Friday, December 23, 2011

For Christmas Tell Him He's Fat

Looking for a last-minute gift that is sure to displease?

Trying to figure out how best to ruin everyone’s holiday celebration?

Fret not. British experts are here to help.

I’m not sure whether socialized medicine makes people stupid or whether we should start calling it the formerly Great Britain, but the British medical establishment has just offered one of the worst pieces of seasonal advice.

Now that you and your loved ones are gathering together to celebrate the season, take the opportunity, the experts advise, to tell someone they’re fat.

You heard it right. Christmas is the perfect time to tell your nephew that he’s fat. And think of how happy your niece will be when you tell her that niece rhymes with obese.

Just so you don’t think I made this up, I quote the BBC report: “Christmas may be a time of indulging for many, but health experts believe it is the perfect time to tell a loved one they are overweight.

“The National Obesity Forum and International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk said it was important to be upfront because of the health risks.”

You heard it right… it’s the perfect time. In the midst of, say, Christmas dinner, a festive occasion, a family ritual, you should look over at your sister-in-law and tell her that she is so fat that she has no right to an extra helping of goose.  

Your entreaties might not have any effect on her weight problem, but they will surely brand you as a complete boor, unfit for human fellowship. It will be your last Christmas dinner.

Let’s be clear. British experts are not just in dismay about the epidemic of obesity and the cost to the national health system. They are positively chagrined to see that so many of their fellow Brits are suffering from… God help us… discretion.

Large numbers of Brits do not tell their friends and family that they are all fat. This offends the experts.

Of course, its all perfectly logical.

You see … your nephew weighs 450 lbs. but does not know that he is fat. He will not know it until you tell him. Once you tell him he will instantly set out to take off all of that extra avoirdupois.

That is what passes for expert opinion in formerly Great Britain.

The experts know that it is bad to be obese. They know that it is bad to be overweight. They know that obesity is a health risk. And they are convinced that an open and honest discussion about fat will send their overweight friends and family scurrying to the gym.

Armed with absolute moral certainty they convince themselves that the real problem with obesity is that we do not talk about it enough.

British experts believe that the obese do not know that they are obese. The guy who just had to buy a size 68 belt is not aware  that his waistline is out of control. When the sales clerk laughed at him for imagining that the store has pants that might fit him, he did not know that he needed to take off a few pounds.

All he needs to reach enlightenment is an insulting word from you. That will set him on the right path.

It is fair to say that formerly Great Britain has not cornered the market in obesity. Apparently, America leads the world in this dubious achievement.

If Americans are getting more and more obese, the problem does not lie in ignorance. In truth, we are subjected to an incessant drumbeat of information about the perils of obesity. The media are chock-a-block with diet and weight-loss programs, to say nothing of an endless stream of experts telling us to lose weight.

I am told that in some places it is socially acceptable to walk up to strangers and tell them that they are fat.

People are allowed to do this because fat is not just his or her problem. In a socialized medical system it is everyone’s problem. After all, who do you think is going to foot the bill for the health problems that befall the obese?

It doesn’t take too much extra thinking to see that maybe, just maybe, self-righteous scolds are part of the problem.

Making people feel guilty about being fat does not seem to be enticing them to lose weight. Keep in mind that gluttony is one of the deadly sins. The moral prigs who would never imagine being judgmental about someone’s sexual proclivities are perfectly comfortable calling out their friends and neighbors for being gluttons.

It’s as though they want to punish people for being fat. They do not realize that when you punish someone for being fat you are telling him that he can go out and sin some more because he will be doing you the favor, giving you the gift, of allowing you to feel morally superior to him.

Obesity is his Christmas gift to you… by feeding his body he is feeding your ego.

1 comment:

n.n said...

It's an effect of deferred responsibility. The totalitarian ideologies promote this fundamentally flawed principle. However, as long as instant gratification continues to be a large and especially majority's motivation, then the outcome is already known.

While our short-term focus, and rightly so, is on fraudulent exploitation, we are being poorly served by ignoring fundamental corruption of individuals and society.

The worst part of all of this is that it begins at home, it is progressive, and it is generational (i.e. hereditary).

This would suggest that absent first, internal, and second, external, moderation, human society is predisposed to consume itself. We get on each other's nerves. Well, maybe not all of us, but it doesn't take many people to effectively wreak havoc on a family, community, state, nation, etc.