Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Weighty Issues

I remember an article I read a few years ago about how cavalier people were about judging and censuring smokers. The writer complained that strangers would approach her and ask "don't you know that smoking is bad for you?" Yes, the surgeon general warned her - it's written right on the pack. The author predicted that this kind of unsolicited advise would creep into other areas of personal choice, and specifically mentioned food and obesity.

It seems that we're getting there - I've read scores of articles lately on weight, obesity and diet. While food is my passion, it's disheartening to see the cultural obsession we have with fat, in food or people. The UTNE Reader has several articles on obesity including Shame on US: How an obsession with obesity turned fat into a moral failing, Love Your Fat Self and The Food Police. Even these diverse offerings don't touch on the cultural and historical value placed on big, heavy, healthy bodies.

Here's another video that I really like - mostly because of the statement: it's just a number. I want to help people acheive a healthy weight, but I also want people to have a healthy relationship with their food and their body. And I don't want to ever hear another person apologize to strangers for being fat. (Yes, this really happens.)

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