Biggest Losers?

My supervisor casually mentioned the other day that there was a “Biggest Loser” contest, and I had no idea what she meant at first. Then I realized – the company is having a diet competition. Well I simply said “Oh, I wouldn’t be interested in that,” which she already knows very well. She tried to interest me by saying the prize was $500. Well, thanks – I know she is concerned about my finances, and I appreciate it. But that is not the answer. Then I asked if she was interested, maybe that’s why she mentioned it. She expressed some annoyance that since we’re some of the only people on our shift, she wouldn’t have anyone to do it with so she wasn’t going to. At least I think that was the implication. Later, in a separate incident, a young man who I also work closely with came out with a jelly donut, and I knew the day guy had come back with a dozen really good gourmet donuts, and it looked plump and wonderful. I wasn’t hungry but I never get donuts, so I said “T, go get me one of those, please!” For some reason he decided to get fresh with me and told me to go get it myself. I playfully argued back that I had ordered his dinner for him and brought him things that he never ate, and he argued back all the things he does for me, and finally I trumped him. I pointed at him and said, “Do you have any idea what it’s like to be a fat woman asking for a donut?”Well my supervisor was shocked into a brief laugh – for some reason I guess no one expects you to say something like that. But it’s sort of true – once in a while you just don’t feel like asking a man for a donut, you know? If they were set out in my office, yeah, but it’s in the next room. Well, he countered that he didn’t know what it was like to be a fat woman but he did know what it was like to be a fat man and a fat kid, etc. Which was fair, so I said “Ok, I don’t care; I’m not ashamed to go get a damn donut.” He was actually happy – I think HE was embarrassed and he admiringly said, “See, I knew you don’t care what nobody says.” So he might have needed some inspiration too. I went, but there were no jelly left, so punchline is I never got the donut. But the actual point is she – my supervisor – only mentions being fat in hushed tones and I think it was kind of shocking, even though I’ve been really clear on this, that I really am not embarrassed about myself. That I don’t mind bringing up my size because it’s really obvious and people need to stop being so obsessed with it anyway.

So what does this all have to do with the picture? I was looking up a picture to go with “Biggest Loser” and came across this story. Featuring that woman. My first thought was “I love the blouse” and second was “she’s in this topic because she’s fat and fat people are in topics because they’re on a diet.” Ok that wasn’t precisely my second thought but I’m not telling you exactly what it was, so there.

But it was sadly exactly true. There are some really sad things in there. She’s on a show they call “The Biggest Loser” which is a really wonderful, not shitty name at all. Or concept. I think the losers are the people who make the show. She’s a size 27 (and she finds gorgeous clothes in that size, even if I wouldn’t wear a revealing blouse like that ’cause I’m shy that way and much older than her). She’s on this humiliating crash diet to fit into her wedding dress. They talk to her fiance.

Whereas nutritionists and community health experts have blasted The Biggest Loser boot camp as a humiliating exercise that sets up the contestants for failure and depression, Geoff shrugs and says: “I don’t want to say this is her last chance . . . but it’s probably her best chance.”

Nutritionists and health experts acknowledge that this thing is a disaster for human beings. Humiliating, depressing, and ultimately doomed. And this man who loves this woman can only shrug and say it’s her best chance? At what? Depression, failure and humiliation? Why? Do you love her?

Geoff…knows that Cat has by now lost a chunk of weight.

“Even the contestants who get thrown off in the first week lose weight,” he says.

So what? She is a size 27. If dieting worked as is claimed, it would take 80 weeks at least for her to get down to maybe 150 pounds. In one week, what can you possibly lose that matters unless you are two pounds ‘overweight’? It would probably take a year before the weight loss was noticeable, and that’s making the false assumption that dieting works like it’s supposed to.

He’s not praying for a hard-bellied babe. All he wants is for Cat to slim to the point where she can safely have a baby and live a long and healthy life. “I don’t want to lose her,” he says.

Who has told her or him that she can’t “safely” have a baby or live a long healthy life? She doesn’t look sick – just fat. Maybe she is, but sick people can’t participate in grueling self-torture exercises for television, so I doubt it. She might be sick afterwards, though. Or after she yo-yos around a while because everyone is telling her she can’t be fat and have a life. Someone please take this young man and shake him for me!

Then her twin sister gets in the act, and this makes me angry. The fiance is bad enough, but this is worse.

Says Melissa: “They get us to stand side by side and go, ‘Oh yeah, you’ve got the same eyes.’ I want my twin back.”

Melissa says the family has tried staging interventions without success. “There were times when we’d all be together and decide it was time to talk about Cat’s weight, but she wouldn’t be in it and the discussions always turned heated,” she says.

“She just wasn’t ready . . . it was like she wasn’t seeing how big she was. At the same time, there are four girls in the family and she’s the only one without a baby . . . and that hurts her.”

You want your twin back to reflect you and your self-image. You have your twin, but she needs to look different. Maybe you’re afraid you will end up looking like her because of genetics. You would stage interventions for her with your family? How cruel can you possibly be? Nowhere – please note that nowhere – is it suggested that she is stuffing herself full of deadly toxins (or, food). No one has mentioned her habits at all, just the fact that she is big. And in denial or something. (Why does she have to shrink to make you happy? Why don’t you accept her as she is?) It is just implied that since she is fat, she must be gorging herself to the busting point every single day year after year. But no one has said anything like that. They have said she’s big, she doesn’t fit a dress, she didn’t respond to family gangpiling, she makes her twin insecure and she doesn’t have a baby, but not that she is playing Nintendo all day and stuffing garbage bags of Doritos down her throat. So why do they think that eating is the problem, therefore not eating will solve it? Where is that logic from?

Also, why does her sister point out her not having a baby as anything to do with her being fat? She is engaged to be married. She is clearly not having a problem getting a man because of her fat. She is not married yet, therefore perhaps she is sad that she hasn’t gotten to this stage, but would like to do it in that order? Get married and then have a baby? What does any of that have to do with being fat? It is not suggested that she was trying to get pregnant before her wedding – in fact, I highly doubt it since she is trying to lose weight to fit in a wedding dress, not get a pregnant belly.

Saddest of all is that it seems clear she was resisting others’ bullying efforts to get her to conform to their ideas, even though if they bothered to learn they would know how tortuous diets are, and how futile in the long run. How, in fact, dangerous they are to one’s health. But instead of learning, they ran with the “common knowledge” and pressured her for years until she finally caved in and is subjecting herself to a brutal starvation diet and punishing exercise regimen as well as public humiliation. I can’t finish it. If there’s anything worse on the second page, maybe I don’t want to know.

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Eliminate Fat People?

I’ve always been a bit of logician, even when I was a kid. When I got older and began taking college courses in science, mathematics, economics, and philosophy, I really began to understand the importance of knowing how to construct a consequential chain (cause -> effect/cause -> effect/cause -> … -> conclusion).

Because I was a science fiction hobbyist (I liked to write the stuff more than anything), this turned me into a bit of a futurist. I seemed to be able to predict some general events simply by knowing how to construct a consequential chain.

It’s easy: Harry is a vain sonofabitch who cares most about what other people think of him. He knows two girls, Jess and Laura. He likes to talk with Jess about politics, and ignores her glasses and belly. He likes to talk with Laura about movies, and stares at her cleavage and tiny waist. Who will he date? The answer: Laura.

Certainly there are always exceptions, but usually they are due to a lack of data. If Harry ends up dating Jess, for instance, he likely is vain only about say, his career or singing voice, and not about his appearance to others (which usually would extend to one’s significant other).

The point is, perfect information always yields predictable outcomes.

That being said, it’s logical to extend that simple truth to encompass near-perfect information, or a large body of evidence. That is, if one is reasonably knowledgeable about something, if one employs a consequential chain, one can usually come up with likely stimulus-induced outcomes based on the breadth and depth of their knowledge.

That brings me, at long last, to this simple prediction based on the consequential chain I shall now construct.

1. Health insurance premiums are rising.

2. More and more states are considering health insurance a right.

3. Most politicians and their information sources claim that fat people make premiums go up considerably.

4. Fat people are unpopular.

5. State healthcare plans are inefficient, wasteful, and costly.

CONCLUSION 1: A state plan would likely penalize a fat person for being fat.

6. Neither financial penalties, nor forcing people to diet, will make fat people permanently thin.

7. The cost of weight loss programs, weight loss drugs, and weight loss surgery will make premiums for *everyone* skyrocket.

CONCLUSION 2: Fat people will be even more vilified for their fat, and their “drain” on society. More extreme measures will be promoted to make fat people thin.

8. No extreme measure, short of severe starvation when very young, will make a fat person permanently thin.

CONCLUSION 3: Parents allowing children to be fat will be called “child abuse.” Fat children will be sent to fat camps, and parents (especially if fat) will be similarly “re-educated.”

9. Costs will skyrocket, as will the prevalence of eating disorders amongst especially young people. Treating those eating disorders will cause costs to increase even more.

10. Eating disorders will not make a fat person permanently thin. They will, however, make many fat and thin people, but especially fat people, die.

CONCLUSION 4: Many already fat people will, as a consequence of this chain of logic, be killed for being fat.

11. Fat is genetic.

12. Fat camps do not work to make a person who is to be a fat adult permanently thin.

CONCLUSION 5: Eugenicists will find a set of what they consider “obesity genes,” or a way to test the likelihood of a person becoming obese. They will at first upon request eliminate these fetuses. Later, they will be required to eliminate these fetuses, these future “drains” on society.

CONCLUSION 6: Fat people will be eliminated.

To Go With The NuVal System

Building on BL’s NuVal post below, meet the Carbon Diet Calculator! (If you think carbon dioxide is a pollutant, I guess.) Now you can add yet another level of calculation to your food – in addition to calories, transfats, NuVal numbers, fats, sugars – and you can hopefully construct a supercomputer to work out the logistics of just what you’re still allowed to eat!

Click and drag your food choices into the frying pan and watch the earth turn red and die!

Good Foods and Bad Foods – NuVal has Arrived

h/t to blablover5 at Introverted Wife!

Lock up your low-self-esteemed daughters, folks — the NuVal food valuation system has hit some grocery stores.

The NuVal system scores foods from 0 to 100, with 0 being “omgbad4u!” and 100 being “suprhelthy!” How does it work? Do they use a proven equation of inherent nutrition for optimum human well-being, rigorously tested over generations and conclusively shown to be true?

A: The following nutrients and nutrition factors are used in determining a food’s NuVal™ Score

  • Nutrients considered to have generally favorable effects on health:
    • Fiber
    • Folate
    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin D
    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin B12
    • Vitamin B6
    • Potassium
    • Calcium
    • Zinc
    • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • Total bioflavanoids
    • Total carotenoids
    • Magnesium
    • Iron
  • Nutrients with generally unfavorable effects on health
    • Saturated fat
    • Trans fat
    • Sodium
    • Sugar
    • Cholesterol
  • Additional entries
    • Protein quality
    • Fat quality
    • Glycemic load
    • Energy density

Oooo, salt sugar trans fat bad (forget that sugar is the fundamental unit of energy, and that salt is a necessary, healthy regulator of blood pressure, one that my own cardiologist has prescribed I ingest). Folate good! Mmmm, folate!

Here are some pictures of it in action (check out the NuVal numbers at the bottom left of the price):

Onions are a 93 - so if I eat these all day, Ill be at optimum health? I mean, why eat lower scoring foods when youve got the win right there?

Onions are a 93 - so if I eat these all day, I'll be at optimum health? I mean, why eat lower scoring foods when you've got the win right there?

And sometimes similar foods can have wildly different scores, simply due to a bit of that horrible, awful, diabetes-causing supertoxin (but necessary for life), SUGAR!!

Del Monte Golden Corn - 91, gooooood!

Del Monte Golden Corn - 91, gooooood!

Sweet Whole Kernel Corn, 46, baaaaaad!

Sweet Whole Kernel Corn, 46, baaaaaad!

Quite predictably, sugar is indeed the main “bad weight” on the scores, pulling nutritious breakfasts everywhere down into the toilet:

Maple sugar-flavored instant oatmeal, 10, baaaaad! Toxic! Ruuuun!

Maple sugar-flavored instant oatmeal, 10, baaaaad! Toxic! Ruuuun!

How do those wise sages at NuVal tell what nutrients will make you fat unhealthy, or what nutrients will make you thin healthy?

Q: How did you determine what nutrients to use?
A: Nutrients for inclusion in the NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System were selected based on their established relevance to public health as reported and published by the scientific community. For more detailed information on the inclusion of each nutrient, and a bibliography of sources upon which each decision was based, please contact us at experts@NuVal.com.

Oh, “established relevance to public health!” Convincing! What, there aren’t any foods that have been shown to have an effect on “public health,” because public health necessarily deals in communicable diseases and not lifestyle and fat monitoring? Oh yes, and can someone please email them for that bibliography? I’m loathe to bloat up my mailbox with stuff from the “experts” at NuVal.

Oh yes, and just to mention — Meme Roth would probably be a member of the “scientific community” because she runs an anti-obesity pro-health foundation, right?

Here’s some more image goodness.

Don’t bother eating *any* chips, fatty — those carbs and salt make Doritos and Baked Lays just as bad:

Doritos - at a 23, at least theyre healthier than instant oatmeal, right?

Doritos - at a 23, at least they're healthier than instant oatmeal, right?

Baked Lays, 24 - stop snacking on carbs, fatty, and fill up on onions!

Baked Lays, 24 - stop snacking on carbs, fatty, and fill up on onions!

And just when you thought snack foods were bad enough, I bring you the antichrist of snack foods, the evil filler of arteries, the demon Fat himself, scoring only 2 — PRETZEL BUTTER BRAIDS!

Scienteriffic rayting sistem: butter in the title is ottomatic FAIL!

Scienteriffic rayting sistem: "butter" in the title is ottomatic FAIL!

And don’t think any type of food can be healthy, either. Here’s their scienterrific nutritional food ranges grouped by food type:

Scores range from 24 to 100

Scores range from 24 to 53

Scores range from 36 to 87

Scores range from 23 to 100

Scores range from 3 to 100

Scores range from 1 to 52

Scores range from 4 to 100

Scores range from 1 to 40

Scores range from 2 to 87

Scores range from 11 to 91

So eat your veggies, fruits, and whole grains, folks! Not even a damned dried-out, stringy piece of white turkey breast meat is as healthy as chomping on an onion. Meat ranges the third lowest, and cookies — gasp, demon cookies — range the very lowest.

I’ve figured it out — the skinniest healthiest way to be is to ride out, find a local farm, bend over, and start chewing. Do I get 100?

The whole NuVal site is an exercise in baloney. Everything they say to be “true,” “associated with,” “correlated with,” “good for,” “bad for,” etc has, in fact, not been rigorously and generally shown to be “true,” “associated with,” “correlated with,” “good for,” “bad for.” While the average person is fine with a normal amount of salt, for instance, my optimum health calls for more than a normal amount of salt.

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures.

The divide between 1% and skim milk is wide:

Gasp, a 78! Maybe I should toss some cut-up onions in there...

Gasp, a 78! Maybe I should toss some cut-up onions in there...

Forget onions! Ill live on my PERFECTLY HEALTHY skim milk all day! And Ill give it to my children and my baby and my grandmother, too, because 100 means 100 for *everyone*, right?

Forget onions! I'll live on my PERFECTLY HEALTHY skim milk all day! And I'll give it to my children and my baby and my grandmother, too, because 100 means 100 for *everyone*, right?

Don’t worry, folks. If this isn’t enough entertainment for you, the NuVal system will likely be hitting your store shelves very soon, right before it’s government mandated. Oh, brave new world!

Son of Porkulus

The news contained in this post is so horrifying that I’m going to put up some extremely cute pictures along with the text to try to offset the mounting terror.

cutie2

The bizarrely massive porkulus bill that just passed the senate, has had some interesting little hidden things in it. And by “interesting” I mean “horrific” and by “little” I mean “enormous”.

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

Look back at the doggie!

cutie1

So never mind that I pay to go to a PRIVATE doctor, whom I expect to keep my fucking business to HIMSELF – now he will have to report my every visit, my every prescription, to the feds? THE FEDS? (I dare say some doctors are going to go rogue on this one – this is an outrage beyond most outrages I’ve ever read of – they NEED to step up and say “NO, we will NOT do this.” A database? A fucking FEDERAL database? You weren’t worried about stupid little things like your privacy, were you? Your autonomy? Your liberty? You can kiss those things goodbye, pal. They were never yours.

dumbooctopus-s448x450-2298-580

Now my doctor weighed me once, the first time I visited him; and has never mentioned my weight to me, or asked me to get on the scale. He is more concerned about things like my asthma and my stress levels. But God forbid he asks me now – the feds will most certainly tell him that I must lose weight and if I don’t I’ll be non-compliant…that won’t help them save money, right? Never mind that IT’S MY FUCKING MONEY I’m spending to get PRIVATE treatment from my PRIVATE PERSONAL doctor.

dorayaki

This is so far beyond a travesty that I’m getting speechless. I could go on about it for weeks, months, and never hit the end, and I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Well, frankly I’ve been hearing a lot of people screaming about socialist health care and how we need it. All it costs you is your privacy and your liberty and your autonomy. And MINE TOO. Thanks a fucking lot. All I ever asked is to be left OUT of these plans and to be allowed to live my life – because, you know, the constitution says I have that right. Form all the little socialist societies you want and all the voluntary plans you want, but leave me out of it. Now these people have thrown out *everyone’s* autonomy for them. Nice job. Those of you who wanted it – hope you enjoy it as much as I will. TANSTAAFL, but no one knows this anymore. Pfft. Here’s a pretty good rant on it; most of which I would have said myself. Enjoy. 🙂

UPDATE: Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)
What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

Even before socialized medicine inevitably degenerates into mandatory euthanasia à la Logan’s Run, the elderly will be hit hard.

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.

It just gets better and better.