The Fat Flying Debate
The panel debates the size of airline seats and if they should be made to accommodate larger people.



"We are, as a country, growing," Jillian says. Turning to Michael, she continues. "I wish your shirt said No Cancer. I wish it said No Heart Attacks, and it says No Chubbies. That's the hatred that they're feeling and the thing that's hurting them." She mentions that Erica told her she wants to lose weight.

[AD]Erica says, "I definitely want to lose weight, and I try. I swim three miles a week, I have a dietitian who I work with. I've been doing this for two years, and I have gained weight and not lost. So to make judgments, to use all the language that was used against blacks and other people when they were discriminated against " "

"Stop using the race card," Michael interjects. "It is not race or sexuality. It is behavior."

"There are two issues here," Dr. Phil says. "One is whether or not losing weight is going to precipitate a return to health … and I don't think there's any question that losing weight, reducing your volume, is going to help that."

Dr. Phil introduces Dr. Howard Liebowitz, an internal medicine and hormone specialist, and he concurs with Dr. Phil's statement. "There's no doubt about it that being lower weight, lower body fat percentage, is much, much healthier. The question that comes in is how to get there and how to stay there," Dr. Liebowitz says. "There are reasons why people are weight-loss resistant. They can be doing everything right. They can be working out, they can be exercising, they can be eating correctly and still, they don't lose weight. We have to consider metabolic issues, and there are actually medical reasons why some people can't lose weight." He notes that there are many factors that can contribute to this, including hormone imbalance and lack of sleep, and that's why it's important to have a complete workup from a doctor. "There are so many complicating reasons why. It's oversimplified to say it's calories in, calories out."

"As a fat person, when you go to the doctor, you don't receive that sort of report. It's more of the sort of No Chubbies thing, where people think you're lying about your lifestyle, about your activities, about your experience as a person," Marianne says. "There's a problem with the medical establishment when it comes to people who are fat. There's a lot of bias. There are a lot of people who think fat people are just non-compliant."

Peggy adds that there are numerous programs that can help people lose weight, but the problem is keeping the weight off. "If you deviate from the program one minute, your weight is going to start going right back up," she says.

[AD]"If you go on a diet program, these yo-yo diets, the research is very strong; you increase your likelihood of dying from a heart-related issue dramatically. And, you're going to gain more weight throughout a year if you don't do anything, than if you go on these yo-yo diets, because you rebel and you rebound," Dr. Phil says. "It takes a lifestyle commitment, where you realign your lifestyle to live in a way consistent with what you want, and if you're weight-loss resistant, that just makes that hill steeper to climb, but you still have to climb it."