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Obesity / Weight
Topic Started: Jan 2 2009, 08:15 PM (9,895 Views)
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Rock Star From Mars

EDIT. More links / photos added below, and one at the top...
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View Half Ton Dad Photo / Direct Link

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I watched a series of shows on cable last night called "Half Ton Teen," "Half Ton Mom," and "Half Ton Dad."

You can read more about the Half Ton Dad here (they also have a photo of him)

The teen is named Billy Robbins, he's 19 years old and weighs a bit over 700 pounds (or was at the start of the show, he may have lost weight since the taping).

The "Mom" was a lady named Rene, she weighed over 900 pounds, and she died about two weeks after getting gastric bypass surgery.

The "Dad" weighed 1,030 pounds.

After he was brought into the hospital, they made him lose about 400 pounds before they'd do the procedure on him.

This guy was so large that the paramedics had to cut out part of his bedroom wall, as he would not fit through the door way.

They hauled him out on a stretcher, as he could not walk. It took a team of people to get him on the stretcher and to carry him out to the ambulance.

I am astounded that anyone can get that big.

One of the doctors said that for a person to get that big (and stay that big), they have to consume 30,000 calories a day.

30,000 calories a day!

The mother of the teen kid made me angry.

There was footage of her waiting on him hand and foot, and she cooks for him all day.

She brings him double and triple meat hamburgers, etc. etc.

She also deep fries store-bought frozen french fries on the stove.

If she's going to feed him frozen, store-bought fries, the least she could do is bake them in the oven, as that would probably make them less fatty.

(I always bake mine on a cookie sheet. There's no need to deep fry them. I do not eat fries every single day, either, sometimes I go for weeks without fries, and when I do have them, I only have one or two servings, not the whole bag.)

There was a sub-plot of another obese teen ager named John Wayne.

I don't get why the parents don't just lock the food up.

At one point, John told his Mom,
"You said I eat more than $200 a week in groceries- that is not true."

-Uh, when is the last time that kid had to pay for groceries?

You can easily, easily, easily spend $200 or more on a single trip to the food store.

Something else - what the hell do these obese people do for a living that they can afford to eat as much as they do?

The man and the woman were both unemployed, as far as I could tell.

Granted, they ate a lot of junk food, and as the overweight dude pointed out, you can buy a lot of food off McDonald's one dollar ($1) menu.

It's true that you can get a lot of food from fast food restaurants since it can be cheap.

But still, these people also buy a lot of their junk food at the grocery store.

There was film footage of the Mom taking John to the store, and their grocery cart was overflowing with tons of stuff.

There was footage of the other Mom shopping for her teen son Billy (he stayed at home; he sits in a chair all day watching TV, that is his daily routine).

She was tossing in anything and everything as she was going up and down the aisles saying,
"Oh, I bet Billy would love these! And look at these, I know he loves these! And oh, I gotta buy Billy a box of those; they're his favorites!"

-and she'd toss boxes and boxes of cereal, cookies, bags of chips, etc, in to the cart.

I love chocolate myself, but it's expensive. Just a bag of candy bars from Wal-Mart can cost $8 - $14.

Anyway - these families have to be spending small fortunes on food every time they go to the food store.

I understand using food to self-medicate life's hurts, but at some point, when you are getting morbidly obese - when you are so large you cannot get out of your bed- it's time for some self-discipline.

Whether you're ten pounds overweight, 20, 50, 100, or 600 - losing weight is tough.

You have to really, really be determined and have will power. You can do it, it's just hard.

There are no short-cuts or magical solutions: It's calorie-counting and daily exercise (at least five times a week).

These TV shows kept mentioning that Houston, Texas has the most obese people.

I think I know why Houston is one of America's fattest cities: I lived in Houston for over ten years, and it's hotter than Hell there.

Not only is Houston hot, but it's very humid. It's miserable outside.

I used to force myself to go out and go jogging, no matter how hot and humid it was.

The heat and the humidity (and mosquitoes) in Houston are not conducive to outdoor activity, such as going on walks, jogging, etc.

Most people are already reluctant enough to go exercising as it is, but add in the heat and humidity, and that reluctance increases.

People at another discussion board were talking about these shows:

Did anyone watch "Half Ton Teen" last night?
  • Posted by On Discovery Health Channel? on 1/02/09

    They did a story on a 19 year old boy (man) who weighed
    over 800 pounds. I felt so sorry for him because his
    mother was the biggest smother mother/enabler I have ever

    The show was as much about her killing him with love
    as it was about his obesity.

    Apparently, the mother had a baby before him who lived
    only 19 months and died.

    Six years later, she gave birth
    to him and has been "making it up to the other baby" all
    these years.

    She gave him all the food and stuff he wanted
    out of guilt because the other child died.

    I felt sorry for her, too, but she is the reason her son
    is 800 pounds. She kept talking baby talk to him and
    kissing him.

    The hospital staff said she got in the way
    and hindered them doing their job because she insisted
    on "helping" with his therapy after his surgery.

    You could see that he wants to break away from her and the
    psychiatrist kept saying they have a very UNhealthy

    I felt so sorry for him.
Here's a photo of Half Ton Dad (on the right; standing to the left is the doctor who treated him):
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This is Rene, the "half ton Mom"-
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This page has photos of the morbidly obese:
As Obesity Rises, Health Care Indignities Multiply

Health system forks out $8 billion on over-size Aussies

Has photo:
700-pound man’s birthday wish? Marriage

Half Ton Man Thread at TWOP forums
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Activity Shown To Be Less Important for Weight Loss Than Food

I saw a report on TV today about obesity. (The link above is about this story.)

Two groups of women both exercised the same amount, but one group was 50 pounds lighter, and it was due to diet they said.

The skinnier groups was eating more carbs, but the heavier group was eating more animal protein.

I don't know about this-

I have always, always, always lost any extra weight I've had by jogging 45 mins non-stop five days a week, coupled with a 1200 calorie a day diet, 6 days a week.

(On the 7th day, I do NOT diet. I eat whatever I want, even if it goes over 1200 calories.)

This formula has always been successful for me.

As for my dieting, I have not followed any special diet.

I usually eat whatever I want- cookies, cake, pizza, chips- but keep my daily intake under 1200 calories for six days out of seven.

So I've had success losing weight eating whatever I want, so I don't know what to make of stories like the following that suggest some magical formula of "eat mostly carbs" or what have you will help you to lose tons of weight.

Physical Activity May Not Be Key To Obesity Epidemic
  • (Jan. 6, 2009) — A recent international study fails to support the common belief that the number of calories burned in physical activity is a key factor in rising rates of obesity.

    Researchers from Loyola University Health System and other centers compared African American women in metropolitan Chicago with women in rural Nigeria. On average, the Chicago women weighed 184 pounds and the Nigerian women weighed 127 pounds.

    Researchers had expected to find that the slimmer Nigerian women would be more physically active. To their surprise, they found no significant difference between the two groups in the amount of calories burned during physical activity.

    "Decreased physical activity may not be the primary driver of the obesity epidemic," said Loyola nutritionist Amy Luke, Ph.D., corresponding author of the study in the September 2008 issue of the journal Obesity. Luke is an associate professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

    Physical activity is defined as anything that gets your body moving. U.S. government guidelines say that each week, adults need at least 2 ½ hours of moderate aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (such as jogging). Adults also should do muscle-strengthening activities, such as weight-lifting or sit-ups, at least twice a week.

    Physical activity has many proven benefits. It strengthens bones and muscles, improves mental health and mood, lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer.

    But Loyola research suggests that weight control might not be among the main benefits. People burn more calories when they exercise. But they compensate by eating more, said Richard Cooper, Ph.D., co-author of the study and chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology.

    "We would love to say that physical activity has a positive effect on weight control, but that does not appear to be the case," Cooper said.

    The recent study included 149 women from two rural Nigerian villages and 172 African American women from the west side of Chicago and suburban Maywood.

    Adjusted for body size, the Chicago women burned an average of 760 calories per day in physical activity, while the Nigerian women burned 800 calories. This difference was not statistically significant.

    Diet is a more likely explanation than physical activity expenditure for why Chicago women weigh more than Nigerian women, Luke said. She noted the Nigerian diet is high in fiber and carbohydrates and low in fat and animal protein. By contrast, the Chicago diet is 40 percent to 45 percent fat and high in processed foods.

    Results of the new study are similar to those of a 2007 study of men and women in Jamaica. Researchers from Loyola and other centers found there was no association between weight gain and calories burned during physical activity.

    "Evidence is beginning to accumulate that dietary intake may be more important than energy expenditure level," Luke said. "Weight loss is not likely to happen without dietary restraint."

    Other centers involved in the study of Chicago and Nigerian women include University of Ibadan in Nigeria, Howard University, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and University of Wisconsin.
Another story on obesity:
Study Links Obesity to Ovarian Cancer

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275-Pound Woman Says Hospital Told Her to Use Zoo MRI

Overweight woman told to undergo MRI scan at the zoo
  • Jan 14 2009

    An overweight woman in the United States has been advised to undergo her MRI scan at the zoo.

    Carolyn Ragan, who has a tumour on spine, needed to get an MRI scan in her home state of Kansas.

    But at five feet tall, and 125 kilograms in weight, Ms Ragan was told none of the hospital’s MRI machines could hold her.

    An assistant began searching for somewhere that could accommodate her, eventually suggesting the Kansas City Zoo.

    "I thought, I know I'm big but I'm not as big as an elephant," she told America’s Fox News.

    "And my husband got mad."

    Most MRI machines have two problems with overweight patients – firstly that they can’t handle the pressure and secondly that the tubes aren’t big enough.

    Ms Ragan eventually found an open MRI machine that could hold her but said her search was frustrating and embarrassing.
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Oh woah! The zoo, what a jerk! I'm sorry that was just completely intentional. That person was just wanting to be mean. So sad....
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Jan 15 2009, 12:46 PM
Oh woah! The zoo, what a jerk! I'm sorry that was just completely intentional. That person was just wanting to be mean. So sad....

I understand the woman feeling offended and humiliated, but it may be that the hospital staff genuinely had no other way of getting her an MRI.

When I watched a show called "Half Ton Mom" (see very first post in this thread), the "Half Ton Mom" was so over weight that normal scales would not work for her (the scale at her doctor's office went up to only 600 pounds, and she was over that amount), so her doctor or someone from his office called some kind of factory or warehouse where they had a huge scale, because that was the only scale that could handle her.

I forget what this company's scale was used for, but it was not for humans, it was for some product they sold.

She said she was embarrassed to have to go to that factory/place of business to be weighed, but she had no other choice.

I suspect it's probably the same situation with this zoo/MRI business. I don't think they meant to be cruel.

I personally would feel just as embarrassed to have to tell a fellow human being "you have to be scanned/ weighed at a zoo because you're too large for our equipment" as I would be to be on the receiving end of that comment.

I don't think there's a nice way to give someone that information. No matter how careful and polite you put it, it's going to be awkward.
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Obesity Can Trim 10 Years Off Life

  • By Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY
    Weighing too much may take as much as a decade off your life, according a new analysis of studies that involved 900,000 people.

    Adults who are obese — about 40 or more pounds over a healthy weight — may be cutting about three years off their lives, mostly from heart disease and stroke.

    Those who are extremely obese, about 100 or more pounds over a healthy weight, could be shortening their lives by as many as 10 years, the study found.

    Being extremely obese is similar to the effect of lifelong smoking, says Richard Peto, one of the lead researchers and a professor of medical statistics at Oxford University in England.

    Study co-author Gary Whitlock, an epidemiologist at Oxford, says, "Obesity causes heart disease and stroke by pushing up blood pressure, mucking up blood cholesterol and triggering diabetes."

    Overall, about 66% of adults in the USA are either overweight or obese. About one-third of people in the USA are obese, meaning they have a body mass index of 30 or greater. BMI is a measure based on height and weight.

    The researchers and their colleagues examined the findings of 57 studies involving about 900,000 adults who were followed for 10 to 15 years. Most of the people lived in the USA or Western Europe. The scientists analyzed 70,000 deaths.

    mong the findings reported online today and in an upcoming edition of The Lancet:

    •Above a healthy weight, every 5-point increase in BMI increases the risk of early death by about 30%.

    •People who are overweight but not obese, with a BMI between 25 and 29.9, could be shortening their life span by a year.
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Page has photo of family:
Family who are 'too fat to work' say £22,000 worth of benefits is not enough

A special note to "Emma" who said she "doesn't have time to exercise." Yes you do you: make the time to exercise.

I used to be a college student too, but I still factored in jogging 45 minutes five days a week.
  • A family of four with a combined weight of 83 stone say they are "too fat to work" and need more than the £22,000 they currently receive in benefits.

    ....The Chawners, haven't worked in 11 years, claim their weight is a hereditary condition and the money they receive is insufficient to live on.

    Mr Chawner said: "What we get barely covers the bills and puts food on the table. It's not our fault we can't work. We deserve more."

    The family claim to spend £50 a week on food and consume 3,000 calories each a day. The recommended maximum intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.

    "We have cereal for breakfast, bacon butties for lunch and microwave pies with mashed potato or chips for dinner," Mrs Chawner told Closer magazine.

    "All that healthy food, like fruit and veg, is too expensive. We're fat because it's in our genes. Our whole family is overweight," she added.

    ...Emma, said: "I'm a student and don't have time to exercise" she said "We all want to lose weight to stop the abuse we get in the street, but we don't know how."
You "don't know how" to lose weight? It's called eat less and exercise more.

There really is not a special trick or secret to weight loss.
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Two stories below:
#1- update to a story I posted above and
#2 - a scientific discovery regarding "brown fat"

Story #1
Obese X Factor girl who claimed she couldn't get a job because of her weight turns down offer... live on the radio
  • Emma Chawner, the X Factor singer who claimed that her obesity discouraged employers from hiring her, has turned down a job live on radio.

    On a live phone-in on Victoria Derbyshire's BBC Radio Five Live show, the 19-year-old complained about not being given a chance in the job market because of her weight.

    But when listener Daniel O'Donnell rang in and offered her a security job on the spot, she rejected it out of hand, explaining that she 'didn't want to stand on a door watching people go in'.

    After being rejected from the show, on which she was mocked by Simon Cowell, who accused her of singing 'like a baby', Emma became the victim of cyber-bullies.

    This victimisation included the setting up of a now-defunct Facebook group, which attracted more than 3,500 members, devoted to insulting her and her family.
Story #2
"Brown fat" burns calories -- may lead to new obesity treatments
  • Story Highlights
    # Special kind of fat, brown fat, burns calories in cold weather
    # Research showed adults retain brown fat on their bodies
    # Drugs may be created to fire up brown fat activity to burn calories faster
    ....Brown adipose tissue (called brown fat) helps babies, young children, and other small mammals stay warm by burning calories when activated by low temperatures. Scientists have been skeptical that adults retain significant amounts of brown fat on their bodies. But the new research shows that many of us -- perhaps even most -- do.

    ....While scientists have known about brown fat and what it does for decades, it's been nearly impossible to study it in live humans until very recently. Finding it in people's bodies meant taking tissue samples, so scientists mostly stuck to studying it in lab animals.

    ....This changed when nuclear medicine specialists observed that some people had deposits of tissue that looked like fat but didn't act like it; this fat-like tissue was located above the collarbones and in the upper chest and consumed lots of energy. Conversely, white adipose tissue -- the regular fat that stores extra calories and makes us gain weight -- shows very little metabolic activity.

    ....Scientists began investigating whether this mystery tissue might be the elusive brown fat. In the new NEJM reports, three independent research teams have confirmed that this is the case, indeed, and that integrated positron-emission tomography and computed tomography (PET-CT) scans can be used not only to identify it but to measure its metabolic activity.

    While Cypess is excited about the possibility of drugs that help people burn more calories, he warned that such medicines wouldn't allow people to slim down without eating healthy and becoming more active.

    The maximum amount of extra energy that people with relatively large brown fat deposits can burn probably tops out at about 500 calories. "It doesn't take much extra food to eliminate any benefit you've got," he said. "I personally don't think that hanging out in the cold is going to be an effective way of fighting obesity."
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One of the health/science channels is doing a follow-up to the two obese kids they featured in a show in 2008.

I think it's called Survival of the Half Ton Teen.

One is a white kid named Billy, the other is a black kid named John Wayne.

Billy's mother annoys me. She waits on the kid hand and foot.

He had gastric bypass surgery in this episode.

Two weeks after the procedure, he's supposed to start going on walks everyday.

But he lays in his bed all day long playing video games and watching TV.

They make it through hurricane Ike -the mom goes out to get water (bottled water) - and as she's leaving the store parking lot where volunteers were handing out bottled water...

The kid talks to her on the phone and asks her to stop by "Game Stop" and "Blockbuster" to get him some video games and movies.

Later on...

He still won't get his own water. As he's lying on the bed, he yells at his Mom in the kitchen to bring him a bottle of water.

Page has photo of the guy:
Survival of the Half Ton Teen
  • [It] features Billy Robbins – better known as the world’s heaviest teen and his continuing journey to lose weight and gain control of his life.

    At 18-years old, Billy peaked at a staggering 850 pounds. In an effort to save his life, he must lose more than half his own body mass.

    The first TLC special, “Half Ton Teen” aired in January 2009 and followed Billy as he underwent skin surgery and shed 200 pounds.

    In this follow-up special, TLC continues to document Billy’s journey as he undergoes bariatric surgery.

    From the risky gastric sleeve surgery to the difficult recovery to his eventual transformation, the cameras follow him every step of the way.

    Through the process, Billy encounters the greatest obstacles of his life, which include changing his sedentary lifestyle and cutting the unhealthy bond between he and his mother so he can learn how to take care of himself.
Pictured: The teenage boy whose devoted mother overfed him until he ballooned to half a ton
  • By Daily Mail Reporter
    08th January 2009

    This teenage boy has lost half of his body weight – but he still weighs an incredible 30 stone.

    Billy Robbins took the title of World’s Heaviest Teenager after exceeding 60 stone – more than half a ton.

    Housebound for three years, he was forced into the dramatic weight loss after doctors warned his life would be at risk if his mother continued to overfeed him.

    Posted Image

    Barbara Robbins was so devoted to her son she would wait hand-and-foot on him, fetching him armfuls of fattening foods to satisfy his 8,000 calorie-a-day appetite.

    In a Channel 4 documentary due to be shown on Monday, Barbara said: ‘He loves hamburgers, pizza, cola, chips, donuts. He likes good food too though, like broccoli … with cheese on top, of course.’

    Barbara even bathed her son by hand, after he became too overweight to fit in the shower.

    She said: ‘I did everything for him because he is my baby.’

    Following years of teasing at school, Billy refused to return to his final year and was home-schooled instead.

    Posted Image

    He said: ‘I wish I could get out of my body, it is like a prison. The weight ends up destroying you. It takes your life away.

    ‘I guess my mother would be my best friend, she pretty much takes care of me.’

    Last year, Billy agreed to try and cut down on his bulk after doctors warned him he was risking his life.

    Under the care of a top obesity specialist, Billy agreed to lose two-and-a-half stone, so that surgeons could operate safely on him.

    Billy’s surgery saw the team at Houston Renaissance Hospital remove a piece of flesh weighing five stone from his stomach.

    Over the next three months, thanks to a regime of gentle exercise and a reduced calorie diet, Billy lost a total of 20 stone.

    A second operation saw him fitted with a gastric band and Billy left the hospital weighing around 35 stone.

    Posted Image

    But the documentary reveals Barbara was also in need of treatment – and she was offered counseling in a bid to stop her encouraging her son’s out-of-control eating habits.

    Barbara confessed to having lost another child to an brain tumour at the age of 19 months.

    She said: ‘I overcompensated after losing Matthew, my first child. It was hard saying no to Billy when he wanted something to eat.

    ‘Maybe it is an addiction, maybe I’m addicted to my child?

    ‘It breaks my heart that for Billy to reach his goals, to be anything, to accomplish, to survive, it may mean my death. The guilt I have, sometimes it almost destroys me.’

    A final operation saw Billy’s stomach band tightened, bringing him down to 30 stone.

    He will also move into a rehab centre in a bid to break the destructive relationship with food his mother.

    He said: ‘I am very scared of moving out on my own. But I accept I am going to have to move out eventually, I feel like I am slowly killing my mom.’

    Half Ton Son is on Channel 4 at 10pm on Monday.
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Obese Woman Dragged From Home, Hauled Away After Death
  • Boyfriend, Son Watched As Woman Was Removed

    The Marion County Coroner's Office has come under fire after it was revealed that an obese woman was dragged from her home and hauled away on a trailer in front of family members following her death.

    Teresa Smith, 48, who weighed 750 pounds, died Tuesday in her apartment on Indianapolis' northeast side.

    Officials at the scene told 6News' Jack Rinehart that the deputy coroner made the decision to call a towing service to remove the body from the home.

    "We debated for quite a while about how we were going to get her out of there and so we finally decided, since we didn't have a van that was large enough to carry her, it was decided between (the police) department and the coroner's office to use (the truck)," said Detective Marcus Kennedy.

    Smith's boyfriend and the couple's 13-year-old son, along with several neighbors, watched as Smith's body, still on her mattress, was dragged across the courtyard of the apartment complex, strapped down on the wrecker and covered with a piece of carpet.

    "I think they should have handled it differently, putting her on a flatbed like they did. That was like putting a cow up there," said Smith's boyfriend, David Johnson.

    Neighbors said they were also disturbed by the ordeal.

    "What really got me is when they took her off onto the flatbed, they threw this dirty, dirty carpet on top of her, and I just thought that was so disrespectful," said a neighbor, who did not want to be identified. "I would have never let them throw that on my loved one."

    Once on the truck, Smith's body was escorted by police downtown to the coroner's office.

    Former Chief Deputy Coroner John Linehan said he was shocked and dismayed that appropriate steps weren't taken to remove the woman from her home.

    He said that fire and medical personnel have equipment available for handling patients up to 1,000 pounds and that moving obese individuals is not all that rare of an occurrence.

    "When they scoop up dead dogs off of the street they don't treat them that way," he said. "It's just not the way to treat a human being."

    Chief Deputy Coroner Alfarena Ballew told Rinehart by phone Wednesday that a flatbed truck has been used in other occasions to move obese individuals. She said the office is now looking for a way to transport Smith's body from the morgue to the funeral home.

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I also saw that news report about the woman on a truck. It started me thinking about who the people are that give all this food to the obese. I decided to do some "research" on the topic, and I found out about a world I never knew existed... :ask:

There are people called Feeders who "get off" on feeding the Feedee on a common quest to get the Feedee fatter and fatter on purpose.


The Feedee finds a Feeder to provide the food, and they work at massive weight gain...loving every minute of it! I've never seen such a thing in my life....so funny!
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Page has photo of the obese kid (towards the middle), and a pic of the mother:
Mom Of 555-Pound Teen Speaks Out -Jerri Gray Has Been Charged With Neglecting Her Teenage Son Alex
  • A mother is being charged with neglecting her obese teenage son, raising issues about whether the government has the right to intervene in one's family life.

    Born and raised in South Carolina, Alexander Draper grew up to reach a dangerous 555 pounds by the age of 14. That's when law enforcement stepped in.

    "The first and foremost concern is Alexander's health," Lt. Shea Smith told CBS News.

    Alexander's mother, Jerri Gray, was charged with unlawful neglect of a child for allowing him to become obese.

    "There have been opportunities to get Alexander some treatment over the course of the last several months and unfortunately some of those things have not been taken advantage of," Smith said.

    But Gray, released from jail Monday on $50,000 bond, says she does not have enough money to get her son the treatment he needs.

    Alexander is in the custody of the Department of Social Services, who in a statement to CBS News said they only intervene when "health care professionals believe a child is at risk of harm."

    "Obviously her son is certainly in need of some medical attention," Lt. Smith said.

    Jerri Gray and her defense attorney, Kim and Grant Varner, appeared on The Early Show Thursday to discuss the situation.

    Asked how his weight gain got so out of control, Gray said, "Well, a lot of times it had to do with lifestyle. A lot of times I had to work fulltime second shift or fulltime, third shift. And I wasn't home a lot."

    Gray told guest host and "Britain's Got Talent" judge Amanda Holden she had been monitoring her son's diet, but that there were times she had to purchase fast food, when she'd have to sleep between shifts.

    Asked if there are steps she could've taken earlier to have helped him not reach that level of weight, Gray said, "When I had a second shift hob, I would've rather been home, so that I could've spent more time focusing on preparing more low-fat type-meals."

    While Alex is under state care right now, Gray believes her son needs to be with her. "Mentally he needs to be with me. We both need to be included together in whatever program that they have to offer so that we both can benefit from it. So as our lives go on together, then we will have learned how to control it and keep it under control."
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Page has before and after photos:
Looking for love, 650-pound virgin loses 410
  • David Smith once contemplated suicide; now, ‘girls make googly eyes at me’

    By Mike Celizic
    updated 9:59 a.m. CT, Fri., July 10, 2009

    He was enormously obese — a lost soul with no friends
    and no life who had given up on himself and on life.

    David Smith even hatched a plan to end it. He would
    get an inflatable swimming pool, and he would take
    it to a remote spot in the Arizona desert. He would
    fill it with gasoline, get in, and light a match.
    It would be a horrific and painful way to die,
    but that’s what
    Smith thought he deserved.

    And the best thing about it would be that the fire
    would consume his 650-pound body. When it had
    done his work, there would be nothing left to
    make fun of anymore.

    It is hard to believe that the David Smith who tells this
    story is the same hunky man who sat down with
    TODAY’s Matt Lauer Friday
    in New York.

    Smiling and confident,
    he’s cut and ripped, a certified personal trainer with
    a body that’s no longer to die in a blaze of glory for.
    He has a future that never seemed possible —
    and a past that seemed to have belonged to someone else.

    “It’s a different person,” Smith told Lauer
    after watching a video that showed the
    gelatinous blob he used to be. “It’s
    not me anymore.”

    ‘Night and day’

    The remarkable story of how Smith lost more
    than 400 pounds in just 26 months without
    gastric bypass surgery is the subject of a
    TLC documentary that premieres Sunday, July 12.
    It’s called “The 650-pound Virgin,” and it
    follows Smith’s journey from a suicidal and
    friendless loner who never left his house to
    a new life as an inspiration to everybody
    who has battled obesity.

    The story’s not over. Smith, now 32, would
    not say directly if he is still a virgin, but he
    admitted that he is still fighting to get over
    his shyness around women and
    his fear of rejection.

    “It’s like night and day. I’ve gone from being
    a laughingstock to having girls make googly
    eyes at me,” he said. But responding to those
    looks is still a challenge. “I still have to muster
    up the courage to talk to girls,” he said.

    “Instead of being a dud, I want to be a
    stud,” he added.

    Facing his fear

    The remarkable transformation in Smith’s
    life began in 2003, when he was considering
    suicide. Somewhere deep down, he discovered
    that he still harbored a hope that he could
    transform himself.
    He decided to lose weight.

    Smith rejected bypass surgery as too risky.
    He didn’t want to die on the operating table
    and have his obese remains mocked by the
    surgeons who had been trying to save his life.

    The remaining alternative was to learn to
    eat properly and exercise the weight off.
    And, he decided, he would renounce his
    terror of being seen in public by making
    his journey the subject of a documentary.

    “I decided that the best way to get over
    my fear was to destroy it … and the best
    way to be seen is on television,” he wrote.
    So he contacted KTVK, a local television
    station that had a feature hosted by fitness
    and nutrition guru Chris Powell. After some
    initial hesitation, Powell took Smith on.

    Powell waited several weeks before contacting
    Smith. He had doubts about whether he could
    help, but the more he looked at the pictures
    Smith had sent, the more he felt he
    had to meet Smith.

    “I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” Powell
    told Lauer. “I had no idea how to help somebody was so large. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. It was curiosity.”

    Baby steps to giant strides

    Using a nutritional program and what he calls
    a transformational approach that he devised
    himself and now sells — the STAX System —
    Powell went to work. When they
    began, Smith couldn’t walk 500 feet and
    couldn’t fit in a car.

    Powell told Lauer he alternated diet plans.
    Not wanting to tell Smith he couldn’t
    ever eat ice cream, pizza and the other
    calorie-laden foods he loved, Powell t
    old his student he would diet strictly
    one day, then reward himself the next.
    “It was baby steps,” the trainer explained.

    The baby steps became giant strides.
    The weight melted off — a phenomenal
    average of more than 15 pounds a month.
    By 2007, just 26 months after he decided
    to transform himself and his life, Smith had
    lost 410 pounds from a starting weight of 650.

    The weight loss left behind great folds and
    bags of excess skin that had to be removed
    over the course of more than a year in a series
    of three operations. At last count, surgeons
    had removed some 30 pounds of excess skin,
    and, Smith said, he still needs one or two
    more operations.

    Troubled childhood

    In a biographical sketch Smith wrote, h
    e says his problems began after his family
    moved to the Phoenix area when he was 7 and
    was sexually molested by his best friend. Unable
    to deal with the experience, he cut himself off
    from everyone and found solace in eating. A
    large child to begin with, he quickly became
    not just one of the tallest kids in his class,
    but also the fattest.

    “I didn’t want to be hurt again,” he wrote.
    “I was full of shame.”

    But his desire invited only more abuse.
    He became a target of bullies, who would
    gather gangs of kids to see if they could
    beat him up.

    “I have been spit on; I have had dirt clots,
    rocks, bolts, basketballs, books, even feces
    among other things thrown at me,” he wrote.
    “I started to hate people. Nobody wanted to
    be my friend. I didn’t even want friends anymore,
    I just wanted to be left alone.”

    The physical abuse ended in high school, but
    the emotional abuse continued. It got so bad,
    that Smith dropped out at the age of 17.
    He didn’t want to take it anymore.

    And then he got hit with another emotional
    trauma. His mother, the only person he allowed
    himself to show any emotion to, was diagnosed
    with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She fought the
    disease for five years, but in the end it took her

    “It hit me hard,” he wrote. “The first month, I
    hardly ate anything, but after the first month
    I was an eating machine. I didn’t care about anything.
    I just wanted to get my fix and be left alone.”

    That’s when he stopped leaving his family’s home,
    stopped interacting with others, and started to
    think of ways to end it all.

    Fortunately, he made one giant effort to
    break out of his personal hell, and Powell
    responded. They’re best friends and roommates
    now, and fellow fitness trainers. Helping others
    to do the same thing he did is Smith’s way of
    paying back the gift he’s received.

    Now, all that’s left is to meet a girl and have
    children who won’t grow up in the emotional
    desert he inhabited for most of his life.

    Asked after the show when he thinks that
    could happen, he said, “I’m just putting the
    pieces together — and hopefully a girl will be one of the pieces.”

    “The 650-pound Virgin” premieres Sunday,
    July 12, at 10 p.m. on TLC.
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Obesity and Obama Health care plans
-the article says Obama wants the tax payer to spend more to combat obesity (one method: by educating people about it or by encouraging better eating habits). I don't understand.

The key to losing weight is exercise more, eat less. Anyone and everyone with an ounce of common sense knows that, so it's not necessary to "educate" people about it.

You can "encourage" people to eat vegetables all day, but these sorts of people are likely to pass up the veggies to eat several Big Macs.

They don't or won't accept that you can still eat the occasional Big Mac - just don't eat several in one sitting several times a week. It's common sense.

It seems like a waste of time and money to try to "encourage" people to "eat right."

Police: 500 pound man hid weapon in folds of skin

Obese inmate hid gun in his flab
  • A 250kg [500 pounds] man smuggled a gun into two US prisons by hiding it within his rolls of fat.

    George Vera, 25, carried the unloaded pistol into both Houston city and Harris county jails despite repeated searches, reports the Houston Chronicle.

    Police had initially arrested Vera for selling bootlegged CDs out of the back of a sport utility vehicle in Houston.

    Police spokesman Victor Senties said Vera was searched four times - at the scene, when he arrived at the city jail, before he was transferred to county jail and again when he arrived there.

    The gun only came to light when he later approached a county guard during a shower break and admitted having smuggled it in, authorities said.
Slide Into Debt Could Bring Wider Waistline
  • Obesity rates may increase along with rising financial debt, German researchers suggest.

    In their study, Eva Munster and her colleagues at the University of Mainz tracked the weight of more than 9,000 people.

    They found that while 11 percent of those who were not in debt were classified as obese, a full quarter of those who were in debt met the medical criteria for obesity.

    Writing in the early online edition of BMC Public Health, the researchers say they took into account the income of the participants, and the link between debt and obesity "was not explained by components of traditional socioeconomic status definitions such as education and income."

    ....Her team speculates that certain lifestyle changes linked to debt, such as restricted daily activities, "comfort eating" and poorer available food choices may all contribute to packing on pounds during financial hard times. For example, "a person's ability to pick and choose the food they eat often depends on the financial resources they have available," Munster said. "Energy-dense foods such as sweets or fatty snacks are often less expensive compared to food with lower energy density such as fruit or vegetables."
Obesity and kids: Startling trends
  • Recent reports about how fat adult Americans and their children have become have not been flattering. Frankly, they are frightening.

    • Two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Associated Press recently.

    • A recent study by the journal Health Affairs states that overall obesity-related health spending has reached $147 billion annually, double what it was nearly a decade ago, AP medical writer Lauran Neergaard reported recently.

    • The publication Academic Pediatrics states the rates of severe childhood obesity have tripled in the last 25 years. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius recently told a gathering, “No wonder some scientists have said that this might be the first generation of Americans in 200 years to have shorter life spans than their parents.”

    • The American Academy of Pediatrics recently reported the results of a new study that says that, despite the demands of achievement tests, schoolchildren should be getting more recess time, not less.

    Like adults, overweight children are more prone to heart disease and diabetes, and we may be raising a generation with health problems that will surface much sooner in their lives than past generations experienced.

    The problem is currently compounded by the weak economy and high unemployment rates, which force struggling families to turn to cheaper, higher-calorie food alternatives, rather than healthier fresh fruits and vegetables.

    As it often seems to happen, we are looking to our schools to help us change the behavior of our children. Fortunately, educators are keenly aware of the growing problem and are taking steps to teach students about better eating habits and the value of physical activity.

    In Middletown, school officials have been measuring the body mass indexes of students, and last year 42 percent of the district’s elementary students were identified as overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. The district has launched an initiative to coax parents to send healthy snacks for class parties, rather than cupcakes and other fattening foods. The district is also reviewing its policies on recess, including a recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics: Lunch after recess, not before, so children don’t rush through lunch and waste food.

    Hamilton City Schools have used funding from the Carol M. White Physical Education Program Grant in recent years to purchase exercise equipment for students, who are encouraged to set fitness goals. The district also purchased Nutri Kids menu planning software — used in more than 8,000 school districts nationwide — two years ago, and has been using healthier ingredients in lunches and offering more fruits and vegetables.

    However the debate on health-care reform turns out, the attention now focused on obesity, its associated high costs and the harm we’re doing to our children, by not better regulating their weight and what they eat, must continue. If we love our children, we cannot allow Secretary Sebelius’ bleak forecast to come true.
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There is a photo of the fat seats on the train;
regular seats appear to be white and the
"fat seats" are blue:

Fat Seats For Trains
  • Special chairs for fatties have been installed on
    Brazil's trains to cope with the country's soaring
    obesity race.

    The blue-coloured seats are nearly twice as wide
    as normal chairs and can support even the bulkiest
    passenger up to 550lbs without breaking.

    But baffled Metro bosses in Sao Paulo say they're
    being ignored by obese passengers, who they
    think are to ashamed to use them.

    A sign above each seat shows a cartoon of an roly
    -poly passenger saying "Priority chair for obese people."

    "It may be that they don't want to think of
    themselves as fat or they resent being put
    in with pensioners and the disabled," said one
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Page is a slide show:
Suman Khatun: a five year-old obese Indian girl who is eating herself to death
  • Suman Khatun, a five year-old
    obese Indian girl who suffers from a suspected
    hormonal imbalance, is so insatiably hungry she
    is eating herself to death, doctors fear
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I just skimmed over this article
some more, and it says that those
in the drug study were
forced to increase their physical
activity and to cut calories.

So what is the point in the pill?

Diabetes drug helps obese adults loss weight
  • By Anthony J. Brown, MD

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Obese adults may shed more weight
    with the diabetes drug liraglutide than with the
    weight-loss drug orlistat (Xenical, Alli), suggests
    a study in The Lancet this week.

    The finding that liraglutide was superior to orlistat
    was "unexpected," Dr. Arne Astrup, from the
    University of Copenhagen, Denmark, told Reuters Health.

    Until now, liraglutide has only been tested for its
    blood sugar-lowering abilities in people with type
    2 diabetes. "This is the first state of the art trial to
    test its weight loss properties" in obese adults
    without diabetes, Astrup said.

    The biggest findings with liraglutide, Astrup said,
    were the "clear-cut" dose-response relationship
    with weight loss (the higher the dose, the greater
    the weight loss), "the nice reduction in blood
    pressure, and the "cure" of patients with "pre-diabetes"
    - that is, poor blood sugar control not yet bad
    enough to qualify as diabetes.

    In the study, 564 obese adults without diabetes
    were randomly assigned to receive liraglutide at
    one of four doses (1.2, 1.8, 2.4, or 3.0 milligrams),
    placebo, or orlistat (120 milligrams).
    Liraglutide and placebo were given once daily as
    an injection, while orlistat was given three times
    a day in pill form.

    All participants in the study increased their
    physical activity throughout the trial and followed
    a calorie-restricted diet, which contained
    approximately 500 calories less than they needed each day.

    People who took liraglutide lost significantly more
    weight than people who took placebo or orlistat,
    Astrup and colleagues found. Liraglutide
    contains a satiety hormone that helps curb appetite.

    Average weight loss with the lowest liraglutide
    dose (1.2 mg) was 4.8 kilograms (10.6 pounds);
    with 1.8 mg liraglutide, subjects lost an average
    of 5.5 kg (12.1 pounds); with 2.4 and 3.0 mg
    liraglutide, subjects lost an average of 6.3 kg
    (13.9 pounds) and 7.2 kg (15.8 pounds), respectively.

    This compares with an average weight loss of
    only 2.8 kg (6.2 pounds) with placebo and 4.1 kg
    (9 pounds) with orlistat.

    Moreover, 76 percent of subjects taking the
    highest dose of liraglutide lost more than 5
    percent of their body weight compared with
    only 30 percent on placebo and 44 percent on orlistat.

    Liraglutide also lowered blood pressure at all doses.

    At the start of the study, about a third of subjects
    in each group were considered "pre-diabetic."
    At the higher doses, liraglutide
    cut the number of pre-diabetics significantly --
    by 84 to 96 percent.

    Nausea and vomiting were reported more often with liraglutide than with placebo, but side effects were usually transient and seldom led to discontinuation of treatment.
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Several different stories below relating to obesity:

Ambulances in U.S. start charging extra for obese patients

Study: Doctors show less respect for obese patients, impacting care

I saw some news stories this past week that say that up to one third of Americans are obese. That seems like a lot to me.

Found one source that mentions it:
  • It's gotten so bad that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates that one-third of American adults are overweight. Another third are obese.
Another story said that the more overweight you are, the bigger your chances of getting cancer.
Cancer Group Finds Excess Body Fat Alone Causes More Than 100000 Cancers in U.S.

At Duke, Doctors Teach Obesity Ownership

Obese Children Removed from Homes: Violation of Parents' Rights or Weapon Against Childhood Obesity?

Number of people treated in hospital for obesity soars by 360% in just FIVE years - from a British paper

Study: Doctors Have Less Respect Toward Obese Patients
  • A recent study featured in the "Journal of General Internal Medicine" shows that many physicians have less respect for obese patients, HealthDay News reported.

    "Society, in general, has negative attitudes towards patients with obesity, and physicians may be mimicking what is found in society," said Dr. Mary Margaret Huizinga, lead researcher on the study and an assistant professor of general internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University.

    Huizinga and her colleagues asked 40 doctors to complete a questionnaire, revealing their attitudes toward obese patients.

    Huizinga found that the higher a patient’s body mass index was, the less respect a doctor had for him.

    "But focus groups studies have shown that patients may refuse to go back to see their physician, and they felt they were treated with a negative attitude," Huizinga said
Ambulances start charging extra for obese patients

Ambulances jack up fees for obese Americans

Ambulance companies start charging extra to transport extremely overweight patients

Number of People Being Treated for Obesity Related Conditions up by 60%- from a New Zealand Paper

Obesity: Drives up medical cost - editorial from American site

Report: 63% of Upstate New York Adults are Overweight

Report says 63 percent of Upstate New York adults were overweight

Why are fat people abused? - BBC

Ireland's obesity rates must be addressed

Obesity: A Weighty Issue

Super Obesity Ups Risk of Dying After Weight-Loss Surgery
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I had another link to a story about obesity but cannot find it at the moment. If I do, I'll add it later.

It would never have even occurred to me that there are toilets designed or specially made for heavier people:
National Association for Acceptance of Fat Americans discusses the best toilet seat for 400+ lb people

A rant about the “Fat Acceptance” movement

Fat Traitor -One woman walks away from the 'fat is beautiful' movement

NJ jurors convict Fla. man in 'fat defense' trial

They used the Army Times.com as their source:

75% of Potential Recruits Too Fat, Too Sickly, Too Dumb to Serve
  • More than three-quarters of the nation’s 17- to 24-year-olds couldn’t serve in the military, even if they wanted to. They’re too fat, too sickly, too dumb, have too many kids, or have copped to using illegal drugs.

    The armed services are willing to grant waivers for some of those conditions - asthma, or a little bit of weed. But the military’s biggest concern is how big and how weak its potential recruits have become.

    “The major component of this is obesity,” Curt Gilroy, the Pentagon’s director of accessions, tells Army Times‘ William McMichael. “Kids are just not able to do push-ups… And they can’t do pull-ups. And they can’t run.”

    23 percent of 18- to 34-year-old are now obese, up from just six percent in 1987.

    The group of potential enlistees is further slimmed by the “propensity to serve” among American youths, which social scientists say also is declining. According to Gilroy, research shows that about 12 percent of all U.S. military-eligible youth show an interest in military service.

    The military just had a big recruiting year. But as the economy improves, and the war in Afghanistan drags on, it’s going to be tough to rely on such a tiny sliver of America’s youth to maintain an all-volunteer force. Either the recruiting standards have to change — maybe the military’s new Cyber Command doesn’t need guys who can do a bunch of pull-ups. Or the recruits themselves have to.
What's Up With NAAFA?

Said one guy in that thread (who had lurked at NAAFA's discussion board):
  • You have people on that board talking about where to find DEPENDS DIAPERS at wholesale prices, and a guy on there who weights 450 lbs. says he had to tie a rag around a stick to wipe his ass because his arm wasn't long enough to reach around his super fat ass!!!

    Another guy says that he has to carry one of those plastic medical bags around because he can't fit into the average public bathroom stall!!!

    When does the insanity end???
Thread: Obesity in America Justified by NAAFA
  • Originally posted by AmonRA

    Next thing we know being obese will be a disability.

    I believe chronic obesity has already been included in the Americans with disabilities act, I will look into it. Nevertheless reverse descrimination to healthy people is inevitable. Check out the main page with a link to airline travel suggestions. They basically tell fat people to sit next to a small person with the armrest up so that they can flow into the unfortunate healthy persons seat. I refuse to be made uncomfortable by others lack of dietary responsibility.
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(I'll probably merge this with the "obesity" thread later.)

I've heard some folks say that the Democrats are trying to put something similar into their health care legislation.

New Japanese law makes fat people pay

Fat in Japan: Break the Law

Fat in Japan? You're breaking the law.

Fat Fines: Could Japan Plan Work in U.S.?
Government Intervention for Fighting Flab Will Not Be Welcome, Experts Say
    ABC Medical Unit
    June 27, 2008

    As waistlines continue to expand in Japan, the country's lawmakers are taking the unusual step of fining companies that employ overweight workers — an approach that diet experts say would likely meet with failure in the United States.

    "They'd never get away with that here," said Dr. Keith Ayoob, associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. "I'm sure the intent is to get a healthier society, but I'm not sure this is the best way to go."

    Still, in Japan, the national program to trim tummies and prevent diseases such as diabetes and heart disease has taken a proactive, group approach to the problem of "metabo" — a shorter, and some say cuter, term for metabolic syndrome.

    And when it comes to the Asian country's fight against metabolic syndrome — the collection of illnesses known to accompany obesity — the effort appears to be working.

    According to the New York Times, weight-loss groups in Japan exercise together, singing inspirational weight-loss songs with lyrics such as "Goodbye, metabolic. Let's get our checkups together. Go! Go! Go!" Meanwhile, posters in Japan feature rotund cartoon figures with buttons popping off their pants urging people to overcome "metabo," reported the newspaper.

    As a country with more than one-third of its population classified as obese, the U.S. might benefit from a stringent program like Japan's. But part of the reason a program like Japan's has no place in the U.S. is because American's would be far less tolerant of government involvement in what can be a highly personal issue, said Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine.

    "In Japan there is a sense of communal engagement, what's right for the public good," Katz said. "We don't like being told what to do, saying 'You're not the boss of me.' What works at the population level is dictated by cultural standards."

    The goal measurements for Japanese men's and women's waist circumferences are 33.5 inches and 35.4 inches, respectively — guidelines straight from the International Diabetes Federation in Belgium. People who exceed these measurements will be targeted for health education initiatives. If they fail to lose the extra inches, their employers could be fined.

    A Weighty Issue

    Weight and body shape can be an emotionally charged issue, and being penalized for it, particularly with a "one size fits all" health model, may backfire.

    "Obesity is stigmatizing as it is. Talk about adding insult to injury," Katz said. "Also it seems to me unfair to 'require' people to control their weight in an environment that makes obesity the path of least resistance and the road most followed."

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 78 million Americans are obese. In addition, 20.8 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the American Diabetic Association, and half of those people are over 60. Weight, and waist size, is one of the best ways to assess the risk of diabetes, as well as other diseases such as stroke, some cancers and heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.

    Forget the government and regulations, this is a personal issue you need to take care of," Ayoob said. "If you do reduce your waist size you really do improve your health."

    Ayoob also noted that the waist circumference guidelines used for the Japanese program seemed odd because women typically have smaller waists than men.

    By contrast, the be American Diabetes Association guidelines state that healthy men and women have waist circumferences of 40 and 35 inches, respectively.

    But even these guidelines can be hard to follow.

    "Many people in our culture, we can't even find our waist," said Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom, professor and director of the UPMC Weight Management Center in Pittsburgh. "We don't need a tape measure to know, 'Are you an apple or a pear [shape]'?"

    And Fernstrom added that people don't take steps to deal with their weight problems early, when intervention would be most helpful, until they become sick.

    "It's a focus on the wrong thing," Fernstrom said. "People think if I'm not sick, it doesn't matter what my waist is."

    Grab the Carrot, Lose the Stick

    Experts say that a better model for the U.S. would be incentive based as opposed to penalty based. That is, people should be rewarded for being healthy and attempting to take control of their weight rather than being fined for being overweight.

    To that end, many companies are implementing programs that offer cash and gift cards to employees who are actively trying to be healthier. A new survey, conducted by ERISA Industry Committee and the National Association of Manufacturers, showed that 71 percent of employers offer incentives for health and wellness programs, a 15 percent increase since 2007.

    Similar programs that help people stop smoking have been successful.

    "Employers realize this," said Dr. George Blackburn, associate director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School. "How do we motivate this, how do we nudge it? Everyone says with money."

    Fixating on body size can be potentially dangerous, as it makes people more vulnerable to drastic weight reduction measures, such as eating disorders. Experts say keeping the emphasis on health is a better approach.

    "For people who are otherwise OK, this is not something you want to put off doing," Ayoob said. "This is doable for most people."
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