Saturday, May 12, 2007

Weight watching.

My previous boss, Orson, was what you might call a large man. More accurately, you could call him a small planet. If you threw something at him and missed, you’d better duck. It might well accelerate as it orbited his mass and come back faster than you threw it. He was developing his own accretion disk last time I saw him.

Yet he never seemed ill. He couldn’t move too quickly, and he sometimes had trouble with the narrower doorways at Marchway University, but he never took a day off sick while I was there.

There is considerable noise being made about how much people weigh these days. Many, it is true, are endangering their health by adding to their body weight for no good reason. Coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, this does indeed lead to heart problems, and many other avoidable ailments. It is interesting to note that in none of the many, many articles on the subject is the term ‘fat people’ used. It’s not politically correct to refer to fat people as fat. It is okay, it seems, to call them ‘obese’. That’s rather like saying it’s wrong to say someone has eczema, but it’s fine to refer to them as ‘scabrous’. Odd, but there it is.

However, there are others who put on weight because they’re disabled and can’t exercise, because their bodies naturally store most of what they eat, because of some physical or psychological ailment, or as a side-effect of drugs prescribed to treat some other disorder. It is grossly unfair to categorise all fat people as lazy pie-eaters. The general public, being generally composed of morons, tend to do just that. It’s also wrong to say that all fat people are unhealthy. It’s not good for you but it’s not necessarily going to kill you either. There are extremes to body weight, from catwalk-thin to crane-required, but there is a wider range of healthy weight than is currently allowed by medicine. We are not all identical. Some can carry more weight than others and still be healthy. We don’t all fit one, single chart.

New Scientist recently ran an article that suggested it’s not only being fat that increases the risk of adult-onset diabetes, at least not directly. It seems the true cause of type 2 diabetes might be in environmental contaminants. The ones of particular concern are fat-soluble, so the more fat you have, the more of this stuff accumulates in your body. The increased, long-term exposure could be the true cause of diabetes. It’s not proven, but it’s an interesting theory.

Yet I’ve known many fat people, some of which could legitimately be called obese, some not. I don’t think any of them had diabetes, although I never thought to ask. One had asthma but I doubt that’s related. So I can’t say how common such ailments are from my own experience, because I have none.

What I can say from my own experience of associating with the Larger Gentlemen and Ladies is that, in this PC country where you can be jailed for looking at someone in a funny way, it’s clearly still okay to make fun of fatties. They might be the last group available to those who can only make themselves feel good by making others feel bad.

What these insecure scoffers forget is that being overweight does not make you stupid. For all I detest Orson and his scheming, manipulative, politically-motivated ways, I could never call him stupid. He’s Chancellor of a university, after all.

Anyone who knows me, knows I wouldn’t associate with idiots. The chubbies I have known all had a sense of humour and an acidic wit. None of them were offended by being called ‘fat’ or ‘chubby’ or anything else unless it was done with cruel intent. Here are a few of their responses to the cruel jibes they endured from those who believe themselves witty and original.

Thinwit: I think I hear a thin person in there, screaming to get out.

Mr. Large: They stop screaming after they pass the stomach.

Thinwit: There are some great diet books out there.

Mr. Large (with withering glare): Do I look like someone who reads those kinds of books?

The best response I ever heard was a long-winded explanation of how, if all the overweight dieted down to sylph-like figures, the resulting liberation of trapped carbon would accelerate global warming and kill us all. The argument concluded with the suggestion that anyone over a 40-inch waist should qualify for an immediate government grant as a carbon-sink. With the government we have now, I say it’s worth a try. They’re likely to fall for it.

Currently, the overweight are taking all the flak that used to be evenly distributed among minorities in the UK. The only other available group were smokers and we’ve already been banned from all public places because our legal, heavily-taxed activity is reprehensible and disgusting. The chubbies are the targets now.

It won’t last forever, but I wonder who’ll be the next group to get victimised? I hope it’s the Politically Correct.

Thanks to Dr. Dume for the loan of the cartoon, by the way.


Southern Writer said...

Good post. I hope it's the rude, insensitve, and intolerant.

Southern Writer said...

You're nominated, and I'm tired. I'm off to bed. Wish me sweet dreams.

P.S. You'll figure it out.

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