I saw a documentary yesterday that raised some questions for me.
You can download it here (I think you have to register first):
Half ton man torrent
Imdb info here
The documentary follows a bunch of morbidly obese people, one of them starting of at over half a ton (>1000 ponds) and it also analyses the causes for this desease (apart from the obvious ones). It also takes up some of the problems when going from fat to thin.
It starts of by showing how the paramedics have to break down a wall to get Patrick out of his house and into the ambulance. He hasn't been out of bed for years and he can't turn and lie on his back becausee the weight will make him stop breathing.
When he is arriving at the hospital they can't do anything until he loses weight so they put him on a strict diet. Even though he knows he is dying from this desease he still tries to get the staff to get him regular coca-cola and other snacks.
He manages to lose enough weight to get a stomach shrinking operation (they talk about him losing stones all the time so I have no idea how much he lost as I don't know how much a "stone" is).
After the operation they send him home. He is still eating the same stuff as before (cheese, porkchops, coke, fries, etc) but of course (because of the operation) a lot less of it.
Patrick has a wife. While he was lying in his bed, immobilised, she fed him the things he wanted because she thinks that shows that she loves him. His wife is of course also very obese.
They have never had sex. They want to but they can't because of the condition that they're in.
They also follow a man who is morbidly obese, gets thin and then becomse obese again. He and his wife is talking some about the changes, mostly psychological, that he was going through during these altering stages.
The doctor who made Patricks operation is blaming genetics. He says that there are genes that make some people unable to stop eating. I've made the observation (as the doctor says) that at a dinner with 100 people and really good food, about 10-20 of these people will not finish their meal because they feel that they've had enough. He says that fat people can't stop thinking about food and this is because of their genes.
I think it has to do with dopamine resistance in the brain. Another doctor also explains that dopamine resistance actually gets better if you stay away from the things that trigger the dopamine release and excersise regularily (which betters the resitance). Much like insulin, really. Of course the brain is more complicated than the bloodstream due to more hormones being released that have different function for our emotional life but still the similarities are there.
As you know, I have lost a lot of weight (about 50kg, 110 pounds) and I have made some observations along the road.
The world of the fat is different from the world of the normal. If you are fat you can stay away from some of the problems that the "normal" have to deal with every day. Obesity signals more problems than just the fat itself.
When I lost the weight I was put in a lot of new situations that I had no training to handle. People (both women and men) were interacting with me more and i different ways. Women are flirting with me on a dayly basis. People smile more in my presence than before. Now I've gotten used to it and appriciate it but at first it was very confusing and actually a little scary.
When you are fat people expect less of you and you don't have to be a part of the real world. When you are normal you get thrown into a whole new reality where the expectations are higher. You have to make more decisions every day than you did before. As you get training and losing weight at the same time, your confidence goes up which only enforces this even further. Other people may be even worse off than me as I used to be somewhat of a leader in the am. football team I was playing in.
I think coping with these things actually sets alot of people back from losing more weight.
I've seen some women on the 'net talking about this. Beautiful women (i.e. healthy and normal weighing) gets training for situations all the time. They are often leaders of their groups (because they have more training in handeling differnt situations?). They usually have a game plan when they go out (they know that they have to). They know when a guy is flirting with them and the reactions comes "natural".
A person that don't have this training (i.e. one who goe from obese to normal) can get confused and scared as the world around them changes.
Men don't talk as much to each other about these things but I'm certain that alot of men that are in the same situation are feeling the same things.
Back to the obesity itself. Who's fault is it that a person is obese and what can be done about this problem? Here are a few suggestions that I've seen floating around:
* The individual.
Even though the temptations are strong it's up to the individual to make better choices.
The government should set the supply and demand out of balance by raising taxes for junk food or simply forbid people to eat unhealthy.
The companys selling the unhealthy food should stop diong it even though their making money on it because people obviously want the unhealthy stuff.
Either way you turn it we have to make up our minds on this because if this continues the medical costs are going to astronomical and this of course affects us all.