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anonybot wrote in anonymous_qs
If being healthy is not motivation enough to maintain a healthy weight, do you think that there should be penalties for people who are overweight? What kind of penalties? Loss of health or life insurance? A fine? Should there be extra fines or penalties for people who are morbidly obese?

If you don't agree with monetary penalties, what other motivation do you think would be effective for encouraging people to lose weight and become healthy?

i don't think it's anyone else's business if someone wants to be overweight. people should be as unhealthy as they want to be.

if we're looking at it from a purely financial-type view, then i guess overweight people pose a greater health risk, so they should pay more for premiums. my counter-thought to that, though, is that maybe poorer people can't afford higher premiums, but it's harder for them to eat healthy because healthy food is pretty expensive. however, my boyfriend's counterpoint is that when he's in financially tight times, he eats less, and therefore doesn't understand broke people who buy junk food and pig out. he gets the cheaper, junkier food, but eats less of it.

but i guess the entire premise of the question is that we should be encouraging people to lose weight and be healthy. which is good and we should, but penalizing people for being overweight is crossing a line, i think.

The overweight paying more premiums thing is stupid. My mom is over weight and has been since she had her last kid, my brother, about thirteen years ago. Other than her weight she's in pretty damn good health. Pretty sure she's healthier than I am. But because she's overweight she's had to go through more physicals for her insurance than a "normal" person would.

Also, this isn't directed at you, just my tangent off your comment.

If I could tag this, I would tag it "do your own homework".

Also, overweight doesn't nessecarally equal unhealthy. People shouldn't be fined for being overweight, but I think maybe they should be for unhealthy habits/actions. So don't base it on weight, but diet, lifestyle, etc.

That being said, I don't know. I'm very healthy, but I pay a ton of money for health insurance. Instead of penalizing those who have unhealthy behaviors, what about giving me a discount because I eat well, take vitamins, don't smoke, and regularly work out?

Ugh. Please talk to me when "lose weight and become healthy" become synonymous.

procrastinating on my thesis! Ah!

I don't know. I think something should be done for children who are overweight. I'm watching my little cousin grow like crazy and it's just sick how fat her mother has allowed her to be. She's not in the 2nd grade yet and already disgustingly obese and at risk of diabetes (the doctor put her on a special diet so hopefully her mom will get her to follow it). She's like 3 times the size of the other little kids in class. Surely this has to be a form of child abuse. It's so sad!

I don't agree with monetary penalties because the people who become that overweight are usually sad, ignorant, dirt-poor slobs who won't ever be able to pay anyway (like my poor aunt - it's really not her fault, but she's an idiot). It would be nice if we could somehow get people on welfare to actually use the money to feed their kids properly. If kids start eating properly at a young age, they're more likely to continue to do so when they're older. But it's too easy to trade welfare in for real money to buy crap with. (At flea markets, $50 of welfare is worth $25 of real money. You can easily barter your food stamps with your neighbors if you want to get other stuff. My other aunt used to do this to get more beer, but she lost custody of her kids, thank god. Unfortunately, she was pregnant again, last I heard. She'll be on welfare until she's dead.)

There's clearly something wrong with this picture. But I don't know what the solution would be. Educational campaigns? Nutrition classes required for those on welfare? Rewards for healthy people?

I think churches are in a real position of power here. It would be nice if they would cooperate with each other and form more cheap or free sporting activities for kids and parents. I know my cousins were very active in church events until they quit going.

Re: procrastinating on my thesis! Ah!

"the people who become that overweight are usually sad, ignorant, dirt-poor slobs who won't ever be able to pay anyway"

Are you kidding me? Man, tell us what you really think of poor people.

WOW. My head just exploded from stupidity. Why did this question even get approved.

I really have no idea. :\

No, I don't think so. You can't put a penalty on someone for being overweight or even obese. It's unjust.

Of course everyone wants to be healthy but sometimes you just lose all sense of self-control.

Jesus, loss of insurance? Who the fuck are you and what kind of warped world do you live in?

There already is a penalty for being unhealthy and it's called being unhealthy. If you're fat and unhealthy, you get the added bonus of social stigma and brilliant questions like these.

I don't care if it's too much booze, cigarettes, food, or exercise... it's none of my business what other people do with their bodies. If they want to stop or get help, they're free to do so. If not, they can deal with the consequences on their own. They're not babies in need of reward or punishment. They're adults.

And yeah, we all have to put in for healthcare, but human beings fuck up and sometimes we have to help each other out. Deal with it.

I live in a country with social healthcare, so in a way I partake in paying for the direct and indirect health risks of obesity:

Alcohol and smoking are taxed to weigh up against the strain it puts on society and healthcare, so to I point I think that if a person is "free" to be overweight it also needs to be free to do something about it. If my government were to impose reduced benefits for overweight people there should be state funds for gym cards and healthy-eating programs as well.

... my stepmother told me a while back that obesity and heart disease have become a symptom of lower-middle class areas: Working out and eating healthy costs a lot more than being unhealthy in terms of both time and money.


TLDR: "Choosing" to be obese should reduce your health benefits, but only if there's an initiative in turn to get into and remain within a healthy weight.

"Alcohol and smoking are taxed to weigh up against the strain it puts on society and healthcare, so to I point I think that if a person is "free" to be overweight it also needs to be free to do something about it."

Alcohol and smoking are done when a person chooses to drink or smoke. What causes obesity? Hint: it's not just over-eating and under-exercising and it's not the same for every person. If you could KNOW that a person could be healthier and isn't maybe it would make sense to tax them on it. As it is, it'd be like taxing people for having the breast cancer gene in many cases. My mom has been overweight or obese her whole life, she eats less and healthier than my dad, who has always been thin. We shouldn't punish people for that. Especially given that thin doesn't indicate a person is healthy - I knew and know many thin girls in college who weren't models of health.

And yes, obesity is connected to poverty. Work 2 full-time jobs, live in a bad neighborhood where exercise is unsafe and you can't afford a gym membership (if you have time after both jobs), have no grocery stores around ("the Grocery Gap") and try to stay healthy. It's unlikely.

Oh god yes. In a perfect world, we'd be allowed to beat fat people with sticks.

As it is, shaming and humiliation will have to suffice!

Ugh, just no. Being overweight doesn't always mean that a person is unhealthy, just as being average weight doesn't necessarily mean that the person is healthy.

lol, sorry, but I have to pipe in that I'm trying out this google dictionary thing for chrome, and double clicking "overweight" gave me this:

"Someone who is overweight weighs more than is considered healthy or attractive."

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
Moron.

Why do I get the feeling that those responding negatively to this are overweight and the ones protecting it effortlessly thin?

How astute.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
I think penalyzing the people isn't the way to go. Studies show that with the increase of portion sizes in restaurants, and the lowered quality of food being available for lowest prices, people's weight have increased. Make treat food more expensive and lower cost of healthier food along with decreasing ready made food portion sizes and I think you'd have a better chance of slimming the population.

Penalize the companies that have transfats in excess, and portion sizes that are astronomical and you'll get further than smacking the people down.

Sure. Next we can reintroduce prohibition, followed by public flogging for anyone not taking their medications on time.