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Being Fat or Smoking: Why is One Worse Than The Other?

 
 
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 12:54 pm
Disclaimer: If you are particularly sensitive about this subject, I would appreciate you not responding with an emotional post. I am not asking this to get the "you insensitive idiot, you must be thin" answer. I am asking to seriously understand the mentality behind this and would appreciate rational answers. I do not hate fat people and love smokers. I do not think fat people or smokers are any more worthy than the other. Again, please do not respond to this thread if you intend to be emotionally upset with me. This is not a personal attack.

I've noticed that if a smoker lights up in front of non smokers, the gloves come off and all of a sudden it's a lesson in health.

- Don't you know that smoking is bad for you?
- Smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, etc.........
- Smoking is disgusting. How can you do that?


But if a fat person is sitting at a table with thin people and picks up a piece of cake, not one person at the table will say

- Don't you know that being fat is bad for you?
- Obesity causes diabetes, heart disease, etc........
- Being fat is disgusting. How can you keep eating like that?

If that happened, everyones jaw at the table would drop and they'd be the nastiest, meanest person on the planet. Someone with no heart. An insensitive idiot. Do it to a smoker and you are a public service or at worst, a nuisance .

So my question is this: Where a long the way did we decide that publicly , smoking is worse than being fat? Where along they way did we decide that smokers "can take it" better than fat people? Where along the way was it decided that one group gets to do an equally harmful thing and gets no flack for it at all? In private we all know that being fat and smoking are BOTH bad but why in public are smokers ridiculed without remorse?

Being obese causes just as many, if not more, problems than smoking. And there are far more people in this country at risk of dying form being fat than there are of smoking, IMO.

Why do people get defensive over saying someone is fat versus someone is a smoker?

Some might say because fat people can't help it if they are fat. Ok. Some can't. But most can and it comes down to lack of activity and motivation to become thinner. People would rather sit in front of the tv and eat. If smokers should "just quit that nasty habit" shouldn't we tell fat people to just quit eating and start exercising?

Some might say it's because fat people are more sensitive because it's an issue of self esteem. Ok. For some it is. But most smokers smoke because it makes them feel better. It is an emotional release for many. It is often something that they don't want to be doing but can't stop. Why would smokers be any less (or more) sensitive?

What do you say? Why is this mentality acceptable in the US and is it acceptable in other countries of the world as well?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 8,394 • Replies: 148
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 12:56 pm
I'm less likely to get sick from someone else's obesity than I am from someone else's smoking.

That's my bottom line on it.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 12:57 pm
ehBeth wrote:
I'm less likely to get sick from someone else's obesity than I am from someone else's smoking.

That's my bottom line on it.


Right, but why is it ok to publicly denounce a smoker, who isn't even smoking near you? It still isn't acceptable for smokers to leave and poison other smokers.
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Crazielady420
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:01 pm
Someone being obese may not be from them eating alot.. Someone in my family is very very large yet she never eats, and if she does it is small meals, but her thyroid doesn't work, so her body automatically does it to her, she has no choice anymore...

But I do see your point also :-)
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:02 pm
Crazielady420 wrote:
Someone being obese may not be from them eating alot.. Someone in my family is very very large yet she never eats, and if she does it is small meals, but her thyroid doesn't work, so her body automatically does it to her, she has no choice anymore...

But I do see your point also :-)


This I understand, especially because I will soon be in that same situation as your family member. I am not asking if it actually is worse or not.

I am asking why we can't talk to obese people the way we talk to smokers.
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:02 pm
Calling someone out on their eating habits related to their obesity is more of a personal attack. You're pointing out their physical flaws which will make the person insecure/feel bad...smoking is just a nasty habit that's not directly related to how a person looks.

However, I agree. It should be socially acceptable to point out to fat people that they're fat. And we should be able to point, mock, and laugh at them as well.

For example, yelling out a moving car's window to a fatty walking down the street "Hey! You dropped your diet!" while pointing at the ground not only emphasizes their need to switch the ice cream to frozen yogurt, but is a way for us skinny people to feel good about ourselves.
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:04 pm
Oh, and being obese due to disease or genetics has to be very rare. How often do you see a fat starving Somalian?

Back on topic, a friend of mine has gotten pretty damn big. Another one of our friends is always telling him he better eat better and workout more or he's going to die of a heart attack or get diabetes. He does eat like a pig.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:05 pm
Re: Being Fat or Smoking: Why is One Worse Than The Other?
This is where you started, and what I responded to.

Bella Dea wrote:
I've noticed that if a smoker lights up in front of non smokers, the gloves come off and all of a sudden it's a lesson in health.


I quit smoking many years ago because of health problems I was having. I'm not going to be sensitive in any way about people smoking around me. I make an effort to stay away from places where I can expect people to smoke. If they try to sneak one in around me, they can expect me to fuss.

Ask Setanta - I've literally pushed him out of my house into the snow over this.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:05 pm
Slappy Doo Hoo wrote:


However, I agree. It should be socially acceptable to point out to fat people that they're fat. And we should be able to point, mock, and laugh at them as well.


I don't think that we should ridicule anyone for anything. But if we can tell a smoker how to live their life, why can't we tell a fat person how to live theirs?
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:06 pm
One thing is that everyone has to eat to live. Food is a necessity whereas smoking is not. Also smoking can cause harm to others. Smoking is not just affecting the person engaging in the habit, but anyone who is subject to the second hand smoke. One other thing is if you never start smoking, you don't develop a habit for it. With food, you have to eat, even if overeating is addicted, you cannot completely stop eating. You can't quick eating cold turkey (or hot for that matter).

In my family both my parents smoked. They were very honest with us about the hazards and how horrible a habit it was. They were also honest about how difficult it is to quit, once it forms a habit. I was always more sympathetic towards smokers than most non-smokers because of it. I realize how addictive it can be.

At least that is my personal take on it. That and society now looks down at smoking. Where once smoking was cool, it was in and so forth - simple changes in society.
0 Replies
 
Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:06 pm
I was kidding about ridicule.

I tried to answer your main question in my first paragraph.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:07 pm
Re: Being Fat or Smoking: Why is One Worse Than The Other?
ehBeth wrote:
This is where you started, and what I responded to.

Bella Dea wrote:
I've noticed that if a smoker lights up in front of non smokers, the gloves come off and all of a sudden it's a lesson in health.


I quit smoking many years ago because of health problems I was having. I'm not going to be sensitive in any way about people smoking around me. I make an effort to stay away from places where I can expect people to smoke. If they try to sneak one in around me, they can expect me to fuss.

Ask Setanta - I've literally pushed him out of my house into the snow over this.


Ok, maybe I should have started differently. Poor beginning on my part. I can understand the health issues associated with people smoking around non-smokers.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:08 pm
Slappy Doo Hoo wrote:
I was kidding about ridicule.

I tried to answer your main question in my first paragraph.


I know you were but I asked another question. :wink:
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:10 pm
Linkat wrote:

That and society now looks down at smoking. Where once smoking was cool, it was in and so forth - simple changes in society.


Society quietly looks down upon being obese. Society silently lets people know that it isn't beautiful to be fat (which is a WHOLE other topic) but yells at smokers that it's nasty to be a smoker.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:17 pm
Someone brought up a good point in another thread (the one that prompted this one). Some consider obesity a disease and smoking is not. But alcoholism is. Where is the difference between smoking and alcoholism? If alcoholism is a disease, shouldn't smoking be one too?

PS- I truly hope that no one thinks that I am a nasty person for bringing up this topic. I don't like making fun of anyone, ever, if it will hurt their feelings. I just wonder why some topics are so muchmore sensitive than others and how someone in another thread could liken the term "fat" to the term "n*gger" (which I can't even bring myself to type out).
0 Replies
 
Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:20 pm
Alcoholism will have a negative effect on the alcoholic's everyday life. Missed work, change in personality, and uh, makes you drunk.

Smoking doesn't make people change, other than the fact they smell, and kissing them is gross.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:22 pm
Slappy Doo Hoo wrote:
Alcoholism will have a negative effect on the alcoholic's everyday life. Missed work, change in personality, and uh, makes you drunk.

Smoking doesn't make people change, other than the fact they smell, and kissing them is gross.


So part of the definition of a disease is that it changes your life in some way?


Have you been around someone who hasn't had their nicotine fix? Sheesh. Talk about cranky...
0 Replies
 
Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:26 pm
I don't know what defines the addiction as a disease, but if you dig into addictions, there are others that aren't considered a disease...like drinking coffee.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:31 pm
Slappy Doo Hoo wrote:
I don't know what defines the addiction as a disease, but if you dig into addictions, there are others that aren't considered a disease...like drinking coffee.


Me either...any answers out there?
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2005 01:34 pm
someone said earlier..
i have forgotten who..
but that smoking was not a necessity to life where as eating was.
That was a good point.. and here is my spin on that

fat people eating at mcdonalds do NOT NEED to eat there to survive.
eating there causes them to be fat. we all know that.
So... why not call on an over weight person at McDonalds? How is that not giving them responsibility for their actions?
Everyone knows how to eat healthy.
The fat person in line at MCD knows just as the smoker knows, it is unhealthy, causes heart problems on top of other things
Again,, making the wrong choices just like smokers do, should be PC enough to call them on it.
0 Replies
 
 

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