Thursday, June 1, 2017

I Have Noticed an Increase in Morbidly Obese People the Last Few Years

And this is apparently real.  6/1/17 USA Today:
Food stamp enrollment also skyrocketed after Obama effectively suspended the three-month limit for able-bodied adults without dependents to collect food stamps. Between 2008 and 2010, the number of able-bodied recipients doubled, according to the Congressional Research Service. Canceling the work requirement made food stamps far more attractive to 20-somethings. In many states, people can apply for benefits online — making it much easier than going to a job interview. The Government Accountability Office reported in 2012: "Local caseworkers across several states... described an increasing trend of single people aged 22 applying as their own [food stamp] households." The Food Stamp Poster Boy of 2013 was Jason Greenslate, a 29-year-old Californian surfer who declared that he avoids paying work and uses his monthly food stamp allotment to purchase as much sushi and gourmet lobster as $200 can buy. Then it’s off to the beach. Greenslate touted his gourmet purchases "all paid for by our wonderful tax dollars... It's free food. It's awesome."...
The most important reason to curtail food stamp enrollment is because the program is a dietary disaster. Walter Willett, chair of Harvard University’s Department of Nutrition, observed in 2015, "We've analyzed what [food stamp] participants are eating and it's horrible food. It's a diet designed to produce obesity and diabetes." A 2017 study published in BMC Public Health found that food stamp recipients were twice as likely to be obese as eligible non-recipients. This confirms a 2015 USDA report which revealed that food stamp recipients are far more likely to be obese than eligible non-recipients (40% vs. 32%).
2016 USDA report revealed that soft drinks and other sweetened beverages are the most common purchase in food stamp households, accounting for almost 10% of monthly expenditures. "Desserts, salty snacks, candy and sugar" account for another 10% of food stamp expenditures. The USDA report confirms earlier research on federally-funded bad diets. (The USDA and the Obama administration helped block a 2013 congressional proposal to disclose how recipients actually spend food stamps.
Part of what provoked this post is that my wife and I were in the Idaho Youth Ranch thrift store the other day.  (My wife started shopping in thrift stores when we living on one paycheck in California.  This isn't hard in the USA, but in California?  Now it just goes with her pith helmet labelled "Bargain Hunter."  I was looking for some throwaway shoes for an upcoming asphalt resurfacing project.)  There were a couple of heartbreaking examples of at least morbidly obese women in there.  Is there a category above morbidly obese?

They were both in those power wheelchairs that the government pays for through Medicaid and Medicare.  They were Michelin Man rolls of fat, in their 40s and 60s (I think), and heavily tatted.  From listening to their conversation in the furniture section, it was apparent that they were sharing a dwelling: whether mother-daughter, roommates, or lovers, was not clear.  I am sure that lifting these huge masses out of their chairs must be a major and unpleasant undertaking.  Of course, limited walking doubtless contributed to their weight, and certainly many other health problems.  They looked very similar to the people in Wall-E,  

Why do people let themselves get this bad off?  This requires an enormous amount of overeating.  Several studies show a strong correlation between childhood sexual abuse and obesity in women.
Jennifer Alvarez,Joanne Pavao, Nikki Baumrind, and Rachel Kimerling, “The Relationship BetweenChild Abuse and Adult Obesity Among California Women,” American Journal of Preventative Medicine 33(1) [2007], 31Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, “The Health Effects of Childhood Abuse: Four Pathways by whichAbuse Can Influence Health,” Child Abuse & Neglect [2002], 6/7, 715-730.

Why?  Lesbians are disproportionately obese: Helen A.Smith,  Nina Markovic,Michelle E.Danielson, AliciaMatthews, Ada Youk Evelyn O.Talbott, CynthiaLarkby and Tonda Hughes, “Sexual Abuse, Sexual Orientation, and Obesity in Women,” 19 Journal of Womens Health 19:1525–1532 (Aug. 2010)..  Regardless of sexual orientation, building walls of fat around you is the single most effective way of making men not see you as a sexual object.  Tragically, it also means that men who might be kind and decent people will not likely get close enough for you to find out that their qualities.


BFR said...

"Why do people let themselves get this bad off?"

Let? That's like asking why do drunkards "let" themselves get drunk.

I tend to not try to white-wash sin; my own or any other. Healing the wound lightly never heals it. The historic premise of orthodox (small O) Christianity understood gluttony to be right up their with lust, pride, envy, etc.

It is another example of self-centered selfishness. God says
"A worker's appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on."

Not requiring someone to work to provide for themselves incentivizes sloth and robs them of the blessing of fruitful work. Robbery of those who work (by unjust allocation of taxes) to give to those who do not is still robbery.

These people are not "the poor and the hungry". They are the greedy and the selfish.

Rich Rostrom said...

"building walls of fat around you is the single most effective way of making men not see you as a sexual object."

Unless you are in Africa. In some African cultures, obesity is considered desirable in women, and the fatter the better. There are "fat farms" in Africa, where girls are sent to become appropriately fat and desirable. According to this BBC story, 11% of girls in Mauritania are are force-fed to make them fat - and that is substantially down from past levels.

Will said...

Guess what? Men do it too. "...building walls of fat around you is the single most effective way of making OTHERS not see you as a sexual object."

Had a roommate who was 6'4", 375 lbs. Decided that he needed to loose some weight. Goal was to shed 100 lbs. Got down to 300 lbs, and the women he worked with started to pay attention with nice comments. He quit dieting, and ballooned back to near 400.

BTW, his diet? The Subway sandwich diet. The fat just melted off him. What he normally ate was astounding in amounts. A midnight snack for him was a steak, lobster tail, shrimp, two baked potatoes, and more.

Not the first time I've seen this sort of thing, but he was the most obvious and dramatic.

Clayton Cramer said...

Rich: I think that I hard this before. Fat makes a woman more fertile up to a certain point. Menstruation stops when fat levels get too low. Usually only a problem among runners in America.

BFR: Agreed, but why work so hard at gluttony? Some time back, I did an ngram on the word "gluttony" on The word's use has fallen over the last two centuries. This is definitely one of my temptations. An all-you-can-eat Round Table Pizza might be a very strong risk for me.

Clayton Cramer said...

Will: Yes. Among gay men, hairy, fat men are called "bears." For some odd reason, some gay men find them attractive.

w said...

Wasn't obesity at one time considered something of a sign of affluence?

Also historically wasn't it pretty much impossible (or at least very difficult) for poor people to be obese since calories were expensive (at least before say the post WW2 era)?

Since WW2 the development of the agri-industry and the proliferation of high calorie foods (junk food) that is now available at cheap prices (relative to income) has made it much easier to be obese and why we now see a lot more fat poor people. Soda, store bought ice cream, candy, etc used to be a rare treat and not the mass consumed product it has become in the last ~65 years.

I have often seen extremely obese people (75% of them women) who couldn't walk and forced to ride electric scooters at Winco using food stamp cards and the carts are filled with tubs of ice cream, giant packages of cookies and donuts, chips, soda, and all kinds of such high calorie foods with little to no uncooked meat, fruits/veggies, or other healthy raw meal ingredients.

Then I have also noticed refugee types like women in their robes (African I suspect) with their carts loaded with meat, beans, rice, fruits and vegetables and usually no junk food. I assume these people are also on assistance (never had one in the checkout ahead of me).

I think food assistance should only be food that needs to be prepared and not the boxed/canned/bagged kinds which is expensive and un-healthy (loaded with added sugar/fats/sodium, etc). Have the refugees teach cooking classes to these ignorant Americans. More people could be fed for less money and there would be better health as a result.

Now as for the fat lesbian thing the perfect example of that was on the Fresh Air program today (and will be repeated at 7PM on 91.5 tonight). Or you can listen and read at Epitomizes what you described. Sad....