Overheight epidemic

America is having a massive overheight problem. Our children keep getting taller and taller. Even just 50 years ago, adults were, on average, one to two inches shorter than they are today.

My friends, we are in the midst of a tall epidemic. Too many of our children are too tall. We must do something about this. All of this additional height is wasting thousands of yards of fabric as we try to cover these too-long limbs. Children are being injured every day as their too tall heads crash into doorways that were perfectly fine only a few decades before. Look at school photos. Kids were much shorter--and much healthier--when I was a student.

But don't despair. There are real solutions to this overheight problem. Only mate with short people- tall people are contributing to this problem and your kids are much more likely to be overtall if your mate is also overtall. Height is contagious. Do not doom your potential offspring to a life of ridicule and ill health by having a child with someone who is tall.

Should you accidentally have a child with a tall person, feed them formula with supplements designed to slow the secretion of human growth hormone. This will keep them from getting tall, and give them all the benefits of being short. As well, if your child begins to show signs of becoming too tall, drastically reduce their food intake. A good supply of nutrients is associated with extra height. By not preventing the consumption of nutrients, this extra height should not be a problem.

If you or your child has already begun to suffer the ill effects of overheight, do not despair. Doctors have also researched various surgical options to combat this growing problem. Portions of your limbs can be surgically removed and then you will be sewn back together. You might not have the same mobility or quality of life, but you will not suffer from the health dangers of being too tall.

Insurance companies will be penalizing tall people for things like head injuries from walking into doorways, broken bones from falling further when they hit the ground, and sports injuries sustained by basketball players (who we all know are especially at risk for overtall disorder).

This is an epidemic that must be taken seriously. Too many of us are just accepting this extra height without considering all of the health risks that tall can bring. You can do something about this. You must. Our society can no longer afford an epidemic of tall people.

(And I'm not the only blogger worried about this epidemic. Recently Big Liberty posted about these worries here at her blog.)

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Katy said...


I. Love. This.


Unknown said...


Harriet said...

Fabulous, Carrie!

Cammy said...

This is great, Carrie, you should submit it somewhere!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Since a great deal of this seems to be paraphrased directly from my post of a couple months ago, "The Tall Epidemic," could you please include a disclaimer and reference to this post in your post: http://ed-bites.blogspot.com/2008/06/overheight-epidemic.html

Thanks very much.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I copied the wrong link! lol

Here's the post to reference: http://bigliberty.wordpress.com/2008/03/10/the-tall-epidemic/

Thank you.

Niika said...

Ahahaaaa... wicked. XD

Carrie Arnold said...


Hey, great minds think alike, huh? I didn't read your post, and if it seemed like I copied, it was totally inadvertent. Thank you for sending me the link, and I will add it to my post.

Anonymous said...

In fact, Carrie, I must insist that you take down your post. On further comparison, you have hijacked much of my phraseology, though my post was much longer, of course.

I'll repost the comment I left on Harriet's "Feed Me!" blog, because I believe it sums up much of what I think you should know.

"Hi Harriet,

Sorry I have to make the rounds on this one (I've already commented on another blog that referenced this post), but the "Overheight Epidemic" post is a direct paraphrase of my March post, "The Tall Epidemic:" http://bigliberty.wordpress.com/2008/03/10/the-tall-epidemic/

I was not referenced, even though some of the satiric phraseology I used was directly paraphrased, and my post was much longer with links to many articles.

I think you of all people would understand the seriousness behind plagiarism, even when it's paraphrased. I wouldn't have minded, if I were directly referenced and my phraseology quoted instead of paraphrased and reused as if it were original.

So sorry if I sound a bit like a broken record on a few blogs, for everyone who is reading this, but I must insist that basic respect is given for the originality of others' writing and ideas. I might not be as prominent a blog as some, but that doesn't give any other blogger the right to hijack my hard work. "

Again, my original post is .

Unknown said...


You are a terrific blogger but the "overheight" trope isn't new and has been discussed and joked about for a while in the FA and the AN/ED blogosphere - I've mentioned it myself more than once online in various places.

Your take on it was wonderful, but not the same as Carrie's.

I think it is great to point people to your extensive and wonderful post, but instead of implying that someone is derivative it might be, well, nicer to celebrate all of us working in common cause...

Anonymous said...


I find it difficult to believe that you did not read my post, especially considering yours opens with "My friends, we are in the midst of a tall epidemic." (notice saying "tall epidemic" instead of "overheight epidemic"), and mine opens with, "We are in the midst of an epidemic.

I’m not talking about the Obesity Epidemic...no, I’m talking about the Tall Epidemic."

Please give credit where it's due. Have respect for your fellow bloggers, big and small (no pun).

Anonymous said...


I would have had no problem if Carrie had a different take on it, but most of it is just a summary of my post with a similar satiric take and at points nearly word-for-word phraseology. The structure is the same, she has a few different observations (like I never mentioned basketball players), but for the most part, with the exception of the heavier linkage and more scientific descriptions in mine, hers is a summary of my salient points, using much the same phraseology.

I love it when people have different tacks on the same issue -- I love reading about it, and I enjoy others' original humor and writing. However, I don't think this is original, and I think it shows a lack of respect for someone who is considered to be on the outskirts of the FA movement.

I apologize for Carrie if this is, indeed, a wildly rare coincidence. But, given what I've said above on the flow, the satiric tack, and word-for-word phrase hijacking, I must take a stand that this is too close to plagiarism for comfort.

Unknown said...


It isn't a new idea, and it didn't start with your post.

The structure - and the humor - follows that of all the idiotic "obesity epidemic" media - just as yours does.

The humor, however, is classic Carrie, for which there is no patent!

RioIriri said...

Haha, this sounds a bit like part of my entry here.

mary said...

"Tall epidemic" just sounds better than "over height epidemic" so it's logical it would be chosen, especially by a writer.
Knowing how much integrity Carrie has and knowing how thoughts and ideas seem to be shared without speaking or communicating in normal ways...like reading your work or speaking to you but coming up with the same words..I suggest that there's a stronger energy at work here. Coincidence. I've seen my own words shared from sources who had no possible way of knowing that I had been saying them for a some time. It seems that your post was appreciated enough that it spread like a wave. One little ripple, perhaps begun by someone else, begins a thought. Look closer and you'll see it's true.
I hope you offer to share bigliberty rather than insist it was stolen. Your post was wonderful and funny. It would be great to spin it from all sorts of different views now that you've shared your blog. We are all pretty sick of being judged.
That's my spin on it and I try to be very fair.....I read your blog too. It's similar in idea, it's true.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem sharing topics, and I understand that others likely have written about this before. But, like I said in my comments and now in a post on my blog, it's not just a similar topic, but similar:
* voice
* structure
* points that are hit on
* phrases

With some phrases repeated nearly word-for-word, like the opening phrase, and the "broken bones because they're further from the ground" (which was a comment on my original post).

Like I said, I enjoy reading others' takes --- even if they are satirical, as well --- on topics on which I've posted. But the similarities are remarkable and statistically nearly impossible.

But that's all I'm going to say on it. I think we all agree that integrity is an important thing, and I've posted on others' posts that I've enjoyed, and sometimes mimicked voices, but I've always quoted and linked extensively. And while no one "owns" a topic or voice, there's a point where originality ends and summarizing and paraphrasing begins.

Again, I'm sorry if this is, indeed, a very rare, almost statistically impossible coincidence, and apologize for going on about it. But integrity, originality, and credit are extremely important things to be respected. Putting a good deal of hard work into coming up with a work of art isn't worth it if someone is just going to summarize/paraphrase you and call it their own. That's why it's so important to maintain the integrity of original works of art.

We can all share in topics, and be satirists, etc. But we need to respect the works of others, too.

Thanks for letting me speak my piece on this.

Anonymous said...

I can only think of the classic line from the cartoon strip Garfield:

"I'm not over-weight, I'm under-tall!"

I personally remember seeing that as far back as 1983/84.

Anonymous said...

Great work. Right on target.

I wasn't able to leave a comment on your blog because I don't have a wordpress account. I do indeed think you are "reading too much into it."

"We are in the midst of an epidemic" is hardly a proprietary phrase! In fact a quick internet search for that exact wording yielded over 3,000 results. The edge-of-hysteria claim of "epidemic" so effectively skewered here shows up applied to violence, fathers leaving families, and--very , very often--to obesity with the sort of dramatic tone lampooned in this blog. It's a ripe target for satire. Seems to me that the voice, structure and phrases that Carrie was borrowing,and clearly satirizing, are common in panicky obesity epidemic articles.

I have seen the idea of a comparison between the "obesity epidemic" and genetically determined traits like height written about by other writers, including commenters on the post. You acknowledge that the topic has likely been taken on before. It is not unique to your blog. It was gracious for Carrie to edit her blog to reference yours.

Anonymous said...

I must agree with big liberty. this post clearly infringes on her valuable and origonal intelectual property. I do not think she is being winey and totally over reacting, but is assigning appropriate importance to this issue. This is clearly a topic that came totally from origonal thoughts she had and her posting date clearly shows that she is the origonater and that nobody else should be able to use it without paying her substantial royalties. Until people realize the incredible value inherant in blogging and origonal thoughts there will never be fat acceptance. I hereby officially call for you to bow down to big liberty and publicly state her value, genius, and origonality. it is only fair. Again she is not being winey or petty, but is being reasonable. OBVIOUSLY

Anonymous said...

Unless she's drinking wouldn't that be "whiney" rather than "winey"?

Anonymous said...

Has Sandy over at JFS ever touched on this topic? I feel like I remember her talking about this, too.

Carrie Arnold said...

I am going to close the comments on this post because they are clearly NOT about the content of the post anymore, but from where the content may (or may not) have arisen. If you have a problem, contact me privately at my email in my profile.

Big Liberty, I *hear* your frustration. And as a writer myself, I can understand that. I've been plagarized too. On the other hand, my writing was done in good faith. Satire is satire, and so there is going to be some amount of overlap in tone and content. I can assert my integrity as a writer for days on end, but I don't know that it will do much good. I am NOT going to take the post down because I did NOT steal the writing or the ideas.

But I AM going to close the comments because private issues between two individuals should NOT be aired on my blog.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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