Surgeon general nominee's weight questioned

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  1. #1
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    Surgeon general nominee's weight questioned

    (Finally! A political thread with a fitness tie in!)



    Surgeon general nominee's weight questioned*| ajc.com

    It might sound absurd, but critics insist their concerns about the Morehouse School of Medicine Trustee’s weight aren’t merely superficial.

    “It tends to undermine her credibility,” Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, said in an interview with ABC News. “I do think at a time when a lot of public health concern is about the national epidemic of obesity, having a surgeon general who is noticeably overweight raises questions in people’s minds.”

    Though no one knows for sure, it’s been speculated that Benjamin is about 40 pounds overweight. The 52-year-old Alabama native hasn’t discussed the issue publicly, and registered dietician Carolyn O’Neil said Benjamin’s full figure doesn’t necessarily indicate poor health.

    “The number you see on a scale is just one indicator,” O’Neil said. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which focuses on metabolic health (blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation and sugar level indicators), found that more than half of “overweight” people are metabolically healthy, compared to one-quarter, or about 16.3 million adults 20 years or older, who are “metabolically abnormal.”

    “You can be fit and still be a little fat,” O’Neil said. “Besides, do we want a supermodel as surgeon general?”

    But what if Benjamin smoked, for example? Would she even be considered for the post?

    “It’s important that she lead by example,” said Julie Schwartz, coordinator of nutrition services at Emory Bariatric Center. “But part of the way she can lead is by acknowledging that no one’s perfect. We all have our struggles.”

    And that includes many health care professionals.

    “Go to a hospital and look around at the doctors and nurses,” Schwartz said. “Many of them are overweight.” That extends to past surgeon generals, such as Reagan appointee C. Everett Koop, who, while not obese, was far from svelte.

    Obesity, defined by a body mass index of 30 or greater, is calculated from a person’s weight and height. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s been a dramatic increase in obesity in the U.S. over the past 20 years. The obesity rate in Benjamin’s home state, for example, tops 31 percent.

    Schwartz said there is some dispute over BMI, which is not adjusted based on differences in race and culture. And sexism may also be at play in the discussion over Benjamin’s weight.

    “Men can get away with being more overweight in our society,” Schwartz said. “We are a size-prejudiced society, especially against women.”

    O’Neil said Benjamin’s weight might prove beneficial as she tackles the nation’s ongoing “battle with the bulge.”

    “Maybe it’s better that she knows the challenges of weight loss,” she said.

    That’s assuming Benjamin considers her weight a problem, as studies have indicated greater cultural tolerance among African Americans for larger women.

    Regardless, “the focus should be on Dr. Benjamin’s credentials and accomplishments,” Steven Blair, a professor of exercise science at the University of South Carolina, told ABC. “What difference does her size make?”

  2. #2
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    When I was up at Dartmouth I met surgeon general koop and he was definately "portly". ( he also smoked by the way). No big stink was made about it then. I don't see how it affects her qualifications for the job. However, I do think doctors should try to lead by example even though our lifestyles are some of the most atrocious ( when most of us are working 85 hours a week or more). The only reason I get it in is that I need only 3 hours of sleep and do a lot of night workouts ( ride the mountain bike trails at night with my helmut and handlebar lights after I put my daughter to sleep.)
    Last edited by bandaidwoman; 07-24-2009 at 09:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandaidwoman View Post
    When I was up at Dartmouth I met surgeon general koop and he was definately "portly". ( he also smoked by the way). No big stink was made about it then. I don't see how it affects her qualifications for the job. However, I do think doctors should try to lead by example even though our lifestyles are some of the most atrocious ( when most of us are working 85 hours a week or more). The only reason I get it in is that I need only 3 hours of sleep and do a lot of night workouts ( ride the mountain bike trails at night with my helmut and handlebar lights after I put my daughter to sleep.)
    I was just about to post that C. Everett Koop wasn't exactly the epitome of health.....
    Coarse edged youth, the irish pendants string from their smiles
    not yet plucked as to slacken the seams
    and drag down the features of age,
    no folds or creases from unkempt wear
    eyes of tranquilty, crystalline-beads
    no sign of despair in their hair, nor their hearts
    but oh they have yet to be experienced and that makes aging so very worth it...ML circa2012

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    At this gym I've been working out at this summer, all the trainers flat out suck and their physiques (there are three and they're all fat fucks) match their abilities as a trainer.

    It should be a must for the surgeon general to set an example, IMO.
    Age: 22 | Height: 5'8" | Weight: 150 lbs | Penis: 12 inches

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    She is way more than 40 pounds overweight. Wtf was Obama thinking?

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    Race card to be pulled in
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    What Would Fetus Do?

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    her skin color isn't the problem - she's a whale.
    Age: 22 | Height: 5'8" | Weight: 150 lbs | Penis: 12 inches

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    Quote Originally Posted by soxmuscle View Post
    her skin color isn't the problem - she's a whale.
    it doesnt matter what the issue is, it always comes down to race
    What Would Fetus Do?

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