There were a lot of weighty issues to deal with this week. After a steady diet of stories related to how fat someone is – or was – I felt compelled to weigh in.
Obesity as a disability
The World Cup is heading to Rio de Janero this summer and all 12 stadiums to be used for the matches have been remodeled.
One interested addition is the creation or setting aside of at least one percent of the seating capacity for disabled people. In Rio, that means anyone with a body mass index of 30 or above. If you have a vision of Princess Leah dancing around Jabba the Hut when I say “obese” – first, stop being a Star Wars geek all of the time - then consider that a six foot tall man who weights about 225 would come in beyond 30 on the BMI scale.
At the World Cup there will be special wide seats reserved for the obese. If you have a doctor’s note, you can even qualify for half-priced seats as a disabled person.
It isn’t known if they only added the seats after the United States qualified. I can assure you that there is no truth to the rumor that the seats were added after I called to inquire about seats. I couldn’t afford the double-seat airplane charge to get to Rio for my half-price obesity seats in the stadium.
In fact, Brazil has an obesity problem of their own and a less Spartan attitude toward their overweight brethren. Instead of a multi-billion dollar industry to help me lose pounds around the holidays, in Brazil they treat it like a disease.
I guess the Biggest Loser probably doesn’t have great ratings in Brazil.
Biggest Loser scandal
When you give someone six months to lose weight they have carried for years and the winner gets a quarter of a million dollars, you can’t be surprised when extreme measures are used to reach those goals.
The Biggest Loser taps into every overweight person’s dreams of finally ending this nightmare and getting those beach bodies back that we may have never had.
We would all enjoy more success if we had no job and spent hours in the gym each day. That isn’t a luxury most have so we are relegated to eating dinner while we watch these people reach weight loss goals and win prizes for it.
This season’s winner lost 60 percent of her body weight in six months. She went from 260 to 105. The 24-year old was a competitive swimmer before her weight gain. For obvious reasons, she is being asked how she became a human shrinky-dink. She talks about her “journey” when telling people that it was just watching her intake and working out.
Page 2 of 2 - If she was consuming 1,000 calories a day, I would be shocked. Going from 260 to 160 I can understand. Six months is still a small window but I can understand that. But any woman trying to drop those last ten pounds from 115 to 105 would have to be incredibly disciplined and using extreme measures.
I hope she keeps the weight off and stays off the yo-yo that plagues many people who lose a lot of weight.
I really hope she didn’t become anorexic. But if she did, I found a nurse who can help her.
Eat a sandwich
A nurse in Newfoudland was treating a woman with anorexia and bulimia. She found a cure for the tragic conditions the woman faced.
The nurse told her that there were people in front of her in the emergency room and she should “go eat some supper and come back.”
As a person who has dealt with weight issues most of my life, I can tell you that I haven’t found anyone with that perfect method for how to deal with it.
I know I eat too much and too many of the wrong things. When someone says they are addicted to food I get it. I don’t know that calling it a disability is exactly right. I mean, I can lose weight. It just isn’t easy. A person in a wheelchair or other condition can’t solve their problem as easily.
But in the same sense, I know that glorifying a person for using obviously unhealthy and likely unsustainable methods to lose weight doesn’t help either.
The answer lies someone between mockery and mollification.
Kent Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org