Yes, I meant that to be “Doctor love” rather than “Doctor Love”! “Doctor love” as in I-Love-My-Doctor, something you don’t hear too often from a fatty! But I am seriously pleased with my medico man at the moment. Yesterday I dragged myself off to pay him a visit. My throat felt like I was trying to swallow razor blades, my chest felt like someone had punched me there repeatedly, I was hacking up chunks of my lungs… you get the idea. Was feeling rather crap-tastic. I get there, wait a bit, go into his office. He checks my temperature, yes I have a fever. Or a “real illness” as he put it. He was smiling at the time so I didn’t slap him. He then peered down my throat. Yes, you definitely have a “real illness”. He listens to my rattling chest and nods once more. Yep, real illness for sure. No more living alone for the Cold From Hell ™, it was now cohabiting with its new friends Bronchitis and the unwholesome tag-along Throat Infection. (The squatters have since been served notice in the form of antibiotics and the landlord is hoping they leave peacefully without further resistance).
But back to why I love my doctor (and no, it wasn’t just because he agreed that I was “really” sick). He pulled out his medical certificate pad while asking me if I was working at the moment. I told him no, I am at home with the little one and also studying. He asked me what I was studying and I explained what I am doing and why. When I said the letters P – h – D, his eyes lit up and I had his full attention (no, I am not doing my doctorate this year, I am doing some units to boost my application). He leaned forward and asked with interest what I was hoping to research. I took a deep breath (as deep as you can when you are wheezing and coughing like a 40-a-day smoker). My doctor has never harassed me about my weight. He has never brought it up in a negative regard. He is good that way. However I thought I might be pushing the friendship just a little too far by telling him what I planned to write my dissertation about. I exhaled. What the hell… It isn’t like there aren’t other thorough, humane, compassionate, understanding, open-minded doctors out there…right? (Actually, there isn’t but I didn’t want to think about that at the time…)
“I am hoping to research the experiences of fat women in a thin-centric society…or something in that general area…” I started boldly but trailed off, waiting for a reaction…
And I got a reaction. Wow, did I get a reaction! He nearly fell off his chair in excitement. He leaned even further forward and started telling me how wonderful that would be and how timely that sort of research is and he went on and on and on. I missed half of what he said because I was just so surprised that he was so enthused about the idea. Then he stopped mid-sentence and looked at me seriously.
“There is just one problem with this PhD idea” he said, peering over his glasses at me.
“And that would be…?” I asked more meekly than I would like to admit, peering back at him over my own glasses.
“That I am going to have to wait at least 4 1/2 years to read it!” he replied, leaning back in his chair with a grin on his face.
Did I mention I love my doctor?
Female One: ”Ugh. Look at how fat that kid is.” (Referring to a kid about aged 8 in the pool)
Female Two: “It’s fucking disgusting you know. Look you can see his whole body wobbling in the water” (laugh)
Female One: ”He’s got boobs too. (eye roll) Surprised he doesn’t sink”
Female Two: “I just don’t get how parent’s can let their kids get that fat. Like, if that was my kid I would hire him a personal trainer or something. Or have him on lettuce all day (laugh). It’s not like they don’t know that it’s bad for you.”
Female Two: “I just reckon it’s abusive. If you want to get fat then go ahead. But you should know that that will kill your kid”
Female One: ”My friend (name) is a nurse and she said that she see’s kids every day with diabetes. But she said the parent’s are in denial. Like often they are so fat themselves they don’t care or they think it’s normal or something. It’s disgusting.”
Female Two: “Sometimes I feel like going up to parents and given them a piece of my mind”
Female One: “Really?”
Female Two: “Yeah, because someone needs to like tell them they are killing their kids, you know.”
Female Three: “It’s probably attitudes like those that are killing their kids actually.”
Female Two: “I’m sorry?”
Female Three: “Attitudes like yours. Probably causing more problems for kids like that, than the fat that they are carrying” (Nice friendly smile)
Female One and Two look a bit uncomfortable.
Female One: “We are just having a private conversation here.”
Female Three: “Yes I know, and I’m really sorry to interrupt you both, but I just think what your saying is crap to be honest. Do you know what one of the main health risk factors for kids who are that weight is?”
Female One and Two (silence)
Female Three: (Very reasonable tone) “It’s actually suicide. And do you know why that is? Because people like you, and probably your kids who pick up your attitudes towards kids like that, make fat kids like that feel so shit about themselves that they don’t want to live”.
Female One: “I’m not bullying anyone!”
Female Three: “No. But you just made a bunch of jokes about that kids weight didn’t you?”
Female One: “No I didn’t!”
Female Three: “Look I’m not looking for a fight. I just think sometimes we can get really critical of people who are overweight really for no good reason. That fat kid is probably no more disgusting or unhealthy than that skinny one swimming next to him.”
Female Two: “That is ridiculous. Of course the fat kid is going to be more unhealthy. Everyone knows that if you are too fat you are going to get diseases.”
Female Three: “Okay so what is it that makes you think that about that kid? I’m assuming your kids are in the pool too? So they are doing the same activities right? What’s to say that that kid is less active than yours? Or that his parent’s care less about him?”
Female One: “I never said that!”
Female Two: “Well my kids won’t be getting out of the pool and drinking coke and eating chips. Bet that kid will be.”
Female Three: “What do you base that assumption on?”
Female Two: “Because parent’s of fat kids feed their kids shit, and then complain that it is someone elses problem when their kids get bullied at school or get diabetes or need to go to fat camp or something. I don’t see why taxes should pay for them being irresponsible parents.”
Female One: “Oh and when their teeth rot because they have been fed so much sugary food”
Female Three: “I think you might have been watching a bit much television to be honest. That really isn’t the case at all”
Female One: “Oh so you think you are some kind of expert or something do you?”
Female Three: “No, look, I’m just a mum. But I just think that we can unfairly judge people because of their size. And I think we probably give people who are fat a really hard time. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have a body that is made fun of all the time. And I just don’t know if that is all that helpful really. Maybe it just encourages people into withdrawing from activity? Surely we would want to really encourage and support all kids to be healthy and to be active no matter what their size. I would certainly want my kids to know that there are a range of different bodies with different shapes and sizes and that bodies can do amazing things even if they aren’t pencil thin…..”
Female Two: “Like be a sumo wrestler” (Laughs)
Female Three: “Well, I would hate them to think that society values one body type more than another, or that it is okay to pick on someone because he or she happens to be a bit heavier than everyone else.”
Female Two: “Oh don’t get me wrong, I think they should be exercising all the time.”
Female Three: “They…..?”
Female Two: “Like the fat kids.”
Female Three: “Riiiight…”
Female One: “Yeah, or like they could have Biggest Loser type things for them.”
Female Three. “Don’t you think that would be a bit dangerous for kids? And all the people on the Biggest Loser tend to put the weight back on. I’m not sure that would be good in the long term for them.”
Female One. “Yeah that’s true”
Female Two: “It’s coz they can’t be bothered.”
Female Three: “Anyway, look thanks for listening to my point of view. I know it isn’t all that fashionable to stick up for fat people, but they are people at the end of the day too. And I just reckon if we were a bit less judging and a bit more inclusive and supportive there might be a few more kids out there that felt a bit happier about themselves”.
Female Two: “Yeah I see what you are saying.You are probably right. But as long as they don’t think that it’s okay to be that weight though.”
There have been two people in my life who made it their personal mission to shame me because I am fat. Two people who have attempted, and at some times succeeded, to debase and belittle me because of my weight. Two people who wanted me to feel unworthy and unwanted and who did their very best to make me feel that way by using my weight against me.
I encountered the first of these people at primary (elementary) school. My first negative encounter with her was the very first day of school. While that initial meeting didn’t involve my weight, it did set the scene for the next 6 years of my life. That particular girl made it her mission to taunt me as much as she could and as often as she could, in any way that she could because she perceived me as being fat. The ridiculous thing is that at that point I wasn’t fat. I was 6 years old when I met this girl and I was not fat. I was a lot taller than most other girls my age but I was not fat. I was 6 years old and I wore a girl’s size 6. Perfectly normal. Average. Nothing out of the ordinary. But this girl was one of those petite little flowers who could be blown over by a good gust of wind. She was fine boned and ‘delicate’. And she deigned that I was fat. And so it began. I had never been maligned for my weight until I met that girl. Looking back I can now see that this girl was threatened by me. She was smart. But I was just as smart, smarter in some ways. She didn’t like that. She was being raised to believe that she had to be the best. She had to win at everything. She had to be the smartest, the prettiest, the most popular. And she was not going to let anyone get in her way, especially not a “fat” girl. For 6 years we competed against each other academically. Sport was no competition as I was terrible at it. But academically I gave her a run for her money at our small rural school and a lot of the time, I came out on top. Academically that is. Socially I was smeared all over the ground. She was the ringleader of the class. She said jump and the other children asked how high. She also just happened to be the principal’s daughter, which didn’t help matters. I hated her. I hated her with a passion. But back then in the late 70s and early 80s, schoolyard bullying wasn’t a big deal. It was all “sticks and stones”, suck it up, “ignore her and she will stop”. Of course ignoring her only made it worse. She just tried harder -every school day from Prep until the end of Grade 5. Every single day. It wasn’t in my nature to take her on: to bite back verbally or confront her physically. I just kept quiet, keeping to myself while at school and acting out when I got home. By the time she left to go to a private school we were 11 years old and I was fat. Somewhere between second grade and third grade I had ballooned. And when she left our school there was another girl to take over as ringleader and continue my hell for another year until we left for high school.
That girl is now a lawyer. Although she didn’t get accepted to the prestigous university that I was accepted into so I had the last laugh academically. She is still thin. I am still fat. I imagine she would still look down on who I am and what I have done with my life this far. After all, I still live in the rural town we grew up in. I don’t have a high powered job and I haven’t travelled the world. But the difference between us now at 35 and the way we were at 11 is that I no longer care what she thinks of me. Not one iota. I love my life. I love what I have. I love what I have done and what I am going to do. I have a great husband and two awesome children. I have a career I value and I have achieved a lot academically. Of course I am still fat and she would probably see that as a failure, as a character flaw. But it isn’t. It is just who I am. It doesn’t make me any less of a person of her. Her being thin didn’t prevent her father from dying the same year my mother died. Just as my being fat doesn’t make me less of a wife, mother, student, employee, lover or anything else. No matter what she or anyone else thinks. I am me. I am fat. And I am really happy.
This week I watched the Australian show The Circle for the first time. The Circle is a bit like The View – except everyone’s opinions are more or less the same. They are a happy bunch at The Circle – besties. They love each other. And we love them too. This week Magda Szubanski was on to talk about her weight loss journey. Magda and The Circle’s Chrissie Swan are the public faces of a weight loss company here in Australia. They are a weight loss marketers dream, because:
a) They are really fat; and
b) We absolutely love them.
They are obviously earning some good $$’s for promoting this particular diet, and to be honest, good on ‘em.
Many people, at some time or another, will want to lose weight. I am not saying that that is a good or bad thing. For me it is a very individualistic set of choices that a person makes about his or her own body. There are dozens of reasons why an individual might choose to embark on a weight loss journey. However, most simply, individuals perceive that being thin (or thinner) will somehow improve:
1) Their self esteem, self worth, beauty and acceptance in society;
2) Their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
The marketing of the diet industry directly seeks to exploit these two factors, not only to make you hate yourself, but to then blame yourself when the diet fails. But the marketing of these diets has also become more subtle. Because of the evidence about the long term ineffectiveness of commercial diets, companies have repackaged their product so that they are now promoting ‘lifestyle changes’. Clever, because you are no longer failing at their product. Rather you are failing at a more generic set of ‘lifestyle’ issues which can only be your own fault.
I wanted to share a few snippets of the weight loss conversation that happened on The Circle.
The intro was about how Magda had lost 25 kilos in a “bid to get fit” that she was “determined to keep it off” that she had a “new lease on life” and had “strutted her stuff on the catwalk”. So here we see messages which constantly reinforce how bad it is to be fat. That you can’t be fit and fat. That really you have no right to be a happy and vibrant person if you are fat. And that fat people certainly don’t belong on magazine covers and catwalks – which of course are supposed to show off ‘real’ beauty.
Chrissie: “Please welcome my (weight loss company name) buddy Magda Szubanski! HIGH FIVE (audience cheering and applause) Happy Birthday!!! A year you have kept it off!”
OMG! We can have a weight loss birthday!!!! Do we get presents? And do we finally get to EAT SOME CAKE! To be honest I would be celebrating too, given that most people will drop out of these diets after a few days or weeks – let alone a year.
Magda: “Amazing. Because that’s the thing. We all know you can lose the weight, but then you have that tragic despairing thing of the weight creeping back on. I’ve never been able to do this my whole life….”
Commercial diets are repeatedly shown to be ineffective for 95% of the population. Most people will gain back the weight. With interest. This is because food restriction diets do not work in the long run. Short term of course. But when you are on a calorie restricted diet, at some point, like holding your breath for as long as you can, you have to breathe out.
Magda: “The unhealthy and the healthy parts of me were neck and neck. I had my good days and bad days. But eventually the healthy part of me got stronger. It’s training. And you’ve just got to persist. Forty years of bad eating, you are not going to turn that around in a short space of time.”
So again here we see those very subtle messages. That fat people are somehow weak, lazy, individuals, with gluttonous eating habits. And if they just tried hard enough and had some inner strength, they would be able to overcome their moral weaknesses and lose weight. But also there is that message of the ‘healthy potential’. That somewhere deep inside, is the good, healthy, skinny you. You will also notice a shift away from ‘quick fix’, towards long term stickability – obviously the key to success with lifestyle changes!
Magda: “(being the face of a weight loss company) in a way gives you no way out….we are in a contract, we have kinda gotta stay there…but you get through it and it’s fine. So everyone else has to learn to do that without the contract. Or make a contract with your friends. Announce it to your friends. Paint yourself into a corner. Blab so you have got no way out.”
Denise: “Oh that’s a good thing, because the more people you tell, the more you have to do it.”
I think at this point I actually started to cry. Because what sort of message is this giving to people about improving their health and wellbeing? Or about why they should or shouldn’t be okay with themselves for who they are? Or what the role of friends are, and the shame you should feel in front of them. About the pressures individuals should put themselves under to lose weight. Mothers and daughters have been making diet pacts with each other for decades. So have teenagers.
It is one of the most destructive, disturbing recommendations that I think you could be making to a generation of women (and men) who should be loving their bodies and doing things to improve their health and wellbeing for pleasure rather than punishment.
And what sort of terrible impact does it have on an individual when this ‘lifestyle change’ doesn’t work? What then? Let’s just amplify the potential for shame and embarrassment shall we by putting ourselves out there to our friends and families?
Yumi: “I feel like there is a fat person in me waiting to come out. Did you feel like there was a skinny person waiting to come out?”
Magda: “There is a fat lady in my head that wants fat old habits. And there is another part of me that wants vitality. To live life more. I’m going to be 50 next year and I feel younger than I ever have before.”
What … younger than when you were 5? 10? 20? Shame on you fatties for ever thinking that you were allowed to live life to the fullest. To be full of energy and enthusiasm. Because you must all be sitting on the couch, stuffing your face with cream cakes, and feeling like you need to go into an aged care facility. And for those skinny’s out there – beware. Because if you don’t behave yourself, a big fatty will jump out of you! But also it reinforces that if you are a fatty, that evil fatty will always be in there ready to pounce. So you NEED to make a long term committment to the ‘lifestyle change’ company. Which of course means more money for them.
Magda then gave a whole bunch of tips for weight loss, which ended with…
“It’s like training a dog, you have just got to keep doing it”
Followed a couple of minutes later with this gem from Yumi:
“Of course there is nothing wrong with being fat. We are totally up for that… ”
Really? Why have you just spent the last 6 minutes saying how horrible it is?
Magda: “Oh I’m fat! I’m not not fat. It’s about setting a real goal where you can be your best self. And fit and healthy”
OHHHH NOOOOO. Because you can’t be overweight and healthy. And you definitely can’t be your best self, and REALLY FAT. Rather you are an animal that needs to be trained.
You know I could go on and on with the analysis of this segment (and the horrid fact that there were two other segments in the show which meant that the Panel tucked into Kit Kat’s and Chef Toby’s frittata thingo while Chrissie just sat there eating nothing – even though she had a portion in front of her).
But I guess the point of this post is that when you break down what might seem to be a really helpful or innocent chit chat session about weight/weight loss/health, you can uncover an absolute minefield of rhetoric that serves only to make us feel terrible about ourselves. The tragedy is compounded by the fact that many people who are fat would actually agree with Magda. Buy into what she is saying. And hate themselves and their lives.
That has to stop. And I for one am not prepared to accept that this is a reasonable way to talk about ourselves or other peoples bodies anymore.
What do you think?
And it has begun. There are plans to make fatties pay for their own health care because fat is like you, know… preventable.
Once again this knee jerk reaction is the result of a you-beaut study that has declared that the country is losing shit loads of cash because of lost productivity and “social factors” including “the cost to carers”. Now let’s be honest here, how many fatties do you know that need a carer? I do not know any and I know a lot of fat people. I know fat people who are over 300lb. I know fat people who are up to 400lb and not a one of them needs a carer. The number of fatties needing a carer would be so small that it is ridiculous that the government really think we are going to believe that carers for fatties are draining the coffers dry. Of course the problem is that there are some less informed individuals out there who will think that every fatty over 200lb needs help going about their daily life. We already know that most people do not have a realistic idea of what a 200lb + person actually looks like so it is practically a foregone conclusion that they are going to erroneously believe fatties need carers. And regarding this “lost productivity” and “lost earnings”, well of course being fat is the ONLY reason that someone who is fat is going to miss a day of work or get sick. Because you know fatties don’t get sickness that isn’t related to fat. And we always miss work because of that, or the fact that we are lazy bums who want to sit at home on the sofa eating donuts all day. That goes without saying. And “social factors”? Well that wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that society hates fatties would it? No, of course not…”The Government says enough is enough and it is time for individuals to take more responsibility for their health” because all fatties are irresponsible inactive overindulgent morons. Right. I bet they aren’t going to make drivers pay for their self inflicted motor vehicle accident injuries. Or their sporting heroes pay for their game induced hurties.
I have never enjoyed participating in competitive sport. Never. Zavvi Discount Code. When I was a child, I wanted to take ballet lessons. It never happened, despite years of nagging on my behalf, because my mother said it was too far into town and cost too much. I wanted to do gymnastics but at that time there was no gymnastics club anywhere near our rural location. I played netball for a few seasons, playing in Wing Defence. Unfortunately I was the alternate with the ringleader of the girls that made my life at primary school absolute hell. Consequently, playing in the Saturday morning netball Zavvi Discount Code competition representing my school didn’t last more than a few months. In my later years of primary school I swam with the local swimming team. But that fell by the way side when I contracted glandular fever and was extremely unwell for several months, barely able to get out of bed let alone swim. Somehow I was convinced to try competitive netball again when I was about 15. I still hated it. I just don’t have that competitive nature when it comes to physical activity. Academically, hell yes. Competitive as they come. But not in sport. In sport, I couldn’t care less who wins.
Perhaps if I had been a petite little thing like my classmates at primary school, I would have come to like competitive sport. As it was, I wasn’t a petite little thing. I was a good foot taller than them all until we got to Grade 6 and I always had at least 20lb on them. I was the perfect target for the teasing, taunting and bullying that I received every school day for 7 years. I was an academically minded kid. I liked to read. I liked to write. I like to imagine and pretend. I wasn’t interested in the things my classmates were. My friends were either in senior classes or they were from outside school. I didn’t understand the bitchiness of the girls in my grade. I didn’t understand why they were so set on tormenting me when I had done nothing to them. I was quiet and withdrawn with a Zavvi Discount Code . My teachers would scold me for reading too many books. When is the last time you heard of a teacher telling a student not to read so much?! They wrote on my report cards that I should join in more with the other girls in my class. Yep, sure. I was going to volunteer myself for their abuse. I was going to walk right into it. As if. I did have some sense of self preservation.
Everything at primary school seemed to be about sport. Australia is like that, it is all sport, sport and more sport. We didn’t have a spelling bee competition. We didn’t have debates. We didn’t have academic or citizenship prizes. We didn’t have art competitions code. We didn’t have a music or drama program. We didn’t have anything to recognise any one other than the sports stars. So if you weren’t achieving in sport, you didn’t exist. The one and only time I intentionally defied a teacher was when the whole school was on the oval practising for the school sports. We were doing the long distance run. I am a lousy discount code runner. Always have been. And trying to run in clunky school shoes just wasn’t helping. I walked off the oval in the middle of the race. When I was told to return, I refused. I do remember the principal talking to me in the classroom. I can’t recall what was said. I do know I wasn’t punished.
Contrary to what it might seem, I didn’t sit on my butt and do nothing during those formative years. I participated in a lot of extracurricular activities. Just not sport. I did drama lessons. I played a musical instrument. I sang in a choir. I had a story published in a newspaper. I did the MS read-a-thon every year and read myriads of books every time. I went to state-wide and international camps as part of the Girl Guide movement. I was in a musical production. But I didn’t play sport. And that it seems, was unforgivable code.
The Body Image Project kicked off in November 2007 and is, as the site explains, “an online project searching for women and girls of all ages to share their individual experiences and feelings about their own body image perceptions.”
This is a recent celebratory body image post, contributed by an anonymous (as all contributors are) 34 year old woman. She says…
I am fat. No, really. I am fat. Morbidly obese is the medical term. I prefer fat. I have a fat ass, fat upper arms, a fat belly, fat hips, fat thighs and a fat face. I have stretch marks and I have cellulite. I also have a body that enables me to do the things I want to do. It has conceived, carried and borne two healthy children. It houses my brilliant mind and gives me means to express my thoughts and creativity. It lets me make love to my partner and to enjoy it. I like who I am. I like where I am in my life. I would rather be fat than stressing about dieting and losing weight. I can spend that time writing and creating and being. My body has got me where I am today and while I haven’t always been on BFF terms with her, I think she is pretty cool. That is why I decorate her with ink and other expressions of love. I refuse to be ashamed of her. Why should I? My children love snuggling up to me because I am soft and squashy. My partner doesn’t find skinny women attractive. I look like my mother did and I don’t see that as a bad thing. Maybe I am in denial like all the fat haters say I am. But hey, it sure is more fun here than at Weight Watchers.
I didn’t provide enough information regarding our mystery individuals for you to make an informed decision as to their fatness or lack thereof. So let’s throw a little more detail into the mix…
A had an “overweight” mother (I am using BMI designations for convenience here) and a “normal weight” father. Her medication can have the affect of weight gain but it can also encourage weight loss. She has a history of dieting. When she was a teen she lost a considerable amount of weight but since then has only lost similar amounts after having her children.
B’s father was of “normal weight” as was his mother until after she had seven children and reached her mid to late 30s when she became “morbidly obese” and stayed that way until a few years prior to her death when she reverted to “overweight” . B’s medication causes fluid rentention but that is all. He has no history of dieting at all during his life.
C’s father was “normal weight” until his early 30s when he became “overweight”. C’s mother was “normal weight” until she reached her 40s when she became “overweight”. C is on no medication and has no history of dieting at all.
D’s father was “normal weight” until his 50s when he became “obese”. D’s mother was “overweight” most of her life. D has no history of dieting and takes medication that can suppress his appetite.
E’s parents are both “normal weight” and always have been. E has attended WW for a period of several months in the past but has no other dieting history. She occasionally uses an asthma inhaler.
Does that help any?
New research shows that gastric bypass surgery is likely to be unsuccessful for, well, practically everyone. Seriously. I am not exaggerating here. The recent study cites the following as affecting the likelihood of success: being older (older than what they don’t say); gender (which gender, again they don’t say); greater initial weight (like people who are not of a ‘greater weight’ are going to be getting gastric bypass done anyway); race (which race, they didn’t say); marital status (again, they didn’t specify what status); insurance status; the presence of Type 2 diabetes and larger pouch size. So basically, all the people they say SHOULD have gastric bypass, are the ones it has the least likelihood of it being successful for. Why aren’t I surprised?
Even more astounding is that a weight loss of less than 40% of the excess weight carried is considered “poor”. Obviously these guys don’t talk to Weight Watchers, who espouse that even a 10% loss is a success. Mixed messages much anyone? Even those with a “successful loss” (over 40%) still had a BMI that placed them in the obese category. So even after having their perfectly good stomach mutilated, these people would still be considered very fat by wider society, not just the doctors who treated them.The research also shows that those already diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are less likely to have a successful weight loss. So much for all the hype about gastric bypass “curing” diabetes.
A is a female in her mid 30s. She is married and has 2 children. She is a post-grad student and has an extensive undergraduate education. She has a chronic condition that medication keeps under control. She has a vegetable garden in her backyard as well as a rain water tank. She eats take out maybe once a week if that. She doesn’t smoke and she only occasionally drinks alcohol. She is a spiritual person dabbles in yoga and meditation. She also enjoys reading, writing, camping and photography. A is Caucasian, grew up in a working class family and classifies herself as lower middle class.
B is a male in his mid 60s. He is a widower with 2 adult children. He has never drunk alcohol and quit smoking 15 years ago. He rarely drinks soft drink or eats any processed food. He is a meat and three veg kind of guy. He exercises for at least 30 minutes a day and worked as a labourer for 45 years. He enjoys woood work, reading and fishing. B grew up in a working class family and identifies as working class now.
C is a male in his late 30s. He is married with 2 children. C is the CEO of a community services organisation. He doesn’t smoke and drinks socially. He plays competitive sport on a weekly basis. He loves to cook fresh tasty food for his family and he prefers home grown produce. He has no chronic health issues and takes no medication. C grew up in a working class family and identifies as middle class now.
D is a male in his late 20s. He is in a long term relationship and has no children. He works in the area of accounting and is a bit of a computer nerd. D doesn’t smoke and doesn’t drink alcohol. He has a gym membership and he walks to and from the train station every day, as well as to and from his work place from the station. His partner does the cooking in their household and their food is predominantly Asian in character as that where his partner is from. D grew up in a lower middle class family and identifies as much the same now.
E is a female in her late 30s. She is single and has no children. She is university educated and employed as a professional in her field. She is physically active, enjoying regular non competitive exercise. She enjoys walking along the beach with her dog and nights out with her girlfriends. She has quit smoking in the last 12 months but enjoys a social drink (or two). She eats a nutritionally balanced diet and keeps a close eye on her weight. E grew up in a middle class family and continues to identify as such.
So who, out of these five, do you think is likely to be fat? All of them? None of them? Some of them?