WEGG Question #13 - Cultural Effects

by Peter Hedges

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Boo-Radley
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Unread postby Boo-Radley » Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:51 pm

Liz wrote:How does our culture treat its obese and developmentally disabled differently than others?

What are the effects on them in our culture?



Great comments everyone. Like everyone here I see a greater acceptance of disabled persons in our American culture now than in years past, and this of course is a good thing.

However, I can see the issue of obesity from the perspective of my own culture and the effect that prevailing attitudes in the mainstream culture has affected that perspective. Being "heavy" or "thick" as it was and is referred to in my culture, was never a source of public humiliation when I was growing up for African-Americans, we just didn't see it a reason to dislike someone, after all most of us had a heavy mom, dad, uncle, sister, brother, Big Momma (grandma), grandpa, Aunt Sukie :lol: It's only been in very recent time, in my adult life, with the increasingly very negative attitudes towards overweight persons in the mainstream culture (which I personally find deplorable) that I now see this very same attitude mirrored in my culture.

What people don't often understand about weight beyond the gene connection and the emotional tie-in, is that the kinds of foods that are healthy and low in calories are the most expensive foods at the grocery store, if you are poor and you have a lot of mouths to feed you by cheap, and cheap is often fattening as well. Also for most poor people, a night of fun and entertainment is a trip to Mickey D's (MacDonald's) or WhiteCastles they can't afford the beach, the mountains, etc. but you want to give your children some kind of memories and not make every minute about how hard strapped you are financially, so you do the best you can with what you have. So I guess what I'm saying is that, I agree with Peter Hedges and others who have posted here today everyone has their story.

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"With this hand I will cup your.... Oh goodness no!"~~Victor Van Dort

"The theater is my drug, and my illness is so far advanced that my physic must be of the highest quality."~~John Wilmot

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Unread postby gemini » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:18 pm

Boo-Radley wrote:
Liz wrote:How does our culture treat its obese and developmentally disabled differently than others?

What are the effects on them in our culture?



Great comments everyone. Like everyone here I see a greater acceptance of disabled persons in our American culture now than in years past, and this of course is a good thing.

However, I can see the issue of obesity from the perspective of my own culture and the effect that prevailing attitudes in the mainstream culture has affected that perspective. Being "heavy" or "thick" as it was and is referred to in my culture, was never a source of public humiliation when I was growing up for African-Americans, we just didn't see it a reason to dislike someone, after all most of us had a heavy mom, dad, uncle, sister, brother, Big Momma (grandma), grandpa, Aunt Sukie :lol: It's only been in very recent time, in my adult life, with the increasingly very negative attitudes towards overweight persons in the mainstream culture (which I personally find deplorable) that I now see this very same attitude mirrored in my culture.

What people don't often understand about weight beyond the gene connection and the emotional tie-in, is that the kinds of foods that are healthy and low in calories are the most expensive foods at the grocery store, if you are poor and you have a lot of mouths to feed you by cheap, and cheap is often fattening as well. Also for most poor people, a night of fun and entertainment is a trip to Mickey D's (MacDonald's) or WhiteCastles they can't afford the beach, the mountains, etc. but you want to give your children some kind of memories and not make every minute about how hard strapped you are financially, so you do the best you can with what you have. So I guess what I'm saying is that, I agree with Peter Hedges and others who have posted here today everyone has their story.

Live in Depp
Boo


Hi boo
You make a good point about cultural acceptance of overweight but recently everyone is getting on the skinny band wagon. You have reminded me that my grandparents who had a farm were both what we would consider fat today and it was just accepted that grandparents can be fat. My grandad loved to make homemade icecream and my grandma raised chickens and sold eggs for spending money. They ate a lot of fried chicken and dandelions. There was no fast food in their day but they got fat on home cooking.

What you said about cheaper foods is true for a lot of people on low incomes. Remember the articles about retirees eating dog food awhile back because they couldn't afford meat. The most expensive foods are meat, fresh fruits and veggies at the grocery and boxed macaroni is the cheapest. I guess my remark about educating children on nutrition won't help much until we raise the minimum wage so they can afford food.
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Unread postby Boo-Radley » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:40 pm

gemini wrote:
Boo-Radley wrote:
Liz wrote:How does our culture treat its obese and developmentally disabled differently than others?

What are the effects on them in our culture?



Great comments everyone. Like everyone here I see a greater acceptance of disabled persons in our American culture now than in years past, and this of course is a good thing.

However, I can see the issue of obesity from the perspective of my own culture and the effect that prevailing attitudes in the mainstream culture has affected that perspective. Being "heavy" or "thick" as it was and is referred to in my culture, was never a source of public humiliation when I was growing up for African-Americans, we just didn't see it a reason to dislike someone, after all most of us had a heavy mom, dad, uncle, sister, brother, Big Momma (grandma), grandpa, Aunt Sukie :lol: It's only been in very recent time, in my adult life, with the increasingly very negative attitudes towards overweight persons in the mainstream culture (which I personally find deplorable) that I now see this very same attitude mirrored in my culture.

What people don't often understand about weight beyond the gene connection and the emotional tie-in, is that the kinds of foods that are healthy and low in calories are the most expensive foods at the grocery store, if you are poor and you have a lot of mouths to feed you by cheap, and cheap is often fattening as well. Also for most poor people, a night of fun and entertainment is a trip to Mickey D's (MacDonald's) or WhiteCastles they can't afford the beach, the mountains, etc. but you want to give your children some kind of memories and not make every minute about how hard strapped you are financially, so you do the best you can with what you have. So I guess what I'm saying is that, I agree with Peter Hedges and others who have posted here today everyone has their story.

Live in Depp
Boo


Hi boo
You make a good point about cultural acceptance of overweight but recently everyone is getting on the skinny band wagon. You have reminded me that my grandparents who had a farm were both what we would consider fat today and it was just accepted that grandparents can be fat. My grandad loved to make homemade icecream and my grandma raised chickens and sold eggs for spending money. They ate a lot of fried chicken and dandelions. There was no fast food in their day but they got fat on home cooking.

What you said about cheaper foods is true for a lot of people on low incomes. Remember the articles about retirees eating dog food awhile back because they couldn't afford meat. The most expensive foods are meat, fresh fruits and veggies at the grocery and boxed macaroni is the cheapest. I guess my remark about educating children on nutrition won't help much until we raise the minimum wage so they can afford food.


:lol: gemini, I had to laugh at your closing comment, but I get it society has to change. Thanks.

Live in Depp
Boo
"With this hand I will cup your.... Oh goodness no!"~~Victor Van Dort

"The theater is my drug, and my illness is so far advanced that my physic must be of the highest quality."~~John Wilmot

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Unread postby Liz » Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:24 pm

Good points, Boo and Gemini, about the price of eating right. :twocents:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:48 pm

Boobaba and gemini, that is such an excellent point! The most unhealthy foods are the most affordable and most available. I remember when the government decided catsup could be considered a vegetable for school children. :rolleyes: All the education in the world won't help that. :grr: And of course this all goes back to our cultural expectaions of what is "normal". I feel a :soapbox: approaching so I'll stop for now.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:27 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Boobaba and gemini, that is such an excellent point! The most unhealthy foods are the most affordable and most available. I remember when the government decided catsup could be considered a vegetable for school children. :rolleyes: All the education in the world won't help that. :grr: And of course this all goes back to our cultural expectaions of what is "normal". I feel a :soapbox: approaching so I'll stop for now.


Actually, I was relieved to find out that catsup has anti-oxidants in it. :blush: My son eats so much catsup that his uncle gave him some for Christmas a couple of years ago. I should have bought stock in Heinz. :lol:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Lady Jill » Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:37 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:.

Lady Jill, I think some of society's attitude comes from fear. They mock what they don't understand or fear they could become.


Oh, yes, I certainly agree. Fear is a very strong emotion, sitting right under ignorance.

Lady Jill
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Re: WEGG Question #13 - Cultural Effects

Unread postby Linda Lee » Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:51 pm

Interesting discussion.
Unfortunately our culture falls far short of the ideal on the way we treat others. It would be great if we all took Peter Hedges quote to heart and treated everyone with empathy, compassion and understanding. I believe that fear and ignorance are a major cause of the problem.
The developmentally diabled may fare better in our society than the obese. There are many causes for obesity and it is a problem that is not fully understood, our scientists are just beginning to scratch the surface for the causes of all types of eating disorders.

deppstergal wrote:
My own feelings are these expectations are stupid, needless and often cruel. We have no control over the hand life deals us. All we can do is respond to the circumstances as best we can. Without knowing how deeply wounded some people are by the blows life has dealt them, are we in any position to judge their response? I think not.

Who can say how they would react to something as devasting as the suicide of a husband and father? How can we know how Momma or Gilbert felt when this tragedy struck their family? We can't and therefore we don't have any right to judge them. Sympathy is all we can offer, and if our culture leant more towards sympathy and less towards blame then maybe we could eradicate some of the needless suffering that occurs day in and day out.

Don't get me wrong, I am the last person to condone a single tragedy as a one way ticket out of responsibility for life.....but we all make mistakes sometimes, and I for one am willing to forgive because the next victim just might be me.


The world would be a better place if we adopted this attitude.
Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm. ~ Unknown

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:06 pm

So very true, Linda Lee! :chill:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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