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Old 07-26-2009, 11:34 PM   #121
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Yes, I was alluding more to the social stigma of obesity which may (or may not?) interfere with some true medical solutions to the epidemic rather than just a bazillion dollar diet industry that profits from people struggling with the problem, not fixing it.

It's come up recently in other threads as a problem that has a simple solution (eat well, exercise) but after reading this thread about addiction as a disease, I'm gathering that it's just as complicated and not necessarily helpful to tell a compulsive eater to just stop eating as it would be to tell an anorexic to just eat a sandwich or an alcoholic to just quit drinking.

Clearly those with problems have to acknowledge them and do whatever it takes to deal with their health issues. Easier said than done I guess, but blame and shame probably just make it worse.
Absolutely, it does make it worse, and we could probably think of all 'weight problems' as being on a continuum in that sense. Even for someone who's not the type to relentlessly beat themselves up for supposedly being 'lazy,' 'greedy,' 'weak' etc., it's still going to be tough initially to adjust to more exercise, smaller portions, fewer calorie-dense foods, and whatever other (probably permanent) lifestyle changes you'll need to make to lose weight. And food is a favorite source of comfort for many people, so the more reasons you have to crave comforting, the harder it'll make the process. But realistically, it's hard to imagine the idealization of slenderness in our society abating anytime soon (and by idealization I mean not only image saturation, but also some of the more irrational fantasies associated with that--that to be 'thin' is to be particularly worthy of admiration, love, success and so on, and by extension to be 'fat' to be pathetic, dislikeable, a failure). And so long as it's out there, you're going to have an industry capitalizing on it--"Look hot in a bathing suit by summer!! results guaranteed!!!"--alongside the more sober and reasonable approach advocated by doctors, nutritionists, some weight-loss books, and organizations like Weight Watchers. The thing is, though, all of us understand intellectually that those idealization fantasies are just that, fantasies; that weight loss isn't actually a moral crusade or a longterm investment in your lovability. So I guess it becomes a question of how vulnerable you are to excessive emotional investment in that fantasy (and others' projections of the same), which is a pretty complex thing. Clearly, for some people it works out fine to use 'looking their best' as a motivating goal, and they don't send themselves into some self-destructive emotional tailspin by doing that. But if you already tend towards a poor self-image on multiple fronts, or if you're addiction-prone and wont to go overboard treating substances or behaviors as 'medication' for problems they can never address, or if you simply aren't that motivated by looking good when it comes down to it, then maybe that route won't work out so well.

Ultimately, increasingly sedentary lifestyles plus widespread, inexpensive access to calorie-dense foods is the main reason why we're seeing epidemic overweight and obesity now. Most governments in the countries where this has become a serious medical concern seem to be directing most of their public health resources towards preventing child obesity, which I guess is the right approach; better to establish good eating and exercise habits young, rather than struggle to reform bad ones after 4 or 5 decades' worth of attachment to them. Of course we can't afford to ignore adults' statistics either but, unfortunately, there we have to rely very heavily on individuals' motivation to reform their own lifestyles; there are limits to what we can do in terms of incentives and disincentives, not that those avenues are by any means exhausted yet.

To go back to the 'continuum' thing, though...while it's obviously the job of a professional alone to ascertain whether someone has a clinical eating disorder, I do think it's important to recognize the difference between that and plain old 'bad habits,' which are far more typical causes of being overweight or obese. If someone is regularly doing things like returning to the kitchen after dinner and compulsively taking in 8000 calories at a standing, literally eating themselves into a stupor despite not feeling hungry, then they've got problems with food and eating that something like Weight Watchers isn't designed to address.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:42 AM   #122
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To go back to the 'continuum' thing, though...while it's obviously the job of a professional alone to ascertain whether someone has a clinical eating disorder, I do think it's important to recognize the difference between that and plain old 'bad habits,' which are far more typical causes of being overweight or obese. If someone is regularly doing things like returning to the kitchen after dinner and compulsively taking in 8000 calories at a standing, literally eating themselves into a stupor despite not feeling hungry, then they've got problems with food and eating that something like Weight Watchers isn't designed to address.
Right, like the difference between a heavy drinker who has some semblance of control over consumption versus an alcoholic and determining when a transition may occur from one to the other and acknowledging that the approaches to addressing each situation would be very different.

So my observation is that maybe there are more eating disorders and disease factors in obesity beyond 'bad habits' that the diet industry is not designed to address.
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Old 07-27-2009, 04:08 AM   #123
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well diabetes is a disease while alcoholism while seen as a "disease" but in fact is a lifestyle disease. Diabetes can't help if they get it (im not talking about lifestyle 2 ones) but my only comment is, to forever deny yourself something is not natural. And i think it leads into a 'all or nothing' type outlook on alcohol or whatever. Its just a really depressing outlook thats all.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:10 AM   #124
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well diabetes is a disease while alcoholism while seen as a "disease" but in fact is a lifestyle disease.
You have no clue as to what you are talking about!!! They've been able to prove it's hereditary, even in cases where the child was raised outside the parent's house without any knowing or contact. But I doubt that someone who has no respect for medicine in general will accept this.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:49 AM   #125
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Diabetics can't and don't avoid sugar, actually. It's impossible. It's in most food, even milk and fruit has sugar, as you know! It has to be counted and accounted for with insulin doses, is all.
Well sugar in excess. I know diabetics can't avoid bread, but they can certainly avoid Snickers bars.
One diabetic in high school defiantly ate candy/sugar all the time, and drank non-diet soda. We would always say something, but I don't think any of us cared too much. He was kind of an asshole.

Last I heard of him he was still an asshole. Assholism, another disease.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:51 AM   #126
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well diabetes is a disease while alcoholism while seen as a "disease" but in fact is a lifestyle disease.
o rly??????????????

And your vast experience with alcoholics, or the medical field, or anything at all that would point out this factual data accounts for this statement?
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:06 PM   #127
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what is a "lifestyle disease" anyhow?
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:32 PM   #128
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what is a "lifestyle disease" anyhow?
I think the "assholism" Tiger Edge noted might be one.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:14 PM   #129
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Well sugar in excess. I know diabetics can't avoid bread, but they can certainly avoid Snickers bars.
One diabetic in high school defiantly ate candy/sugar all the time, and drank non-diet soda. We would always say something, but I don't think any of us cared too much. He was kind of an asshole.
exactly. i used to know a kid in high school who did pretty much what you described. he was hospitalized pretty often because he'd go into diabetic comas frequently due to consuming soda, doughnuts, candy, etc. while i thought he was one of the stupidest people alive to continue to put his health at risk, i also thought it was a bit sad that he'd do that. i really wondered if he just didn't care, or if he just couldn't control himself from eating sugary foods.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:35 PM   #130
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what is a "lifestyle disease" anyhow?
Erectile dysfunction.

And the little blue pill is a "lifestyle drug" as classified by insurance companies.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:09 AM   #131
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wow, obviously hitting some nerves here, not my intention. All I was mentioning is I feel sad for people who are alcoholics to never be able to drink alcohol again and never feel the sense of acomplishment when finishing something as you're always an alcoholic not a former one. I think it is a negative connotation rather then a positive one.

btw, its not not respect in general for medicine but a part of medicine that I believe is not as important as many other people believe it to be. But you obviously are itching for a continual argument over such thing as an opinion that I shall end it here.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:12 AM   #132
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I feel sad for people who are alcoholics to never be able to drink alcohol again and never feel the sense of acomplishment when finishing something as you're always an alcoholic not a former one.
For recovering alcoholics, drinking alcohol again is not an accomplishment. That's the point. Alcohol is not fun for alcoholics. It's a vice.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:35 AM   #133
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wow, obviously hitting some nerves here, not my intention. All I was mentioning is I feel sad for people who are alcoholics to never be able to drink alcohol again and never feel the sense of acomplishment when finishing something as you're always an alcoholic not a former one. I think it is a negative connotation rather then a positive one.
Sobriety is their sense of accomplishment, that's why they celebrate their anniversaries. Like Tiger said, drinking is not fun for alcoholics.

It's a very positive thing when someone can celebrate 10, 20 years of sobriety.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:18 PM   #134
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What a fascinating & meaningful thread! I am sorry I missed it last summer, but Google lead me here today.

I've been researching themes of addiction & recovery in U2's music, & it actually comes up a lot in the songs.

In the March 19, 2009 Rolling Stone (with the boys on the cover), Brian Hiatt discusses the lyrics from "Moment of Surrender" as being drawn directly from AA vernacular. In that section where Bono discusses addiction directly, Hiatt also notes "Clayton grappled with alcoholism and went to AA himself."

In Bill Flannagan's great book about the 90s U2, Clayton makes frank confessions including the piece that after the missed gig he "had to beat alcohol" & made a "life-changing decision" leading to this conclusion: "I think for me and the bottle -- it's over."

As a writer & a recently clean/sober fan, this is huge stuff for me; I consider myself "a Friend of Adam C's" & seek to meet other U2 fans who have walked a similar path.

As to the earlier questions about "why," someone in one of my meetings always says. "We drink because we are alcoholics."

Peaceout FYM.
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:04 PM   #135
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What a fascinating & meaningful thread! I am sorry I missed it last summer, but Google lead me here today.

I've been researching themes of addiction & recovery in U2's music, & it actually comes up a lot in the songs.

In the March 19, 2009 Rolling Stone (with the boys on the cover), Brian Hiatt discusses the lyrics from "Moment of Surrender" as being drawn directly from AA vernacular. In that section where Bono discusses addiction directly, Hiatt also notes "Clayton grappled with alcoholism and went to AA himself."

In Bill Flannagan's great book about the 90s U2, Clayton makes frank confessions including the piece that after the missed gig he "had to beat alcohol" & made a "life-changing decision" leading to this conclusion: "I think for me and the bottle -- it's over."

As a writer & a recently clean/sober fan, this is huge stuff for me; I consider myself "a Friend of Adam C's" & seek to meet other U2 fans who have walked a similar path.

As to the earlier questions about "why," someone in one of my meetings always says. "We drink because we are alcoholics."

Peaceout FYM.
I have been not entirely comfortable with my relationship with alcohol for quite some time now. First few years on the drink (early to mid twenties) were fine, never a hint of darkness. I am almost 37 and want to get sober by 40, GWB style. I agree about themes around addiction being present in quite a few U2 songs. I don't think it is just about Adam's issue, I suspect Bono has a potentially addictive personality. The guy took up smoking iin his thirties for some bizarre reason and for a few years in the 1990s was rarely photographed without a cigar or cigarette in hand. I mean he seemed to go from not smoking at all to smoking all the time - granted, it might have been part of the ZooTV persona.
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