Obesity and Overconsumption

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Ilya Shambat

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Nov 24, 2021, 12:16:56 AM11/24/21
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A long time ago, I was involved in an Internet spat over the issue of obesity. People called me shallow and heartless and said that I was thinking with my penis because I was making the case that obesity is a bad thing. In fact I’ve had battle with weight myself, and I won it by doing extensive exercise. If I can do it, then so can others, male or female, and there is nothing bigoted or misogynistic about it.

Now it is apparent to me that some people are obese genetically. These people should get compassion rather than attack. But when obesity in America rises three times in as many decades, what we are seeing is a social problem. We are seeing people becoming obese who otherwise would not become obese; and that is bad both for them and for the country.

The biggest problem with obesity is that it is only a visible sign of a much larger problem, and that is overconsumption of resources – overconsumption to the point that it is no longer good even for the people doing it. When some people die of hunger and others die of obesity, something is wrong with global distribution of resources. It is, ultimately, a moral issue. Is it right that the world be recklessly plundered so that some people overeat till they become sick? Or is it something that is bad both for foreign people and for people at home?

In my case, the answer is clear. I am satisfied with my body. I eat enough, but not too much, and I do lots of exercise. To people struggling with obesity, the answer is clear. Do exercise. It doesn’t have to involve paying money at the gym; I achieved positive results by doing push-ups, sit-ups and stationary running at home.

So that while it is desirable to confront discrimination for wrongful reasons, it is also desirable to overcome obesity. It doesn’t mean that you are weak or a loser or anything of the sort; it means that you are solving a problem that you have, which is a respectable standpoint. For that matter many people who go to Alcoholics Anonymous to get over their alcohol or drug addiction are also doing the right thing and should not be seen as losers.

If you have been battling obesity: There are ways to overcome your problem. I have found one such way, any number of others can find others. As for equating discrimination against people who are fat with discrimination against people who are black or Jewish or female, that claim is wrong. Discrimination is judging based on something that one is not in control of; and one is in control of his weight and not of whether he is African-American or a Jew.

So this is where I leave it. A person who has been fat before, who has managed to get and stay trim. I will not attack you for being overweight, but I may suggest to you reasons why it is undesirable to be overweight as well as pointers on how to overcome it. And that stands to be of benefit both to you and to society.
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