Monday, May 19, 2008

Is there no end to our wickedness?

That's it. All I'm waiting for is a mysterious report to appear saying that 4,000 fatties did not turn up for work at the World Trade Centre on 9/11 and it will be complete. We are to blame for everything.

So what are the latest crimes committed by the stout?

Obese people are contributing to the world food crisis and climate change, experts say.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine calculated the obese consume 18% more calories than average.

They are also responsible for using more fuel, which has an environmental impact and drives up food prices as transport and agriculture both use oil.

The result is that the poor struggle to afford food and greenhouse gas emissions rise, the Lancet reported.

OK, blame for global warming has raised its ugly head before. Now, apparently, the calamity of world hunger is not the result of a distorted global market controlled by monopolistic corporations, nor is it to do with the expropriation of land from small farmers and the ensuing crisis of rural society, nor with inequity and poverty, nor even environmental degradation and biofuels. No. It is happening because fat people eat too much; after all, why else would they be fat?

Seriously, I am getting utterly fed up with this rancid prejudice. It does harm; psychological and physiological harm. Eating disorders kill people. It exploits too. The vast diet industry puts forward a gaunt, unhealthy look, which is utterly unobtainable for many, as the ideal body image. This, in turn, feeds a modern morality drama of greed, self-control and guilt. And so, distressed by their moral failings and inability to be an ideal of beauty, 'overweight' people buy into all the rubbish, fad diets, and premium cost manufactured foods, some now marketed by the generic label in one supermarket chain, "Be Good to Yourself". I will tell you how to be good to yourself. Don't buy this crap. Buy good wholesome food that you like, cook it well, eat it, enjoy it, stop when you are full, pocket the difference in cash and stop bloody worrying!

What this rotund rage also does is to neatly divert our attention from the real crises of food supply, global poverty and the environment. The writer and activist on the politics of food, Raj Patel, has answered this nonsense superbly in a rare outbreak of sanity on Comment is Free.

Our culture is geared ... to understanding social problems much more easily when they're presented as individual vices...

A social problem about addiction of both our food production system transport policy (sic) to fossil fuel is transformed into a bun-throw at fatties. Obese people are the problem.

In addition, Erica Barnett, on her splendidly named blog, I'm Sick of your Insane Demands, gets stuck in to the data, or rather the lack of any correlation between it and the conclusions drawn. It is worth reading in full.

Anyway, enough of this. I am busy tonight. I have to attend an important meeting of the Elders of Plumpness. We have some Protocols to write.

(Hat raised in the general direction of a Fela Kuti fan)


Shuggy said...

Nice title on the beeb piece you link. Only all the world's problems?

Oh to be a journalist: you'd think these dumb hacks might factor in small details like the rise of China into the equation, for example. But no, it's your fault - the extra chocolate eclair you had has completely fucked Brazil or something.

The modern injunction to deny the comedy of evolution and be constantly rejuvenating our bodies in some way is, apart from anything else, so very tiring, don'tcha think? Will it make us live longer? It feels like it already.

Ann O'Dyne said...

Greetings to you dear FMOAK,
I found you via Prof. Norm Geras, a lovely man.

re news reports of anything related to obesity: readers need to weigh up these reports with the knowledge
students in the 3rd year of a degree-course have to complete and analyse a survey, and be published. This results in a lot of rubbish which gains them a 'P' and us a pain in the neck.

that they are picked up by lazy journalists with space to fill.

Ayesha said...

The dramatic surge in food prices has plunged millions of poor people and many net food importing poor countries into a food crisis. Consequently, it has also put at risk their chances of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

Ann O'Dyne said...

Dear New Fbk Friend
I notice on your profile that you deliver a Unit on Anarchy at the Uni ...
do all your students arrive at the same time to the same place?
Are Anarchy tutes harder to organise than others ?

It seems to me that 'the History Of Anarchy' is indeed the History Of The World ... because of course, right from the primordial slime's emerging crawlers, very little would have been 'organised'

Keep up the good work, Helena.