Stay Thin and Save

by Carrie Kirby on 21 August 2008 45 comments

I am about to blog one of the most sensitive issues of our time: Fat. So before I dive in, a disclaimer. This is not a post designed to make fun of people who are obese, make them feel bad, or preach to them. Some of the people nearest to my heart in this world struggle with obesity, and I know from them that losing weight and keeping it off is not easy. And with more than a third of Americans qualifying as obese and another third considered overweight, chances are that you fall into these categories yourself or have loved ones who do.

So here goes: Being obese is expensive -- and not just at the doctor's office. We all know that overweight, like other ailments linked to modern living (heart disease, lack of sleep, addiction), costs a hefty (sorry!) amount of healthcare dollars. The diabetes meds, the damage to the circulatory system, the surgeries. Wise Bread has written about this before.

But what about the other costs of living with excess weight? When spending time with loved ones who are carrying around more pounds than they'd like, I've noticed that they end up paying more for a lot of things:

1. Parking. Obesity often means decreased mobility, especially as you age and the knees give out. When you want to take your grandchild to the museum or the ballgame, you're less likely to feel up to grabbing free parking a few blocks away or walking the same distance from public transportation. Yes, everyone tells you the walk would be good for you, but they don't have your knees. Nor do they feel the heat as intensely as you do. Which brings me to ...

2. Air conditioning. I'm not sure if decreased need for home heating in winter cancels this one out, but if you are overweight you will almost certainly spend more on air conditioning. I always knew my home was not well-cooled in summer with a few window boxes, but I never realized how bad it is for some until I saw a relative sitting in his air conditioned car outside my house to cool off.

3. Clothing. Some stores charge more for large sizes, but even worse, many large people find themselves relegated to specialty stores. Specialty = pricey. Unusually tall people or people with unusually large or wide feet find themselves in on this boat too, and it's a boat with an expensive fare. Oh, and the heavier you are, the more expensive shoes you are going to have to get. Otherwise, you'll end up forking out even more in medical bills.

4. Travel. Any obese person who can afford it, or has the miles to upgrade, will tell you they avoid flying coach. Who can blame them? Coach airline seats are already uncomfortable for those within the healthy weight range for their heights! Airlines have toyed with charging weighty passengers more even for coach. And the truly heavy passengers have to shell out twice as much to purchase two airline seats. I'm not going to rule on whether any of this is right or wrong, or get into whose responsibility the problem is. But we can agree on this: Air travel can be more expensive when you're obese. Also, once you pass a certain size, you'll have to buy a larger, more expensive car. That uses more gas.

5. Dieting. OK, this one is obvious but more than $40 billion are spent in this country every year on commercial diet plans. Yes, you can lose weight on your own, and it would seem like consuming fewer calories would cost you LESS money. But studies show that the most effective way to lose and keep it off is Weight Watchers. Which costs a monthly fee.

6. Parenthood. Extra weight lowers the chances of conception, which means that to become a parent while obese, you're more likely to end up paying for IVF or adoption. Even adoption is getting harder for the obese now that China has stipulated a maximum BMI for would-be adoptive parents. (See article in American Baby, june)

At the same time that it makes life cost more, obesity can decrease earnings potential. A New York Times article described one study that reveals that the obese accumulate half as much wealth in a lifetime than those in their healthy weight range.

Employment opportunities decrease. It is definitely wrong to discriminate against the obese, but it definitely happens. Also, decreased mobility and energy may inhibit your ability to keep up with any job with a physical component, such as nursing or waiting tables. You can be kicked out of the military for overweight, too.

While plenty of people seem to have no trouble going about their normal interpersonal lives after becoming obese, some lose self-confidence or become depressed. This will also cut into earnings ability -- if you no longer feel comfortable speaking in front of a crowd, you may have trouble holding onto that job as a corporate marketing executive or motivational speaker.

The moral of the story? There are plenty of reasons to avoid letting extra pounds accumulate, health and quality of life at the head of the pack. But as the summer draws to a close and the more sedentary seasons approach, cost is one more reason to remain vigilant about weight.

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Guest's picture

You are so right. Our society has become so sedentary. It is sad when you obesity in very young kids.

Guest's picture
Jasi

It sorta sucks outside.

Guest's picture
Sarah

I consider the inability to have kids a cost saving measure. So really, I'm way ahead of all those skinny people who keep reproducing.

Guest's picture

Very true that too many decades of just going with the flow of whatever everyone else's eating habits were around me led me to have rather expensive eating habits, including expensive cocktails before dinner and wine with dinner. When I finally wanted to quit alcohol, it was very hard for me (though I didn't even drink at all till age 30). I turned to water fasting to reset my body's natural cravings for a healthy (and much cheaper) diet. Now, my food bills are way more reasonable, consisting mostly of fresh fruit and vegetables and rice, fish, and chicken (and way less of all of this). After I fasted for 10 days and post-fasted for 5, it was so much easier not to wreck all the great feelings I had from the fast by even thinking about ingesting the heavier foods or any alcohol again. I chronicled my fast in a Fasting Log at http://shanelyang.com/2008/07/03/fasting-log-day-1/ and I highly recommend it for anyone with health problems that doctors just can't seem to fix, too -- except liver cancer! I write more about all of that in my posts. Good luck to all! : )

Guest's picture
Emily

It could be just me, but when I feel particularly rotten about my weight, I either binge on food or go shopping for something we don't particularly need. It's purely psycological, but it goes hand-in-hand with my weight. So a wallop to the wallet has to be counted on from time to time.

And I agree with Mark, the kids are the saddest cases. There's got to be something more we can do to prevent childhood obesity. As an obese mom with a normal-weight 4-year-old, I'm constantly vigilant of my son's lifestyle, lest he fall into the same traps I have. And I hear you thinking "why don't you do something about yourself and set an example"...I'm with you.

Very good article. It's probably not going to be popular, but you've said some things that need to be said, and presented my weight to me as something that needs to be challenged from a frugalista standpoint. Grazie!

Guest's picture
Fat Guy

I'm a fat guy (265 lbs at 5ft10"), luckily not so fat that I need to shop at "big size" shops for clothing or buy two seats or such things, and through hard work(out) and some more conscious eating losing it slowly (and adding muscles instead of fat) - down 30 pound already.
One problem I see and have is costs. It is that it is damn cheap and easy to get food with a high-caloric density. Our society sells food through weight. Low density food has less calories/lbs and because of this it's automatically more expensive to keep yourself fed because you need more of it (in terms of weight). 2000 calories of fast food cost 5-6 $ (or less if you go for specials), which - while not healthy or even filling - keep you fed for a day.
The same amount of calories - and you shouldn't eat much less even if you try to lose weight - done with healthy ingredients will cost you several times the money even if you ignore organic stuff and high price items.
A bag of chips has 1000+ calories and costs less than a dollar. 1000+ calories of tuna or beans or even potatoes cost you 5-10 $. Of course it will be more filling and healthy, but it doesn't makes things easy for people who want to lose weight on a budget.
If your table gets greener you have to pay more green notes for it.

The only thing that's cheaper is drinks - water is nearly free after all.

Guest's picture
Guest

While the main subject of the article is true, that being overweight can cause you to have a higher cost of living, please don't fall so quickly into the trap of "reasons to avoid letting extra pounds accumulate." This blog opens your eyes to diet fads, incorrect theories of "healthy" eating and how unscientific some weight loss studies can be. So before any WiseBread readers look into spending money trying to lose weight, I recommend taking a look at that blog to see how pointless it all may be and a waste of money that could be spent on the more expensive clothes and airline tickets.

Guest's picture
katy

sorry to disagree, but obese people where I live get everything FREE! access to a special van because they're so fat they can't stand/walk. This is taxpayer dollars - mine.

I went to weight watchers. lost and now continue tracking my food/exercise daily on lifetime.

people have to want to change.

Guest's picture
katy

dotties weight loss zone offers all the information, message boards, etc that you can get at weight watchers. free.

www.dwlz.com

(the weight watchers police are gonna come after me now!)I can no longer pay, or want to pay, the fee.

Guest's picture
Fat guy

promoting the "junkfoodscience" site. Junkfoodscience is a blog sponsored by several big fast food companies, made solely for the purpose to keep people eating their unhealthy stuff. Everything said there should be treated as extremely biased and in my experience mostly incorrect or outright lies.

Guest's picture
Sandy

This is slander. Junkfood Science receives NO funding from any industry or special interests. I am a medical professional with more than 30 year experience and more than a decade in obesity research. I have written this blog and worked without a salary for years because it is important people hear the science and not continue to be taken advantage of by special interests. You do not see advertisements for bariatric surgery there, as you do at this blog. You will find the Health Care Blogger Code of Ethics at JFS - look it up.

Guest's picture
Anna_esq

First, I'd like to commend the author for taking a tactful stance on this issue. I'd packed on pounds through 3 pregnancies and had no luck losing it with Weight Watchers, Zone, etc (was SOOOOOO ravenous). Three months ago, I decided to approach the problem like any other frugal problem, small nips and tucks until I reach my goal. It's not a DIE-IT. It's simply good frugal sense to only eat enough to get full and losing any weight, even if not 100% of it, is healthier than losing none.

People overestimate how much they can accomplish in a short period of time taking drastic measures, but vastly underestimate how much they can accomplish over a long period through minor course corrections. One pound per week by paring down "problem areas" (such as portion size and late-night snacks) is an easy goal, and if you continue long-term eventually you'll lose the weight. No pain, no DIE-IT.

Now I've got a new problem, my clothes are too loose, but I have more weight to lose. THRIFT SHOP ... here I come!!!

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martha in mobile

and it breaks my heart to see my daughter's classmates. A good 50% of them are overlarge for their size. Many have to have their uniforms altered to accomodate their size (see #3, above). The parents of these kids, almost without exception, are similarly sized. I know genetics plays a factor but the traditional diet and the social acceptability of overweight in the South makes "fluffiness" (we don't say "fat" down here) heartbreakingly common. At least kids don't get teased for being big here (but the skinny kids do get grief).

Carrie Kirby's picture

Martha, I will no longer affectionately refer to my hubs, with his 40-inch waist, as tubby. Nope, he's now "fluffy," thanks to you.

 Fat Guy, there are a few posts on Wise Bread about eating healthy in a more affordable way. While you're correct that you can buy calorie-dense food for cheap, personally I don't think buying fresh veg, fruit and whole grains is THAT expensive. I'm feeding a family of 4 on $80 a week in the Chicago area, and we buy very little junk food.

And Sarah -- If you're lucky enough to NOT be tormented by babylust (i.e. wanting children, not being a pervert), you are truly lucky checkbook-wise. I'm sure that not having kids would save way, way more money than losing weight. If only I wasn't so attached to these expensive little buggers.

I blog at www.shopliftingwithpermission.com.

Guest's picture
Guest

eat healthy, work out, burn more calories than you take in. It doesn't get simpler than that.
I do really like the idea of applying a 'frugal mindset' to your eating habits.

Guest's picture
Guest

The blog Junkfood Science may not directly take industry funding, but the Competitive Enterprise Institute, for whom Sandy Szwarc has done extensive (and presumably paid) work, is funded by several corporations and tobacco companies, and many of these tobacco companies also have food subsidiaries that sell a great deal of junk food. As a result, that blog is certainly not the first place I'd look to for accurate information on obesity or food science. The author's conflict of interest is too great. Her previous non-blog articles suggest she toes the food industry line on every issue.

In contrast, Marion Nestle writes a great blog on food issues, and is widely recognized as reputable.

Guest's picture
Maritzia

I'll start by saying you have now earned your way off of my RSS feed.

Obesity is much more complex than a simple calories in/calories out equation. It's very easy to paint those who are fat as simply not having the self control necessary to lose the weight. Unfortunately, there's much more to it than that.

But, let me get to my particular arguments with your post here:

1) People who are fat are unhealthy. Studies have shown activity level has more to do with unhealthiness than weight. If you are thin and inactive, you will have more health problems than someone who is fat and active. And believe it or not, a lot of fat people are active. We are out hiking, biking, swimming, and otherwise enjoying our lives. Don't assume that because a person is fat that they are living an unhealthy lifestyle.

2) Fat people use more utilities than thin people. I assume you have a study to show this validity? Or is this just an assumption because you know one fat person who happens to be hotter than others? I'm fat, and you know what? I tend to be *cold* all the time. That's right, cold. I'm sitting here in August in sweats because I'm cold. Yes, I know fat people who are hot all the time. But I know some thin people who are hot all the time as well.

3) Lack of employment - you say it's wrong to discriminate but then give reasons why people should be discriminated against. You say flat out that we have decreased mobility and energy. How do you know? Are you fat? I know a lot of thin people with decreased mobility and energy. You can't make a sweeping generalization like that. Some fat people, like some thin people, have mobility problems. But not all do. You are playing into the mindset that causes this discrimination to start with!

Shame on your for reinforcing the mindset that the obese should be ashamed. And shame on your for reinforcing the mindset that is driving people in our society to eating disorders in droves. And shame on you for enforcing everyone's image of fat people as slow, slothful, depressed, and unhealthy.

Do us all a favor. Do some actual research before you post about obesity again.

Guest's picture
Sandra

Half of your weight is determined by your genetics. And there are a lot of emotional variables that come into play with your weight, as well as how you were taught to eat as a child.

I think all overweight people know the facts you have posted in this article. Does that help us? No. People who are not and have never been overweight always think they have the easy solutions.

Guest's picture
Wilson

The morbidly obese will save money in the end by dying early. While the scrawny bourgeoisie are working 60 hours/week amassing millions in IRAs and 401ks for retirement (part of which they are likely to be obliviously senile), the obese can enjoy eating.

Guest's picture
Femmeknitzi

A quick google search would've helped to prevent the misinformation and myths in this blog.

All fat people are NOT lazy and all fat people are NOT unhealthy. And please tell me you don't honestly believe that all fat people are sweaty and hot all the time?

I am an obese woman who takes the stairs every day at work and parks wherever the hell I want. I am active, energetic and HEALTHY.

Oh and its in the 90s today and I'm wearing a jacket because I'm freezing. My partner often catches me at home with an electric blanket in the middle of summer because I'm *gasp* a cold-natured fat person.

Read the junkfoodscience blog that was linked above, as well as anything you can find on HAES: Health at Any Size. Medical studies are coming out every day proving that weight doesn't contribute to the diseases we have been trained (mostly by the diet industry) to believe they contribute to.

The only parts of my size that cost me more are due to ignorance and discrimination, which this post unfortunately perpetuates.

I do believe that being healthier can help save on doctor bills, etc. But the idea that it has anything to do with size is a complete marketing fallacy.

I don't drink soda, consume high fructose corn syrup or eat processed foods. I cook every single night--mostly with food from my local farmers market--for myself and my partner and I take my dog for walks on a regular basis.

My doctor (whom I see maybe once/twice a year for a cold) is pleased with my health.

Oh and one more pearl of wisdom for anyone who struggles with weight. If you let go of the guilt and self-loathing that family, friends, the diet industry, advertising, ill-informed doctors and ill-informed bloggers feel the right to unload upon you because of these myths, you'll discover one fantastic health benefit:

The ability to be truly happy. There ain't a thing in this world healthier or more frugal than that.

Guest's picture
martha in mobile

Sorry. Carrie, in Southern Speak you can't call your husband "fluffy". That would cast aspersions on his manhood. "Fluffy" is reserved for women and cats. Men and dogs are "substantial". Rodents, lagomorphs and poultry can legitimately be called "fat". Everything else can be covered by "big ol'". And my husband is more substantial than your's. Just sayin'.

Guest's picture
Guest

"Stay Thin and Save". Catchy, but wait a minute--that assumes that all people "get fat" by choice. There are all the arguments about genetics and so forth that people make, but for many people they grew up fat and it is very hard to lose weight. It's not a problem of just maintaining your natural, ideal state.

Also, I have to really ding you on the idea that it's cheap and easy to eat in a way that promotes thinness. Tell that to people who work all the time, who live in places so shoddy and poverty-stricken they don't have full kitchens, who don't have access to any fresh produce. Even if all the poor people in America went vegetarian they wouldn't necessarily have the time or facilities to cook their lentils and rice.

I don't need this kind of well-meaning advice in my life, so I think I too will unsubscribe. I don't mean to be nasty, but seriously, life's too short to count every freaking penny and to be told that being a size 14 is now ruining my health, my social life, my employment prospects, everyone else's aesthetic experience, and now my wallet.

Guest's picture
Samantha

You should really do your research before posting a blog so full of half-truths. This is the first article on wisebread that has really displeased me. Allow me to join my fellow poster in removing this from my daily reading.

Guest's picture
Guest

I didn't realize what a brave post this was until I waded through the vitriol in many of the comments. You made your point gently and intelligently. I fear so many overweight people have had to deal with so much negative attention and condescension that it becomes hard to distinguish between an attack and a simple accounting. (For example: I don't think you ENDORSE discrimination against overweight people simply by pointing it out.)
Keep your chin up.

Guest's picture
Meg

I struggle with my weight too, and obesity is common on both sides of my family, but come on - it IS usually as simple as calories in and calories out.

Of course "simple" does not mean "easy." It's HARD to restrict caloric intake, and it's HARD to increase caloric output in our culture. We have long communtes, sedentary jobs, sedentary hobbies like TV and video games, and ready access to all kinds of cheap, yummy, unhealthy foods.

There's no reason to shame overweight people, but come on - we all know that genetics isn't why people are overweight (which is why gastric bypass surgery works), and we all know that it's much healthier to be thin than obese.

Guest's picture
Guest

... because it's only a matter of time before someone posts it and the comments get flooded.

Carrie, this post would have benefited from some cross-linking to Wise Bread posts on low-cost strategies for eating well and exercising. And from some recognition that not only does obesity cause some economic squeezes, it is also a very visible side effect of being economically disadvantaged. There's a reason urban activists are pushing for decent grocery stores and greengrocer carts in poor neighborhoods.

That said, there are some salient observations here. Fat people do end up paying more for clothing because they don't have the benefit of being able to hit thrift stores and retailers know they can charge more to an audience that is desperate for wearable clothing. (Just look at the comments over on Jezebel about this yesterday.) Fat people are discriminated against in hiring and compensation. So if you're fat because your office job collided with your slowing metabolism and you didn't adjust your eating and exercise habits accordingly, then you do have motivation to pare off the excess weight. Your own actions are hurting your pocketbook and your health.

But if you're obese due to medical and genetic factors that you genuinely cannot control, then it's not fair to sing, "Ah, well, quit the cupcakes! You get what you deserve!" Overt workplace discrimination is wrong and all of us should fight it.

Carrie Kirby's picture

Here is my perspective on decreased mobility and energy with obesity:

My husband is one of those "fat and fit" people. He was overweight when we married 10 years ago, and he is currently on the low end of obese. Yes, he grew up fat, and I would never say that it has been easy for him to lose weight. In fact, I probably take in more calories than he does and exercise MAYBE  little more but his metabolism just makes the equation harder for him than it does for me.

My husband is in his mid 30s. His parents are in their late 50s. They are in the category of obese and unhealthy. They have both become diabetic, one has had both knees replaced, and both have a very difficult time being outside on a warm day, walking a couple blocks from the car, that kind of thing.

 A couple decades ago, they too were merely overweight and in good health, and still found it relatively easy to get around. So unfortunately, although I hope my husband can remain fit, the future doesn't look rosy for him unless he loses weight or at least avoids gaining any more.

Most of my observations about people paying more for little things due to obesity come from seeing friends and relatives need to do so. Sure, everyone's situation is not the same, but what they have to deal with is quite common for people of their size.

Notice I didn't title my post "LOSE Weight and Save." That's because I have seen through the struggles of loved ones just how difficult losing weight is. I wouldn't try to advise people how to do something I've scarcely ever accomplished myself. But I DO know that it's easier to stay thin if you are already thin than it is to lose weight, hence the title.

I blog at www.shopliftingwithpermission.com.

Guest's picture
Guest

Well said. I think a lot of the extra costs apply more to obese people than overweight, based on my experience as someone who is borderline obese (30BMI). I need a sweater when it is under 70 degrees.

Honestly, one of my motivations for losing weight is to be able to shop great fashion on sale. How many great deals have I walked past because I could not fit into size 10? Sigh.

But as others have said, losing weight is HARD! It takes commitment, dedication, support and time. While I have lost before, this time around is tough due to age and a post-baby body. After failing a few times I am starting SLOW with small steps. Cutting 100 calories every few days rather than jumping to a 12-1400 calorie diet is helping a lot. A FREE place to track you diet & exersize is fitday.com. Writing down (or entering online) is the most effective way to lose weight.

I almost feel bad about the shallow, consumption-driven reason I finally committed to losing weight. (I want to dress like the skinny chicks) But, it is about what is the right message at the right time for the right person to commit to losing weight. If saving money is the motivation one person reading this needs - great and good luck!

And remember - it is HARD and takes some time. Be patient and stay committed. Be honest with yourself (or your food/ fitness log). And feel proud for every 5 pounds you lose!! Enjoy the accomplishment.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Healthy living is such a complex issue.

I certainly don't think any Wise Bread writer believes that being overweight is an easy issue to deal with, or that it is somehow an individual's fault for not staying thin.

Like many of you have pointed out, there are so many factors that contribute to our overall health problems.  There's genetics, environment, culture, economics, politics, and even corporate corruption. 

One of my personal favorites is Andrea's explanation of why is it so expensive to be healthy.  While we all have to take some personal responsibility of our own health, as you can see from Andrea's article, very often the odds are stacked against us.

There are a number of good articles on the topic here on Wise Bread, starting with Sarah's Healthy eating--it'll cost you, and Tannaz's Save the world and save a dime: eat locally. Be sure to look at some of the great articles Myscha has written on cheap, healthy eating. Also check out Philip's: Eating locally on a budget, Healthy recipes with cost data.

The blogging format has its limits.  One of its biggest limitations is that it is sometimes difficult to tackle extremely complex issues in a single post.  And I'm sure you'll all aggree that healthy living is a complex issue deserving of several volumes of text.

I apologize if any article on Wise Bread gives off the impression that complex health issues can be easily solved with some gumption and elbow grease.  That is certainly not our intent.

On a personal note, I'm one of those "hidden" overweight people.  I'm tallish and lanky, and I carry most of my fat in my beer belly, which is easily concealed by my oversized polo shirts.  My blood pressure and cholesterol levels are terrible, and my 16 hour days in front of a computer isn't helping any.  While people don't think of me as overweight, I am certainly living an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle.  

So I think it is perhaps more helpful to move this disucssion towards "how can we all get healthier on a small budget."

Xin Lu's picture
Xin Lu

Wow I just read through all the comments. Philip had a good article a while ago called The New Face of Poverty Is Fat . That one didn't get so many haters because it talks about the reasons why modern day poor people tend to be fat. So perhaps it is not totally true that fat causes people to be poor and accumlate less wealth. I think body type is hereditary, but with frequent exercise and healthy eating it is possible to be in a healthy weight range. However, like the other article pointed out, cheap food is unhealthy.  

Guest's picture
Leslie

Will Chen's advice is good - "how to" on a budget is why we're here. Philip Brewer's piece on the new face of poverty offered insight into the economics of food; that's the kind of information that should provoke activism. This article does neither but hey, I've enjoyed the comments and learning about Junkfood Science and Marion Nestle. I'll definitely be following them both.

Guest's picture
Zannie

First of all, I AM NOT SAYING IT'S EASY TO LOSE WEIGHT. (And I haven't seen anybody here say any such thing.)

That out of the way...

I realize that junk food is often cheaper than health food in a dollars-for-calories comparison, but this is just patently false:

1000+ calories of tuna or beans or even potatoes cost you 5-10 $

1000 calories of light tuna canned in water: 5.24 cans. A can costs maybe 70 cents. 1000 calories = < $4.

1000 calories of canned beans: more or less 2 cans, depending on the type of bean. A can is what, a dollar? 1000 calories = ~$2.

1000 calories of potatoes: 3.03 pounds. You can get a 5 pound bag for around $2-$3. 1000 calories = ~$1.50.

If you think 1000 calories of healthy food costs $5 - $10, you clearly haven't even looked at real prices.

Guest's picture
Maritzia

You people aren't even listening, are you?

This article isn't about saving money by being healthy. It's about saving money by not being fat. And it's filled with misinformation about fat people.

Fat people are always hot, fat people suffer from limited mobility, fat people are slow. All fat people shell out bucks dieting. Being fat leads to having bad knees (okay, that one came from the comments, but it's still a fallacy. Osteoarthritis of the knees is almost entirely genetic or from abusing the knees. I had it from the Orthopod himself. Weight is not a primary factor in developing osteoarthritis of the knees).

That's the problem with this post and with the people commenting it to support it. Not one person has chimed up to say, wow...it really is full of myths. Maybe I should take it down or rewrite it so it's isn't full of myths about fat people that reinforce the discrimination of fat people in our society.

This post could easily be rewritten to show how being *unhealthy* costs you more money. It doesn't have to be about being fat.

Oh, and the idiot up there who says that it is as simple as calories in and calories out (yes, your an idiot, I call them like I see them). Go do some research. Do you know why WLS works? Because it restricts you to under 1000 calories a day. Even someone with serious metabolic problems is going to lose weight with that kind of restriction. And it only works well if you exercise like a demon to keep what little metabolism you have from completely bottoming out by the starvation levels forced on you by the surgery. My sister had WLS, and I have to say, she's the poster child for the surgery. She's done great. But watching what she's had to go through to lose weight? No thanks. Vitamin deficiency, vomiting, constant exercise (I mean constant. If she misses more than a couple of days in a row, her energy levels start falling).

I'm out in the parks with the dogs at least 3 days a week and usually more. We walk fast enough with them to be breathing hard, for 30 - 45 minutes, which is what the doctors recommend for losing weight. Have I lost weight? No, I have not. I've been eating the same diet since I was a teenager. It's a moderate diet of about 2000 calories a day (at least it was back when I used to count calories, I gave that up years ago). By all medical standards, I should be thin, or at least thinner. Instead, I have the metabolism from hell, and I weigh almost 300 pounds. But I do pretty much whatever I want. My only limitation is my knees, which as I said above is mostly hereditary (most of my family has bad knees).

Look, I know that some fat people are fat because they grossly overeat. But I think you'd be surprised to find out just how many of us don't overeat and get plenty of exercise.

Please just stop reinforcing the stereotype. It's articles like this that keep us being discriminated against. It's articles like this that keep us from getting better jobs, that keep us being approached in public by complete strangers to lecture us on our weight and eating habits, that encourages idiots to yell imprecations at us from their cars (yes, it happens, a lot).

Guest's picture

You can hate on whoever you want on your blog: fat people, restrictive religious diets, whatever.

But if you are going to speculate about their increased costs, stats or at least some research would be nice. One (small) example: doesn't being infertile decrease your costs because you either don't have kids or get the adoption credit?

Guest's picture
Carrie

No way -- adoption is EXPENSIVE. You may get a tax credit but unless you are adopting through the foster care system (which costs much less) the credit is not going to cover the thousands of dollars in fees. Sure, if you decide NOT to have children you will save money, but what I wrote was that if you DO have children it may cost you more.

And believe me, Dogatemyfinances, I don't hate fat people, people of size, substantial people, etc. As I said before, I am married to one and love him very, very much.

Guest's picture
Suz

Due to some medical and emotional conditions. It went on very fast, fast enough that I have had the chance to really be aware of the changes (instead of accepting them gradually). It's been interesting to me how different life is fat. I'm loosing the weight now, but it's not comming off easily (of course!) or quickly and it's worrying me the difference in lifestlye. YOu're right it in fact, does, cost more to be fat.

-Suz

Guest's picture
Guest

This complete BS. I have been reading this sight for over a year but it is now coming off my feed. Thanks for the fat-shaming and making up ****. You suck.

Guest's picture
L

Wow- clearly I read a different article than some of the above commentators because I didn't come across any "fat-shaming" or hating.
This is in fact an observational article, maybe the author is guilty of some generalisations but as someone who works in health research I have to agree with most of them.
Thanks for the article Carrie- I enjoyed it.

Guest's picture

I think, in writing a story about how frugal it is to stay thin, that you should give credit for the non frugal way that the picture (Melting Mama) lost weight. She had a RNY gastric bypass, and now has reactive hypoglycemia which causes seizures.

The only long term solution to losing weight is major medical interventions in the form of surgery. And, many of us have major complications which can be very expensive. Not too frugal of a solution.

Instead of focusing on how "thinness" equates to frugalness, perhaps a story about how fitness, regardless of size or weight, is truely a frugal lifestyle. Walking for exercise instead of joining a gym, activity with family instead of television or movies, etc. But, less of the "fat bashing" and "lets make fun of fat people," and more about what actually makes us healthy.

Guest's picture
Orange

As the saying goes, don't judge a person until you walk in his shoes for a mile. I have been overweight and than obese for 15 years straight. There were times I had to go to "specialty dressing store", or spend more money on certain things but all in all, the worst thing was discrimination. I have seen strangers do it, "friends" do it, relatives do it. I was lucky enough to solve my weight problem by exercising and eating healty and I have been keeping off 60 lbs for almost three years now. Please visit my blog to read further.

Guest's picture
Guest

Try this diet:
Lose 9 lbs. every 11 days
A good diet shows you how to eat the right foods. You can train your body to increase its metabolism. It works and it makes you feel good. Try it!

Guest's picture
Daniel

I actually find fat girls attractive, tends to be a certain size and shape, but I find them really attractive.

Guest's picture

Well Daniel i don't like fat girls at all. My girl is not eating fast food because she knows what fat means. Bad for the heart and body.

Guest's picture

Well what i did for loosing 25-30 pounds was cycling alot and a healthy diet. I never tried any pills because i know a diet and sporting is very important.

Guest's picture
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