Does it Work? - AnyBody suing Weight Watchers - article in Daily Mail (UK) -- bit long.....




BigPhatBooty
12-08-2002, 06:55 AM
Wasn't quite sure where to post this - as I am not saying WW is a fitness scam. I rejoined WW for the 4th time 3 weeks ago and the colleague I joined with showed me this article on Friday 6th December. Just want to see what everyone else thinks.


Daily Mail - Thursday 5th December
Why I believe Fergie’s diet only make you fatter by Susie Orbach (Author of Fat Is A Feminist Issue)

With its beguiling “before” and “after” photos of weight-loss triumph, the commercial diet industry has traded for too long on our modern obsession with our weight.

Over the years, we’ve been urged to eat less fat, then to eat more fat; to eat more carbohydrates, the to eat no carbohydrates at all.

Diet plans come and go, and with them the happiness and emotional well-being of the millions of people who are sucked into the weight-loss dream.

Now it’s time to make a stand. I have convened a lobbying group, AnyBody, to campaign against the body hatred that is now so endemic to our society.

We’re attacking this problem on many different fronts, one of which is a planned legal action against the diet industry giant Weight Watchers.

We intend to represent thousands of women and men who have paid out many hundreds of pounds to Weight Watchers, only to find that they have ended up fatter than before they embarked on its’ laborious programme of counting “points” and weekly weigh-ins.

I know we will face criticism for even contemplating court action. Critics will argue that this is the compensation culture gone crazy and that those who fail to lose weight have only themselves to blame, because they are greedy people, lacking in will power, whose weight gain has more to do with their predilection for junk food than any flaws in the Weight Watchers’ system.

But the reality is very different. There is sound scientific evidence that suggest that the whole concept of dieting is fundamentally flawed.

Our campaign is not to make loads of money but to challenge the ideas of Weight Watchers and other organisation that are as questionable and even potentially harmful.

I want to make it clear that my quarrel has never been with the concept of weight loss.

Obesity is a serious problem. Government figures suggest that more than half of women and two-thirds of men in Britain are over-weight or obese.

Our children are affected, too: one-third of all girls aged 11 are overweight and 20% of all 11 year old boys are overweight.

These figures are disturbing and the problem requires solutions that work.

I first crossed swords with Weight Watchers in a TV debate in the early Eighties. My book, Fat Is A Feminist Issue, had raised the hackles of the diet industry by arguing that diet plans simply don’t work.

They give us an external structure of rules and regulations that make us feel temporarily safe but fail to look at what I regard as the real problem: why people eat when they are not hungry.

After a robust debate, I spoke to Weight Watchers’ then chief executive in Britain, an American. She told me that one of the biggest problems confronting Weight Watchers was recidivism - people who followed the diets and then went back to their “bad” eating habits.

She seemed genuinely concerned and told me that they were working with psychologists to confront these problems.

Since then, Weight Watchers has become a multi-million-pound business, and I don’t believe it is the very “problems” of recidivism that has made Weight Watchers its fortune. For those who feel they are overweight, Weight Watchers offers what seems to be the perfect solution: you can lose weight while still eating your favourite foods, albeit in smaller portions.

Food and drinks are given “points” depending on their saturated fat and calorie content. Members are given a maximum number of points to stick to with the aim of losing between one and two pounds each week.

Some members opt for go-it-alone programmes at home but most attend group meetings run by a Weight Watchers leader.

They pay £9 to register and a weekly fee of £4.50 for the privilege of being weighed in public and attending a discussion on weight loss, although I believe a big money spinner for Weight Watchers is in the sale of pre-packaged diet foods.

It’s certainly true that people do lose weight with Weight Watchers. The problem is that they quickly put it back on again. The reason is simple: our bodies are simply not designed to diet.

Our metabolisms have what scientist call a “set point” - something like a thermostat in a central heating system.

When we gorge ourselves at Christmas, our metabolisms speed up to burn off the excess food. But when we reduce our intake, as when we go on a diet, our bodies go into survival mode, slowing down our metabolisms.

If we continually diet, our body thermostat eventually fails to rest itself once we begin eating normally again. Our metabolisms continue to operate at the slower rate and we start to regain weight.

This leads to the “yo-yo effect” - a vicious cycle of weight-gain and weight loss.

If the plans actually worked, members would have to sign up only once.

Instead, they find themselves returning to its products and promises time and time again.

This leads to huge profits for the diet companies. During the Nineties, American consumers spent more than the annual government budgets for education, health and welfare combined. I believe that the real solution is to re-educate our bodies and minds to eat only when we are hungry. It suits the diet industry far better to convince us that we need their programmes.

There is no doubt that they have a captive market - psychologically prepared for them by the media, fashion and advertising industries who constantly bombard us with photographs of slim and beautiful young women.

They create a vulnerability in all of us that enables organisation such as Weight Watchers to make millions.

For Weight Watchers it’s a win-win situation. The relatively few people who do lose weight permanently can be claimed as a victory and photographed for publicity purposes.

The rest will continue to buy their products - blaming their failure on their own lack of will power and putting their trust back into an organisation that has failed them in the first place.


wormtown
12-08-2002, 04:09 PM
I agree with a lot of what she says. I'm not tagging ww specifically; they probably are one of the better organizations. But, I think that the whole diet industry promotes a lot of ideas that are damaging; and ultimately result in success for only a very few.

I have battled weight issues all my life; and I'm finally trying to just come to peace with myself as I am. I think there is a lot of truth in Geneen Roth's work.

Thanks for posting this.

rochemist
12-08-2002, 06:05 PM
I think there are some points made in the article, but from what I have seen of WW they insist on a lifestyle change and not just do this for a week, starve yourself, and now your instantly thin. I know alot of people WW has worked for. I tried it, but the forum was not a good match for my lifestyle. I thought the meetings were pretty low key. When I buy their frozen dinners in the store its cause I like the taste(especially the veggie pizza), something different from Lean Cuisine.

I wish someone would really sock it to the supplement industry(my whole $4 from buying excersise in a bottle didn't make me feel vindicated). And these pop up, here today, gone tommorow companies with the fad diets. Or the places that really do push the supplements and the food (I barely escaped Jenny Craig and LA Weightloss Center with my checkbook intact)

Just one opinion.
Miss Chris:)


Madcat
12-08-2002, 07:54 PM
I'm a WW member at the moment and I am finding it is working for me, but I am approaching this as a lifestyle change rather than a diet. I know I am going to have to eat well and exercise for the rest of my life. But I see many people in my meetings who think that once they get to their goal weight they can go back to their old lifestyle. And that's where the yo-yo effect comes from. It's hard to wrap your brain around the idea that this has to be a permanent change.

Yaseta
12-16-2002, 11:00 AM
COME OFF IT! Weight Watchers is probably the best plan out there, and I'm using it to maintain a 50 pound loss (I lost 10 MORE with weight watchers). A plan that stresses lifestyle change, portion control, and high fiber is just what out fat nations need. The great thing is that you can adapt the food to fit your personal needs: I'm a body builder so I go for higher protein and lower carb. My husband tends to get gout, so he's lower protein higher carb (we're like Jack Sprat and his wife).

Did you notice the little pink colored quote at the bottom of that first post? Phat is NOT where it's at. This is obviously one of those people who have failed at weightloss and is urging everyone else to join her and give up, and just "accept our fat bodies and love them and lah dee dah"

Well I'm sorry, but my formerly fat body was killing me. Enough so that my doctor put me on a modified fast. That was torture, but being normal weight has solved ALL my health problems. The thing is, starvation diets do not teach you a lifestyle change, and weight watchers does. WWs has been my salvation. I do NOT think it's a rip-off, and for GOds' sake it's FREE once you reach your goal weight. Then you have a job opportunity too.

Why didn't this person choose to attack the real evils out there: diet pills and exercise gimmicks???:?:

Yaseta
12-16-2002, 11:05 AM
OH by the way, is this a misquote? If not, it's pretty stupid for Orbach to have this in her argument!!!

"For Weight Watchers it’s a win-win situation. The relatively few people who do not lose weight permanently can be claimed as a victory and photographed for publicity purposes."

If there are few people who do NOT lose weight permanently, sign me up NOW!!!

MrsJim
12-16-2002, 11:30 AM
Looks like a typo to me...she probably said "...the relatively few people who DO lose weight permanently can be...

Personally, I've read her book "Fat is a Feminist Issue" and really don't agree with it - fat is NOT a feminist issue IMO!

BigPhatBooty
12-18-2002, 01:45 AM
Originally posted by Yaseta
Did you notice the little pink colored quote at the bottom of that first post? Phat is NOT where it's at. This is obviously one of those people who have failed at weightloss and is urging everyone else to join her and give up, and just "accept our fat bodies and love them and lah dee dah"

No need for personal attacks - look up the meaning of the word "Phat" before you jump to conclusion! You just don't get it! If you read my intro, I clearly state I am not attacking WW - was just interested in other people's opinions.


Mrs Jim - edited the typo - it was a long article - scanner not working!

trixiepup
12-18-2002, 02:41 AM
I've been to WW oodles of times, but that's mainly because I keep choosing to eat unhealthy foods instead of things that are better for my body. When I eat properly, I lose weight, and I can get it to stay off. However, my lazy days and my motivated days about balance eachother out, so I'm pretty much maintaining right now.
:)

MrsJim
12-18-2002, 07:46 AM
Hey BigPhatBooty - I'm an old lady :lol: would you mind for the sake of clarity giving us a definition of the word "phat" for those of us whose CD players are still tuned to Led Zeppelin?

I have an idea of what it means but I can't keep up with all you young whippersnappers' slang these days!!! :dizzy:

Thanks chick!

Jo
12-18-2002, 10:28 AM
means "Pretty Hot And Tempting".

MrsJim
12-18-2002, 12:59 PM
Aha! :)

That makes sense...didn't see it in the Merriam-Webster dictonary website (which is at www.m-w.com - great resource!).

BigPhatBooty
12-18-2002, 01:28 PM
taken from dictionary.com

2 entries found for phat.
phat ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ft)
adj. Slang phat·ter, phat·test
Excellent; first-rate: phat fashion; a phat rapper.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Earlier, sexy (said of a woman), of unknown origin.]


or acronym finder -

Physically Attractive
Plenty o' Hips And Thighs
Pretty Hot and Tasty
Pretty Hot And Tempting



Take your pick! They all apply to me - I do love my body lah dee dah! :D

As Trixiepup stated (paraphrased by me) we all know what choices to make - it's whether we take the right choice.

MrsJim
12-18-2002, 01:34 PM
I guess I better not use the M-W site anymore :dizzy:

I am SO far behind on that newfangled slang. We still use words like "Superbad" and "Foxy" in our house ("That 70's Show" is the same era when I was in high school, so ya gotta cut me some slack!).

Thanks chick :)

BigPhatBooty
12-18-2002, 03:55 PM
Ain't nothing wrong with "Foxy" :lol:

MrsJim
12-18-2002, 05:01 PM
AACK! sometimes I feel like Dr. Evil in the first Austin Powers film...remember the scene when he was trying to 'connect' with his son Scott? "I'm hip...tukka, tukka, tukka... :lol: "

Foxy is still in use eh? Hubby is a bassist and likes to play a lot of P-Funk...so we're still firmly embedded in the 70's/80's...although we do listen to No Doubt, Fishbone, and Tool!

AnnieNYC
12-22-2002, 02:13 AM
i think this article is just ridiculous, and someone has too much time on their hands...they just want to blame everything on everybody else, forget what we eat, its not the hamburgers and the french fries we are eating, its the weight watchers plan which tells us not to eat too much of it....oh well

thansk for posting it, i enjoyed it thoroughly.

Annie

Keltic_Gypsy
12-22-2002, 08:42 PM
I had to read and re-read this article. I want to thank you for posting it actually. It reminds me that their are people out there who are just plain JEALOUS. Yep, jealous over the peole who have lost weight on WW. I have WW to thank for the 50lbs I've lost and KEPT OFF. Over the past year. The last few months have not been kind to me, but in no way is that WW fault, its MINE. For not following the program and eating right.

One Phat chicky-poo

SuGeorgia
12-23-2002, 02:54 PM
I am pretty sure they wouldn't get very far in the states. WW has millions of statements about "results not typical, your results may vary". And, I know that there are hundreds of long term WW maintainers out there. Just another silly lawsuit to get someone in the press!

candybunny
01-31-2005, 11:36 AM
anyhow, back to the topic at hand foxy ladies.....I agree with past posters that no "diet" plan is going to work unless you change your life style and make good choices. Eating healthy food, portion control, drinking water, and exercising are the keys to successful weight loss. Isn't it awesome that we all have different ideas!?!?!?!

mauvaisroux
01-31-2005, 12:14 PM
Personally I don't think WW is responsible and I can justify someone suing them. You are ultimately responsible for yourself and your own actions. I personally have never been promised anything by WW. They give me the tools I need and it is up to me to use them. I have never had any of their products or services "pushed on me".

Even when I was on the WW plan but not attending meetings I maintained my weight or lost. But if I don't stick to my plan then I do gain - my fault - not WW's. :shrug:

Just my 2 cents....

jennifa
01-31-2005, 01:58 PM
WW did not work for me. I have the tracking sheets to prove that I stayed on program, but "on program", at least at my WW office, wasn't the best eating plan. The meeting leaders all kept showing us how much popcorn we could cram into a 1 cup measurement, how to get the most Snackwells possible, etc. etc. The plan materials said one thing, the meetings said quite another. You can blame me if you want to, but I know that I tracked ALL of my food and workouts and I would lose maybe 1/4 of a pound a month on the WW Fat & Fiber plan. I tried to stay on the Selection plan, but the meeting support people kept telling me to switch to the new program. After spending several hundreds of dollars so I could feel like a fat, disgusting failure every week, I quit out of sheer frustration. I don't know what WW programs look like these days.

I sincerely wish I had kept looking for a better progam.

I think the reason this is coming up is that they have a money back guarantee. It's going to be awfully difficult to prove that it doesn't work, though - I know that many people have had success on WW. The plan that DID work for me is Body for Life; compared to the WW plan I was on, it is much stricter and has a LOT more physical activity than WW. I have maintained my weight loss for 7 months now.

Different plans work for different people - that's why this website is so great. If you haven't lost weight on WW, there ARE other plans that may work for you. Don't give up, keep looking and keep working out and eating healthy.

Anybody trying to sue ANY weight loss company - good luck, you're gonna need it. I'd rather spend my energy at the gym.

Jennifa
242/186

lucky
01-31-2005, 02:09 PM
I believe that people should take responsibility for their actions. There is no question that weight loss has gone from a medical issue to a complete industry in the last couple of decades. There are companies that take advantage of our weaknesses. And it isn't just the weight loss industry. Watch ANY commercial on TV - it is called marketing.

I think what is important is for the general public to arm themselves with information and define what is realistic for us. Oprah is a perfect example. I absolutely adore and respect her. But I cannot compare my weight struggle to hers. Was it easy for her to get the fabulous new body she has? Surely not. But clearly she has access to chefs, trainers, etc. that the average person doesn't. Now, I'm not saying the information that she shares isn't good - it is. Just that the average person can't realisically have an "if Oprah can do it, I can too" attitude. Same thing with celebrity spokespeople. Ferggie looked great in her before and after shots. But what aren't they telling us? How much airbrushing was done? Are they going to run a new add if she gains any of the weight back? I am the first to admit that I am inspired by other people's success. I think it can play a vital role in my own success. But I always try and not be sucked into the glamour of it all. If I see a before picture of someone whose starting weight is 450 and ended at 115, I think that is great. But I immediately have to question what surgery was required after that weight loss to make the after picture so terrific. And have you ever noticed that you NEVER see cellulite in any after shots? Please.

And make no mistake, very few of these weight loss organizations are not for profit. Years ago I went to Jenny Craig. I met my goal weight. Within a month I was getting sales calls trying to get me to set up another appointment. It is as if they INTENDED me to gain the weight back so that they could rack up a few more bucks. Now, after 9 years of marriage and a few pregnancies later I am back on the weight loss track. But I wouldn't imagine shelling out any money to meet my goal thanks to those calls.

So, does the general public need to change their attitude and look again at their goals and options available for meeting them? Absolutely. But no lawsuit in the world is going to facilitate that change. The bottom line is and always will be - not every program is going to work for every person. WW is truely a life saver for many, many, people. I hated going. The structure of Jenny Craig will work for lots of people. Their sales tactics turned me off. And on, and on, and on.

I think if the people who initiated this lawsuit really wanted to protect the rest of us they would be busy getting REALISTIC information out and STOP pointing the finger. Let's face it, one of the biggest challenges in losing weight is accepting that you got yourself in this mess and you are the only one who can get yourself out of it. Suing WW for not doing it for you seems down right silly to me. What's next? Suing food manufacturers for producing low calorie and fat free foods that still make you gain weight if you eat too much?

mauvaisroux
01-31-2005, 03:18 PM
Jennifa - sorry you had such a bad experience, the people at that office sounded like they did not know what the heck they were doing. My leader encourages people to make healthy choices - not to figure out how much diet junk you can scarf and still stay within your points, I can't believe your centre encouraged that! :mad:

The current program, at least where I am, encourages people to eat healthy, eat more non-processed foods, eat good carbs such as whole wheat products and brown rice, make better food choices and to exercise. There are people in my group who have lost and maintained 100lbs or more and some people who quit after losing 15lbs :shrug: So what works for some doesn't necessarily work for others.

Body for Life looks like a great program but it doesn't fit into my lifestyle. I totally agree - you have to find a plan that is a good fit for you :)

Satine
01-31-2005, 04:06 PM
Hi, I know a few of you have said this already but I think we all like to put the blame on someone else when we fail at a diet or when wesimply do not have the will power. WW is a great program if you actually work it. I have lost almost 60 pounds on WW during the last year. When I would cheat - no I would not lose, BUT when I stuck to the program I always lost at least a pound a week. You get out of it what you put into it...plain and simple ( with any diet ).

suechef
01-31-2005, 05:25 PM
But doesn't she talk about the need for permanent change in her article? In this, she is absolutely right - if you have a diet plan that works for you and then you reach your goal & don't keep on with a healthy eating program, you'll gain it back no matter what the program is.

"I spoke to Weight Watchers’ then chief executive in Britain, an American. She told me that one of the biggest problems confronting Weight Watchers was recidivism - people who followed the diets and then went back to their “bad” eating habits. She seemed genuinely concerned and told me that they were working with psychologists to confront these problems."

Along with permanent change, she's also right to bring up the "why people eat when they're not hungry" thing - does WW address that in an significant way? (I did try WW many years ago but it just wasn't my style).

Sounds like she's going after WW because they're the biggest, and people seem to trust them the most.

cheers,
Sue

mauvaisroux
01-31-2005, 09:37 PM
Yep! WW does address the permanent change and treats the plan as a lifelong change/process.

No quick fixes on that plan! :)

Trixie14
01-31-2005, 10:01 PM
I agree with some of the things said, but I don't think she should be going after Weight Watchers..it is one of the most well known for a reason. People gain weight back b/c like others have already stated they think once they reach their goal weight they can eat everything they want again and not bother with eating healthy or exercising anymore, which isn't true, weight watchers helps you get on the right track and then your supposed to stay there for the rest of your life (hence the term 'lifestyle change')

I know a lot of people that weight watchers as worked for and I am currently doing it myself!

Anyway thanks for posting, it was an interesting read! :)

Gypsydancer
02-03-2005, 11:41 AM
I respect Susie Orbach and think she makes a lot of valid points. I highly recommend "Fat is a Feminist Issue." And it IS a feminist issue. Women use fat for all kinds of reasons such as to insulate themselves from intimacy or to protect themselves after abuse. And fat women are treated terribly by our thin-obsessed society, much worse than fat men. Self-hatred due to body size reaches even the youngest girls. We are conditioned to believe being fat is a moral failing, the most awful thing that could happen to you. How is that productive? I don't believe anyone can lose weight permanently without ending this self-hatred that the diet industry thrives on. And the fact that recidivism is almost assured (if you believe the statistics), simply means that the diet industry has many repeat customers--why would they change?

However, I don't know why she's taking on WW either--there are much worse offenders with very unethical tactics. I reached my goal weight and became a lifetime member when I was a teenager and didn't have much to lose. Since then, I have gained weight and gone back countless times. I found I could not follow the program, whichever program they were peddling at the time, for any length of time, and I became obsessed with food. For me, it was not a lifestyle I could maintain. It was a diet, complete with feelings of punishment, self-deprivation, self-hatred, etc. I think the author's points are that we've been sold contradictory advice by an industry that preys upon our feelings of self-loathing, and doesn't address the real problem: the emotional/spiritual basis for overeating.

esmaraude
02-03-2005, 02:26 PM
This article is rather. . . interesting.

I also believe that fat is a feminist issue, but I don't agree with that lawsuit. It's about as ridiculous as that silly McDonald's lawsuit a while back.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that eating right is a question of willpower, but at the same time, we can't shrug off the responsibility of how we take care of our bodies to someone else.

almostheaven
02-03-2005, 04:14 PM
Just lovely. Now people are complaining because insurance won't cover gastric bypass. So they're trying to get it mandatory coverage for certain BMIs. And as soon as people have their insurance pay for the surgery, and they continue eating as they always did and gain it all back, they'll start suing over the gastric bypass promises for their own inability to keep the weight off. :(

esmaraude
02-03-2005, 07:49 PM
Just lovely. Now people are complaining because insurance won't cover gastric bypass. So they're trying to get it mandatory coverage for certain BMIs. And as soon as people have their insurance pay for the surgery, and they continue eating as they always did and gain it all back, they'll start suing over the gastric bypass promises for their own inability to keep the weight off. :(

One of my old high school friends stayed with her husband long enough to use his insurance for gastric bypass.

Ok, I'll admit it, I'm a little jealous. I almost feel like she got to cheat her way into becoming thin while I have to do everything the hard way.

But then I realized that I don't need to resort to having my body carved up like that. Do I really need something as invasive as surgery to control what I put in my mouth? I have the power to motivate myself. I have the power to make the right choices. And if I screw up on occasion, no big deal.

And I realize that I can't blame anyone else for not doing the work for me. I guess that's the whole point I'm trying to make. People need to make the responsibility of finding answers for themselves. I'm not saying that support isn't a great thing, because it really is, it's just that we need to proceed with caution because a lot of those groups are just out there for the money.

The Aunt
02-04-2005, 01:47 PM
I work with an older woman who's doctor is telling her to have a band inserted in her stomach. She is seriously considering this surgery even though she eats like a horse all day long. I would really like to tell her doctor that until she changes her eating habits this band or gastric bypass will never work and I for one resent my insurance cost going up so that people can have the surgery covered by insurance and then continue to eat like there's no tomorrow.

mauvaisroux
02-04-2005, 02:02 PM
Well, you are not supposed to eat like that after have weight loss surgery. The ladies on the weight loss surgery forum here have had to go through a lot to get their surgery and to recover from it. It is not an easy thing to go through and has to be done properly and with the right intentions. Unfortunately some people will look at as a quick fix and the answer to all their weight loss problems.

Perhaps the lady you work with isn't being honest with her doctor :shrug: then again maybe her doctor isn't that scrupulous about prescribing surgery to people...

chixyb
02-04-2005, 05:21 PM
All I have to say, and I am not pointing this towards anyone, is it is not weight watchers fault that you gained weight. How much do you want to bet that at least 3/4 of those people didn't follow the plan correctly? I know people who have followed it and gained weight, but when they counted points they didn't pay attention to the serving size, so 1 bag of extra butter popcorn is not 3 points like they thought.
Now, it also depends on what plan they followed, as we have seen, the plan gets better as they grow. The first one they ever did probably wasn't the best. And we all know that one plan will not work for everyone. Maybe the weight wasn't the real problem, it could have been thyroid problems or anything else. Heck, I gained 60 lbs from a birth control. Now I didn't eat the healthiest, but trust me, I didn't eat enough to gain that much in 3 months.

Anyways, Susie needs to find something better to do.

almostheaven
02-04-2005, 07:39 PM
Unfortunately some people will look at as a quick fix and the answer to all their weight loss problems.

Yup. Just like they seem to be looking at Weight Watchers as somehow having failed them because they did not completely follow the WW plan appropriately. Because they did not have the willpower, or whatever it took, they're blaming the program for not losing or for regaining the weight. If they actually lost the weight in the program, then the program does in fact work. But some people prefer blame.

MrsJim
02-04-2005, 07:50 PM
All I have to say, and I am not pointing this towards anyone, is it is not weight watchers fault that you gained weight. How much do you want to bet that at least 3/4 of those people didn't follow the plan correctly? I know people who have followed it and gained weight, but when they counted points they didn't pay attention to the serving size, so 1 bag of extra butter popcorn is not 3 points like they thought.
Now, it also depends on what plan they followed, as we have seen, the plan gets better as they grow. The first one they ever did probably wasn't the best. And we all know that one plan will not work for everyone. Maybe the weight wasn't the real problem, it could have been thyroid problems or anything else. Heck, I gained 60 lbs from a birth control. Now I didn't eat the healthiest, but trust me, I didn't eat enough to gain that much in 3 months.

Anyways, Susie needs to find something better to do.

That's kind of what I think on the matter. Just like weight loss surgery - Weight Watchers is not a cure for obesity - it's a TOOL. I'm fairly sure that we're all aware - at one level or another - that the basic formula of weight loss is the same for pretty much ALL of us - it's calories in, calories out or "eat less, move more" as Suzanne would say :) . Weight Watchers doesn't work for everyone, but then again - what plan does? We all have to find something that works for us - something that we can live with in the long term to not only lose the weight but KEEP it off permanently. For a lot of people, Weight Watchers is a liveable, sensible plan that they can fit into their daily life. (Actually, I gotta say that my mom, who has NEVER had a weight problem and still looks gorgeous at the age of 63, joined WW a year or so ago - not to lose weight but to pick up nutrition tips, recipes, and socialize - which, if you know the history of WW, fits perfectly with founder Jean Niditch's philosophy - Jean N. started WW in 1963 in her house with an exchange diet her doctor gave her, got some friends together as a support group and as she put it "I added talk".)

But they just give you the tools you need to succeed and encourage you along the way - they can't guarantee permanent weight loss. Even a surgeon who performs WLS can't guarantee permanent weight loss for his patients - they need to follow the rules and (yup) eat less and exercise more otherwise the possibility of regain is very, very real.

Obviously, to my eyes anyway - this "lawsuit" was nothing more than a publicity stunt on the part of Orbach. She doesn't have a legal leg to stand on (I'm NOT an attorney, but I really don't think so). I think that, bottom line, she did this to get her name into the press and sell her book "Fat is a Feminist Issue".

And that brings me to the title of her book...if, indeed, fat is a "Feminist Issue" WHY are there as many obese men as there are women? I don't think that being fat is purely a 'feminist' issue.

Fat is a LIFESTYLE issue - for the vast majority of people, obesity is a result of a superabundance of cheap, easily obtained food and a simultaneous extremely sharp decline in exercise. It wasn't so very long ago that we all had to do physical, manual labor for even the simplest tasks. Even when my Dad was growing up - they didn't have a bathroom in the house - they had an outhouse in the field, which they had to walk (or run) to whenever they got the urge. And every so often the outhouse had to be moved to another area - that took manual labor because that's what they had to work with. Grandma's stove was still a wood and coal-burning stove. Rather than spend money on coal, Dad and his brothers were EXPECTED to go out and cut down timber, then had to cut the timber into logs that would fit inside the stove. They had stock and crops to tend to on a daily basis. Preparing food took a HUGE amount of energy - think of having to bake bread for a large hungry family once a week - 7 kids and 2 parents - without a mixer or bread machine. That's WORK. We don't have that now, but the average American probably consumes as many or MORE calories as they did then!

Fat is a NATIONAL issue - obesity has become an acknowledged epidemic in the US.

Fat is a GLOBAL issue - as American habits and fast-food chains spread around the globe, along with industrialization and the Internet, overweight and obesity is becoming more and more the norm. This is a problem that is fast approaching critical mass.

Fat is a PARENTAL issue - When I was in school, it was highly unusual to see a 'fat kid'. And "fat" probably meant maybe a few pounds heavier than the norm. Nowadays, the tide has changed drastically...and it's not limited to girls - it's at least as bad in boys, if not more so. A few weeks ago when I had a day off work, I caught an afternoon show which featured a 3 or 4 year old boy who weighed at least 130-140 lbs and was eating mega-portions of food, served to him by his mother (who was also obese). He demanded to be fed at all hours of the day - at night, the camera caught him entering the kitchen under cover of darkness to steal more food - this little 4 YO was ingenious enough to be able to use a broomstick to open a cabinet and 'knock down' the cookies that were placed on a high shelf.

Fat is an issue that ALL of us - male or female, young or old, heck even fat or thin - have to deal with. And IMO one way to start dealing with it is NOT to sue companies to make 'a statement' - or to claim that fat just affects one group of people - we need to get together as a nation, as a global community and do something about it, starting with proper education in our children, just like we have done with tobacco.

This type of 'lawsuit' is just a total grandstanding waste of time...IMO of course...

esmaraude
02-04-2005, 08:39 PM
And that brings me to the title of her book...if, indeed, fat is a "Feminist Issue" WHY are there as many obese men as there are women? I don't think that being fat is purely a 'feminist' issue.

You have a very valid point there; fat does not discriminate. But I don't think that's her point. It's the difference between the images of overweight men and overweight women. Socially, it seems more acceptable for a man to be overweight. There are endless examples of this. One that comes to mind is recent episode of American Idol. Paula told an overweight woman with a beautiful voice that she "needs to think about her image." And this is coming from someone that has suffered eating disorders herself? Anyway, if that's the case, how did Ruben make it so far in another season?

MrsJim
02-05-2005, 12:52 AM
I think Paula Abdul was giving her opinion, not speaking for society as a whole. (one of the reasons I don't watch American Idol...I personally don't care for the people they DO select - too bland and formula for my tastes!) The American Idol judges don't speak for ME, that's for sure!

Ruben Studdard is mentioned; in contrast, may I offer Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul? She has seldom been 'skinny', yet her legendary career now spans four decades.

I have to say that at least in the business world, if it WAS acceptable for a man to be overweight/obese at one time, it is much less so today. At the company I work for, I can only think of one or two EVPs who are overweight, and none are what I'd call obese. That includes men as well as women (and I must mention that I work in the headquarters of an internationally known organization, BTW). And while the majority of 3FC members are women, there are plenty of weight loss/fitness forums that are pretty equal as to men/women ratio (I think it's just that men prefer to discuss health issues with other men, just like women prefer to discuss issues like menopause, PCOS, and other female health issues with other women). And speaking of weight loss surgery...the WLS sites (which have very busy forums) have just as many men who are desperate enough to lose weight to undergo this drastic surgery.

Things have changed some since Orbach's book was published in the 1970's.

pamisuzinc
02-05-2005, 08:36 PM
I agree with everything you ladies said here. However, just wanted to inject that it was Kenny Loggins, not Paula Abdul who made the first comment about her image. I specifically remember that because I really like him and I thought "What an awful thing to say you jerk!" :mad: Thanks for letting me put my two cents in. Have a good day!
Pam

almostheaven
02-05-2005, 11:20 PM
I know everyone jumps Simon for saying stuff like that, but frankly, I'm glad he does. Because he's being totally honest. Too many people go on there deluding themselves into thinking they can be an idol, and the idol contest is about image and personality as well as voice. I have no clue how Ruben made it, and there's been no end of speculation on that one. It was about the same shock as when Jennifer was booted. Something was just so totally messed up. But they had a guy that they gave the same kind of advice to once and he even made a statement about Meatloaf being overweight or somesuch. But it wasn't just his weight. He was badly in need of shaving his 6 o'clock shadow, combing his hair, and well...taking a bath might have helped. He just didn't have the image all over, including the gut.

esmaraude
02-06-2005, 11:06 PM
Ah, I didn't realize that Kenny Loggins was the first to say anything; I don't watch that show myself, but my best friend told me all about it the next day.

The only reason I mentioned Ruben (as opposed to anyone else) was because he made it on American Idol. There are plenty other artists out there that have made it big. Mama Cass is one of my personal favorites. I've actually been asked if I'm related to her because of my name and size. Ah, if I only had that voice. . .

Still, even after all this debate, I still feel it's socially more acceptable for a man to be overweight than a woman. Or maybe this body has made me jaded over the years. It's just that women are almost expected to be eye candy, while the men are taken more seriously no matter what the situation is.

Amarantha2
02-06-2005, 11:26 PM
Interesting thread. Dunno. I think the original article posted had some good points but some dated and overly conclusory statements about the complexities of recidivism in weight loss.

IMO, fat is NOT a feminist issue. It's just a people issue.

And if I were going to sue anyone for the way we all eat, it wouldn't be WW! :)

Gypsydancer
02-08-2005, 09:06 AM
All I have to say, and I am not pointing this towards anyone, is it is not weight watchers fault that you gained weight. How much do you want to bet that at least 3/4 of those people didn't follow the plan correctly?

I think that's one of Orbach's points. Many people cannot maintain this type of eating. I know I couldn't. The body rebels against restrictive eating, which leads many to go off the diet and then the body attempts to compensate for the "starvation" it's just gone through, by packing on more pounds. Her point is that businesses in diet industry sell their respective plan as THE solution for obesity, but if you fail at it, you're the problem, not the plan.

Now before I get flamed too much :), I think WW is one of the least egregious offenders, and if you've been able to adopt it as your lifestyle for the rest of your life, I'm very happy for you!

Jen415
02-08-2005, 11:02 AM
When Kenny Loggins mentioned that young woman's "image", I believe he wasn't just talking about weight, if at all..... She wasn't dressed like I would dress if I were going on American Idol. She is basically pretty but could use some enhancements like wardrobe and make-up. Weight isn't always an issue on Idol... JMHO

ToniMarie
03-07-2005, 05:23 AM
Well, if I was going to sue WW, it would be for their lack of concern over members w/ED. In their books, they have everywhere that children and breastfeeding women should be careful but it warns NOWHERE about potential complications for people having suffered from anorexia/bulimia.

Otherwise, I like WW. I do not, however, like the new Turnaround program. For me, Winning Points was EVERYTHING I needed. It emphasized empowering myself to make healthy choices, I lost steadily with it, and finally learned how to differentiate between ok foods and good foods. I know more than a dozen people, personally, who have lost 20 or more lbs on ww and kept it off...so I doubt that their lawsuit, as is, would have much merit in the court system.