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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure what to think/say on this one...

Regina Benjamin not a good role model given obesity epidemic, say some experts.

Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, Obama's pick for the next surgeon general, was hailed as a MacArthur Grant genius who had championed the poor at a medical clinic she set up in Katrina-ravaged Alabama.

But the full-figured African-American nominee is also under fire for being overweight in a nation where 34 percent of all Americans aged 20 and over are obese.

Critics and supporters across the blogsphere have commented on photos of Benjamin's round cheeks, saying she sends the wrong message as the public face of America's health initiatives.

But others support the 52-year-old founder and CEO of Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic, citing new research that shows you cannot always judge a book by its cover when it comes to obesity.

Even the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance -- whose slogan is "we come in all sizes" -- has jumped to her defense.

"The job of surgeon general is to make health care and policy decisions for the country -- not to look hot in a pair of skinny jeans," said one blogger on Frisky.com. "Perhaps her size could actually be an advantage -- she's in a better position to understand obesity and contemplate out-of-the-box ways to roll back ever-expanding American waistlines."
40 Pounds Over, Size 18, Blogs Speculate

Bloggers on Salon.com speculated that Benjamin is 40 pounds overweight, perhaps a size 18. The nominee didn't return calls from ABCNews.com, so there is no information about how much she weighs or her eating and exercise habits.

Spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services Jenny Backus issued this statement: "Dr. Benjamin is a highly qualified physician who has dedicated her life to providing care to her patients. She is a role model for all of us, and will be an outstanding surgeon general."

Even some of the most reputable names in medicine chimed in.

"I think it is an issue, but then the president is said to still smoke cigarettes," said Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine who is now a senior lecturer at Harvard University Medical School. "It tends to undermine her credibility."

"We don't know how much she weighs and just looking at her I would not say she is grotesquely obese or even overweight enough to affect her health," Angell told ABCNews.com.

"But I do think at a time when a lot of public health concern is about the national epidemic of obesity, having a surgeon general who is noticeably overweight raises questions in people's minds," she added.
The rest of the article is here...

http://abcnews.go.com/m/screen?id=8129947
 

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If she is qualified to do the job she shouldn't be judged on her size.
Would you rather have a skinny person do the job who isn't as qualified or someone who is very qualifed but might not fit the profile 100%?
 

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If she is qualified to do the job she shouldn't be judged on her size.
Would you rather have a skinny person do the job who isn't as qualified or someone who is very qualifed but might not fit the profile 100%?
Thats what I was thinking. I guess my comment was in reference to the fact this is even news. Nothing is free from scrutiny these days.
 

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I think it matters. Obesity is probably the biggest health problem in the country and she's going to stand there telling us the longterm problems of obesity in adults and children when she's borderline obese herself?

I remember having fat doctors tell me to lose weight back when I was fat and just thinking they should follow their own advice and get back to me.

Where's her credibility on the issue? If she smoked a pack a day, everybody who be up in arms. I don't see the difference.
 

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Would it be ok if she smoked? Would it be ok if she was a binge drinker? Would it be ok if she was an anorexic? Where is the line drawn? The surgeon general should be encouraging healthy behavior, regular doctor visits, exercise, etc. I would have a hard time taking an overweight person touting healthy behavior and exercise seriously.
 

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Talking about wrong impressions, as a Company our National Health Service gives employees a back to work interview when they have been absent for more than seven days.

Our maintenance manager gave one of the telephonists an interview after she was ill with the flu and asked her whether she had considered joining a gym because she is morbidly obese ! I am amazed that he made it out of the office alive !
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Talking about wrong impressions, as a Company our National Health Service gives employees a back to work interview when they have been absent for more than seven days.

Our maintenance manager gave one of the telephonists an interview after she was ill with the flu and asked her whether she had considered joining a gym because she is morbidly obese ! I am amazed that he made it out of the office alive !
:eek:
 

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Talking about wrong impressions, as a Company our National Health Service gives employees a back to work interview when they have been absent for more than seven days.

Our maintenance manager gave one of the telephonists an interview after she was ill with the flu and asked her whether she had considered joining a gym because she is morbidly obese ! I am amazed that he made it out of the office alive !
:mad::mad::mad::mad:
 

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Frankly, I never gave this Dr.'s weight a thought until this article came out. I can see a person's viewpoint who would say what right does she have to tell us to lose weight when she is overweight herself. However, I think that is a cop out. She is the messenger. And it does not invalidate the trruthfulness of being healthy.
 

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It is one of the biggest scams of the weight loss industry that push the idea of being overweight automatically equals unhealthy. It is just not something you can take at face value. If her weight does not interfere with her job capability, it should absolutely not be a factor in her appointment. "Fat" people can be physically fit and healthy. BMI is not a reliable indicator of physical health overall.
 

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First of all... perhaps she's the most qualified for the job... isn't that what is important?

Second of all... does anyone even really know what the previous Surgeon General's looked like and their "personal" habits (such as drinking, smoking, and anything else unhealthy :p )... I certainly don't. In fact, I had to look it up in Wikipedia to even figure out who the last one was! So I don't think the whole "she's a spokesperson and if she's standing up there telling us how to live who is going to listen when she's fat?"

I was under the impression that the Surgeon General did more policy work and was not a spokesperson... maybe I'm wrong.
 

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One of the main initiatives in the office of the Surgeon General is the prevention of childhood obesity. I simply feel that the surgeon general should be a person that appears to take the obesity epidemic seriously.
 

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Since nobody has any idea what they do or who the last one was, why don't we lose the position altogether and save a few bucks? The CDC does all the real work.

They we could move on to the next government job we don't need. Maybe it would start a trend.
 

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Since nobody has any idea what they do or who the last one was, why don't we lose the position altogether and save a few bucks? The CDC does all the real work.

They we could move on to the next government job we don't need. Maybe it would start a trend.
Great suggestion! I wonder what percentage of government jobs could be cut without us even noticing. I bet it is a lot.
 
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