niicelaady (niicelaady) wrote,

Fasten your seat belts; it's gonna be a ranty night

It started with this article in Newsweek that someone posted a link to at one of my favorite message boards:

If you don't feel like going there, it's about the demonizing of overweight. People who wouldn't dream of uttering a racial or religious epithet have no problem telling an overweight person -- an overweight stranger -- to lay off the doughnuts/hit the gym. I have some recent secondhand personal experience with this (more on that below) so I may be especially sensitive to this right now. But as an overweight person, it's always been a hot-button issue for me.

This turned out to be long, so I'll continue

Below is what I posted on the E-hell board, with some additions because political posts are forbidden there:

This makes me so angry I want to spit. At least the article quoted extensively from people who know their stuff and got it right: Not every overweight person got that way by overeating. Genetics, metabolism, age, hormones ... there are as many reasons people are fat as there are fat people.

But see, it's OK to demonize fat people because we are -- dun, dun, DUNNN! -- driving up health care costs for everyone else. I'm a size 18 who does not overeat and rarely eats junk food. I'm guessing I'm about 200 pounds on a 5'3" frame, but I'm not sure because I don't own a scale. What's that? Don't I get weighed when I go to the doctor? What doctor? I. Don't. Get. Sick. (pauses to knock wood). I had my gallbladder out at 29. Gallstones *could* be a weight-related thing, but I was only about 150 then. My blood pressure gets a little high when I drink too much coffee, but not "thou shalt lose weight/take meds or DIE" high. But that was also happening to me when I weighed less.

Last night a friend of mine was standing on the sidewalk enjoying a gelato with another friend. A woman in a passing car yelled to her, "You should lay off the ice cream!" (I'm guessing this rhymes-with-itch was drunk or high, because who DOES that? Oh, wait, I'm an e-hellion; I should know the world is full of boors.) Yes, my friend is heavy. She's also gorgeous, sweet, sensitive, smart, life-loving, grows and cooks wonderful, healthy, natural foods, has a heart 10 times as big as her butt and goes dancing every weekend. For hours on end. No drag on the health care system there. (Besides, gelato isn't even ice cream. Silly rude woman.)

News flash, Mr. and Mrs. "You and Your Unhealthy Lifestyle are Driving Up My Health Care Costs": My weight and my "lifestyle" are none of your business. I'm guessing if I looked hard enough at *your* lifestyle I could find some "choices" you've made that are driving up everyone's health care costs more than I am.

But first, I'll introduce you to my friend N., who has more health issues than the New England Journal of Medicine, none of which have anything to do with her "lifestyle." She just rolled snake eyes in the health crapshoot. Or my friend C., the teetotaling, nonsmoking vegetarian who ... oh, wait. I can't introduce you to her because she's DEAD. Of cancer. At 43.

I am a strong supporter of national single-payer health insurance. But I'm worried about one thing happening if it does ever come to pass: that the self-appointed Lifestyle Police will become even more strident, since it really will be "my tax dollars paying your medical bills."

And they will, as they do now, find politicians willing to listen to them and pass unnecessary legislation to overregulate, overtax or downright ban what they deem "unhealthy" -- because, after all, it hits all of us in the wallet. And who could be against good health? I can see it affecting not only us fatties, smokers and drinkers but eventually the extreme skateboarders, skydivers and anyone else whose behavior *might* require an above-average-size dip in the health care pool.

Right now it's we fatties who are being targeted. Because we're -- y'know -- big targets.

Rant over ... for now.
Tags: politics, rants, self, weight

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