May 21, 2006

Fat Chance

Speaking of political correctness (well, yesterday I was) you're not supposed to mention that our population is fatting up like medieval beasts before a royal feast. I read an article somewhere about 'vanity sizing', which means even though in high school I was a size 10, I am now a size 2. And I am bigger. (I'm not really a 2, but it makes for a better comparison.)

The Independent - a British paper I adore, they have sensational editorials you should check out periodically - is running this piece today about the government's attempt to wrestle obese kids into health by weighing them at 4 and 10. Ages, not o'clocks.

I have a British background. They eat some pretty wicked stuff. No house is complete without a deep fryer, or as my mom had, a chip pot. There is no food that can't be made better by popping it into a roiling cauldron of melted lard. As my sisters and I moved out, Mom tried to give us each a chip pot (and a Filter Queen, see Thursday's Power Shift), and we all politely declined.

Do I agree with publicly weighing little kids? No. Face it. As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. If the parents have horrendous eating habits, the poor kids have little say in the matter. It would make more sense to publicly weigh the parents. I'd like to see the end of 'super-sizing'. I'd like to grand slam places like Denny's right in the mouth with their enormous portions of Ode to Grease.

I shop at Old Navy for cheap jeans. It's mostly for teens. It's ludicrous for stores like these to pretend what used to be a size 12 is now a size 4. And that is an actual comparison. How can we stop fooling ourselves if we won't stop fooling each other?

It's not about vanity, it's about health. People come in all shapes and sizes, and I'm actually pretty happy about that. I like differences. But I don't like the thought that health concerns that were once faced by 50-year-olds are now being faced by 15-year-olds.

Stay out of the junk food aisle; quit buying pop; learn how to cook, and teach your kids some basics; learn what 'hydrogenated' means.

And for pete's sake, throw out the chip pot.


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