Tuesday, October 9, 2012

True or False: “Obesity Is One of the Worst Choices a Person Can Make”

I’m sure you guys heard the story about the viewer who reprimanded the Wisconsin news anchor, Jennifer Livingston, for being “obese.” In his words:

“I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn't improved for many years. Surely you don't consider yourself a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.”

In turn, she fired back at him on air calling him a “bully.” You can see her full video response below (over 9 million views of this):

This has brought up discussion in at least three areas:

  1. Judging people based on how they look
  2. Whether a person has full control over their weight or if they are somewhat a victim of other issues such as genetics, environmental factors, etc.
  3. Whether being overweight make someone a poor role model

Yes, some people struggle with their weight more than others. I have friends who just look at a donut and gain five pounds. I also have friends who actually struggle to keep pounds on (yes, you can hate them if you want). I have always been fortunate to have a revved up metabolism (as does my mom, my aunt, and other women in my family). I also eat well and exercise 5-6 times per week. I do not know what it is like to be overweight and I therefore do not know the challenges of losing weight and keeping it off.

While I realize there are heredity and medical conditions that come into play (meaning some people have to work harder to lose weight and maintain weight loss), I do also think good health and weight loss is, for the most part, a choice. Just look at the states that have the lowest obesity rates – these tend to also be the states that are the highest for physical activity and healthy living choices in general. 

I am in no way saying it is right to judge people based on their weight, but I am saying that people should not accept obesity as their destiny.

Do I agree that Jennifer Livingston is a poor role model? Of course not. She is a talented, attractive, articulate and intelligent news anchor. In her own words, she realizes that she struggles with her weight. While this guy’s comments might not be especially productive or necessary, they certainly did bring up some interesting discussion.

Do you think her “attacker” was justified in any way or was he just being a bully?

SUAR 

80 comments:

  1. I would highly recommend checking out HBO's Weight of the Nation short on Stigma in Obesity (they're all available for free on-line). Super interesting, and creates a great debate especially in the health conscious world. But totally related to this clip here. We're thinking of actually using this clip in an event we're doing around the WON Stigma in Obesity. Enjoy!

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  2. No, I don't think he was being a bully. A moron, yes, but not a bully. I'm deaf; and I was bullied a lot growing up. I know what it means to be bullied. The guy who wrote the e-mail was just offering an opinion. Personally, I think she wayyyyyyy over-reacted and gave the guy far too much power. I think she should have just blown him off as another blowhard.

    That said, I agree with you. Obesity is not a destiny.

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    1. I agree. I don't think he was trying to be a bully, but definitely came across as a jerk. It was extremely rude though, and her points on that were good, but she over reacted!

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    2. I agree. I don't think he was trying to be a bully, but definitely came across as a jerk. It was extremely rude though, and her points on that were good, but she over reacted!

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    3. I agree wholeheartedly. I didn't watch her video but any in depth response would be overkill regardless of what she said. Bully is poorly used. The guy was a douche but not a bully.

      I've been overweight all my life and living in a 3rd world country I guarantee the overweight Americans are not fat due to genetics or other bullshit disorders. Go work in the fields, get rid of the electronics, eat whole food and move your body 8-10 hours a day and you won't be fat.

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    4. I haven't watched the video yet, but it was a response to an email? Sheesh. I am A former Morbidly obese woman, and yes, we are hypersensitive to comments on food/health/exercising etc..So It was probably an overreaction and he was stating facts...I have lost 113 pounds and you know what people say to me? Not "you look amazing," but "I didn't think you needed to lose weight." really? 113lbs? People are so numb to our obese figures these days...they don't know what a normal, healthy person should look like!

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  3. he was being an asshole. period. Love this post (well love all yer posts!)

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  4. While I do 100% believe that this was bully-like and I don't think it matters what a person looks like as far as being a role model, I also do believe that health is a choice. Health. Not weight, exactly, but that is a factor. I've been there, I was obese, and I didn't take care of my body. It didn't make me any less of a person, but I made the decision to change it, and I have. That said, I am still one of those people that is naturally heavier. I don't look like other runners, and weight maintenance is HARD. However, I choose to stay healthy, and find balance. Definitely an interesting debate topic--I could go on for hours! :)

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    1. Great feedback and insight. Thanks for that!

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  5. I heard about this a few days ago. Crazy. I think she's great. I have a VERY hard time with people who throw down judgement.
    Too fat.
    Too skinny
    Run too far
    Don't run enough
    Too blonde
    Too dark
    Too white
    Too lazy
    Too OCD

    I made a stupid decision and wasted 10 minutes over in GOMI-ville today. Those people make me nuts.
    A little less judgement & a lot more love.

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  6. I am not sure what he thought he was doing by emailing her and telling her something that she already knew. I believe people think they are either 1) helping or 2) their words won't mean anything to a stranger. I don't think we know if she's accepting obesity as her destiny either. I've been in both places really thin and in the obese category (right now) and I'm not choosing obesity as my destiny.

    It just doesn't help a person to loose weight by hating on themselves and beating themselves up because they are obese. Self love no matter what size you are matters because many people who hated themselves when they were overweight end up still hating themselves when they are thin unfortunately.

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  7. I don't think he had a right to say what he did, yet I will admit to sometimes looking at someone obese standing in line at Starbucks ordering some 2,000-calorie drink. I shouldn't, but I do. For me it comes down to health and it's really hard to watch people completely sabotage their health. But back to this case--I'm glad she took him to task probably mostly on a female level. I doubt a male anchor would be judged in the same way. Was he a bully? That might be too strong a word in this case.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing of "if he was a guy" this wouldn't even be an issue.

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  8. If you consume More calories over a period of time than you use, you will gain weight. If you eat too much, as a choice, and don't exercise, you will gain weight. Everyone can find time to exercise. You might have a slower metabolism, but very few people ave a true physiological reason for their weight. The rest of us earn it, one way or another. And as a former overweight kid and adult, I feel I can

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  10. I don't think he is justified in any way. It's none of his business and he had no right to write an e-mail like that. She is a great role model! She is a successful, intelligent, articulate woman and that makes a far better role model than someone with simply a healthy BMI. Yes, health is important, obviously. But I don't feel it's anyone else's business and it certainly does not weigh on anyone's ability to be a good role model.

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    1. I guess he did technically have the "right" to write that e-mail. But I don't think it was in good taste and like you said, it was not constructive and I think it was pretty ignorant.

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  11. I think the guy who commented had way too much time on his hands. Obviously, he felt the need to belittle someone to make up for his own issues.

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  12. I don't think he was justified in emailing her; her body composition has NOTHING to do with being a role model. Like others have said before me, she is articulate and intelligent, and that's all that should matter. (He should waste his time emailing the drunken, skinny, attention w*$#s of Hollywood reprimanding them for their failures as role models...) All it does it further cement that appearance is everything. It is incredibly sad that people judge so harshly from afar... And I am by no means innocent- like misszippy said, it's hard not to judge when you see someone ordering from McD's or generally being unhealthy. One of my new favorite sayings: "Go ahead an judge me, just be prepared to be perfect the rest of your life".

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  13. It's kind of a stretch to call that bullying. Essentially, he was just "encouraging" her the way my mother liked to "encourage" me during childhood. If he had written an e-mail that kissed her ass a little bit, pointed out some of her good qualities, then pleaded with her to address her weight, stressing the national obesity epidemic and her importance as a well established role model in the community, and finished by recommending a few good fitness and diet programs, would she be all up in arms? It would still be a really weird random e-mail to receive, but that's another topic entirely. The crux of his message was just that, but he decided to appeal to her sense of shame as opposed to massaging her ego.

    As for the main question, I think being obese has a significant choice component for the vast majority of the population (some obviously more predisposed than others). It's a bad decision for most, although not anywhere near the worst decision out there, but for some who don't like exercise, still get plenty of sex, and REALLY like the taste of food, it may well be a good decision.

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  14. His opinion was unnecessary. But it brings up an important conversation. We have physiological differences. Certainly our metabolisms, hormones, body types, vary and so will our weight. The effort it takes to maintain it varies. But anyone who struggles with chronic conditions, whether it be weight, mental health concerns, physical disabilities, herpes, what have you...definitely needs to practice an even more consistent level of self-care to keep their chronic issue in check. It royally sucks to be someone who has to "stay on top of it" for any reason vs. someone who doesn't, but that's your reality.

    And it makes you an incredible role model to so many if you practice self-care regardless of what your weight is.

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  15. As a previous poster said, I think the guy is a bit of a moron, but he was simply stating an opinion and I do not perceive this single email as a case of bullying. I've always felt that when you take a very public position like this, be it right or wrong, you are going to open yourself up to the opinions of those who watch you, and I do think her response was an overreaction.

    That said, I do believe that health is a choice and while I don't judge someone's character based on his/her health choices, I have a hard time understanding how someone can choose to be obese, just as I have a hard time understanding how someone in this day and age could smoke...to me, it is abuse of one's body. I understand the power of addiction and I actually spent my high school and college years as a sedentary, slightly overweight young adult who for the most part, felt miserable in her own skin. I still love food just as much as the next person and I would eat all day long if I could, but I respect myself too much now to ever treat my body the way that I used to.

    Does being obese make someone a poor role model? No, of course not. As you said, Livingston is obviously a bright, articulate woman who went to college and worked hard to get to where she is in her life. In that regard, she is a great positive role model for girls. Would I want my daughters to watch her on TV and think that it is healthy to look the way she does? Honestly, no, I wouldn't, just as I wouldn't want them to think that it would be o.k. to emulate a smoker, or someone too thin (to go to the other extreme). My hope, however, is that my girls aren't influenced by people and images in the media, but rather by the choices we make here at home.

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  17. While there are many issues of this situation I would like to address one word jumped out at me when I saw Jennifer Livingston’s response on TV, the fact that she called the viewer a ‘bully’. This word has become the new trend word to use when someone doesn’t like what another person has said or when one perceives a negative slight.

    An analogy would be: would Jennifer call her husband or her friends a ‘bully’ if they said the same words to her--in essence telling her she was making poor choices for a healthy lifestyle especially as an on-air personality?

    Another example, albeit hypothetically: should I consider my mother or best friend a bully for telling me to stop smoking because I am making a poor choice and it is not healthy? Or would I only call the stranger who tells me basically same words a bully?

    The viewer was a stranger to Jennifer Livingston but he was not a bully; he was perhaps insensitive and did not use what we as a society count on as courtesy and manners from others but he did not bully her. I find it annoying she would jump onto the bully bandwagon to sensationalize her story and make it more controversial especially now that ‘bulling’ is recognized as the new Bad Thing. It’s the 2012 version of Leaving Your Children Unattended in the Car.

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    1. Bingo. Bully has become a catch-all word for "I don't like what you said to me, so you're a bully" - even if it's constructive criticism, or horrors, it's true.

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    2. Exactly! Very well said Anonymous!

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  18. Tangentially related, and quite interesting: http://www.drmichaeljoyner.com/fit-vs-fat/

    In other words, if you're obese but fit (good cardiorespiratory fitness), you are much less likely to die for any reason, than if you're obese and not fit OR EVEN lean and not fit.

    Basically, fitness trumps BMI.

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    1. This is exactly what I was thinking of too. I carry more weight on me than the average runner but I eat healthy and live an active life with my husband and two young girls. We hike and camp on weekends, we bike, walk and PLAY. I run (it's *my* thing).

      My mother-in-law is tiny & very thin. She smokes and I swear she lives on bacon, chocolate milk, ice cream, powdered donuts and candy bars. She doesn't exercise (unless you count shopping) and she naps constantly. She is idle. Her habits are very unhealthy but she looks perfectly healthy on the outside.

      So yea, fitness definitely trumps BMI. :)

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    2. Also, there's a good bit of mounting evidence that once you've been overweight or obese (regardless of why: lifestyle or genetics) it's physiologically harder not only to lose the weight, but to keep it off. It's not about self-control either, it's about how the body actually burns, processes and responds to food. Once it's been heavy, it takes more work to keep it light and it becomes heavier faster if you aren't doing that extra work.

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  19. I really didn't think it was bullying. I don't think it's been mentioned that he wrote it as a private email. The news woman's husband is the one that made it a public affair by posting it on Facebook.
    I've never been thin and I work hard to stay fit. I exercise at least five days/week and eat healthy the majority of the time. Yes, if I had received that email my feelings would have been hurt, but I would have tossed it or addressed the man directly. I saw an interview with him and he seemed like a genuinely nice guy.
    Thanks for talking about this, AmyD

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  20. He's an asshole. Doesn't matter if it was a personal email or even a conversation. I'm tall and somewhat naturally thin, but I've had to lose weight and I've had to work at staying fit and eating right. It's interesting because I had a child that was larger and it was my x-husband, who is quite large, that made a bigger deal about it then I did. I just bought healthy food and encouraged exercise. He fed him fast food and soda. I like her point of not letting people's opinion affect her self worth, because it shouldn't. If someone wrote that to someone I love I would make a big deal also.
    I've done a lot of research in nutrition and just listened to a book that points out that the human body will CRAVE foods to keep the fat cells fat. And not just healthy food, but sweet carbohydrate rich foods. It just makes losing weight harder. It's very interesting.
    Always remember, words cannot be taken back. So use them wisely.

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  21. I think he had no business passing judgement on her size or so called choice. Her weight is just none of anyone's business. I am pretty sure she is aware that she is overweight. I agree, obesity doesn't have to be one's destiny but we can't go around judging one's character and worthiness based on their bodies. That is just plain wrong. What he did was very hurtful. Good for her for calling him on it.

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  22. As my favorite workout leader is often heard saying "You can't out exercise a horrible diet." The truth is we are all in control of our weight. Don't blame genetics for bad choices. I'm not skinny, and I'm not fat. But I also run about 20 miles a week, and a balanced diet that includes super healthy whole foods, and some bad stuff too. I think the guy was out of line, but in terms of telling people that they are overweight in the hopes that they will change is RIDICULOUS! He was a meanie, not a bully.

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  23. I don't think he was a bully, just someone who can't seem to mind his own business.
    No, obesity is not a destiny, but talk to anyone who struggles with an eating disorder/food addiction and they will tell you being obese does feel like a destiny to them. They are in a dark place and see now way out until they somehow find a recovery plan that works for them. I'm not suggesting the anchor woman has an eating disorder. I'm merely pointing out that for some people, it's not as easy as stepping away from the chocolate.
    I don't tell obese people to lose weight. I don't tell heavy drinkers to put down the bottle. I don't tell smokers they should quit. Maybe once I become perfect I'll be able to tell others how to live. But until then I'll mind my own business.

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  24. I think his letter just illustrates his own shortcomings, and that taking it out on someone else made him feel less inadequate somehow. Is it bullying? I don't really think so, since there isn't a threat implied, but if she has been bullied and is sensitive about it, it might strike a bit close to home. I'm not going to get on her case about it if she calls it bullying.

    Once upon a time not all that long ago I was much larger than I am now. I'm still bigger than I need to be. I thought that fat automatically meant unfit and unhealthy. Then a few years back I was watching the video feed for a buddy to come into T2. Watching and waiting. I had thought that anyone doing Ironman was an uber athlete, lean, strong, and with improbably good teeth for smiling during the sponsor ads. While I was waiting a girl I classed as pretty darned chubby got off her bike. A few minutes later she ran out, a huge grin on her face ready to run 42 K. This wasn't just carrying a few extra pounds, yet she was ahead of my buddy who I thought was pretty darned fit, and it was slowly beginning to dawn on me that there had to be a strong, fit, and determined girl in there somewhere. It changed my world.

    Is obesity the worst choice? Hardly. Doing "hard" drugs is worse. One overdose can kill you. Being addicted to alcohol or tobacco are both really bad choices, and I suspect worse than being only somewhat overweight. Someone can be obese and still be a perfectly functional member of society, though their life expectancy and overall health might not be optimum.

    Who of us is a perfect example or role model? How's that line go? He who is without sin may cast the first stone. One of the few lines of true wisdom. Personally, I find it more inspiring to see someone who has accomplished something in spite of their flaws and shortcomings.

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  25. Everyone that has ever hiked the entire Appalachian Trail lost a significant amount of weight. It is a simple formula of calories in and calories burned. It is a choice, I choose to be a healthy weight.

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    1. LOL I agree that thru-hikers get very thin but some of them eat like crap just to get calories! I've seen people drink olive oil, eat frosting by the can, etc. Heck...my go-to "leaving town" breakfast was usually a pint of Ben & Jerry's :) Probably not the best fuel.

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    2. That's an over simplification that doesn't work for everyone. I went through a year of 5-6x/weekly workouts consuming 200-300 calories less than I was burning daily and didn't lose a single pound. I'd lost 30 pounds the previous year doing fewer workouts and eating more. There is a point where long-range metabolic rate has more affect on the outcome that simple calories in and calories burned. Once the body has been over-sized, for whatever reason, it's not always a simple choice that determines if a healthy weight is an obtainable goal.

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  26. He wasn't bullying her, and he was right. She called him out publicly for his private concerns. Her problem - and our entire society's problem - is that we keep confusing health and appearance. The letter writer didn't say she was unattractive: he said she was visibly obese. I recently read a Dear Abby column in which a letter writer was angered that a ten year old child had told him he should stop smoking. Abby, however, supported the child for pointing out a health hazard. Obesity is a similar issue. The concern is health, not appearance, but obesity can be seen with the naked eye just like cigarettes can be.

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    1. I believe "right" is a stretch. He has ability to think and I suppose say whatever he feels necessary. But what happened to being nice? He is not personally invested in her life or lifestyle, he is casting judgement from a place of zero information about her. I don't 100% agree with her return comments, but I do like the conversation. Not just about health, diet, but about assuming a personal relationship with those we have never met. Acting as if we somehow know better about another person's life.
      Sandra

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  27. I don't think he's truly bullying in the traditional sense. He's making it out like he's helping her and the world when he really he's just being a jerk who's trying to refect his insecurities on someone else. I find it funny that he has conveyed his message in a letter, not revealing how he looks yet sitting back and judging another. Sure Jennifer Livingston is a public figure and role model, and it's nice to know it's for her intelligence, beauty and kindness. Which really....is a nice change. Compared to society idolizing celebrities that party all the time and just look pretty.

    If this guy is so concerned with role models....then I hope he is also writing every public figure that is harming themselves by not eating enough, drinking or drugs too much, etc. This man is clearly a mindless fool who has bought into the medias message that is only one kind of beautiful in the world. There is so many shapes and sizes in this world that are beautiful. I feel sorry for him for being so closed minded and not able to see that.

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  28. The guy was a total jerk. Some people struggle with their weight... period. I've been blessed with the fact that I don't have to do much to loose weight. My wife and daughter are not so lucky. And I agree with the person that said that there is a difference between weight and health, and while many may struggle with their weight, they don't give up. My wife was never a size 5 and most likely never will be, but that doesn't stop her from trying.

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  29. I have recently lost thirty pounds and have a few to go. It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Harder than quitting smoking. Harder than dragging myself out of debt.

    The woman knows she is overweight. Do you think she doesn't?

    So he wasn't trying to help her... so let's look at his possible motivation... The kindest thing I can come up with is that he's simply insensitive.

    I was bullies mercilessly about acne as a teen. Much of it assumed I was either not aware or not taking care of myself. I spent hours agonizing about my appearance because of it.

    This doesn't seem like bullying until you realize that passive aggressive judgment of other people really is harmful and hurtful.

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  30. Wow, I am cringing in embarrassment for this woman. I truly don't judge her for being overweight, but I judge her for being a 40 year old person in the public eye who overreacted to this extent. Did I really just hear her equate the private email she received about her weight to the struggles of others who are bullied based on skin color or sexuality? Yes, it's hurtful to be called fat, but a private email suggesting that she's a bad role model based on her health is NOT bullying. This guy never said she was ugly, unattractive or had no value-- he said she was a poor role model based on her health status. She's the one who made it all about appearance, demonizing the comment so she didn't have to give it any credence. Yikes. I am honestly appalled at her cavalier characterization of this as bullying and her creation of a public outcry over a private email that hurt her feelings.

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  31. One of the definitions I hear most often for bully involves 3 parts 1) Unwanted 2) Repeated 3) From a position of power.

    So she might have been bullied for her weight--she doesn't want to hear it, she hears it a lot and she has given people's words power over her.

    BUT to say the e-mail writer is a bully doesn't seem fair. His words were unwanted, but there is not mention of repeated e-mails from him or that he has any legitimate power over her.

    People have gotten quick to call people bullies and the irony is that labeling people bully might just be as harmful as the actions of the so called "bully".

    The newscaster was hurt. And she chose to "take up the cross" for overweight people. Ok. But to single out one person's comment as the crux of the whole issue is misguided. It was just the straw that sent her over the edge.

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  32. As someone who struggles with their weight at the other end of the spectrum (I've always been very skinny) I find people amazing at what they feel they can say to you. This girl obviously knows she's overweight, she doesn't need some jackas to tell her. People come in all shapes and sizes but as humans we judge, it's in our nature. Sure I'll tell you if I think that your outfit is bad, but I would never say to your face that I think your body needs some work. We all know what we see in the mirror and it's up to us to change it.

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  33. Somebody please tell me how this man who wrote the email is a bully!!??? He wrote a very articulate email directly to her AND had the balls to give his identity. he never once insulted her or called her a name. This woman IS obese. fact. she IS a poor role model because of it. I am so tired of people in the public eye who CHOOSE to put themselves in the public eye get all offended when others have opinions. kinda like bloggers who get so bent outtah shape when people criticize their blogs. HELLO! you put it out there and make it public! People are going to disagree and comment. This woman was NOT bullied. she needs to lose weight and stop whining about it.

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  34. Yes, I do think that he was bullying her and I think that she was right to publicly call him out. When someone is mean to you and make you feel bad they are being a bully. Her response was dead on. He didn’t send the e-mail out of compassion. He was repulsed by her appearance on T.V.

    Her response to him was life changing for me. How many times do we simply "put up" with someone’s mean or aggressive attitude and consider it a part of life? I think that everyone needs to take a page from her book and stop letting the mean bullies in life slide.

    After her response I put a stop to a traffic guard that yelled at parents every morning when we dropped our kids of at school. Today for the first time she was not out directing traffic. Today for the first time this year the line was NOT backed up down the road. I drove up; dropped my son off; and drove away in less than 2 minutes.

    This reporter helped me see that when we put up with mean people and call them a "fact of life" we are setting up our children to tolerate bullies.

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  35. I don't think she was bullied but do think the writer was cruel. People are real they have real bodies for many reasons does that mean they can't do the job they are doing in this case report the news? No. I think weight gain sneaks up on you and before you know it you could end up at a weight that is now defeating and hard to see a way out if. Personally I have tried to lose 20 pounds for years took up running to lose weight but my thyroid and whatever else is just not letting that happen is it frustrating hell yes do I want to get past it yes So who am I to judge someone for what they look like they may have already lost 100 pounds already.

    Basically it is personal insecurities that have people saying mean things to others

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  36. I disagree with those of you who say she overreacted. She did make note that it is Bully Awareness Month (or something along those lines). While his email was not written in a way that felt aggressive, it was directed at her as a role model, which hurt her. I got the feeling from her comment that they get a lot of email from viewers and you can bet that a lot of it is negative. I thought her reaction was appropriate for herself but also to empower viewers to do something about it if they are being bullied. My son is in the 6th grade and started the year out in Middle School being bullied by a girl! This shocked him but he was afraid of her just as much as he would be afraid of a boy. I think anytime a person of her stature in the community can use her time to point out a real problem, while using herself as an example, is time well spent on the air.

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  37. I think you are getting a lot of these sorts of comments, but people can be obese and healthy. Here's some of the more recent studies into this: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-10-paradox-bmi-life.html

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  38. Stating a fact is not being a bully. He didn't do this publicly (her husband did). He recommended that she consider improving herself to be a better role model - not out of line, even. She really gave him WAY too much power and attention for being a jerk. Obesity is an epidemic in most of our nation - one that is largely at fault for the fact that our children's life expectancy is LOWER than ours. Yes, you can be "healthy" and be obese, at least according to some research. However, have you ever seen an obese 80-year-old? Me neither. There are a lot of factors that contribute to logevity but being obese ISN'T one of them.

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    1. I've actually met plenty of heavy and obese 80 year olds and older!

      There's a whole lot that affects longevity, but for many none of them matter - I've seen 80 year old alcoholics and smokers and prescription drug addicts as well as those extremely overweight or obese.

      Obesity might not be favorable toward longevity, but it alone is not a sentence to a short life!

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  39. Seriously enjoying everyone's comments and glad to see I'm not alone in my feelings. I make a conscious effort not to judge but i also think it's human nature. I don't think it was right per we but I also don't think it was right to call him a bully. It actually took the focus off of the real issue.Everyone thinks any "harsh" words are bullying nowadays when sometimes we all need some tough love to give us a wake-up call no matter what the situation.

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  40. Seriously enjoying everyone's comments and glad to see I'm not alone in my feelings. I make a conscious effort not to judge but i also think it's human nature. I don't think it was right per we but I also don't think it was right to call him a bully. It actually took the focus off of the real issue.Everyone thinks any "harsh" words are bullying nowadays when sometimes we all need some tough love to give us a wake-up call no matter what the situation.

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  41. I think this guy is a total douchenozzle but I agree with others that he's not necessarily a bully. That said, I'm glad she called him out on his email and I truly don't believe that she was overreacting - I think she created a positive out of a negative by bringing it to the forefront of conversations again. Sometimes we need that "shock factor" to start talking about it again.

    What she did probably took an awful lot of of courage on her part.

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  42. I'm glad she spoke up, but I don't think he was actually a "bully". He voiced his concerns for her weight and as one who constantly struggles with weight, I can understand her attack...but seriously, I am concerned just with the 20 I need to shed, she should be concerned about her health too.

    I wish I had time to read everyone's comments...I bet they are awesome. I am so behind in life lately...

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  43. While I fully recognize that my metabolism is "good" and I can get away with frequent treats, part of that is a result of the work I have put into my physical fitness over the years. It's tough getting started. But the fact remains that if you eat well and count calories, you will be able to maintain/lose weight. Excuses don't cut it. On the other hand, it's not all about the numbers for everyone. Psychological triggers are strong and if you grew up turning to food for comfort, it's got to be awfully difficult to break that ingrained habit. I feel for those folks.

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  44. I agree that she is absolutely a talented news anchor but I also don't feel that an email sent to her, signed by the guy, falls under the category of bullying. It was in poor taste and inappropriate perhaps, but honestly, why didn't she call him into the newsroom and speak with him one on one about it? Or write him a letter back? She made it into a much bigger deal and in a way, bullied him back by making it all very public. If she truly wanted to deal with this in an adult manner, she would have done so one on one with him. The fact that she is now gloating about it says it all.

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  45. I think the guy who said this to her is a "moron". He just has no idea.

    I unfortunately, have not been blessed with good genes. The majority (probably 85%) of women in my family are obese. Most are not very active and eat horribly. Part is genetics, but a big part is also conditioning. They have been conditioned that this is normal. The few women (myself included) who are not overweight have fought their entire lives to keep weight off. Some have even gone to the extreme of gastric bypass just to keep it off.

    I am not one of those women that can go out and enjoy a burger and some beer once in a while and it won't have any affect on me. I will wake up the next day 3-4 pounds heavier and it will take a week of calorie counting and exercise to get it off. Stuff sticks to me like glue.

    So, I see others struggling and I do understand their battle.

    I have friends who say they are jealous of me and how fit I am, but they have no idea what a HUGE struggle and commitment it is for me to stay this way, especially being a woman in my 40's going through "the change".

    It's not easy and it never has been. Thankfully, I am active and I love being active. I like healthy foods and I have found a formula of running, martial arts, hiking, etc. that works for me. I have found that I can cook the meat and potatoes dinner, apple pie dessert and other splurges for my husband who has an incredible metabolism and I'll eat a salad for dinner and that's ok. It's ok because I know how awful I would feel AFTER I ate the other and I will feel good about myself if I stay on track.

    I count calories. I have a food journal. I keep a schedule of my running.

    Every person has to find what works for them.

    Sorry for ranting, but this whole subject really hit home with me.

    Thanks!

    TheRunnerMom.com

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  46. I don't think she's a bad role model because she is overweight. I think he's a dick for writing her. I happen to know a few people who vehemently HATE overweight people, to the point that it's a bit alarming. Mind your own damn business guy. Worry about your own imperfections. And surely you can find worse "role models" to articulate shithead letters to. Gimme a break.

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  47. I don't understand how this news anchor can be considered a poor role model when you have idiots like the Kardashians and the Jersey Shore cast running around out there with media covering their every move. Seriously, this guy needs to focus on bigger problems in the world.

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  48. I found it strange that this guy felt compelled to choose this TV anchor to criticize. I agree with the reader that there are a lot poorer role models out there... which would I rather have my daughter look up to? An intelligent, confident woman with a respectable career who struggles with weight vs. some these half dressed, plastic surgerized bimbos trying to sell an unhealthy lifestyle and image these girls cannot live up to? But because they are skinny and "beautiful" it's okay??? Horrible.
    I wouldn't say it was "bullying", but just in poor taste and wrongly directed.
    As far as her reaction, I did like the message. She was using her position and situation to reach out to the kids today who are so vulnerable to the taunting, the teasing, and harassment that seems to be such an epidemic these days in our schools. So I applaud her for trying to send that message.

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  49. I totally agree that there are many cases where overweight people just don't have the self-discipline to do what it takes to lose the weight. They know they are overweight and don't need it pointed out. This guy was mean, but she did overreact with her 4+ minute speech.
    I had the opposite problem--I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease several years ago and before my dr. and I were able to get it into remission, I lost a lot of weight. People at the gym would all say how skinny I was and how I could eat anything and blah blah blah. The truth was I was so sick most of the time I couldn't eat much, and the disease was so active it was not allowing my body to digest the food properly and get nutrients/energy from it. I had to scale back on my workouts to keep from burning too many calories. When I did feel okay, running was therapy for me. It made me feel strong instead of sick for a short time each day. I have since gained weight to the point where I am a couple pounds heavier now than I would like to be. Nobody knew what I was going through, though, until I told them, so people thought I was either (1) naturally skinny and didn't have to struggle with weight issues "like everybody else" or (2) they thought I had an eating disorder.
    I will never again assume someone who is "too" skinny has an eating disorder. You never know is going on with someone on the INSIDE.

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    1. I had Grave's disease which made me lose a lot of weight. People at work called me "skinny". I countered with- "If I was overweight you would probably not call me "fat"". They shut up then. I wasn't trying to be skinny.

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  50. I wonder if she is mad at her hubby for Facebooking that.

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  51. "Bullying" is debatable, but obviously not to her, and she's the one who received the e-mail. At the very least, I feel his e-mail was extremely CREEPY. Freak. Not to mention terrible manners. I'm glad she outed him.

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  52. As a former fat girl (almost ;)) I certainly do think that you can choose to not be fat. It's a lot of hard work. It's way easier to just eat crap and not get any exercise.

    That being said, I don't think anyone needs to tell anyone else that they are fat, even if they are in the public eye. Just like she said, if you are fat you already know it.

    I do think that she gave him even more power though but talking about it publicly.

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  53. Bullying??? Read the letter again. What a joke, use a fake letter to lead right into the bullying awarness month. How low can our media get. She needs to get a life.

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    1. And if she doesn't want the descriptive word of "fat" used before her name, then damn...change it and prove someone incorrect. wah wah wah! (I'm a victim victim victim!!!)

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    2. Seriously? What if you're unattractive and someone calls you "ugly" just because they are "stating facts"? I'm not saying she can't change her appearance and fix this, but the point is people don't have to be a-holes just because they don't like your appearance. If you want to call someone too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too whatever...keep your mouth shut and keep it to yourself. Most people know, very well, what they look like, and they could hate themselves for it. For instances: I'm super fit, but I'm overweight because I'm stressed and busy and have a slight food addiction. I'm also in a major with a bunch of dudes, and I'm a little better at it than they are. I haven't been in a long-term relationship...ever. Wanna know how I feel about that? I constantly HATE my appearance and know how to fix it, but then I mess up a little, and BAM - food addiction starts and I eat myself into pain. I constantly want to dumb myself down and just be a normal "girl", but I can't. Either way, I probably get made fun of for being a b**ch and for being a fat runner.

      So, seriously, quit with the victim crap and assuming everyone can do the same as you. Maybe they have a bunch of other things going on in their lives...and that "fake" letter is a straw that breaks the camel's back.

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  54. Honestly, I think this man was seeking attention. He got it. He judged her on her looks, not knowing if she had any health reasons that make it hard for her to lose weight. She should have ignored him, because he got what he wanted. People in the media are role models to a certain extent. Would the viewer have e-mailed her if she looked too skinny?

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    1. her only health "reason" for being overweight is not being able to keep her hand full of food from going to her mouth! the end.

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  55. I think the word "bully" is overused, but I do think the sender of this email was mean. My sister has been overweight a lot of her adult life, and it's been hell on her self-image. Could she fix it? Sure, to a certain extent (and in fact she's recently lost 40 pounds). But why is it OK to be snobbish, catty, self-righteous, drug-addicted or stupid...but it's not OK to be fat? Just shows how shallow our society is. We're all going to die of something, and yes it's better to live healthy while we're here. But being kind to each other is more important. Way more important.

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  56. It's a scam and we all fell for it.

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  57. This is sad. This news anchor is obviously hurt by this insensitive e-mail. No one should feel they have to weigh a certain amount to be accepted. The idea of a healthy weight is just that, for health and wellness: physically and emotionally. Only an individual, armed with the right information, in a healthy state of mind, can decide what that means to them.

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  58. Wah wah wah...victim victim victim.
    Take hold and charge of your life and move on with it! damn.

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  59. Bully might be too strong a word, but he was an absolute jerk for sending that email. As a former morbidly obese woman (I've lost 108 pounds), I know just how hard it is to lose weight and how much those rude comments hurt. They don't usually help someone make better choices; that motivation has to come from the inside. Did she overreact? Maybe, but sometimes it takes a little overreaction to make a point--he overstepped his bounds and she stood up for everyone who is judged by others for their appearance.

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  60. Having worked in television news production for a number of years, I can honestly say that I've seen many, many women gain weight just because of the nature of the business. You work long, high-stress hours and, if you're a reporter, you're often off in the middle of nowhere.

    Add to that the fact that this woman has three small children, and it makes total sense to me that she's packed on a few pounds.

    She's also not the first news anchor to get an email like this one. I have half a dozen friends who are routinely dissected on 'news junkie' blogs as to whether or not they are pregnant, looking tired, anything and everything.

    I can't really think that he was a bully, he's just a busybody, and a smug douche. I do like that it started this conversation, even if bully may not be the correct insult for him.

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