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Tough Days Ahead for the Obese

no more plus sizes, no more 'it's glandular' excuses

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, June 10, 2009.

Some good news amidst the gloom, and there's a lot of gloom in Colorado as we enter what I claim is our fourth week without a single day of complete sunshine. It seems airlines are considering charging obese people more. This might be unfair for, say, Sumo wrestlers who are athletic, strong, and move quick. But for the average American lard bucket it's entirely fair. Having a widow seat for a long flight with a dapper oinker blocking your way to quick escape is a not uncommon nightmare. Fat people are dangerous to the majority of us about them. Well, they would be if they weren't, depending on applied definition, already the majority, but for the point, it's looking like we're not victims of "size-ism" or prejudice, but being asked to pay our weight. Good. And it looks like blimpos are going to have to pay for two seats instead of compressing a fellow passenger.

Apparently, the clothing store Anne Taylor is not going to sell plus sizes anymore, and this has enraged the obese and morbidly obese alike.

Our lardism is gross and unhealthy and quite stupid and getting worse fast. In 2002, the average American woman weighed 164 pounds. That's what the average man weighed in 1960. Today, the total number of women who weigh more than 200 pounds is much greater than the number of women who weigh 110 or 120 pounds, which is somewhat less than a shock. But if you think that's bad, bucko, we men are far worse. Much.

The most common cause of divorce in the United States is that one spouse becomes disgustingly fat, often to express their own unhappiness without actually accumulating the debt to do so. It's covered up in many different ways, but it's probably the reason that divorce photos don't run in the papers with the wedding ones for public comparison. So, lardism is bad for the American Family and especially its children, which you'd think would bring people around in conservative and liberal circles.

A most boneheaded article in, I think, Slate magazine suggested that fat people should be treated by the airlines as the airlines treat tall people, by which was meant that other passengers could sell part of their unused space. But tall people are tall by genetics, not by sugar and Wing Dings. Being a fat slob is very much a choice.

When capitalist America notices a clear demographic, they immediately identify the members as victims, so that few will feel comfortable suggesting that the morbidly obese got that way by sloth and gluttony. Then, advertisers pander to them, with clothing, ludicrous weight loss programs along with self help tapes along with coping mechanisms. It's glandular. It's genetic. You have your mother's thighs, believable only if your mother worked in the circus as a pachyderm. And the clincher: Big is beautiful.

As an adult, who never was more than five foot ten and three quarters, I've weighed 145 pounds and 230. I have been the whale on the beach, the gravitational field absorbing all light, the scrawny kid who ate like a pig and never gained a pound. All of you can say much the same. What I've learned, too late in life, is that it is sugar that is incredibly dangerous, not for the calories alone, but because it increases your appetite for more of something. Just like tobacco, sugar growers have known this and it's the basis for their relationship with food manufacturers. But in truth, we've all known this.

Fat kids and fat adults are unhealthy, and they burden our hospitals and medical system. Fat kids don't do as well in school as what used to be called average children, but today must be called the less fat. Fat kids aren't, safe bet, as happy as those less encumbered, but they have had neither training in home or school to learn and get peer support for effective diets. They are innocent, a status they lose as adults, by which time their ignorance is hard wired. Fat kids nearly always have fat parents with terrible diets and who train their young early with "just try a bite of grandma's asparagus from the farm, and you can have a big desert" because god knows the parents are planning on it. If there is ever court ready proof positive of child abuse, it's by fat parents, who use the children as cover and an excuse for their own gluttony.

So no, it's not okay to be obese. It will kill you, directly or indirectly and if that's all it amounted to - even in a world of want and declining resources - your choice. But when you can't move in public and your inability to act responsibly can take lives atop your own, that's on you, bucko. That's on you.