General chatter - Fox News Analyst: nominee for surgeon general "too fat" for job
OK, I know we're supposed to keep politics off this site, so I hope I'm not treading over any lines, here. But I just saw the Fox News clip where they brought in an "expert" -- i.e., a gym owner -- who claimed that Dr. Regina Benjamin, the nominee for surgeon general, is (a) 50 pounds overweight -- by the end of the segment he had escalated her to 60 pounds overweight -- and (b) therefore unqualified for the job. He then went on to make the usual generalizations about "fatties" -- she's lazy, she doesn't exercise, she has no self-control. He concluded with the snide observation that 'Just because you eat a lot of dinner rolls doesn't mean you're a role model." Oh, and he was wearing a classy t-shirt that said "no chubbies."
The anchor wasn't playing along, but that doesn't make it OK: this kind of garbage shouldn't be on TV, period. By giving this so-called expert airtime at all, Fox is chasing ratings, pure and simple. They're catering to people who think that stereotypes are funny, who think that being a hater makes you look smart, and who accuse others of "being too PC" when they get called on it. (As if being sensitive to other people's feelings is anything more than basic human decency.)
I don't watch Fox anyway -- I prefer to get my news from reliable sources -- but this just ticked me off.
No link, but it's on YouTube.
07-21-2009, 07:33 PM
I'll help you make it non-political! More people than Fox News/right wing people are asking whether a fat person should be Surgeon General.
Personally I don't think it makes her unqualified. At least she understands that the issue is much more complicated than it's treated now.
07-21-2009, 08:16 PM
I never noticed the size of the SG. I looked at pictures of Koop and Elders (two former ones) and they look healthy - not too thin. I guess with so much emphasis on obesity in our country, this particular person thought stick thin=healthy which is not the case. I haven't listened to the interview - I am sure its just an over opinionated individual who may have just been a guest.
07-21-2009, 08:20 PM
being overweight doesnt make her unqualified for the job, it just doesnt make her a good role model
07-22-2009, 12:26 PM
i had to google a picture because i didn't know what she looked like.
she looks fine to me. then again- i'm morbidly obese so what would i know??
i don't see how an intelligent woman who can make it to surgeon general is NOT a role model just because she's not skinny. that is asinine to me - it makes me wonder how many people truly believe that fat people are not smart and cannot succeed at anything.
07-22-2009, 02:19 PM
Just wanted to add that my mother, who has always been thin (size 4 at 118 pounds and 5'4") has both high blood pressure and high cholesterol -- not exactly the picture of health. She has NEVER worked out to maintain her size, and truly eats whatever she wants.
Whereas I (even at my heaviest) have trained for a full marathon, regularly run, bike for hours at a time, participate in early morning boot camp where I regularly do 100 sit-ups and regular push-ups, etc. And I have to watch each bite of food I put in my mouth.
One's size is not necessarily a reflection of their state of fitness or health -- a fact that I think is regularly overlooked. In support of this point, my dad often points to Alison Streeter ("Queen of the English Channel"). If you google her, you will see a woman that looks about 75 pounds overweight -- but she has crossed the English Channel 43 times (by swimming it) and holds almost every record imaginable.
07-23-2009, 08:41 PM
She doesn't look *that* fat. A little curvaceous yeah, but NOT fat! Once again: does "fat" = "1# heavier than anyone who's just been liberated from the freaking Holocaust"??? I'm another one who doesn't care for Fox News either (I wish I could express it with more vehemence)
07-24-2009, 06:05 AM
Its kind of a valid point. You wouldn't hire an investment advisor who has personally lost more money than the market. So I kind of understand where they are coming from. Whether Fox is using that as a policital cover up is another story though....
07-24-2009, 11:03 AM
I also think this is kind of a loaded issue -- being overweight doesn't make you less knowledgable nor less competent. BUT, if one is in a position that is representative of certain things, one kind of has to fit the bill...and it if it is a highly visible or public position, well, I can see where there would be questions.
Would you hire an obese, completely out of shape personal trainer?
Would you think differently about your nutritionist if he/she was morbidly obese?
Would you feel confident in your mechanic if his/her car was in a constant state of disrepair?
Would you want to see a dentist who has severe dental decay and bleeding gums?
Would you have faith in a marriage counsellor who had been divorced multiple times?
Would you buy a diet book if the author was clearly overweight?
It's a tricky situation -- there is no doubt that this individual is qualified and no doubt that she is competent. However, the position is a public health position, and one of the biggest public health issues today is that of weight and obesity. I can see how having someone who is clearly overweight lecturing the population on the dangers of being overweight and on how to lose weight would face some sort of questions. The bigger issue here that we assume thin people are healthy and larger people aren't by virute of their body weight. Which as we all know clearly isn't the case -- a skinny person who lives on coffee and cigarettes and is inactive is clearly not healthy. An overweight person with a favorable waist measurement and who is active really has minimized any risk factors.
The majority of Americans are indeed overweight/obese. So perhaps it isn't a bad thing to have a "normal person" and normal body type in this position. Especially since the focus of public health should be to prevent those who are overweight from becoming obese, as a BMI over 30 is its own risk factor for CV disease. Hopefully the candidate in question has a favorable BMI and is active, because this needs to the focus of public health in addressing national weight issues, IMHO.
Oh, BTW, Fox takes it OVER THE TOP because pretty much ANYTHING on Fox news is a political statement! IMHO.
07-24-2009, 12:15 PM
She doesn't look *that* fat. A little curvaceous yeah, but NOT fat! Once again: does "fat" = "1# heavier than anyone who's just been liberated from the freaking Holocaust"???
I can't really agree. I don't think she looks to be a healthy weight. I don't assume I'm infallible, but that's how it looks to me. And the extreme comparison serves only to obscure real issues, not help discuss them.