear them. However, the more we try to be respectful and sensitive in our interactions, the more likely it is that our expresions of concern will be helpful.

cheers...

I thought if someone hasn't... (Below threshold)
Samus:

I thought if someone hasn't eaten in three weeks you'd have to hospitalize them while they start eating again (something to do with phosphorous levels, isn't it?)...whatever happens, I had it after 18 days on clear liquids,caused heart and breathing problems.

Something extremely telling... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Something extremely telling here is that people - outside of Young Doctor - who are defending weight loss and Dr. Bennett are simply shouting and repeating the same things over and over. "Just lose weight." "I was fat, you can do it." "If I can lose weight, you can." "You're just being lazy/whiny/etc." And yet, people who believe Dr. Bennett was in the wrong are coming up with real points.

This seems to be echoed in an email I received yesterday (thanks to my earlier comment here) that told me to "STOP telling fat people it's okay to be fat. It's NOT. It's lazy and unhealthy. STOP IT!" He also told me to go outside, because I was spending too much time working for equality for fat people. Yes, because I MUST BE LAZY.

The laziness is when people use crutches in arguments like, say, calling people "lazy". It's pretty clear which side has to be on the defensive in this argument, and it ain't fat people.

That said, Young Doctor, are you suggesting that if a person is fat, he or she overeats? Is that something you're able to prove for every fat person? After all, it must be an issue of personal responsibility - right?

I'm equally curious why that matters, too. If a person does overeat and is thin, he or she will be treated by a GP like any other patient. If a person overeats and is fat, he or she will - in general - be treated poorly. If a thin person lives an unhealthy lifestyle, the reaction will generally be very different from a fat person with an unhealthy lifestyle - or, for that matter, a healthy fat person.

[quote] That said, Young Do... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

[quote] That said, Young Doctor, are you suggesting that if a person is fat, he or she overeats? Is that something you're able to prove for every fat person? After all, it must be an issue of personal responsibility - right? [/quote]

You must have skipped over the discussion completely, as I clearly stated that "overeating is not the problem".

It's the selection of the type of foods that is important. Obese people are mostly mal-informed. They believe that they need to eat less, and they became obese because they are overeating.

For the third time, it's WRONG WRONG WRONG!

Please read what I said (and what I am about to say again and again) carefully.

Everyone should (and need to) eat as much as he wants until he's full, because starving and depriving oneself simply doesn't work in the long run. We all just need to select healthful foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and lean meat. We need to drink lots of water and milk (instead of soda, juices, fruit punches, and Gatorade).

Obese people did not become overweight because they are lazy. Did NOT! They are that way because they lacked the information, or they were raised with the wrong type of diet. All they need is to be well-informed and educated. And that's what I do as their doctor.

But because there are so much emotional things that are tied to the issue, people don't listen to me. It's clearly illustrated in this discussion. I had stated over and over that overeating is not the issue, yet many of you still failed to understand this point.

Perhaps it has something to do with the brain, with the power of denial. I think people's brain simply turn off when it comes to a discussion of obesity.

And in addition, I am equally vehement when it comes to a skinny kid who eats junk foods all the time. I get very adament about their eating habit, regardless what they weigh.

It's not just a weight issue. You can be very unhealthy with a good BMI too.

People don't understand, and I guess I expect too much from the ordinary citizen.

[quote] "I want him to have... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

[quote] "I want him to have three meals a day, with a snack in between meals. It's very important for him not to skip breakfast. And I don't want him eating any less. In fact, skipping meals and eating less is the worst way to have a healthful diet. Instead, I want him to eat until he's full, regardless of how much he eats. However, he has to consume healthful foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and lean meats."

"And instead of drinking soft drinks and juice, I want him to drink only water and milk. I am not limiting the amount of food or drinks, but only asking him to change the type of food that he takes in." [/quote]

Are you guys deaf or blind?

Discriminating against fat ... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

Discriminating against fat people is wrong. In fact, discriminating against anyone is wrong. But that's not what I am doing here. I am trying to help people to lead a healthy lifestyle. I am trying to educate people on how to do it.

But people who are so hard-headed about defending themselves that they stopped listening. They just turn their head and say "Na na na na na" and avoid engaging themselves in any meaningful discussion.

That's what some smokers do to me when I recommend them to cut down on smoking.

But I have a good trick for that. If it's father who's smoking, my Golden Ticket is "Well, I want you to do it for your health. I want you to be there for him/her on the Big Day. I want you to walk him/her down the aisle. I dont' want you to be stuck in a hospital wing somewhere, hooked up to a breathing machine or oxygen, because of your emphysema."

Usually, that'll make them think hard (at least for a second) about quitting smoking. And if I'm lucky, I can actually make a difference in someone's life.

If I've accomplished that for one single person, I'd be happy.

S Sanders wrote:"F... (Below threshold)
Barry Yatrick:

S Sanders wrote:

"From your rabid reaction to the statistics I mentioned I see the truth must have struck a nerve"

You struck a nerve only in the sense that you misrepresented your statistical "findings" so laughably. You invoked Bill Clinton as an example-of-one despite despite your ignorance of his health history and the global futility of applying the "evidence" gathered from any one case to the population at large; this establishes your absent grasp on statistics beyond question.

I could spend the rest of the day explaining why the other studies you cite don't say what you wash they did (and even if they did, it wouldn't matter because the body of evidence demonstrates beyond a doubt that fat people are in a world of health hurt). But why bother? This would be like trying to convice a Bible literalist that Adam and Eve is a parable and that Noah's flood never happened. You simpering idiots cling to your whackjob representation of the world like a lifeline.

The thing is, you may well believe the things you say. Facts being what they are, it's incumbent upon "fat activists" to synthesize, warp and distort, which is why you are forced to equate a strong reaction from the opposition as evidence of the truth striking home. People who are generally unintelligent to begin with or have no biological background find this especially easy. Throw in paranoia and it's even better. It's actually interesting.

Equally telling are Andee Joyce's histrionics about ruling out Prader-Willi syndrome in a fat but otherwise normal child. I guess, Young Doctor, everyone who presents with hypertension should get a pheochromocytoma workup right away, and everyone who reports night sweats must have lymphoma. Andee and those like her remain stanchly out of the reach of the fact that fat people, over time, unconsciously or consciously, eat more than they need. This doesn't make them "gluttons," it's just a biological fact.

Folks, don't listen to the wailing that's gone on here. I know from my own experience so far in the medical world that most fat people do in fact recognize their plight and can in fact be reached with the proper combination of compassion and exposure to facts. These unapologetically insane "activists," though, are absolutely committed to an untenable belief system wherein all reports about the health risks of fat are paid for (yet all studies to the contrary are valid), all doctors are evil if they mention weight in a "threatening" context, the Centers for Consumer Freedom is a credible outfit, and thin people are all rich, illegally discriminating bastards who unfairly rule the corporate world and the media. And that's after only fifteen minutes at the link to their site provided; who knows what deeper digging would unearth.

As with many emotional cripples, their entire life seems to revolve around resisting much-needed change and spreading misery. Ideally, they'll eventually find some sort of fat colony isolated from the rest of us where they can spend the rest of their short, sickly lives plowing through box after box of Little Debbies, trying in vain to engage in sexual intercourse, maligning doctors and the thin people they resent all they wish, and convincing each other of the "truth" of their silly fantasies.

I've had a similar experien... (Below threshold)
Tara Chandler:

I've had a similar experience several years ago, but with a team of doctors. They all simply told me that I needed to lose a significant amount of weight (I was about 60+ heavier at the time)or almost immediately develop diabetes.They were quite stern about it (they also asked me if obesity ran in my family). It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but they were right. I had severe hypoglycemia and sore joints. That was 6 years ago. I lost (maybe) about 70 pounds since then and guess what? No more hypoglycemia, or creeky knees. I can only speak for myself when I say that there are consequences (healthwise) to being obese. No one likes to hear that they could stand to lose a few pounds, no matter how nicely (or not) they're told.

Congratulations, Tara. You... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

Congratulations, Tara. Your story makes all my hard harping worth it. I am glad there are still intelligent people in the world who cuold take a difficult-to-accept advice and change their lives for the better.

As for those who cannot be saved and would not listen, I have my deepest sympathy for them. They are the ones who will end up paying for their staunch believes.

I would do my best to save the ones that allow themselves to be saved, and go on with my medical career. I would not put my professional life at risk for those few patients who would rather get angry at their doctors than to follow a helpful suggestion.

We are all agreed: consumi... (Below threshold)
Paula:

We are all agreed: consuming too many calories causes one to become fat; fat people need to lose weight. What we are not agreed upon is WHY they need to lose weight and what are attitudes should be to those who either can't or won't lose the extra pounds. You will never convince me that it is okay for a doctor to bring in the patient's appearance as a reason a path of treatment needs to be followed (unless the physician is a plastic surgeon and the patient is there for cosmetics or reconstruction, of course). For all you smart mouths who have no sympathy for overweight persons: fat people do not need to lose weight so that other people will find them attractive, marry them, date them, have sex with them, kiss them, give them a job, act nicer to them, etc., etc., etc. They need to lose weight for one reason and one reason only: better health. Now this is for the ones who are acting like it is wonderful to be fat and that everyone else has to act like it is the most healthy and attractive lifestyle around. It isn't. Period. But it is your business if you like being that way, and if you don't, you have my sympathy and that of a lot of others. You get a raw deal every day out there, and I apologize for the rude and childish behavior that has been exhibited on this board.

Another apology: that shou... (Below threshold)
Paula:

Another apology: that should have been "our attitudes"--not "are attitudes". Sometimes I think faster than my fingers can type.

"Tell me, do you support th... (Below threshold)
Barry Yatrick:

"Tell me, do you support the Academy of Pediatrics position on schools dispensing birth control? It sounds reasonable to me. Although we would like our teens to completely abstain, human nature being what it is, we will never get 100% success. So isn't it better to at least protect teens against pregnancy and STDs. Why then can't we apply that humanistic and pragmatic approach to weight? The truth is people are NEVER going to all fit into some arbitrary height/weight standards.(Nor should they, the more diverse a species the better its survival.) But we do know that there can be tremendous health improvements even if people stay fat, with exercise and healthy eating."

I hope you're not really a sociologist. (You clearly know nothing about Darwinian principles of evolution, but that's another story.) Your analogy is worthless. A valid one would compare behaviors - that is, as with trying to get a certain % of teens to abstain from sex, we should advise tell fat people to eat fewer fattening (for them) foods and exercise more even knowing a small number will bother trying. And guess what? That is what we do. Doctors aren't focused on height/weight charts and percentiles - it's pretty easy to tell when a person is grossly overfat.

But what happens? People like you rise up and act as though someone assaulted a family member. You can't dodge the interplay between exercise, diet and weight, as much as you and other fat defenders here would like to.

People who are really interested in the health tie-ins between obesity and younger people (meaning Young Doctor and no one else, I imagine) should read this. Anyone who can claim with a straight face that this is all erroneous, biased or meaningless information is either a yammering idiot or has zero investment in public health. If it's the latter, just say as much and then abandon this discussion - I'm sure there are all sorts of forums in which cries of "I'm fat, but so what? Kiss my ass!" are appropriate.

Paul wrote:

"Something extremely telling here is that people - outside of Young Doctor - who are defending weight loss and Dr. Bennett are simply shouting and repeating the same things over and over."

No, shouting and repeating the same things over and over is clearly your job. A synopsis of Big Fat Blog: "Look! Someone's saying fat is unhealthy, the bastards! Let 'em have it!" If this were a worthy cause, repetition would be valuable. But it's not. Besides, "defending weight loss" and "defending Dr. Bennett" don't go hand in hand - it's possible to decry his behavior while emphasizing the benefits of weight loss. Of course, in your unyielding commitment to toss the baby, you're committed to a frantic search for as much dirty bath water as you can find, so I'm not surprised. The number of doctors who truly act cavalier or abusive toward fat patients is tiny. Do a lot of them still think fat people are lazy? Maybe, but when it comes to dispensing real health care, docs are more idealistic than any of you think, and - based on the sheer stupidity they're up against - far more idealistic than they should be.

"The laziness is when people use crutches in arguments like, say, calling people "'lazy.'..."

Only lazy people do this. None of the people who have responded at length here have equated fat with sloth. Fat people can obviously be and are industrious in a variety of work and life endeavors, just as thin people can be shiftless or "slovenly." (Given how many fat people there are, the U.S. would grind to a halt pretty quickly if fat really did depend on laziness.) No, a better term for these people would be "inattentive" or perhaps "resistant." These, however, are semantics anyway and distract from the core issues.

None of you argues against real opponents. You all try to pretend doctors universally advocate virtual starvation approach to weight less and never mention exercise. On that note, you talk about how much more important it is to emphasize exercise and a "healthy lifestyle" over weight loss, but here's the rub: The overwhelming fraction of fat people are fat precisely because they don't exercise or pay attention to what they eat. Shifting the philosophical emphasis from weight loss to lifestyle change is moot - question fat people and find out how many of them are making any effort to put in more than a few minutes a day of exercise.

Now that your red-herring defense is gone, can you focus on these issues instead of blowing smoke?

"That said, Young Doctor, are you suggesting that if a person is fat, he or she overeats? Is that something you're able to prove for every fat person? After all, it must be an issue of personal responsibility - right? I'm equally curious why that matters, too. If a person does overeat and is thin, he or she will be treated by a GP like any other patient."

Apparently you're not only obsessed with externalizing (focusing on what other people are apparently saying, doing, thinking or even eating instead of focusing attention where it needs to go) but confused by basic definitions. If someone is overweight, he or she does overeat based strictly on what this term means. (And please, leave out the extremely rare endocrine diseases and the unsupported crap about metabolic rates being "destroyed" by "yo-yo dieting.") For the same reason, no thin person can be said to overeat (bulimics aside, I suppose). By focusing on terms laced with real or presumed judgment, you are trying to worm out of the simple mathematical realities here. Regardless, you make no sense. If every able-bodied fat person out there actually lived the lifestyle you and the other "activists" here purport to live, fat people would be scarce indeed and this discussion would be unnecessary.

First of all, "Barry", I th... (Below threshold)
Paul:

First of all, "Barry", I think you should drop the anonymity. It undercuts your arguments.

"The number of doctors who truly act cavalier or abusive toward fat patients is tiny."

And I've got mounting evidence that proves otherwise.

"None of the people who have responded at length here have equated fat with sloth."

Ah, but you put a qualifier on it - "at length" - and changed the argument altogether. (Nice job!) I gave Young Doctor the pass because his/her posts have been, as you say, at length. But look through the comments a little more:

* Caron said: "people like this fat ass need to learn from that. god damn it makes me sick to see people defending that woman."

* 'The Bottom Line' said: "If you feel like this woman should sue it's probably because you're a fat, ugly woman. Put down the Ho Ho's, I'm sick of my health care costs being sky high because of a bunch of undisciplined people with no self respect can't stop super sizing the #2 at McDonalds."

* Mike: "The ugly, fat complainer should go on a diet and shut up!"

I rest my case.

Back to you, Barry: "Shifting the philosophical emphasis from weight loss to lifestyle change is moot - question fat people and find out how many of them are making any effort to put in more than a few minutes a day of exercise."

Let's open it up here: ask ANY people this question - fat, thin, whatever. Your problem is with inactivity in general, not fat people.

"Apparently you're not only obsessed with externalizing (focusing on what other people are apparently saying, doing, thinking or even eating instead of focusing attention where it needs to go) but confused by basic definitions."

You know, Barry, you're right on the "focusing attention where it needs to go" part.

The attention where it needs to go, dear Barry, is elsewhere - I agree. Instead of continuing to argue against an anonymous, faceless person on the web, my time *is* better spent focusing on fat rights and combating fat discrimination. And I'm doing that.

"...fat people would be scarce indeed and this discussion would be unnecessary."

Fat people are never going away, Barry. That is something you'll have to live with and, frankly, if you can't handle it - that's your problem. Not mine. But I'm also not going to sit by and let the sheer, dripping ignorance from people of your ilk dominate the public discussions on fat.

I'm always the odd one out ... (Below threshold)
Samus:

I'm always the odd one out in these discussions. That is very interesting about C-reactive protein being increased but I'm not sure I understand the mechanism involved. Is there a longer article somewhere?

c reactive protein


"First of all, "Barry", I t... (Below threshold)
Barry Yatrick:

"First of all, "Barry", I think you should drop the anonymity. It undercuts your arguments."

Do you need a phone number and a street address, too? I don't need people who are basically Flat Earthers harassing me at my office. My points stand on their own merit and demanding a name in these Internet set-tos is typical of those with no solid ground to stand on.

"And I've got mounting evidence that proves otherwise."

Okay, fine. I know more doctors than you do, and I'm a lot smarter, and I'm obviously more in tune with the medical profession, and unlike you I fundamentally have no axe to grind or emotionally investment in my position here. But pretend that's irrelevant. Let's assume doctors are generally assholes (an assumption people like you are essentially forced to retain since you obviously think anyone who believes fat and poor health are related is wrong). Do explain how this overturns the findings in the article I linked in my last comment.

"Ah, but you put a qualifier on it - "at length" - and changed the argument altogether. (Nice job!)...I rest my case."

I changed nothing and you have no "case." If you want me to agree that some people are, rightly or not, simply saying "Well, ya fat pig, suck it up and lose weight!" then I already have. So what? Those with substantive posts here are a little more difficult for you to dismiss, because you can't just assign them evil motives or wave your hands and make them disappear, can you? How about the findings detailed in the Cardiosource abstract?

"Back to you, Barry: "Shifting the philosophical emphasis from weight loss to lifestyle change is moot - question fat people and find out how many of them are making any effort to put in more than a few minutes a day of exercise."

Let's open it up here: ask ANY people this question [how many of them are making any effort to put in more than a few minutes a day of exercise] - fat, thin, whatever. Your problem is with inactivity in general, not fat people."

My problem? That's good. No, let's specifically ask FAT people this question, because they're the ones complaining here of being unable to lose weight despite not overeating and touting the benefits of "joyful movement" and so on. Let's ask the FAT people if they practice what they preach. That way we can keep the emphasis where it belongs - not on the mean and improper input from doctors and "fatphobes" but on FAT people. Thin, sedentary people would also be advised to be active, and I assure you they are. But that's a different issue, and no amount of bluster on your part is going to take the spotlight off your unsupported cackling. Simple enough for you?

"Instead of continuing to argue against an anonymous, faceless person on the web, my time *is* better spent focusing on fat rights and combating fat discrimination. And I'm doing that."

Congratulations. While you're at it, you can inflect some objectivity into the process by not lying, quote-mining, and appealing to sources and authorities which themselves consist of lies and liars. Fighting real discrimination is one thing, but insisting that doctors are part of the problem because they cling to the "antiquated" idea that obesity is a crippler and a killer destroys any chance you have of attracting widespread sympathy. The "in yo' face" tactic only reinforces people's pre-existing ideas about the whininess and stupidity of fat people. So if you want ot keep getting what you've gotten, keep doing what you're doing.

"Fat people are never going away, Barry. That is something you'll have to live with and, frankly, if you can't handle it - that's your problem."

Again - my problem? No. In fact, not to trivialize, but the fatter you all get, the better I look. That's not central or even relevant to the discussion here, but it's undeniable: Fat people look and often smell like shit. I'm not the one who can't walk up and down stairs, has hair growing in weird places, and can't get laid. You see, the truth is that the medical community's stance on overweight and obesity is not going away, which is a far more daunting problem for you than a few angry fat people is for me.

Hair growing in weird place... (Below threshold)
Samus:

Hair growing in weird places??? Huh? Seriously, does anybody have a full text version of the full JAMA article on low grade inflamation and fat. Pleeezee....

Now the discussion has degr... (Below threshold)
Young Doctor:

Now the discussion has degraded to a volley of ad hominems. Pretty soon, a full-blown food fight will ensue.

No one is really listening to each other anymore. It's just a heap of attacks directed at one another.

I will no longer participate in this type of discussion.

young doctor you hit the na... (Below threshold)
RR:

young doctor you hit the nail on the head, what I grasp from this is that propaganda is alive and well.

propaganda implores name calling, generalizations, and twisiting of the facts and half truths etc. it doesn't allow for questioning of the so called experts and their articles. it appeals to the emotions, not to logic. this is not new, hitler used it to get people to kill and hate jews, and to get the tutsies and hutsies to kill each other with no mercy and no conscious.

now we know the so called facts about the jews were false but people actually believed it. and so did the tutsies and hutsies in africa.

if anyone cares to,, here are some references, Adipose 101 on the net, How to be naturally thin by eating more, also bodyfueling by robyn landis. also starvations studies on the net which is a river centre clinic article, I also read the book fat instinct, it was excellent, but I can't find it at the library anymore.

tech central station has a series on obesity series, even if you don't agree with the articles there are links in there to check out. if you care to see the other side of the issue.

the side of the issue that people are fat because they are lazy sloths who can't stop eating has already had it's turn on tv, in papers and magezines in vast quantities for years, it is time to see the other side of the fence.

RR

Young Doctor, I wish my doc... (Below threshold)
Lizzy:

Young Doctor, I wish my doctor had treated me the way you describe you treat your patients when I was a 10-year-old child who was about 10 pounds "overweight" and put on a low fat, low calorie diet (as was the fad at the time) and excersize plan. I wish my doctor had not assumed I was lazy when I couldn't keep up with the excersizes, even though I was putting as much into it as everyone else and very physically could not continue on. I wish someone had thought to tell me that I wasn't a bad person for being the size I was, or that it was important for me to keep eating healthy amounts of food because I was still growing. For all I know that initial 10 pounds was just my body getting ready for a growth spurt I had a few months later. And I'm pretty sure that lack of energy had to do not only with the lack of food, but also with the hypothyroidism I was later diagnosed with.

I remember jogging in Jr. High and suddenly my body just gave out and I had to drag myself to the finish line. I remember that same year almost fainting because of a sudden dizzy spell. What did everyone assume was the cause? I was fat. Of course that was the cause. I mean, fat kids are lazy and of course their bodies can't take excersize, right? It wasn't until I had another dizzy spell while at work and a co-worker became very concerned and told me I might be anemic that anyone ever thought it was anything other than being fat and (therefore) lazy.

To all the people who are about to jump all over me and tell me that I can change my size, I would ask how they came to that conclusion, when studies show that restrictive diets are only 95% effective at best? I went through 12 years of torturing myself and starving myself because I was so concerned not only about my health but about how I was basically being told that by letting myself be fat I was, in essence, mutliating myself and horribly disfiguring myself. And yes, I believed from that tender young age of 10 that I would be a lonely fat woman living in an appartment my whole life with nothing but cats for company (good thing that everyone who believes no one could find a fat person attractive is wrong). During those 12 awful years I had weeks on end where I consumed between 600 and 1000 calories (and I thought I was being a total pig if I was eating a whole 1000 calories per day), and excersizing for and hour per day when I had the energy (you try to do that at only 1000 calories), I only ever lost 5 pounds. Yes, 5 pounds was about the only amount I could loose. So don't tell me it's easy or even possible for me to loose weight. I don't deny that it's possible for some, but I know my body, and I know that the only time I stopped gaining weight was when I started listening to what my body was telling me I need. If I crave broccoli, I eat broccoli. If I crave bread, I eat bread. If I'm not hungry enough to eat a whole meal, I don't. And if I'm starving I eat as much as I need.

I've never been healthier. Back when I was dieting, my cholesterol started to get a little high, but now it's back down. Actually, it's "perfect" according to my doctor. In fact, so is my blood pressure, my blood sugar, really, you name it, it's within established, healthy parameters.

I should add that in additi... (Below threshold)
Lizzy:

I should add that in addition to the weeks on end of extreme low dieting, I was spending months consuming no more than 1500 calories. I'm not saying that dieting for a few weeks would be effective for those who can succeed at it.

Barry Yatrick, what's with ... (Below threshold)
Alice Stein:

Barry Yatrick, what's with the handle? Bariatric...So how much money do you make off of fat people. Seriously. I'd like to know why are you hiding behind that moniker? It really seems silly and immature.

">Steven Olchowski ??... (Below threshold)
Samus:
steven olchowski ... (Below threshold)
Samus:

steven olchowski

As a final note, it's truly... (Below threshold)
Paul:

As a final note, it's truly sad that "Barry" succumbed to insults in the end. But it's also indicative of many - but again, not all - of the people who are anti-fat; it's such an attack on their long-held beliefs that rational discussion, or even attempts at such, just fall off.

Young Doctor, I did want to say thanks for answering my question in a rational manner.




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