Thursday, October 11, 2007

Joy Nash, At it Again

Thanks to an anonymous reader who shared Ms. Nash's most recent gem. . .

15 comments:

Beth said...

I love that! We shouldn't treat fat people any differently than thin ones, and I never do. In fact, while doing research for a paper I'm doing on eating disorders, I came across the statistic that up to 70% of our body type is inherited. While there are MANY fat people out there who pig out, overindulge, there are many who eat the same way most thin people do. However, the average American consumes around 3400 calories a day, which is probably why the average American is overweight. Regardless, everyone deserves to be treated equally.

Rachel said...

Beth: Before others get their talons into you, I should probably point out that what you just said is so very erroneous and offensive. In essence, you're saying the average American overeats or eats unhealthily which is why the average American is fat. Your last statement about equal rights doesn't atone for this egregious accusation.

The simple fact of it is, our bodies all metabolize fat differently. A thin person may eat 3,400 calories a day and never gain weight, while a fat person may eat 1,200 calories a day and gain weight. On one hand, you say that 70% of body type is inheritable, and then you go on to assume that the average American is fat because of what they eat. Don't you see the contradictions within your own statements?

The fact is, you can't tell what a person eats simply by looking at them. And even more importantly, it shouldn't matter what or how much one eats.

Beth said...

My hypotheses about how people eat and why certain ones are overweight has nothing to do with how I treat people. I think bulimia is much worse than being fat because one eats too much, which is why I don't look down on overweight people. I can't presume all of them are overweight because they eat too much. And YES, it does matter how much people eat, bulimics included, because excessive amounts are a waste of food. This also makes your body age more quickly and have to work harder. So how about posting your opinion of the video, as I did, and not deflecting your PC opinions onto me?

cggirl said...

Beth, i won't get into the rest of the argument cuz you and rachel pointed out the main points.

Just one thing: the "waste of food" argument is weak.
After all, I'm sure you would agree with me when i say that if u have a plate of food at home and u don't really want to finish it, u should just leave it. Even if nobody claims it and it ends up spoiling and getting thrown out.
I dunno, i find that argument weak and yet another example of how we pick odd things to support our hypothesis.

That is not meant to disrespect your opinion or the rest of what u said, while i agree more with rachel i know that i don't know everything and your opinions count too...

cggirl said...

oh by the way rachel, take into acount that beth herself is battling with bulemia so i'm sure it's hard for her to see things differently... i took a look at her blog to see her point of view.

And beth, sorry to state the obvious but bulemia isn't just bad because you eat too much, it's bad because u purge. You didn't mention that part and I thought i should. It's kind of a big deal and I think/hope u realize that the purging part is a big problem.

Anonymous said...

I, as a compulsive overeater, was greatly shamed and offended by that video. I am not overweight, but I have gone through periods of my life where I have been.

To mock the compulsions that drive me to eat in a way that I feel like I am out of control... and also the fact that I try to use methods (aka coping skills) to deal with my urges and afterward am extremely guilty, embarrased, and ashamed....to have her compare them to complusions to breath and urinate (other necessities of life)made me feel like the lowest life form on earth. I know you need to eat to live. But this is beyond that. It was like compulsive overeating doesn't exist. And it IS REAL. and it does destroy people.

I got her message. Not everyone that appears overweight is a complusive overeatter, (everyone eats differently and people shouldn't just make assumptions based on size - duh - everyone in the ed community knows that) but it definately could have been presented in a manner that didn't rip into those of us that are.

cggirl said...

To the anonymous poster: i understand how u might be offended if you are struggling with a compulsive disorder.

Though Joy did not say in the video that she is a compulsive overeater, she said she was a compulsive eater. I think besides - as you pointed out - the fact that we shouldn't judge fat people and assume they are overeaters (or that thin people are not), this video also comments on the fact that as a society we have pathologized the mere act of eating and satisfying our physical hunger. And in that regard, her comparisons were correct. I wouldn't compare compulsively OVEReating to "compulsively peeing" for instance, but i would compare "compulsively eating" to it. Eating, like all these other bodily functions, is vital and natural.

I know that the distinction between her saying "compulsively eating" and "compulsively OVEReating" may do little or nothing to change how you feel about this video, but i thought it was worth mentioning...

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you mentioning it cggirl. and the sensitive nature in which you did so. kuddos.

it is a very fine line, and I feel like it was crossed by placing herself in a group therapy context, thus taking it to a clinical level even in this sense.

but i do also see how my personal feelings affect my viewing of the clip. i didn't even hear the "eating" vs "overeating" distinction you pointed out. i seriously just heard overeating. (i won't watch it again to check it out, it offends me too much...i take your word for it)

it is a lesson to take on with me in my relatively young life. but I do feel better that I spoke (ok wrote) up.

cggirl said...

I'm glad you spoke up too :) your points are valid and it helps that the rest of us read your comment and can be more sensitive about these issues in the future as a result of it.

drstaceyny said...

beth--I agree with most of what you write. There is a huge genetic component to all of this.

rachel--good points.

beth--bulimia is a terrible condition, not just b/c of the overeating but b/c of all of the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral correlates associated w/it. It also is quite terrible to be fat in this culture, as it's a set-up for discrimination.

cggirl--good points abt wasting food and abt how bulimia isn't just abt overeating.

anon--I see where you're coming from, but I think cggirl makes an intersting distinction below. I don't think Joy Nash is knocking those who eat emotionally or compulsively, but rather the assumption that anyone who isn't a Size 6 (or below) does, as you note. Compulsive eating is a problem and one that shouldn't be minimized--it's just not on Nash's current agenda.

Anonymous said...

Why is there always this... "fat people" versus "thin people" thing? Are we different species? What about the healthy people who are somewhere in between?

I didn't really care for the video... I can see how it might be sending the message, "Don't judge someone by every activities, such as eating/sleeping/etc just because of their size!" It comes off too easily as, "People with eating disorders don't really have a problem!"

I think it could have been scripted more tactfully.

Marshmallow said...

The 'fat people' versus 'thin people' thing comes from the discrimination that fat people experience that thin people don't. As a formerly fat person, people who are overweight DO get treated like a different species!

You could be looking at two people of completely different physical build, and come to an assumption that one must eat terrible and the other must eat perfectly, when really you cannot make that assumption.

And your statement of 'what about the healthy people who are somewhere in between' is a clear example of the assumption that fat people cannot be healthy, and that thin people cannot be healthy.

I personally think that the video is an excellent way of communicating how it is incorrect for the general public to assume that overweight people 'must' eat differently to thin people. And I didn't interpret any other message when watching the video, so I thought Joy scripted it very well :-)

Anonymous said...

To marshmellow, you misunderstand :) By "healthy people who are somewhere in between" I was not talking about size. I never said that those who appear overweight (according to society's standards) were unhealthy.

I'm just sick of seeing the words "thin" and "fat" as reference to human beings. People are people. If we want to fight against ignorance, there is a better way to make references without using the same old labels that the speaker is trying to diminish.

Sarah said...

Beth, Rachel's criticism of your post is extremely valid. To assume that fat and thin people have different eating habits is a flat out lie.

"While there are MANY fat people out there who pig out, overindulge, there are many who eat the same way most thin people do."

This statement is ignorance on your part. Thin people are just as capable of pigging out as fat people are. Have you never heard about metabolism? So don't pull that PC bullshit because somebody took you up on an opinion you displayed that was ill-informed and idiotic.

Plus, what do you expect people to do with their "extra" food? Not eat it? Fly it over to Africa before it spoils? Give me a break.

pangsofbeaut said...

i actually love 'fat rant' depsite the fact that fat actually freaks me out (blame my eating disorder).

my father is overweight. my mother is overweight. two of my sisters are overweight. and they make bad food choices. and they make good food choices. they make the former a lot more than the latter.

the amount of food isn't always relevant to caloric intake. i just ate a LOT of food but only ingested 200 calories. now, if i was to eat a single cup of cream cheese, then besides feeling sick, i'd also ingest a LOT of calories. a whole cooked potato is WAY less calories then the same potato turned into french fries.

we inherent our body shapes? or we inherent food choices? we learn from our family. if our family overeats, then we will probably overeat.

this isn't 100% true 100% of the time, of course. but anyone who's ever restricted their normal caloric intake will testify to the weight loss that DID incur.

weight and food are correlated. and nutrition is often misunderstood. my friend told me she wanted subway because it was 'healthy' that depends on what you get. she got chicken bacon and ranch dressing on white bread. healthy? hardly!

and this fat rant is a good thing to keep in mind, but overeating DOES exist. it IS an eating disorder.

but it's not fair to assume that overweight individuals have an ED. just as it's not fair to assume a thin person has an ED. and in the same vein, it's not fair to assume a normal weight (aka me!) person doesn't have an ED...