This week's smorgasbord table is particularly full, so I'm going to split it into two different editions. The first one is about news stories, etc, that I've found this week. The second edition is going to feature research. But since I think of news more as hors d'ouerves, it's coming up first.
Miss England contestant is of 'normal' weight. Okay, so how darn sad is it that a Miss England (or Miss-Country-of-your-choice) who looks like the rest of us is a massive, international news story? If she had, say, really big feet, only her mother would care. A sixth toe might warrant a mention in her hometown newspaper. Instead, newspapers and magazines around the world are discussing the fact that a potential Miss England is a Size 16 UK (Size 12/14 US).
A British dietician, Monica Grenfell, has this to say about Chloe Marshall, the contestant:
Feted and fawned over for her courage in daring to break the mould, Chloe boasts she wants to be an "ambassador for curves".
Who on earth does she think she's kidding? What she's demonstrating isn't bravery but a shocking lack of self-control.
Instead of flaunting her figure, Chloe ought to own up to the truth. She is fat and she got that way by over-eating.
Pardon me, but how the hell do you know?
The title of Ms. Grenfell's editorial is "A role model for ordinary women? No, Miss England finalist is fat, lazy and a poster girl for ill health." Now, I'm going to assume that you spent large amounts of time with Chloe, Ms. Grenfell, since you can attest that she got fat by over eating, and that she is lazy. You are asserting these things as fact, so I hope you can back them up. Now, let's think for a minute. Chloe is fat, which means she spends all day on the couch eating bags of potato chips. As lazy as that is (and it IS lazy, since Chloe is fat, and fat people are lazy, which means this MUST be true), it does take some small amount of energy to move your hand from your mouth, to the bag of chips, back to your mouth, back to the chips, until the bag is gone and you get off your fat ass to go get another. Repeat until bedtime. Even with this itsy bitsy small amount of energy, it is still FAR LESS LAZY than failing to challenge a whit of your assumptions.
You say people 'should' have a BMI of 20. Six billion people in the world, and only one BMI? And if that's an imperative here (should is, by my book, an imperative), then all of the other contestants will need to gain weight. But I don't hear you complaining or worrying about them. Or citing the evidence that only a BMI of 20 is acceptable.
I know you will probably say that you are writing these editorials because you are concerned about the state of Britain's health, etc. Maybe you are- thankfully, I don't live inside your head, nor do I gratutiously assume things about other people. But what I'm guessing is at stake here is your feelings of superiority because you are thin. If people like Chloe are accepted for being 'fat' (even though she's only a tad into the overweight category- her BMI is actually 25.3, rather than 26), then you won't get to feel superior for being thin. People used the same arguments during the civil rights movement. We don't want to decrease segregation because the quality of education will go down. Crime will go up. The actual outcome is less important than the fact that one more feeling of false superiority is chipped away.
Don't worry- you still have meanness and pettiness that are superior to many.
And I know for a fact that Chloe has self control- heaps of it. Why? She hasn't sat on you yet.
Responsible talk on nutrition and eating disorders. Another story that really shouldn't be on my radar, but if I'm going to blog about the bad, I also need to blog about the good.
It's National Nutrition Month- which kind of strikes me like having a history month called National Dead White Guy History Month. Isn't that, like, every month? Do we really need to be more aware of it? Can we?
Well, the folks at Jacksonville State University discussed nutrition and the new food pyramid in what is quite possibly the most responsible, healthy way yet. The nutritionist mentioned the importance of physical activity in a healthy lifestyle (as opposed to the "thou must run to stay thin" mantra that is oft-repeated at seminars like this). Also the importance of fruits and vegetables. They are important, I won't deny that.
But the last half of the (short) article are just nicely put and don't need any help (or lack thereof) from me to make the point:
A major point Moore stressed to those present was that "being healthier does not necessarily mean being thinner."
She explained the negative effects of a society rich in cheap high calorie foods and at the same time obsessed with appearance can have on adults and adolescents. Moore reminded the group that children are more at risk than adults.
"A child affected by an eating disorder can potentially do more damage to their body than an adult because they have not yet fully developed," Moore said. She said in addition to anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, a new health risk associated with compulsive exercising called anorexia athletica is also an issue.
See you bright and early tomorrow morning for the research course of your weekly smorgasbord.