I spoke with a marketing expert who specializes in social psychology after my dinner with the overweight pu pu platter eaters (See December 3rd article ). “How come,” I asked, “heavy people aren’t influenced or inspired to shed pounds by all the models in the ads, actors in the movies, and cable infomercials selling weight loss and fitness products?”

After all, in addition to thin models and actors, heavy people see that some other overweight people do lose weight—you see their before and after photos in the TV and print promotional ads for zumba, diet programs and exercise equipment.

Now I realize that a lot of poor people have to eat cheap carbs in fast food restaurants, because they can’t afford healthier protein.

I accept that some large folks aren’t aware that certain foods are full of calories (soft drinks, ice cream sundaes, etc), so they have no idea why they have gained weight.

And I also know that many people don’t care if they gain pounds that might mess up their health in the future, because they are living in the moment, can’t worry about tomorrow, and don’t mind if they die earlier after many years of pigging out on tasty foods and feeling good from too many beers.

I also suspect that some cultures (even in America) may subconsciously associate overweight with survival from future food shortages, or that heaviness in earlier times indicated enough affluence to be able to overeat. Or that all their friends are overweight, and that body type is more common. Maybe heaviness is even desirable to be accepted as one of that group.

But my social psychologist friend has an explanation I hadn’t considered: some fat people don’t even think it is possible for them to ever look like the thinner/fitter people the media is constantly holding up as the ideal shape. Whether it be a model’s super svelteness or a normal person’s size. These overweight or obese individuals regard themselves as outside the society’s norms and are often surrounded by others in the same weight class. They accept that they are in the heavy end of the human weight range and don’t relate at all to those humans who are thin. It’s as if they regard themselves as part of another species. Who’d of thunk it? Not me…

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