Hail to The Colonel and Ronald McDonald!

…and all of those other American icons- The King, Wendy, Taco Bell, Domino and all!

How do the young say it? …OMG!!!

In 2010 Americans (citizens of the United States of America) ate 9 million more servings of French Friesand 6 million more hamburgers than they did in 2009. It is fair to assume the same sort of increases held true for other popular fast food items (aka, junk food) such as hot dogs and donuts. This puts the USA at the top of the list of countries where obesity is recognised as being a major health issue. The cost to the health services in trying deal with problems caused by obesity runs into many, many millions of dollars that could well be spent elsewhere and it would follow that deaths that could be attributed to obesity or the complications caused by obesity are arguably avoidable.Many Americans have stated that they were ‘never told they were fat’!!! Of course the matter is one of some delicacy, especially in early stages of becoming obese but surely parents must assume a major share of the blame for obese children who go on to become grossly obese adults.

Can it be true that just because one isn’t told they are fat, they can’t recognise the fact that they are?I KNOW that I would recognise something was amiss if I was unable to see my feet (or other lower extremities), if I was continually having to let out belts or buy new clothes, if everyday actions such as tying shoes or climbing steps required extra effort, or if it was difficult to get out of bed or chairs.

It’s probably slightly different for young people who are being brought up in an environment where none of these things seem untoward, where fast/junk foods are the norm, and where parents take the easy option to buy in meals and apparently can’t be bothered to give any guidance or impose any sort of control on what is eaten by the child.This being said I would imagine, though that many of these young people would bare the brunt of the verbal bullies who take perverse pleasure in making fun of the overweight children around them, and thereby are given the message that they are different, that they are fat. Of course when they carry the tale of bullying home it will be treated by parental comfort to calm the upset of the unfortunate and unhappy child. Does it lead to any modification of diet? Doubtful. Does the parent see the bullying as in any way a thing they can do something about (other than complaining to the school) to improve the life of their child? Doubtful.

Who is to break the circle? At what stage do people take responsibility for self management of their weight, or their over-weight? It seems apparent that far too many can’t be bothered and are happy to continue to consume tons of fatty foods and gallons of sugar drinks. And the Colonel, Ronald and all of the other fast-food providers rub their hands together (as they bank their enormous profits), make some outlandish claims about their latest, revolutionary ‘healthy eating’ strategies, and carry on feeding the willing public further and further into obesity.

I do NOT, however advocate this as an option, but I commend the guy for showing some (misguided) initiative!

(Note: sadly New Zealand is in the top ten of countries whose incidence of obesity is above 20% of the population.)

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DON’T CALL THEM OBESE? Don’t call them for LUNCH!!!

I suspect that, while terribly non-PC the Minster’s suggestion is a bloody good one! I don’t think I’m fat, I think I may be a bit obese (BMI of around 25-26, I believe) but I wouldn’t consider myself ‘fat’. If I were to be described as ‘fat’ I think I would want to do something about things. I also think that if I was FAT I would probably recognise the fact by certain levels of discomfort, by poorly fitting clothes (chosen from racks with fitting letters from the wrong end of the alphabet!), by disinclination to walk/climb stares/participate in sports, and of course with a raft of associated health problems that lessen my quality of life, and impact unfairly on my family. I would probably only feel really comfortable/happy/at peace with my world if I was eating- breakfasts, snacks/snacks/snacks, morning teas, snacks/snacks/snacks, lunches,  snacks/snacks/snacks, afternoon teas, snacks/snacks/snacks, dinners, snacks/snacks/snacks, suppers, and if I was peckish during the night, I’d happily lumber out to do a bit of fridge-raiding. If I chose to do nothing about it, then I would be much happier to be classified as ‘obese’ because that almost suggests an illness. Of course we can’t avoid illnesses, can we? I would also develop a mindset that had me believe that I am now owed free treatment by medical services for the obesity generated illnesses that I have, including the surgical procedures that have been urged to undergo before my problems get REALLY serious! (God forbid I should try cutting back on eating and ramping up the levels of exercise before trying stomach stapling or liposuction!)

Good on you, Minister. Coincidentally this comes shortly after an informal ‘greatest loser’ challenge in the New Zealand Parliament whereby a bunch of MPs from both sides of the House decided to bet $20 that they could lose more weight than their colleagues. It has to be said that (a) not ALL of the participants were fat, although they would all admit to being a kilo or two overweight, and (b) not ALL of the FAT MPs in The House participated (probably because they are perfectly happy to waddle through the Corridors of Power, forgoing the gym, pool, or offers of walking, jogging or cycling with colleagues at lunchtimes …gets in the way of lunch!!!). The sad end to this story was that the person most in need of weight-loss did not even declare his achieved weight-loss at the final weigh in. Of course the poundage that it looks like he has put back on since his stomach-stapling might indicate that his heart was perhaps not completely in it!

I Bet She Was Fat.

“Police say a 24-year-old Nebraska man is missing a chunk of his right ear that was bitten off by a woman who didn’t like being called “fat”. Police spokeswoman Katie Flood said officers were called to a Nebraska hospital around 3.25am Wednesday to talk to the injured man. He told them that he’d been bitten at a party. Flood said officers later learned that the injured man and two others had been arguing with other people at the birthday party. Flood says the man told 21-year-old Anna Godfrey that she was fat. Officers said Godfrey then tackled the man and took a bite. Flood said the ear chunk was not found. Godfrey was arrested on suspicion of felony assault and remained in custody Wednesday. ”
I bet she was fat.