Morbidly Obese?

Dimensions Magazine

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Which term do you prefer for the medical description of supersized people?

  • Morbidly Obese

  • Fat

  • Large

  • Obese

  • Heavy

  • Patient with Complex Needs

  • None of the above

  • Who cares, it's only words!


Results are only viewable after voting.

moore2me

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First, let me say George Carlin used to be a very funny guy. However, he has written some very hateful things about fat people too. I have gotten to the point where I not longer care to listen to his material due to the hatemonger attitude he has developed as of late.
First let me say I don't usually quote myself, but I don't like to speak ill of the dead either. George Carlin died yesterday of heart failure, so in my book this pretty much closes the case on his file. May he rest in peace. He was very funny in his younger days and was a pioneer in stand-up comedy for my generation.
 

mergirl

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i voted "fat" though i dont think the word has been reclaimed so much in the UK as it has in America. I really really really HATE the term "morbidly obese"! My partner said that about herself a few weeks ago and i covered my ears and said "gah! i hate those words so much" so now she winds me up and says it all the time.. sometimes even adding the prefix "super" which actually makes it seem more hero like! She actually also said the word "hefty" which made me laugh because its kinna cute and reminds me of hairspray and Mr Pinkies hefty hideaway shop.. my humour works in weird ways though..
As for the term morbidly obese it has so many horrible conotations.. plus you never hear posh spice being refered to as "morbidly skinny"..
i dont even like the word "obese" it sounds ugly and flooppily.. its also really stupid to catogorise people into weight like they are boxers..

xmer
 

Elfcat

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I chose none of the above because what comes to my mind wasn't on there, which is "highly adipose". If you look in the dictionary, the etymology of "obese" does not refer to fat, but to eating, and therefore technically obesity should only be diagnosed in someone who has a constant or near-constant urge to eat, and there are some genetic conditions of which this is a characteristic.

"Adipose", by contrast, does refer to fat, because the adipose layer of the skin is where visible fat is located, and so this term is far more of an equivalent to, say, muscular.
 

olwen

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I chose none of the above because what comes to my mind wasn't on there, which is "highly adipose". If you look in the dictionary, the etymology of "obese" does not refer to fat, but to eating, and therefore technically obesity should only be diagnosed in someone who has a constant or near-constant urge to eat, and there are some genetic conditions of which this is a characteristic.

"Adipose", by contrast, does refer to fat, because the adipose layer of the skin is where visible fat is located, and so this term is far more of an equivalent to, say, muscular.
That actually makes pretty good sense to me, tho I'd wonder how long before it becomes stigmatized....I'd think that just because a doctor would use that word that I'd hate it. I just wouldn't want to hear anything come out of a doctor's mouth that would be any kind of descriptor about my fat accurate or no. I just don't want to hear it. What if we just used pictures or signs - but no fruit. That actually kinda weirds me out to hear people describe me as a piece of fruit. I don't wanna be an apple or a pear or a banana or anything like that, just fat will do thanks.
 

agouderia

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I really hate the term 'morbid'. It may make feel us as some kind of aliens!!!
I don't actually mind the term that much.

Outside of English, the use of the adjective is more often used with other connatations.
In every Italian supermarket you will see dozens of package with some "morbidi" cookies - which means nothing else than soft and juicy.
In French and even more so in German morbid is mostly used in the figurative sense as synonym for decadent, sultry, hedonistic

And also, the term 'morbid obesity' it's a sentence to social isolation!!!
This definitely is true! It's like branding someone with the modern day version of the scarlet letter.

The main problem is that it is used so pervasively and mostly incorrectly. Look through the media how often -in particular - women who wear like a size 12 are labeled "morbidly obese" and "so unhealthy".... :eek:
 

Colonial Warrior

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I don't actually mind the term that much.

Outside of English, the use of the adjective is more often used with other connatations.
In every Italian supermarket you will see dozens of package with some "morbidi" cookies - which means nothing else than soft and juicy.
In French and even more so in German morbid is mostly used in the figurative sense as synonym for decadent, sultry, hedonistic



This definitely is true! It's like branding someone with the modern day version of the scarlet letter.

The main problem is that it is used so pervasively and mostly incorrectly. Look through the media how often -in particular - women who wear like a size 12 are labeled "morbidly obese" and "so unhealthy".... :eek:
I agree with you!!!

In particular with the German term. It's like saying that we are this way by self choice. That we are destroying ourselves intentionally.

And I also love that similarly with the Scarlet Letter!!!
 

abzu

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Although I'm not in love with the term "Morbidly Obese", I wouldn't particularly object to it either if those labeling me such treated/viewed me with appropriate compassion and as a fully actualized human. By "those" I mean "medical professionals". Being labeled such by members of the general public would make me want to strangle them.
 
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JDavis

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I hate morbidly obese for the reasons you mention but also hate "overweight" since it is a judgement that I am at a weight that is higher than it should be. I disagree with that. My genes coded me this way and nature/God/Universe wanted me this way. I actually prefer large but I know that "fat" is the PC term.
 

TwoSwords

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Personally I find it very offensive. Its literal translation is 'dead fat' and even if it once started as a valid diagnosis its now used as a moral judgement. If you are big it gives you an excuse to give up on your own healthcare and if you're smaller it gives you a reason to deny the best care, support and dignity to your patient. It also suggests we are close to death when all the Supersized people I know are all busy squeezing every ounce of fun and enjoyment out of their lives in every way they can.
In its most innocuous definitions, the word "morbid" still refers to something that is related to illness, or else in some way unwholesome or unpleasant, and is therefore not an accurate term with which to describe fat people.

There's also another consequence to the over-stressing of fatness when it comes to health. It sometimes discourages naturally-thin people from watching what they eat, because they think that as long as they're not fat, they have nothing to worry about. That's false.
 

LifelongFA

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I think many of us are influenced by the terms that were being used in our developing years. "Morbidly obese" was always a very cold medical term with judgmental connotations - at least to me. Growing up in a family and extended family where nearly all the women were BBW or SSBBW, it was always interesting to hear the terms these women would describe themselves or others. I never heard any of them use the word "obese" for example. Usually, the older women would use terms like heavy, heavyset, plump, or simply "big". My female cousins, on the other hand, seemed much more comfortable with "fat" in describing themselves or others. Also, these comments were made as a statement of fact vs. a gossipy or derogatory comment.
 

BouncingBoy

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Using words like Grossly overweight or morbidly obese makes me feel like they think we're some kind of disease!What gives them the right to use these terms for us?We are not all meant to be stick thin or have massive muscles.Each person in my mind has the right to be physically as they wish to be.Any time a Dr. brings up my weight I tell them straight out my weight is my business.I'm not trying to be an athlete & I've never worked in a job where I had to have bulging muscles to accomplish things.I've always been me.Fat & Happy!The sooner people realize we're NOT all supposed to be the same the sooner this world will improve!
 

Shotha

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I view on this is very much coloured by my activities as an amateur naturalist and by my personal understanding of evolution. Nature doesn't produce organisms including people according to specification manuals written by humans. Nature, therefore, knows extremes but not excesses. If I find a specimen of an animal or plant, which is bigger than the size range given in textbooks, it does not mean that I have an oversized specimen. It means that the textbooks need to be updated. I, therefore, reject words, which contain an element meaning "over" such as "overweight" or "obese". "Obese" is from the Latin word "obesus" meaning "over" (ob) + "eaten" (esus). I reject them, because they set an arbitrary standard.

I prefer the word "fat". It is honest and isn't in itself associated with an arbitrary standard. As I have always found fat people beautiful and always wanted to be a fat man, I like the word. I notice that in the poll at the start of this thread, "fat" is the most preferred word, currently sitting at 29.4%.

I don't like the word "big" used as a euphemism for "fat". It is ambiguous, because people can be big without being fat. Moreover, there is nothing more insulting than a euphemism, because it implies that we are too disgusting even to be mentioned.

My doctor doesn't harp on about my weight, no matter what I see him about. If something is related to my being fat, he will tell me, "That's because of you're weight." He seems to be very careful to avoid the words "obese" and "overweight". I think myself very lucky to have such a doctor. I think he realizes that I like being fat.

Obviously, we can't avoid the comments that other people make. I don't find their comments offensive, because they're just telling me albeit unintentionally that I'm the man, I've always wanted to be. When people make negative comments about my body, I just don't think that it's any of their business, because the only person who needs to be happy with my body is me.
 

Orchid

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This reminds me of something that happened long time ago 2001. I was abroad in a german heart clinic and on my chart saw mystery word adipositas. When I read it I think oh I got some extra new disease. And few minutes later they explain is german word for fat. I am relieved no one added adipositas in the poll choice ...
I voted fat. Just a short word. People who do not know me do not know why how I got fat and that I have HF.Due to severe heart failure I have ascites which is lots of water in belly, water retention.
 

Killexia

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Morbidly obese makes me feel like a subhuman when someone says it to me. Fat or big works well to describe us folks.

I often refer to myself as "fat girl" or "fat mama". It just works and the self deprecating humor makes people relax around me.
 

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