Saturday, 12 May 2007


In this week's issue of Salient (Vic's weekly periodical), I read an article on food and fatness. The author was vehemently opposed to our society's slim body obsession. She wanted to encourage all readers to eat like you mean it, and enjoy life. Quite understandably, she was also upset with the synonym that has recently come to be of slim...healthy. She promotes happy eating, without guilt and distributes free cake to people so that they can discover the true meaning of health: 'feeling good about yourself, not weight'.

See, that's all fine and well, but I can't help but feel that the author has done a huge disservice to the advocates of healthy living; who don't promote being anorexic but neither do they promote being overweight. Being overweight is a stigma, admittedly, primarily because our body-conscious society wishes it to be so. However, there are more pressing scientific reason why overweight is bad, nay, terrible. Everyone knows what they are: diabetes, heart disease, and pretty much all other problems associated with the cardiovascular circuit. So my problem lies herein. Prompting future generations to give up being skinny must not (albeit inadvertently) help promote overweight. To oppose a wrong of society, the revolutionary must not encourage the other extreme which is equally detrimental.

My message to the author is simply this then. Let's actually promote a healthy weight range, in which the fewest range of medical complications have the potential to exist. Because whatever the definition of health, sick people generally tend not to fall under its classification.

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