NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

It’s Everywhere!!! (TW For Fat Hate Refs)

February4

Sometimes it can feel as though the world literally hates me/us/fats and wants us to know it! (Also, I swear a lot, you’ve been warned!)

Sometimes I just want to catch up on some fucking world news (funny doing this online when my community radio does a much better and stellar job: KPFA.org) without getting hated upon! Is that so much to ask? Of course it is, when you’re fat!

So I was checking out some news stories and saw a head line that grabbed my eyes:  New Anti-Sugar Ad Is Very Graphic (Trigger Warning as the video in the link depicts some nastiness) Hmmm…so I clicked it. *head desk*

I’m still on the fence about sugar. I love the stuff, don’t get me wrong, but I also know that what we use it for and how much of it and how processed the shit is…well, it’s scary! I have personally cut back on my sugar intake for no reason other than things started to become too sweet for my taste buds. My husband and I have to water down juice and other such things and often cut the sugar in a recipe or substitute for agave or honey when possible. I believe that he is a little more concerned about sugar than I am, but I’m very aware of what I eat and its ingredients. This is a personal choice and I am not promoting a damned thing! And I don’t believe that the ad inside the link above is the right way to go about it.

For one thing, it’s packed full of bullshit! The video, that is. Not only do we get the treat (SARCASM) of a few headless fatties, but we also get graphic images of gangrenous toes, someone being resuscitated from a heart attack and more. Why is this bullshit? Well, as the article attached to the video states:
“Those [effects] are not that common. They’re usually very end-stage,” Fendt said. “Those are generally in people with very, very poor control and not a lot of follow-up. It’s not like you get diabetes and you wake up a day later and your toes fall off.”

DAMMIT! Really?! Okay, before I move on, let’s address that quote: “poor control and not a lot of follow-up” BULLSHIT! “Poor Control” hmm…when the water that comes out of your fucking tap has more chemicals in it than your average energy drink (YIKES!!!), there’s a reason we fall victim to the tastiness of just about everything else. (Not really victim, poor attempt at humor on my part.) Not to mention that we have been marketed to since we were children that “Coke Is It!” and all that shit. So what if I am part of the “Pepsi Generation” (I think everyone in the world is according to Pepsi, ha!) and want a nice cold one from time to time. No, I don’t personally have soda on a daily basis*, but there is nothing inherently wrong with that if I chose to, either.

Control: It’s bullshit! Just like “will power” and all of those other so-commonly-used-they’re-obviously-bullshit-phrases/words. What it boils down to, I think, is that everything we do is a choice. You can absolutely choose to have a super big gulp for breakfast and a twinkie for lunch. No worries from me. It’s a fucking choice! There’s no morality here. There’s nothing that requires control or regulation (Maude knows they have been trying though), but to put out a “PSA” that basically says through images that if you eat/drink this way you will OMFGDIE! It’s just not that simple. Now poor nutrition can make anyone sick. Look around the world and you’ll find evidence of this. But it’s generally in nations and areas without options/choices at all. Are they “bad” people for not eating a healthy and balanced diet? Should they elicit some magical will power to hold out for better food? Fuck all of that! They eat what they can when they can to fucking survive!

And here we get yet another fat = death bullshit line. The fatty on the scooter may have had other issues besides his weight that has left him with mobility issues. And hey what’s that? Another fatty walking beside him! What about her? Is she going to die, too? (Oh wait, is that a spoiler for a sequel?!) Hey NYC Health Department!!! Over here *waves hands violently-arms all a-flappin’* You’re all kinds of wrong with this message. You guys should seriously check out our own US Surgeon General‘s thoughts on the subject.

I personally believe that the way to get people to eat healthier is to educate them on what they are eating and how that affects their body/mind/overall health/etc. And then leave it up to them! It’s a free country after all, no? But I also know that the choices you may have are much more difficult to make when you are near or below the poverty line. My husband and I can’t afford all of those gorgeous organic fruits and veggies that we used to love cooking with. We have to choose one thing over another. Growing up it was much much worse, too. My family subsisted on little more than rice/pasta, frozen vegetables (nothing wrong with that!) and ground beef. Bright yellow packaging with bold black lettering (nothing brand name entered our house that I can recall, except kool-aid and that was a treat.) A lot of people don’t have a fresh food type of grocer near their homes at all. Please, if you’ve read this far, do not comment that there is a choice regardless of income, I haven’t the energy or will to argue right now and I’ve had that argument too many damned times, I’m done.

Shocking people into not drinking sugary drinks? Poor choice NYC Health Department. Why not take the opportunity to explain how sugar works once ingested? I bet most people in this country don’t know or understand this. I just found out that a very good friend’s gall bladder ruptured from an overdose of vitamin B (Rockstar energy drinks are to blame, specifically). I had no idea that this was possible. And I love learning about nutrition and its affects on the body. But let people decide on their own what to do with this knowledge. And why not work with these major manufacturers to see if they could reduce the sugar in these things by 25% (without adding a damned thing else, please)?! And while I’m at it, why don’t we address the affects of Aspartame (what’s in most diet drinks)?! I think that’s doing more damage to more people than any of us realizes.

Also, sugar intake does not equal fat. In some it can and in others it absolutely does not! And diabetes? Don’t get me started on this again! (Great resources in comments on that post.) You cannot eat your way to diabetes!

Stop perpetuating bullshit stereotypes and start actually caring about the health of your city’s residents!
Fat people do have brains, too! Give us a chance to fucking use them!!!

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10 Comments to

“It’s Everywhere!!! (TW For Fat Hate Refs)”

  1. On February 4th, 2011 at 5:15 am Dee Says:

    So, I think that with the diabetes scare tactic, they were talking about poor control over blood sugar. That’s not the same as control over dietary sugar, and it is really and truly an important part of managing diabetes.

    Now, why was the diabetic in there in the first place? I’m sure they’re trying to reinforce the common misconception that diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar. Even the American diabetes association says that’s a myth:
    http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-myths/

    Diabetes is more common among heavier people, but that doesn’t mean it’s caused by being heavy (correlation≠ causation and all that). Most fat people will never get diabetes, and many thin people get it.

    So, all in all, it’s both tasteless and misleading.

  2. On February 4th, 2011 at 9:04 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Exactly! And I guess I hadn’t thought about blood sugar versus dietary sugar. Thank you for mentioning that. =0)

  3. On February 4th, 2011 at 9:51 am Twistie Says:

    Yeah, I did think about the blood sugar vs dietary sugar, but then Mr. Twistie has diabetes. It’s a fact of life around here, just as his heart issues are a fact of life. Yeah, three surgeries including a triple bypass do make one consider the heart-healthiness of things.

    BUT, that said, you cannot eat yourself into diabetes. Even people who live on soda and Twinkies aren’t necessarily going to develop it or heart disease.

    Thinking about how much sugar you are eating in a day can be useful, certainly. Some people feel sluggish if they eat too much and haven’t made the connection yet because they’re eating more sugar for more energy. Then again, the same thing can be said about people who don’t realize they are gluten-sensitive and keep grabbing for a sandwich when they’re hungry.

    Me? I don’t drink soda much. I drink my coffee black 99.9% of the time. I don’t sweeten my tea. I drink at least a couple glasses of water every day in addition to any other drinks I consume. On the other hand, I don’t drink milk without adding some flavoring, usually a sweet one like Ovaltine because while I like how milk makes me feel, I don’t really care much for the flavor by itself.

    I don’t usually mess with the sweetening in baked goods, but the one recipe I’ve created from scratch (a fabulous pear/cranberry tart with a dark chocolate drizzle over the top) happens to be sweetened with agave nectar, mostly so it wouldn’t completely blow Mr. Twistie’s blood sugar readings if he had a small slice at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

    To my mind, sugar, like any other component of a diet (in terms of what people eat overall, rather than a specific, restricted way of eating), is just part of eating. Unless you have a very specific reason to restrict it, it’s fine in moderation. Way, way, way too much can cause health issues, yes. But then again, if you eat nothing but chickpeas, you will eventually develop severe nerve damage. Again, it takes a long time of eating pretty much nothing else, but I think we’re all pretty much agreed that nearly anyone would consider chickpeas a ‘healthy’ thing to eat.

    So yes, being aware of what goes into your body is a good thing. Being thoughtful about it is nice. Variety of nutrients from multiple sources is fabulous. Getting in touch with how your body feels after you eat different things is positive.

    It’s also a very personal choice, and not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Some of the foods that make me feel good make Mr. Twistie very sick. Some of the things that he eats to feel good might revolt someone else, and possibly because they make that person sick.

    Scare tactics, though, don’t help anyone. Mr. Twistie was diagnosed with diabetes almost eighteen years ago, and he still has all his toes and no sign of gangrene. He has congestive heart failure but doesn’t use a scooter. Not everyone who eats more sugar than is optimally healthy for them is fat, has diabetes, or uses a scooter. Not everyone who is fat eats huge amounts of sugar every day.

    Reinforcing stereotypes doesn’t help anyone. The fat, diabetic sugar fiend stereotype prevents doctors from looking for the actual health issues of real fat people and leads thin people to assume they can’t possibly have diabetes or heart disease and not look into symptoms that could be signalling a real medical need.

    Twistie sez: two hundred massive thumbs down for this PSA.

  4. On February 4th, 2011 at 9:59 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Here-here! =0)

  5. On February 4th, 2011 at 12:50 pm Tina Says:

    Thanks for your sharp analysis of a damaging and disappointing PSA. The only thing I’d add is that this kind of ignorant equating of fat with diabetes/death/zombie apocalypse has a negative effect on thin people too, who absorb the message that they shouldn’t worry about their health and should in fact do whatever it takes to stay thin because thin = healthy, period. That message is an all-around FAIL.

  6. On February 4th, 2011 at 1:14 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes, yes & YES! This is why I find so many problems with any weight based health message/program (I’m looking at you Michelle Obama!), it leads people to believe things that simply aren’t true. When you don’t offer the proper resources and information it leaves everyone to draw their own conclusions. Thanks so much! =0)

  7. On February 4th, 2011 at 5:27 pm Rubyfruit Says:

    Pardon my language, but I really, really fucking hate scare tactics with regards to food. Especially since stuff like this is aimed at adults…and it assumes that people are too stupid to make their own choices, and assumes that they need to be “scared straight” about something, in this case, food.

    Then again, the idea of people needing to be “scared straight” in order to do something strikes a nerve with me in general for a bunch of different reasons, chief among them being that I left a church that believed exactly this.

  8. On February 5th, 2011 at 10:04 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh, never worry about language on here! Ha-ha! But yeah, it is ridiculous. Thank you for reading & commenting! =0)

  9. On February 6th, 2011 at 6:31 pm Rubyfruit Says:

    You’re quite welcome!

    I just loathe the idea that people need to be threatened into doing “good” things (the word “good” being in quotes because what is good to one person may not be good to another person for all kinds of reasons, in many combinations). With food especially because…it’s the assumption that “certain people” (and really, the “certain people” are different depending on the given discussion) aren’t smart enough to know what is good for them, so they have to be frightened into eating their vegetables or something similar…and that bothers me. On a basic level, it just bothers me.

  10. On February 7th, 2011 at 8:53 am Not Blue at All Says:

    As it should! I mean, it should absolutely bother everyone. Thanks.

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