Pax (funcrunch) wrote,
Pax
funcrunch

More thoughts on obesity

So I'm sitting here watching a marathon of the nine episodes of Ruby I bought with a gift card from the iTunes store. As I mentioned in my previous entry, this is a show about a woman who weighs nearly 500 pounds. In one episode, after she's lost about 60 pounds, a siren goes off indicating that a tornado has been sighted (this is in Savannah, Georgia). She ushers her teenaged nephew, his friend, and her two small dogs into the bathtub, which she says is the safest place in the house to be during a tornado. Meanwhile she stays in the hallway, because she is much too large to fit in the bathtub. Afterward her young friend expresses concern, and she realizes that she could actually die in such a situation because of her weight.

I was nearly in tears watching this. I got frustrated and angry too, as angry as I've been since watching a New Year's Day marathon of programs about people who each weighed over 700 pounds. When Ruby was complaining about how she hated the prepackaged meal plan she had been eating every day for four months, I just wanted to grab her and say "Come with me, honey, I will make you pasta, potatoes, burritos, French toast, pancakes... and you will lose weight and be satisfied!" But of course she's on the standard pre-diabetic plan and is eating things like tiny portions of eggs and chicken which are never going to satisfy her. Her doctor just says she has to suck it up and stick with it, because her life is at stake.

I really want to do something to combat obesity, but I'm not sure what. I'm not talking about people who want to lose a few vanity pounds, I'm talking about people with several hundred pounds of extra fat on their frames. Yes, we can make seats wider and make other accommodations, but too far in that direction and we'll end up like the people on the WALL-E spaceship.

I've started looking into what it would take to become a registered dietitian, which might give my words more weight (so to speak). But I am hampered by several factors. For one, I have a very weak science background; I would need to take remedial courses in biology and chemistry before I could even be accepted into such a program. For another, vegan diets are not looked upon kindly in nutritional programs or the medical profession in general. And finally, I would have very little support for this career from my current friends and family. I can count the number of strict vegetarian friends I have on the fingers of one hand, and hardly anyone I know is vegan.

I know I might offend some people talking about this subject, but I really don't want to be quiet about it any longer. There comes a point where extra weight is not just about aesthetics. I'm not about to go tell everyone who weighs more than the BMI tables or whatever recommend that they have to lose weight. But for those who want to lose weight, and have been struggling unsuccessfully to do so with hunger-inducing diets and risky surgeries, I want to find a way to tell them that there is another option.
Tags: health, mcdougall
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