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UK Council To Send Obese People 'Motivational' Texts Telling Them To Use Stairs

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the because-it's-hard-to-ignore-the-occasional-text-message dept.

United Kingdom 225

Qedward writes "Stoke-on-Trent City Council is sending texts to obese people in the area to help motivate them to lose weight. Examples of the texts sent include 'aim to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables each day,' 'aim to eat regular meals and keep a check on snacks and drinks' and 'maybe walk to the shops or use the stairs more often.' Over 100,000 people in the region are overweight or obese, the council said, and the texts are for those who are aged at least 18, have a body mass index of 25 or over and who have proactively signed up to receive the motivational messages."

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correlation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157181)

Between these txts and increase in suicides.

Re:correlation (3, Informative)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#46157925)

Duh, that is the secondary purpose for the texts.

i hate fat fucks as much as the next guy... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157211)

but that's uncalled for!

i hate fuck fat guys as much as the next... (3, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | about 10 months ago | (#46157231)

that butt's uncalled for!

Re:i hate fat fucks as much as the next guy... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157601)

Actually, if you RTFS, they signed up to receive the messages. So it's called for.

Re:i hate fat fucks as much as the next guy... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 10 months ago | (#46157611)

but that's uncalled for!

What exactly from

the texts are for those ... who have proactively signed up to receive the motivational messages.

is unclear?
Or... did I miss the yesterday evening memo and the semantic of "signed up to receive" no longer cover the meaning of "called for"?

Re:i hate fat fucks as much as the next guy... (4, Funny)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 10 months ago | (#46158233)

You should stop feeding the trolls. It's making them fat.

Re:i hate fat fucks as much as the next guy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158437)

You should stop feeding the trolls. It's making them fat.

Mmmm... trick them into the Sun's light and extract mineral oil afterwards.

Re:i hate fat fucks as much as the next guy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157675)

and exactly what about "fat fucks" makes you hate them. Is it the way that they can't do their jobs, oh, that's right, it has no effect on that. I guess its the fact that they take up your parking spot, but of course, that to the car. Perhaps its the fact that they use 2 airplace seats, but then again, they pay for that. I guess its just that you can't get your favorite Chocolate Hostess snack cake when you go to the supermarket, figuring that it must be the "fat fucks", no, it was probably some chick who just broke up with her boyfriend. I guess its how it affects their personality and makes them assholes, oh, you're not fat, and you are a classic example of an asshole. So what exactly is it that makes you and the next guy hate "fat fucks" you stupid ass, undereducated, bigotted piece of shit? (and no, I'm not a fat fuck, just ashamed to be lumped in the same category as a fucktard like you)

Re:i hate fat fucks as much as the next guy... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158073)

and exactly what about "fat fucks" makes you hate them.

Well for starters any time the company buys us lunch, it's two pizzas or two whole chickens per Fatass, and one slice or one bony wing for each of the rest of us.

Is it the way that they can't do their jobs, oh, that's right, it has no effect on that.

Depends on the job. In my case, in an office, they get to have a $800 office chair while the rest of us have to deal with the $70 crappy models... because the normal max weight on a regular office chair is 250 pounds and you have to buy a really NICE one to support a 450 pound individual.

I guess its the fact that they take up your parking spot, but of course, that to the car.

Not my spot, because I can't park in the handicapped/disabled parking section. But it DOES take one of those spots away from the guy who has to use a walker due to advancing MS, the lady in the next cube over with a severe chronic Asthma condition, and the guy down the hall who busted both his legs when a drunk hit his car, and has a temporary permit while's he's in physical therapy.

Perhaps its the fact that they use 2 airplace seats, but then again, they pay for that.

That's only on large commercial jets. On smaller craft, one fat fuck weighs as much as three normal people, so they buy two tickets and then the airline has to leave one seat empty due to total cargo weight on the craft, so everyone pays more per ticket.

So what exactly is it that makes you and the next guy hate "fat fucks" you stupid ass, undereducated, bigotted piece of shit?

The smell is a big part of it. The constant complaining about being fat or not feeling good, even as they consume a meal that should feed a family of five. The laziness. The extra long break times taken. What they do to the toilet in the bathroom.

The thing which bothers me most about fat people is when they try to act like they're some kind of victim. You're not a victim, you're just too lazy/unmotivated to DO anything about it. I have little sympathy for people with problems which are entirely of their own making, and yes that includes Fatass Mutherfuckers alongside drug users, alcoholics, and other assorted low-life scum.

Re:i hate fat fucks as much as the next guy... (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 10 months ago | (#46158521)

*mutters something about feeding trolls*

Well for starters any time the company buys us lunch, it's two pizzas or two whole chickens per Fatass, and one slice or one bony wing for each of the rest of us.

I've known some pretty fat people in my life (people > 600lbs), but never known somebody who could finish off two x-large pizzas in a single sitting, let alone 2 whole chickens. Either way, it's a pretty dick move of your company to allow somebody to walk away with 2 whole pizzas before everybody else has had a chance to get some.

Depends on the job. In my case, in an office, they get to have a $800 office chair while the rest of us have to deal with the $70 crappy models... because the normal max weight on a regular office chair is 250 pounds and you have to buy a really NICE one to support a 450 pound individual.

Get a doctor's note. I'm not even close to the 250lb limit you cite (which, btw, is *way* less than most office chairs are designed to handle), and I have the nice $1000 office chair, because of a bad back. If your chair is making you uncomfortable or causing medical/ergonomic problems, then get the appropriate documentation and fix it, don't come here to bitch about it.

Not my spot, because I can't park in the handicapped/disabled parking section. But it DOES take one of those spots away from the guy who has to use a walker due to advancing MS, the lady in the next cube over with a severe chronic Asthma condition, and the guy down the hall who busted both his legs when a drunk hit his car, and has a temporary permit while's he's in physical therapy.

So, being morbidly obese (which may have a medical cause that you don't know about) has magically given a person the ability to drive 3 cars at once? Or do you live in an area that lets people drive 18 foot wide cars on the street? Being grossly overweight causes all kinds of medical issues, and for most people who are that large, there's usually a medical problem that is causing the issue, or at least making it difficult to correct the issue without getting a procedure like a gastric bypass. And even that is not a guaranteed thing, as a lot of hospitals won't perform surgeries on bariatric patients because of liability issues.

The thing which bothers me most about fat people is when they try to act like they're some kind of victim. You're not a victim, you're just too lazy/unmotivated to DO anything about it. I have little sympathy for people with problems which are entirely of their own making, and yes that includes Fatass Mutherfuckers alongside drug users, alcoholics, and other assorted low-life scum.

If you've never been obese, you have no fucking clue what you're talking about. If you have been obese, then you're either supremely lucky in how easy it was to lose weight, an asshole. Losing weight is almost never a question of pure willpower. Here's a hint to get you started: the food guide that the educators have been stuffing down the throats of Americans for 40 years? Complete bullshit. Fad diet courtesy of the grain lobby, and a recipe for heart failure, obesity, and depression.

Re:i hate fat fucks as much as the next guy... (1, Interesting)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 10 months ago | (#46158537)

Wish I had some mod points today.

Being fat is not a condition.It is a lifestyle choice that has impacts on others.Just the same as someone who smokes, doesn't shower, or doesn't clean their teeth.

I have sat next to quite a few fat people in my time on long haul flights.

Re:i hate fat fucks as much as the next guy... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158139)

Different AC here...

I've never seen a fat person pay for 2 airline seats. Maybe if they were super obese, but in general if they are just moderately obese then they squeze themselves into a single seat and bulge over the armrests into my seat. It's very uncomfortable for everyone.

Also at the moderately obese end they often smell bad due difficulty washing themselves and even reaching their butt to wipe it.

Finally it just makes me annoyed that I put in the effort and will power to control my diet (even though I really love food), and they dont. Guess who costs the public medical system more??

Misleading headline again. (5, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | about 10 months ago | (#46157223)

But then I read the last line of TFS.

This is OPT-IN. You only get them if you sign up for them.

Of course, at some point, they will tap into NHS (I'm assuming that this is UK), and send to everyone, regardless of whether they had opted-in or not.

Re:Misleading headline again. (-1, Flamebait)

cupantae (1304123) | about 10 months ago | (#46157903)

I was going to comment and say that those fatties asked for it
...but now I realise that they literally did.

Re:Misleading headline again. (1)

pla (258480) | about 10 months ago | (#46158583)

Of course, at some point, they will tap into NHS (I'm assuming that this is UK), and send to everyone, regardless of whether they had opted-in or not.

If they ever make it anything but opt-in, the "victims" of these messages have a pretty simple way to fight back: Respond with pictures. Big ones.

No, you can't bankrupt your own government, but just watch the NHS try to justify a billion pounds a year in data overages to support a single unpopular program. "Next up on the budget chopping block..."

Re:Misleading headline again. (-1, Flamebait)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 10 months ago | (#46158729)

Aha, so really they should have 2 lists. One opt-in is the polite one and the other is the "get on the treadmill you bloody fast bastard!" list.

BMI (4, Informative)

TranquilVoid (2444228) | about 10 months ago | (#46157227)

BMI is designed as a measure of population weight, not individual. Mine is over 30, making me technically obese, yet I have so little body fat I cannot float in swimming pools, and only just in the ocean.

Re:BMI (2)

ZenMatrix (1299517) | about 10 months ago | (#46157305)

Yeah BMI isn't a hard number to go by, there are many factors that can affect it. Generally speaking if your overweight you know it... you don't need some number to tell you. I'd rather see labels disappear and just focus on what you need to do to stay healthy. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/dow... [cdc.gov]

Re:BMI (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 10 months ago | (#46157425)

That's called the "bodybuilder problem". The vast, vast majority of people with BMIs over 30 are obese.

Re:BMI (0)

sexconker (1179573) | about 10 months ago | (#46157547)

That's called the "bodybuilder problem". The vast, vast majority of people with BMIs over 30 are obese.

It's also called "bullshit", because everyone and their dog on the internet claims to run afoul of the BMI due to their extremely athletic builds.
Pics or it didn't happen. Internet Claims 101.

Re:BMI (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 10 months ago | (#46157661)

That's called the "bodybuilder problem". The vast, vast majority of people with BMIs over 30 are obese.

It's also called "bullshit", because everyone and their dog on the internet claims to run afoul of the BMI due to their extremely athletic builds.
Pics or it didn't happen. Internet Claims 101.

Are you calling bullshit on me or the parent post? Bodybuilders never miss a chance to mention their body mass.

Here's an experiment for you-

This week, take note of everyone you see that appears to weigh 250 pounds or more. Keep track of how many of them have huge rippling biceps, and how many have a big gut and/or ass.

Re:BMI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157751)

Clearly he is joking about the parent post not yours. "Pics or it didn't happen" is obviously referring to the original poster who said his BMI is over 30 but its because he has so much muscle mass.

Re:BMI (1)

TranquilVoid (2444228) | about 10 months ago | (#46157861)

You are probably right. I considered mentioning this in the original post - I don't do any gym work at all. However I do have a solid 'V' shape and am of average height, hence the BMI. Weight 95kg, could afford to lose 5 of those. I cycle 40km per day, eat way too much chocolate.

There was a story this week where Israel has banned ads using models with a BMI under 8.5, which is astounding that they felt the need to do this. I can maybe understand it for World Vision sponsor children, but regular products?

Re:BMI (1, Flamebait)

zippthorne (748122) | about 10 months ago | (#46158821)

kg isn't a weight. You're ruining the metric system.

Re:BMI (3, Funny)

TranquilVoid (2444228) | about 10 months ago | (#46159125)

But if I used "mass" I could never lose it, just convert it into energy.

Re:BMI (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157717)

You are correct; it is indeed designed for populations as a whole and not individuals - however many individuals (like me) who have an average build and don't do a lot of weight training get decent info from it. However the TFS says "obese" and "over 25". I know different regions are using different values based on body type (in Singapore the cut off for obese and overweight are different, etc.), but my gosh - 25 isn't obese even for an average body type. In the US you have to get to 30 to be considered obese (as you mentioned). I'm currently hanging out at 27.5 and working my way down towards 25 - which is the UPPER END OF NORMAL. Not sure why they would send the texts to someone who is at the high end of normal...

Re:BMI (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157733)

Sure, BMI doesn't work for incredibly in shape people with lots of muscle mass. We get it. But for the majority of us it works as a good first approximation. If you have a really high BMI and you sit on the couch all day and never exercise, you can bet you are obese.

Re:BMI (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157991)

Nope, the problem is that BMI does fuck all to predict anything. The hips to waist ratio is somewhat more meaningful as it takes into consideration the distribution of fat on the body. It's still not a great measure, but two people with the same height, build and BMI could be carrying the weight in very different ways, and as a result have very different health risks.

Re:BMI (1)

jxander (2605655) | about 10 months ago | (#46157905)

True. BMI is hardly perfect... but it's a good first step. Kinda like "Did you reboot it?"

Not going to solve every problem or answer every question, but a good start, and most importantly, doesn't require any in-depth knowledge or fancy equipment.

Re:BMI (5, Informative)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 10 months ago | (#46158257)

True. BMI is hardly perfect... but it's a good first step. Kinda like "Did you reboot it?"

Actually, no it's NOT a "good first step." It's a fair to poor "first step." It's more like a troubleshooting procedure that's guaranteed to give bogus results in a significant percentage of cases -- i.e., where it's wrong or off so often that asking the question is almost more likely to lead you down the wrong path for many cases, rather than giving you useful information.

The BMI formula assumes that adiposity relates to height squared. It does not. This is a simple fact. When people get taller, their bodies scale in three dimensions, not two. So, for really tall people, it's guaranteed to say they are more fat than they really are, and for really short people, it's guaranteed to say people are at a healthy weight when their fat or even obese.

The only reason the BMI formula appears to work at all is because women are both shorter and tend to have higher "healthy" bodyfat percentages. The BMI ranges are more-or-less supposed to be the same for men and women -- that should be a major red flag to anyone who knows anything about bodyfat, since healthy bodyfat ranges for men and women are clearly known to be different.

So, the mean female height is less than the mean male height, but the mean healthy female bodyfat amount is higher. Thus, to have a formula that works for both sexes, you need something that doesn't accurately reflect a "normal" body being scaled up or down. BMI fits the bill, and thus it has been used for population studies to compare mean statistics for overall populations. For individuals -- which it was never designed for -- it's TERRIBLE.

You can immediately see that from the men vs. women problem. BMI says a short man who is in the middle of the height range for women should have the same weight as an average woman. Given what we know about bodyfat, that doesn't make sense. Or, a tall woman who's over 6' or something -- to have a "healthy" BMI she'd often have to look like a waifish model.

"But," you say, "it's still a good first step. It's a simple formula."

Nope -- doesn't excuse it. There are a number of studies that have shown that a number of even simpler measures are actually more accurate at predicting health problems, propensity for disease, etc. For example, simply measuring the waist circumference for men -- regardless of height -- has been shown to be a better predictor of health problems than BMI. Think about that for a moment. Clearly a guy who is 5' tall should not have a waist size the same as a 7' tall guy. But studies have shown that even measuring the waist and saying, "Is it bigger than X inches?" without knowing anything about height, weight, or anything else is a better predictor than BMI.

Yeah, BMI sucks that bad.

But could a simple formula do that much harm? Well, why not just modify that "simple formula" to make it more accurate? In the days when you had to calculations by hand or with a slide rule, a formula involving only an exponent of 2 and a division might make sense. But most people don't calculate BMI by hand anymore -- they plug things into some sort of web calculator or look at a chart.

We can easily fix BMI to make it much more accurate. First, just change the exponent. Logically, as I mentioned at the outside, squaring the height makes NO SENSE. You might think that cubing the height would be better, since the body expands in three dimensions, but it turns out that the male/female factor and other things that don't quite scale precisely with the cube of the height makes an exponent of 3 bad too.

Various empirical studies have suggested an exponent of somewhere in the 2.3 to 2.7 range would be better. But really, to get any accuracy at all, you'd have to at least consider separating the sexes. At that point, you could narrow the range of the exponent for males and females separately to have a significantly better correlation to both adiposity measures and health outcomes.

It really would be that easy: change the exponent and make the "healthy" ranges be slightly different for men and women.

It still would be an approximation, and it still wouldn't work for bodybuilders and other extreme cases. But at least it would be a reasonable "first step" and have some semblance of accuracy. BMI does not.

Re:BMI (1)

Arker (91948) | about 10 months ago | (#46158369)

Excellent post, completely right. BMI is a useful proxy in population statistics but worse than useless when applied to individuals.

To get something usable for individuals you would not only need to correct for gender but also for skeletal proportions (body shape,) by the way. Imagine two people, the same height, but the pelvic girdle and shoulders of the one is twice as wide as the other. Their healthy weights are NOT going to be the same.

Re:BMI (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 10 months ago | (#46158451)

To get something usable for individuals you would not only need to correct for gender but also for skeletal proportions (body shape,) by the way. Imagine two people, the same height, but the pelvic girdle and shoulders of the one is twice as wide as the other. Their healthy weights are NOT going to be the same.

Yes, of course. This is a great point. I was trying to point out that we could still make significant improvements to the "simple" BMI formula without requiring additional information or measurements.

But yes, if you want even more accuracy for individuals, you'd be better off with a model that takes frame into account. People who are older may still remember the tables many physicians used to use before BMI took over almost everything in the 1980s or so. I distinctly recall tables like that which were separated by sex and by frame: "small frame," "medium frame," and "large frame." Obviously even those 3 categories wouldn't reflect every individual, but it would still be a better approximation when coupled with a slightly modified BMI.

TMI (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#46157975)

As long as you have a TMI in the average range you should be happy no matter what your BMI.

Re:BMI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158299)

Yes, I was considered overweight because I was too heavy as a teenager. I was all muscle, my stomach actually went in. But I weighed more than the height/weight chart said I should. All NFL football players have a BMI that is too high...does that mean they should all be losing weight? Guess so. Perhaps they can get those text messages too, telling them to exercise more and stop being sloths.

they need an incentive (5, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 10 months ago | (#46157239)

I don't think it's a surprised that people in Cambridge, for example, are quite healthy and fit and people in Stoke are not. It's not just a case of wealth but people in Cambridge are better educated and probably feel they have more to live for. The UK government has drained a lot of the country's ability to compete in favour of advancing London. It's no surprise people in poorer areas probably simply don't care. What's the incentive to lead a healthy life when you live in one of the more economically depressed areas of the country and the government makes it clear you don't matter because you're not a banker?

Re:they need an incentive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158033)

This would be an interesting comment if there were any facts to support it. Instead, it's just another pointless rant by someone with a socialist agenda.

Re:they need an incentive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158373)

You idiot. You don't need facts to get a +5 Insightful around here. In fact, facts would probably hurt that score.

Re:they need an incentive (2)

postbigbang (761081) | about 10 months ago | (#46158085)

That's a rationalization. You can be happy anywhere. Certainly the affluent are perceived to be happy, but mostly it's because they're drunk, or stoned, and trying to get a grip like everyone else. Happiness is what you make of it.

There's no magic about one place or another, it's all your own attitude. It's very personal, and carbs are horribly addictive. Take out the carbs, and life is much better. Less sugar means your insulin doesn't kick in and store everything to your tissues. This takes place in London, Bath, Stokes, Leicester, Wales, wherever. It's how we're put together. Depression causes people to carb-load. That's a personal problem, not a regional one. Carb loading to increase serotinine is a well-honoured pass-time.

Re:they need an incentive (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#46158559)

I have to chuckle at your post, because as I read it I was just demolishing this tray of jelly beans.

Hello Citizen - U Look GRate! Today! (4, Funny)

the_skywise (189793) | about 10 months ago | (#46157293)

"I don't know... lately I just don't feel like there's anything special about me."

"You are an incredibly sensitive man, who inspires joy-joy feelings in all those around you."

Re:Hello Citizen - U Look GRate! Today! (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 10 months ago | (#46157567)

"I don't know... lately I just don't feel like there's anything special about me."

"You are an incredibly sensitive man, who inspires joy-joy feelings in all those around you."

What seems to be your boggle?

Stairs (0)

rossdee (243626) | about 10 months ago | (#46157299)

How many floors are we talking about?
Stairs are fine if there are only 2 or 3 floors (basement, ground floor, and one above that (sometimes called first floor in UK I think)
But if you're talking about 10 floors or more then it takes to long to get anywhere

I live in my mother-in-laws basement you insensitive clod

Re:Stairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158017)

I used to live on the 10th floor and did my jury duty on the 9th floor. You get used to walking up and down those stairs quickly, as long as you're not already an incredibly fat fuck of a bastard. Within a month of beginning jury duty I could run up the stairs and beat the elevator to the top. Granted it was a slow elevator, but still.

And it does take some time, but by taking the stairs you get to shave time off what you're working out in the gym and ultimately it more than compensates you in the long run with better health.

Re:Stairs (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 10 months ago | (#46158339)

Years ago I worked at a job where my workspace was two flights up. Unlike most of my co-workers (who were mostly half my age, at best) I parked well out in the lot and always used the stairs, not the elevator. I knew that I wasn't getting as much exercise as I should, so this was my way of getting a little more, twice every work day.

Re:Stairs (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#46158577)

Yup, I did the same thing when I lived in Manhattan. I lived on the 14th floor and I took the stairs as much as I could. After the first week it was no longer tiring at all - just boring.

Sample Texts (5, Funny)

simonbp (412489) | about 10 months ago | (#46157303)

"Get off your arse and walk, fatso!"
"Put down the fork, you slob!"
"You're disgusting! No one will ever love you!"

"Be sure to vote in Council elections next Tuesday!"

Re:Sample Texts (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157693)

"Oy you Essex slapper, lay off the pies n' pasties."
"Listen ya swamp donkey. Get the bangers outta yer pie hole Or I'll give ya a right trunky in the tradesman's entrance and make ya lick me yarbles!"

Re:Sample Texts (1)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 10 months ago | (#46158815)

Don't forget the advertising opportunity: "Time to drink four more Diet Cokes!"

BMI is Flawed and Incorrect (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157317)

Well BMI is Wrong anyway, yay for using a flawed formula to make people feel bad.

Quote : http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/255712.php

BMI has been used for 100 years in population studies. by doctors, personal trainers, and other health care professionals, when deciding whether their patients are overweight. However, BMI has one important flaw - it does not measure your overall fat or lean tissue (muscle) content.

Body Mass Index, derived from a simple math formula, was devised in the 1830s by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet (1796-1874), a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist. BMI is said to estimate how fat you are by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. However, as mentioned earlier, the measurement is flawed, especially if the person carries a lot of muscle.

The current BMI formula leads to confusion and misinformation, Trefethen believes. The height2 term divides the weight by too much when people are short, and by too little when they are tall. The result is short people being told they are thinner than they really are, while tall people are made to think that they are fatter than they are.

Re:BMI is Flawed and Incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157385)

Example, I am 201cm tall, I weigh 104 kg's my BMI is 25.7 (which is over weight) But I have very little fat (being a blacksmith by trade) I work out regularly with a personal trainer and recently finished a 50KM race (came 8th).

But I am overweight, BMI is flawed Math do not use.

Re:BMI is Flawed and Incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157791)

BMI was invented in an age when people were shorter so that a score above 25 would give you X% chance that someone was overweight. Nowadays increased height means that someone who scores over 25 should be tested with the Fat Free Mass Index to see if they are overweight.

BMI is not flawed Math it is incorrectly used.

Re:BMI is Flawed and Incorrect (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#46157397)

However, as mentioned earlier, the measurement is flawed, especially if the person carries a lot of muscle.

News for nerds?

Re:BMI is Flawed and Incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157517)

Believe it or not, there are body-building nerds. They do exist - perhaps they break stereotype, but hell, they do exist.

New for nerds? yeah, stereotype says a lot of us are fat, lazy, and get winded screaming "Who's bad, that's right, who's bad!" when you finally beat someone in a 1v1 duel in WoW... (No, I don't play WoW, and have never done this, but again, we're stereotyping here, right? )

Re:BMI is Flawed and Incorrect (2)

beelsebob (529313) | about 10 months ago | (#46157649)

Worse than that, the locations of the "normal", "overweight" etc bands on the BMI scale were decided at a very similar time with no scientific backing to them.

Recent studies have demonstrated that they're actually located one whole position too low. That is, mortality rates are lowest in people in the "overweight" category, they're second lowest in the "obese" category, third lowest in "normal". Finally, "underweight" is less healthy even than "morbidly obese".

Not flawed but misapplied (1)

Arker (91948) | about 10 months ago | (#46158407)

BMI was designed for population studies and it is actually appropriate there. The flaws in the calculation in regards to individuals can be severe, but in a study of a large population they cancel out and you get a fairly accurate estimate of the status of the population as a whole.

But of course when applied to a single individual, there is no opportunity for the errors to average out and the results are worse than useless.

In otherwords... (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | about 10 months ago | (#46157339)

Nobody. Nobody is going to get the messages.

noNoNO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157345)

Put them on a spit and roast them, then feed them to the dogs!

Immediate reply: (1)

Zanadou (1043400) | about 10 months ago | (#46157405)

"Help, I've fallen and can't get up!!"

Anywhere you can get it.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157413)

For some of the people who have signed up, it could be the only positive input they get on a regular basis. Good for them.

Whoops, I mean. "poor fat people!!! LOl!!"

Re:Anywhere you can get it.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158875)

For some of the people who have signed up, it could be the only positive input they get on a regular basis. Good for them.

Whoops, I mean. "poor fat people!!! LOl!!"

Maybe if they hadn't been coddled as children they'd not only be able to handle criticism, but they wouldn't feel the need to cram their gullets full of chowder as an escape mechanism.

Council Money Well Spent (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 10 months ago | (#46157415)

Council Gyms are not just on the decline but over twice the cost of private ones, due to subsiding public sector employees, and the unemployed. How about the focus should be on something obvious; cheap; without lock-in(long contracts - single visits expensive) sporting/exercise activities for everyone.

Re:Council Money Well Spent (2)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 10 months ago | (#46157539)

You make it sound like people need gyms to exercise. They don't. You don't even need any special gear at all.

Re:Council Money Well Spent (3, Funny)

pspahn (1175617) | about 10 months ago | (#46158011)

Are you the naked guy I saw running with no shoes on during the blizzard?

Re:Council Money Well Spent (3, Funny)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 10 months ago | (#46158259)

Why, yes. Yes I am.

Run, Fatboy, Run (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 10 months ago | (#46157451)

Motivational messages voiced by Dylan Moran:

Hey, maybe there's a little man in there who looks just like you but he's really good at running.

Well... yeah... you put one leg in front of the other over and over again really really fast.

Re:Run, Fatboy, Run (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158205)

Yeah, then my knee blows out, which means I can't get ANY exercise, I get depressed, and gain 20 pounds.

Thanks a lot.

Seriously-- High impact exercise, like running, is probably the WORST advice you can give a seriously overweight person. Stairs are also a problem. Step one-- talk to your doctor, get a stress test. Step two (with doctor's help), decide on an exercise that not only CAN you do, but that you WILL do, step three, figure out how many calories you consume in an average day (and you'll be glad you did the stress test first), and cut back on them. Finally, work on eating healthier.

Insulting, haranguing, ostracizing mocking-- These just stroke your own ego, and are absolutely useless to the rest of the planet.

Weight-ist, and HIPAA violation (-1, Troll)

EngineeringStudent (3003337) | about 10 months ago | (#46157457)

Wow. Bigoted and illegal in the US. And everyone says the USA is privacy invasive. If someone did that in the USA they would be sued for violation of medical privacy law.

Re:Weight-ist, and HIPAA violation (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about 10 months ago | (#46157475)

Wow. Bigoted and illegal in the US. And everyone says the USA is privacy invasive. If someone did that in the USA they would be sued for violation of medical privacy law.

What part of opt-in didn't you understand?

Re:Weight-ist, and HIPAA violation (2)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | about 10 months ago | (#46157663)

Wow. Bigoted and illegal in the US. And everyone says the USA is privacy invasive. If someone did that in the USA they would be sued for violation of medical privacy law.

What part of opt-in didn't you understand?

The bit that where it's likely to motivate fat lazy people - to make the effort required to request someone (else) motivate them.).

How about - compulsory weight checks outside fast food stores and supermarkets, in concert with compulsory liposuction? You could require fast food deliverers to have portable units - and make it part of a re-employment plan for TSA and NSA staff (they already have the necessary skills and motivations). Reduce health and public transport costs and create a viable biofuel program.

Just musing on my keyboard....

Re:Weight-ist, and HIPAA violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158223)

Only if I get to decide what compulsory medical procedures you undergo.

Re:Weight-ist, and HIPAA violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157587)

Wow. Bigoted and illegal in the US. And everyone says the USA is privacy invasive. If someone did that in the USA they would be sued for violation of medical privacy law.

Yeh! That's what the lobbyist from the Jenny Craig Weight Loss program told me (while we shared a can of Diet soda and a bag of low-fat Pork Cracklings and chowed down on our Philly Cheese Burgers)

Re:Weight-ist, and HIPAA violation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157719)

Hahaha! I love the way you say 'someone would be sued' like it is some sort of badge of honour. Out here, if someone says something that we don't like, we tell them to go fuck themselves and get on with our lives, but yeah, go ahead and cry to mummy if it makes you feel better.

Too many puddings (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 10 months ago | (#46157471)

If you don't know, the UK's obesity rate is right behind the US's and increasing. Since the government provides their health insurance, it's very much in the government's interest to get their people healthier.

Re:Too many puddings (1)

d33tah (2722297) | about 10 months ago | (#46157599)

...or just stop treating the obese. It might turn out to be a cheaper option.

Just eat a goddamn vegetable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46159091)

The Onion, as usual, cuts to the chase: FDA Official: "Just Eat A Goddamn Vegetable" [youtube.com]

You're doing it wrong (2)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | about 10 months ago | (#46157551)

Instead of being lazy and sending texts - those obese public servants should ride a bike, or walk, to deliver the message. (or tax the hell out of sugar and fund health programs?)

Oh wait (weight?).... maybe it's only people who are not public servants who are morbidly obese.

In other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157555)

The council also announced a second motivational program for those same individuals.

They will (unbeknownst to those who signed up) be part of a new police-dog exercise program. They will be given a steak to wear @ their waist while they walk those stairs, while police-dogs are set loose saying "Go get the steak, tear into em"

To quote Denis Leary; (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157559)

"Dinosaurs were big boned. You're big arsed. Put the fork down!"

Basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157593)

...being the worst kind of smartass they can be and tell fat guys (like me) what they already know. Great. The world needs more of these morons.

Aanndd this is why you don't give your phonenuber (1)

Noishkel (3464121) | about 10 months ago | (#46157657)

Of course... I wouldn't live in the UK either.

"The fingers you have used to dial are too fat..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46157747)

"...to order a dialling wand, please mash the keypad with your hand."

medical care (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | about 10 months ago | (#46157787)

Will the council pay the doctor's bills and lost wages for obese people who blow their knees when climbing stairs?

Walking is definitely good exercise, especially for obses people, but not necessarily with stairs.

iNag (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 10 months ago | (#46157805)

iNag

Slashdot could use this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158093)

We could have AC's to signup for motivational texts:

Try and be more constructive with your comments
Don't always try and get first post
Stop attacking other people
Get a life
Etc

Spam to not eat spam? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 10 months ago | (#46158185)

Interesting idea but likely to be a counterproductive annoyance if used too much.

How about no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158245)

I shall use the escalator and I shall eat my fried chicken and there's nothing you can do that can make me not to those things!

duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158661)

Then don't opt-in for the comments... dumb-ass...

There are similar commercial apps (1)

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs (2872465) | about 10 months ago | (#46158271)

There are similar commercial apps in a bunch of styles -- some friendly and upbeat, some with foul language, some with scary imagery. Some of them seem to work well for some people, and it seems cheap to run, so a plausible worthwhile opt-in experiment.

Seems like it could be more adaptive; let people choose the style they prefer, and maybe have an 'Okay I did!' or 'Not this time!' response to see which messages when are most useful.

One possible problem (2)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 10 months ago | (#46158403)

I can just see an obese person chowing down on fish and chips, looking at a text message about eating more vegetables and commenting, "Potatoes are vegetables, aren't they?"

UK is scary Orwelian nowadays (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158447)

Seriously, it's downright scary to see how Brits are ok with that, none of them seem to see what's happening to their country, some defend it, other write on the net about it but they collectively reached a point where it makes me cringe.

Fat shaming via text! (0)

Chas (5144) | about 10 months ago | (#46158485)

And you get to pay for the text message, whether you wanted it or not!

I swear to Christ, this kind of shit makes me think the genocide of the human race might not be a Bad Thing *TM* sometimes...

If you didn't want it, you shouldn't have opted in (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158693)

Really? Really? I don't blame you for not RTFA... but damnnn... not even reading the crappy summary to the end?

It is 100% opt-in only... you don't want it, don't opt-in.... Has the collective IQ quotient on /. dropped 50 points somewhere in the last 6 months?? Or was it just Chas's IQ that dropped 50 points (when it apparently started @ 35 to begin with)

in a few years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158731)

Cambridge MA starts using "telescreens" to nag people to put down that cigarette!

Trolling Target: (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 10 months ago | (#46158775)

You know that someone will try to break into the system running this and alter the messages.

This thing has a giant "Kick me!" sign pinned on it..

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158831)

..

Cut the Cord, Mum! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46158837)

Cut the cord, mum! Cut them all: the one on the elevator, the escalator, and the trolley.

"Touch your toes, Winston!" (4, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | about 10 months ago | (#46158969)

"Smith!" screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. "6079 Smith W.! Yes, YOU! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! THAT’S better, comrade."

Oblig Mark Twain (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46159011)

"Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky. It is the prohibition that makes anything precious."

not all places let you take the Stairs day to day (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 10 months ago | (#46159113)

and in some places I like to take them.

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