Does It Count If They Kill Me?

End the war on fat peopleReader Kathleen sent me an article today about a researcher who suggests using a stent graft to limit blood flow to the gut after eating as a way to decrease weight gain.  This made me think about all the alleged “obesity interventions” that have possible side effect of death.  So I have to ask myself – in this whole “let’s eradicate obesity” push, does it count if they kill me?

I know this sounds dramatic but I’m starting to think that the people who are supposed to be responsible for my healthcare want me to be thin so badly that they are happy to risk my life to get it done, and it doesn’t matter what I want.

Weight loss surgeries are  “likely increase the actual mortality risks for these patients by 7-fold in the first year and by 363% to 250% the first four years.” Then there are weight loss drugs kept on the market by powerful lobbying even as they injure and kill the people taking them.

Dear medical establishment:  When people catch on that the diet intervention you’ve been prescribing to everyone almost never works, the next step is not to start amputating, pumping, and change the blood flow to fat people’s stomachs.  What the hell? It’s time to put some actual health in our healthcare, and stop making healthcare about trying to make fat people thin by any means necessary – dead or alive.  Politicians could stop making political speeches about how they are leading the effort to eradicate a whole group of people based on how we look, as if that’s something to be proud of.  How about we make public health about providing health options, information, and access to the public, and stop acting like public health means  making fat people’s health the public’s business? Oh, and it would be nice if messages that purport to be about public health didn’t make me wonder if dead fat people are considered a public health success because it’s one less fatty to eradicate.

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Published in: on March 11, 2013 at 8:49 am  Comments (51)  

51 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A-freaking men. I also think that if folks are so, SO desperately concerned w/the health of America, they should do -something- about how difficult decent food is to access for people not of wealth and privilege. It’s often been said that the poorer people in the is country are the fattest, and I don’t doubt that much of that is because they (and by “they” I mean “we”) simply don’t have access to all the fancy, organic, corn-fed, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and hormone-free stuff that the health experts would have us eat. Sorry.. it’s just not possible- when you’re single, let alone when you’ve a family to care for, and you’re on a major, major budget. When “good” food costs anywhere from twice as much to four times as much as “bad” food, what do they think poor people are going to choose..?? Of -course- many of us wuld still like the eat the same stuff that people in higher tax brackets eat. But we can’t afford to eat well, and doubtless, that’s a contributing factor to this whole “obesity epidemic.” We’re poor people getting poorer thank to the economy, and there’s a reason why even affluent people call places like Whole Foods “Whole Paycheck.” If nutrition’s part of health care, then they need to fix that crap, ’cause diet (and I don’t mean the Jenny Craig kind) IS a contributing factor to health, and them not ensuring that -everyone- can get good nutrition.. that’s a huge problem. Let’s start making sure people can get the nutrients they need out of their food first, before we start euthanizing them.. shall we, congress..? *shakes head*

    • And yet I’m certain that Henry VIII – who was a very fat man for much of his life – pretty much only ate organic, minimally processed food for the simple reason that that was the only kind of food there was at the time. All the same, he was fat and he was far from the only fat man at court at the time. Even in his youth, Henry was not particularly thin (though certainly much thinner than he was in his later, more famous portraits) when he spent as much time as he possibly could hunting, jousting, running races, wresting, and generally moving his body in ways that physically strengthened it as much as possible. And his diet was organic and minimally processed then, too.

      It’s a popular theory now that fast food and highly processed foods are what’s making us poor folks fat, but that disregards the fact that there have always been fat people in every strata of society throughout history… not to mention the fact that the places with the highest average BMI aren’t the industrialized nations where Mickey D’s and giant sodas are a way of life for a lot of people. In point of fact, the US barely makes the top ten after: Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue, Samoa, Palau, and Kuwait. Rounding out the top ten after the US is Kiribati. I looked it up on Infoplease.

      Add to that the fact that so many people in the ‘overweight or obese’ categories actually aren’t fat at all (Johnny Depp? Yeah, he’s overweight. And Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson are both obese, as it virtually the entire NBA), and one has to realize that a) our system for determining who’s overweight – if that is a category that should exist at all – is blatantly flawed, b) that fat or thin isn’t about ‘eating clean’ any more than getting sick is about an imbalance of bodily humors, and c) healthy habits are a far better – though still far from infallible – measure of health than a tape measure.

      Access to better quality food is absolutely something I think we need to be talking about in this country. More people need more options. Then again, we need to be talking about food access, period. Roughly one in five of the children in the US don’t know where they’re next meal is coming from, let alone whether it will be at all nutritious, palatable, or safe from contamination. There are a lot of great reasons to talk food access… I just don’t think fat or thin is one of them. Survival and justice? Absolutely are.

      • Agreed. Access to food and access to information about food are valuable in their own right.

      • You are so, so right. And also let’s not forget that when they talk about the “obesity epidemic” and how much “fatter” we’ve all gotten, they never mention the fact that the CDC made thousands upon thousands of people “overweight” or “obese” literally overnight in 1998 (more about that can be read here: http://www.bigfatblog.com/bmi-change-1998). This is NEVER mentioned. Not EVER. It really makes me mad, too. It’s all so arbitrary to begin with, and then they went and made it more extreme.

        Those charts want my 6 foot tall husband, who has a massive frame and naturally carries a lot of muscle, to be about 180 pounds. He would look like he was on his death bed at that weight. It’s utterly absurd. They take into account nothing, really. Not age, bone structure, family history, health factors, muscle mass… it’s just, oh here’s a height, let’s assign an “ideal” weight to it irregardless of anything realistic or truly ideal.

        • So much “This!”, to every post in this thread.

        • And what about the chemicals they put in our foods or use to grow our food? They are genetically modifying crops – no telling what that’s doing to us. Cancer rates sure do seem to be creeping up as well. I saw a documentary about several chemicals and food dyes that are allowed by the FDA that many other countries have banned. What are these things doing to our bodies?

      • *nods head* Thank you. That was precisely what I was trying (although apparently failing *lol*) to get across. We -all- need access to decent food; fat, thin, poor, rich, or any variation thereof. Thanks for that, Twistie.

  2. Not only do they want to kill me, but they want to use me to kill other people.

    I went to the GP months ago because I was having trouble sleeping and it was affecting me during the day, ie. I was falling asleep all over the place, including while driving. He ‘diagnosed’ sleep apnea (I’m using inverted commas because he didn’t even have a look at me or ask about my sleep habits – his hypothesis was based purely on my weight) and what did he do about it?

    He referred me to a dietician.

    Oh I could still drive, still operate on little to no sleep; the important thing was that I lose some weight here!

    • It’s been my experience that anything related to sleep disorders/apnea is immediately equated with obesity… and that weight loss is the first thing addressed.

      News flash…. I need oxygen NOW for my brain at night in order for my body to be healthy and normal…

      Odd thing is.. or maybe not so odd… sleep apnea is one of the reasons people put on extra weight.. and it aggravates depression, blood pressure, healing, diabetes…. so which came first? chicken? egg?

      In all the health care I’ve been getting in the last three months, the ONLY person to make a comment about weight loss has been the neurologist who reviewed my follow up sleep study… he told me to loose 30 or 40 pounds. I just held my tongue. I didn’t want battle that day.

      • I was actually sent for a sleep study and got a CPAP, but still fat shamed by a crappy doctor.

        However, the CPAP is AMAZING. I’d had nightmares my whole life that stopped the day I got my CPAP, so chicken and egg thing indeed.

        • My sister uses a CPAP for her sleep apnea, I don’t know much about her doctor visits. My mom said one jerk doctor made a deal of her weight, and of course I wanted to go over there and drop a anvil on his head.

        • my cpap machine is the best bed partner I’ve had in years…lol….

      • Ugh, we do this with so many conditions. Diabetes and PCOS, in particular, jump to mind. Like sleep apnea, the presence of both conditions lead to weight gain yet doctors prescribe weight loss as a treatment for them. That’s like saying the way to heal a sprained ankle is to exercise it as much as possible. You don’t treat the symptoms and expect that will magically fix the source problem.

        • I have diabetes, PCOS & sleep apnea – along with a thyroid issue. Hmmmmmmm! Not to mention, I am taking at least three drugs for these conditions that cause weight gain.

          • Goodness– that’s the perfect storm right there! One would thing that, with all that going on, weight gain would be the least of your concerns! Ragen’s post today really got me thinking… she’s right, if obesity were actually a disease, we wouldn’t shame people at every turn for it. Heck, we wouldn’t need to because, like cancer or any real disease, there would be unanimous agreement that it was dangerous and patients would be treated with compassion, not contempt.

            Anyhow… I hope you’ve found a doctor who treats your conditions and not your weight! It’s really the least one could ask from a medical professional.

    • When I went to the doctor about feeling tired all the time and sleeping lots, she mentioned it might be sleep apnoea, however she also looked at my nose and found my sinuses were swollen – one day after taking the treatment for my sinuses I was feeling better, it didn’t last, but now my sinuses are no longer swollen I feel better generally. However it hasn’t done a thing for the times I have difficulty sleeping which is insomnia and has absolutely nothing to do with my weight but can be triggered by stress among other things.

      The thing is I had no problems sleeping when I had swollen sinuses, in fact I spent an awful long time sleeping as I never felt fully rested.

      Oh and the doctor who finally figured out it was my sinuses does not fat shame me, she may want to talk about my weight, but she respects me enough not to use scare tactics and misinformation.

    • I wonder if there are any studies on the disparity (if any) between how males and females are treated by their health care providers in regard to weight? My ex was 6’1″ and ~325 lbs. with high cholesterol and sleep apnea. His doctors prescribed him Lipitor without any advice to lose weight or change his eating habits, and he was referred for a sleep study and prescribed a CPAP with no mention of weight loss. I know this is just one case, but I wonder if he was female if he would have had the same experience.

  3. Ohhh, I just found an interesting article: http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/10/17260261-mummy-study-shows-clogged-arteries-are-nothing-new?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=5

    Looks like heart disease has been around for 4000+ years and has been found in poor as well as affluent persons, as well as in just about all walks of life. So the scientists are actually considering that heart disease may not be tied to a particular lifestyle (aka type of eating) rather that it might be tied to the aging process.

    This isn’t to say this is the end all be all scientific answer, but it sure is nice to see scientists considering something other than just I diet “too rich” in fatty foods as the primary cause of atherosclerosis. A step in a better direction than just the OMYGODDEATHFATZ point of view fat=heart disease, perhaps.

  4. Reduced blood flow to the gut? You know what that’s called? Ischemia. You know what happens to an ischemic gut? They DIE.

    The bowel doesn’t just stop working, it dies, and it rots, and it releases toxic shit into the blood stream, and you DIE.

    That reasearcher needs his/her ass kicked… No, an ass-kicking is too damned good for him. He needs a stent to reduce the blood flow to his bowel.

    Asshole.

    • You know, as I was reading your post I inserted “Literally, toxic SHIT” after your line “and it releases toxic shit…”

      Who are these quacks who want to kill us all???

    • “That reasearcher needs his/her ass kicked… No, an ass-kicking is too damned good for him. He needs a stent to reduce the blood flow to his bowel.

      Asshole.”

      LOL

    • Seriously. My grandma, who survived cancer and meds-induced heart problems, died because a blood clot destroyed her small intestine, and she could no longer absorb nutrients. You can’t get by without a working gut. It makes me weep that anyone would recommend such a course of action for what are essentially bullshit “aesthetic” reasons.

    • You are so right, Jill. I’m a nurse and I didn’t even think about that part. Reduced blood flow equals ischemia, which is…well, to put it mildly, never a good thing. One does not wish to reduce blood flow unless the person happens to be hemorrhaging.

  5. This news makes my gloomy, rainy, cold Monday even bleaker…sigh. Too shocked to even feel angry right now.

    Anything for a buck, I guess. And, yes, I do think that some will consider a dead fatty a tally in the successes of the war on obesity.

  6. As I read your post this morning, I was also listening to the news where I heard a piece stating that Mayor Bloomburg is thinking about requiring all NYC residents to exercise. I guess he’s coming up with some kind of formula and he will pass that requirement. I have to tell you, I am starting to get very nervous. I don’t live in NYC but I do live in the United States and this crap will be coming at all of us sooner or later.

    I feel like we’re up against a force that is getting larger and stronger by the moment. When everything that anyone needs to know can be found in the fine print of any diet plan…. “results not typical” and a little check of statistics about how many people are able to keep the weight they lost off for more than five years.

    Really, what can we do? We’re in trouble here. I feel like Chicken Little today – the sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!

    • How is he going to prove whether or not someone has exercised? Bloomberg is insane. His thin privilege is blinding him to reality.

      • Well, if it’s anything like what they’re proposing in the UK, it would require folks to go to a gym, specifically, and swipe a card to prove they went. Which makes sooooo much sense since nobody ever exercises outdoors or takes classes at dance studios and NO fat people EVER feel unwelcome in gyms. I mean, really. I do not like to exercise at the gym, but I do like to bike all over town (we have great bike paths where I live), take dance and Zumba classes and just go for walks. But apparently none of that joyful movement would count since you can’t track it with a swipe card.

        • OMG!! I exercise at home – I have gone to gyms in the past, but it’s much more time effective and comfortable for me to do it at home. That is so ridiculous. I bet that’s what Bloomberg is talking about. We’ve got to get him out of there before he infects other cities and states with his crap.

    • Bloomberg is a fascist. I am ashamed to have ever voted for him. It was long before this side of his personality came out, and in the first term he was a decent mayor. Now he’s gone over the deep end, and I don’t understand why they keep electing him.

      Except, I do. In NYC, a size eight is fat. I heard plenty of women smaller than that talk about their weight “problems.” Meanwhile, my 380 pound self just stood there dumbfounded. While undoubtedly some of these women had legitimate eating disorders, and needed help, a lot of them just need to walk around in a fat suit – one that’s weighted realistically – for a few weeks. They need to see how they’re treated when they are legitimately fat, and how it feels to not be able to easily buy clothes, or what it’s like to – quite literally – not fit in.

      I began my Intuitive Eating/dieting recovery post-NYC. You know what’s ironic? I live in the state consistently ranked thinnest… Colorado. And yet, the fat hatred is far less prevalent here than pretty much anywhere else I’ve been. I’m a much bigger oddity (no pun intended) at my size here than I was back east. Yet, I am treated far, far better here… not only by strangers, but by physicians (one notable exclusion aside) and basically everyone.

      I believe firmly that this is because in Colorado the obsession with thinness doesn’t exist quite the same way. People are active here because it’s a beautiful state with a ton of fun outdoors activities. It’s not about punishing yourself (for many, anyway) for “being bad” or about needing to fit into size 2 jeans. It’s about wanting to enjoy nature for the sake of nature. It’s a far less judgmental state overall, though there are, of course, areas where it’s more prevalent.

      I wish I were healthy enough to take advantage of the outdoor activities. But I have severe fibromyalgia, and it has greatly limited my mobility (which does nothing to make losing weight any easier, naturally, but some doctors will still insist I need to and it will fix everything).

  7. Former BFBer and long-time lurker Richie79 here. It’s funny, since my wife Heather died 4 weeks ago from complications from the WLS she had done 8 years ago (do they even follow people up that far down the line?) I’ve had a couple of folks tell me ‘it was experimental surgery back in ’05; the procedures they have now are much safer and more effective’. That may or may not be the case (though based on the current situation they surely won’t know for another decade or so, and no doubt will then cover up the death rates long after) but that doesn’t mean that the great and the good of medical science aren’t busy dreaming up new and more imaginative ways of mutilating fat people’s perfectly healthy, functioning bodies and then bullying them into undergoing procedures no-one would consider if not for the pervasiveness of fat hatred. And yes, I do sometimes think that they’d consider my wife less of a burden now she’s gone, but then, most of her visits to the doctors / ER were nothing to do with her weight and everything to do with the massive damage they intentionally inflicted on a digestive system that had NOTHING wrong with it. RIP my sweetheart xxx

    • I’m so very sorry incredibly sorry to hear about your wife. To answer your question, they don’t do much long term follow up and it seems that the longer the follow up the more then blame any complications on anything but the surgery, it’s just awful. All my best to you, I’m so sorry for your loss.

      ~Ragen

    • That is truly horrible, Richie79. My deepest sympathies for your loss.

    • Wow Richie79 your last sentence brought tears to my eyes. I’ll bet your wife felt so grateful to have you there for her. I remember reading your posts on BFB and you always had interesting and thoughtful things to say. Hope you will continue to put in your two cents here. In the meantime, big fat **HUGS** to you. Take care of yourself.

  8. first things first, that researcher needs a swift kick in the arse. that is by far one of the most insane things I’ve heard….ever.

    secondly, I really am starting to believe doctors will push thin by any means with little thought or regard for the health of the person they are actually treating. day before yesterday I went to urgent care after having been unable to eat without throwing up followed by excruciating abdominal pain. when I went in I was in so much pain I couldn’t move, my friend had to leave work to come help me get to the doctor and watch my son while I was being seen. I’m currently 22 weeks pregnant with my second child, so I was very, very concerned with the abdominal pain. the doctor checked me out and told me he believed it was my gallbladder. he looked over my chart and saw it had been noted that during my last pregnancy i had gallstones . he asked if I had been treated for them and I said no, the doctor mentioned I had them but didn’t say anything else and I honestly thought they weren’t serious if the doctor wasn’t doing anything. he called my OB office and found out they were waiting for me to have an attack so my doctor could require me to be on a specific diet geared for weightloss. yes, a diet for weightloss while i am pregnant. so not only is my life meaningless unless i’m losing weight, the health of my fetus doesn’t matter either. angry doesn’t even begin to describe how i feel, needless to say i have a new OB.

    • The nonsense that now it’s wrong to be fat while pregnant, because it might increase the likelihood that the child may be obese at some point in the future. Between that and how children are voluntarily starving themselves because they fear becoming fat. Our nation should be charged with child endangerment and child abuse.

      • Actually, more or less the exact opposite is true – restricting calories while pregnant results in a fatter child. There are studies going back to food shortages in Europe during WWII that show that famine (and a diet is basically self-induced famine) ‘primes’ the genes to make the body hold onto every calorie. More than that, because a female fetus already has all her ova for a lifetime inside her, starving her mother will make her children fatter too. Dieting is one huge generations-long social experiment that nobody wants to accept the actual results of.

        • that’s interesting, i never knew that. when i got pregnant this time i was told i couldn’t gain more than 11 pounds for the course of the pregnancy and if i needed to i should restict my calories. that was advice that went in the ‘well that’s complete bullshit’ pile. but it’s nice to know my instinct was right.

          • I was told to not gain any weight at all… during a twin pregnancy. And the worst part is when I tell people my midwife suggested this they *don’t see a problem with it*.

            • are you kidding me? Gain no weight…? She might as well asked you to learn to breathe underwater. Gaining weight is a part of pregnancy, even if you’re already fat..you’d think doctors would know that.

              • You’d think. Luckily I’d found FA by that point so I changed carers… but I still get angry thinking of the angst and damage she could/would have inflicted on someone else who believed she knew best.

        • Is there somewhere where this data exists online? I would like to share it.

          • If you’re fat and pregnant the best sites on-line are plus-size-pregnancy.org & Well Rounded Mama & Plus Sized Pregnancy on FB. KMom of the first 2 sites is awesome and Well Rounded Mama looks at the research, breaks it down & point out the massive errors/biases

      • i was fat during my first pregnancy too and my son is completely healthy and if anything is on the small-ish side (possibly from being three weeks early..which is another legal disaster). of all the tings i can worry about with my kids their body size registers nowhere, their health of course, but they will always find home to be a place free of body shame.

    • I hope, when you feel strong enough to do it, you will report that doctor to the state board.

      • i will be reporting her.

  9. I just don’t understand how in a society that measures the beginning and end of everything with science, how it’s okay to totally ignore science when it pertains to obesity, health and larger individuals?

    Mayor Bloomburg’s ban on soda totally defies anything scientific as there is no proof than banning certain size sodas or food will fight obesity and improve health long term. If most of these things worked then why are we so called “becoming larger”.

    Also how do we go about totally alienating and ignoring articles that totally debunk numerous myths and studies? All you have to do Google obesity epidemic exaggerated and obesity myths and you’ll have an abundance of information. As much as we pedestal place studies, especially when it comes to us “Fat boogeymen people” right? Like someone mentioned, what about the fact that large human beings have always existed?

    I’m disturbed at the methods they’re trying to use to rid the world of fat people. It’s disturbing and quite sad. They know that using these types of so called medical measures isn’t safe, healthy, nor has it proved concluded success. So in efforts to rid the universeof fat people because they’re supposedly trying to get us healthy and keeping us from dying, doesn’t this procedure and the many procedures like it totally contradict this? So it’s okay to kill fat people off as long as the big bad scary fat isn’t doing it? I doubt “health” is the main orchestrator behind this so called “push” to stop obesity. Many other factors play a part behind the scenes and I’m sure “discrimination” is one of the many things that rear it’s ugly head.

    The war on big people has TO STOP!! Weight discrimination or fat shaming is the last acceptable prejudice, it really has to stop, this is ridiculous.

  10. Is there a way to battle this stuff other than blogs and conversation? Petitions? Protests?

  11. This desire to get rid of fat people makes me think of eugenics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics which is pretty much a bad idea no matter how you look it. We have no ability to guarantee that genes we select for won’t have bad consequences down the line.

    Also, what sort of talents are we denying when we disqualify a person’s existence based on one criteria?

  12. Reblogged this on Fat Attitude.

  13. This may be very simplistic but cutting off the blood flow to the stomach sounds like a bad idea to me.
    It’s sort of like the way I feel about animal testing, particularly things like the LD-50 test. Really, do you NEED to force feed bleach to mice to know that a fair number of the mice are going to die from ingesting bleach?
    In other words, how the hell stupid are these so called experts?

  14. Need a little help here. I just discovered a friend is in town to help a friend of hers go through the preliminary medical tests for gastric bypass. I mentioned that I’m not a fan because I knew someone who had died and my friend responded that the person who is getting the surgery is being very careful.

    Now, do I shut my yap and follow the Underpants Rule, or do I keep saying something?

    I am inclined to shut my yap, as this person is a grown-up, but I hate the idea of someone doing this surgery.


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