Is it Jeremy's fault he is so obese?

Discuss the March 2016 Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin.

(Note, Carrie Rubin's previous book The Seneca Scourge was book of the month in December 2012. :) )
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Is it Jeremy's fault he is so obese?

Post by Scott » 01 Mar 2016, 09:06

[This is a discussion topic for the March 2016 book of the month Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin.]


Do you think it’s Jeremy’s fault he is so dangerously obese? If not his fault, then whose fault is it?


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Post by gali » 01 Mar 2016, 14:46

I think it is both his and the junk food producers. Like Jeremy said, no single source is deserving of all the blame.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by TeaAndSpooks » 01 Mar 2016, 15:57

I agree with Gali. I believe that he could do more to help himself, but he is not the only one at fault.
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Post by Gravy » 01 Mar 2016, 22:13

I believe Connie is also to blame, as well as his grandfather, and well meaning doctors who, instead of encouragement, offer him only omenous warnings, and pointed judgment.

It doesn't surprise me that he couldn't even accept the help offered. By the time it was finally available to him he'd been beaten down too far to believe in it.
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Post by gali » 01 Mar 2016, 23:15

Gravy wrote:I believe Connie is also to blame, as well as his grandfather, and well meaning doctors who, instead of encouragement, offer him only omenous warnings, and pointed judgment.

It doesn't surprise me that he couldn't even accept the help offered. By the time it was finally available to him he'd been beaten down too far to believe in it.
I agree about that. :tiphat:
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Post by bookowlie » 02 Mar 2016, 11:04

I have read a third of the book so far and think Connie bears a lot of responsibility. She doesn't make time to buy healthier foods and always comes home from work with leftovers from the restaurant or fast food. Considering how overweight Jeremy is, it's amazing to me the types of foods she brings home.
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Post by TangledinText » 04 Mar 2016, 10:56

At first I understand the blind rage and turning to food as comfort and I wouldn't blame him, so you'd blame the people around him, like his mother, who should have sat him down for an intervention and directed his pent-up energy towards something more active or helpful than eating.
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Post by LivreAmour217 » 04 Mar 2016, 13:49

I think that Connie is primarily responsible for Jeremy's weight. Jeremy didn't become obese overnight; his weight is the result of years of bad habits that went unchecked by his mother. Connie should have taken measures to improve her son's health when he was younger.
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Post by KAV » 04 Mar 2016, 15:21

Gravy wrote:I believe Connie is also to blame, as well as his grandfather, and well meaning doctors who, instead of encouragement, offer him only omenous warnings, and pointed judgment.

It doesn't surprise me that he couldn't even accept the help offered. By the time it was finally available to him he'd been beaten down too far to believe in it.
I agree with you. It was a little bit of everyone's fault, but ultimately I don't think you can blame others for what you put in your own mouth. I definitely think that he needed encouragement, but he also needed self control. He had a lot of emotional issues that needed to be resolved, but he ultimately was the one who chose to play video games and eat candy. It isn't Burgers and Bun's fault that they have tasty food.
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Post by chytach18- » 05 Mar 2016, 06:56

It would be utterly unfair to blame Jeremy for his obesity. It would be same as blaming a rape victim for being raped. His obesity is much deeper problem than his body shape. I don't think we need to point fingers at someone in particular to get the blame. All people involved in his life should have helped him, not blame him. But they didn't, did they?
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Post by Gravy » 06 Mar 2016, 05:13

chytach18- wrote:It would be utterly unfair to blame Jeremy for his obesity. It would be same as blaming a rape victim for being raped. His obesity is much deeper problem than his body shape. I don't think we need to point fingers at someone in particular to get the blame. All people involved in his life should have helped him, not blame him. But they didn't, did they?
:text-yeahthat:
That leads back to the topic about the Dr. Sneekers and Glorias. If you haven't experienced it, of been effected by it, you can't understand it.

Jeremy had a lot of emotional problems, evidenced by him describing the "hole" that he could never "fill", but I think what happened toward and at the end (prior to the very end) showed he was better off than in the beginning.
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Post by tortoise keeper » 09 Mar 2016, 12:56

I agree that there are many factors that lead to Jeremy's obesity. His mother, the environment where he lives, and his poor self esteem all contribute to his weight problem. This appears to be a long term issue that didn't just happen overnight. Changing his habits to promote a more healthy lifestyle are not going to come quickly either.
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Post by HorrorFan87 » 10 Mar 2016, 16:54

It's everyone's fault. Firstly, Jeremy said it quite right, there is no sole person at fault for obesity. Everyone in the world, whether they are aware of it or not, is at fault. Let's go down the list.

1) Jeremy: Jeremy is at fault because he ultimately makes the choice to put the wrong foods down his throat. He chose pizza over a salad, or a chocolate bar over an apple. What he decides to eat is what he eats, and no one forces him to make those choices.

2) Connie: While I both accept and smile down upon Connie for having two jobs to support her and her son, I look down upon her for not bringing home foods that are healthy for Jeremy. She could just as easily have brought him fruit or a salad or something else that would be suitably healthy...but instead she brings him pizza and burgers and chips, etc. As a mother of an overweight child, she should know better and encourage him to exercise and eat right. Instead she blames her work and being tired as excuses for why she doesn't cook or bring healthy foods, and that is not okay.

3) Bullies in general: For this particular category, I rope in Rex (Connie's ex-boyfriend), GI Dick (Jeremy's Grandfather), the bullies at school, Darwin, etc. These people do nothing but knock the obese down, making them feel discouraged, unattractive, and downright loathed. It may not be their fault for shoving food down Jeremy's throat, but by making him feel inferior, calling him names, beating him up, etc, it definitely isn't helping any small amount of self esteem that Jeremy has left. Having no self esteem can cause obese people to eat more or go in the opposite direction (look at Sue's daughter Kayla and her anorexia), leading to more problems, sometimes worse than the starting problem. And the bad thing is, nothing is done about them, so any hope that these obese people have of shedding the pounds or making themselves feel better through hard work and support falls through because all that they can think of is how fat they are and how hopeless losing that much weight can be/or feels like it can be.

4) Media and food industry: Finally we come to this. As people who watch the news or read the paper, or just browse Facebook for the latest news stories, we know how bad the media can make things out to be. In this novel, we see the media focusing (and for the most part, rightly so) on the murders. However, instead of focusing on the fact that these murders are occurring and need to be stopped, they try to force the theory that the murders are tied to obesity. They bring up that problem and scare people into eating more to get their minds off of the fear that they could be next. To make matters worse, food companies and industries do try to find the most addictive formula for foods, making it impossible for someone to quit eating something once they find something they like, yet they refuse to take even a small part of the responsibility for either making those foods, or for making those foods that are bad for us incredibly cheap vs healthy foods like salads and apples incredibly expensive.

There are a few people who are able to be supportive and helpful (I think of Dan, Tito, and Terry Harjo) and who don't really contribute to the obesity craze. Unfortunately there are those that help way too much as well, much like Sue and the "Fat Slayers" who think that by pushing exercise on people and cutting out junk food entirely, obesity can be completely botched out. That isn't right either and it becomes even worse for the obese victim because if they cannot reach a certain goal, their hope fades and weight loss does not seem achievable.

SO, sorry for the rant but I think everyone is involved with weight loss. I think this novel sums up perfectly the amount of blame that everyone should take responsibility for when it comes to obesity. Jeremy is definitely to blame, but not completely, and certainly not alone.
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Post by Cozy_Rozy » 12 Mar 2016, 19:05

I think Dick and Rex should be blamed for a lot of Jeremy's weight issues. I have not seen much mention of them but bullies have a ton of power over their victims. Jeremy has the bullies at school to deal with but GI Dick was supposed to be a father figure to him. Nicknaming him Eating Bull, constantly hounding him and nagging him, constantly on Connie's case all the while never lifting a finger to help. Why couldn't he pitch in and make dinner, go shopping for healthy food or cut back on his own soda intake? He is belittling Connie and Jeremy about their issues all the while stuffing his own face. Yes, Connie and Jeremy live in his house, he gave Connie his car but from what I saw he offered little support. I have not read the entire book yet and I am hoping that at some point he realizes his role in this. Connie works two jobs, gets home late, she is tired beaten down and doing the best job she can. Honestly the bullying scenes at home bothered me much more than the "fat lard" comments from his schoolmates. Also, Dick's behavior almost made me more uncomfortable than Darwin's creepy thoughts (almost). :lol:

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Post by bookowlie » 14 Mar 2016, 13:20

I still think Connie is the main culprit. A teenager (Jeremy) is not the one bringing home the groceries or, for the most part, preparing meals. Connie just kept grabbing fast food or high-calorie, greasy leftovers from where she worked.

Cozy Rozy (welcome to the forums!) - I agree with you that there is an emotional component to Jeremy's overeating, but it would have been easier for him to lose weight if his mom had healthier meal choices in the house.
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