Reading about Richard Marles’ experience on a water slide this summer reminded me of an episode of The Simpsons when Homer takes Bart and Lisa to a water theme park.
Just like Richard Marles, Homer’s attempt at going down a water slide ends in serious embarrassment. Richard’s experience wasn’t as shocking as Homer’s though – who had to be cut out of the water slide and placed back to earth by a crane.
Thankfully, unlike Homer, Richard has decided not to pursue a life in the ‘moo-moo’, but is instead seeking to, albeit slowly, trim down for a healthier life. In fact, while there’s no shortage of reports telling us how fat we are, there are more and more of us attempting to lose that spare tyre.
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Racism, sexism, ageism, disability-ism, sexual orientation-ism…
None of these are really socially acceptable. But what about fattism?
Like all prejudices, it’s easy to a be a fattist. It comes naturally. Particularly if you’re one of those freaks who have never felt plump because you eat at the speed of a tortoise.
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Welcome to another I Call Bullshit, a column dedicated to humbug and balderdash, spin and snake oil merchants. Today we’re looking at ‘fat acceptance’ – a movement that wants society to embrace and celebrate the fat.
‘Fat pride’ ‘fat shame’ ‘fat acceptance’. Fattist. Fatty fat fat. There’s something inherently juvenile and cruel about the word ‘fat’. It’s one of the first taunts most of us received, delivered, or overheard in the schoolyard.
No wonder the ‘healthy at any size’ movement want to take it back, reclaim the word through ‘Fat Studies’, an academic field aimed at dismantling the ‘weightist’ rhetoric.
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Tabby or not tabby? That is the question.
Another key question in the wake of the tragic death of “Meow” the 17 kilo cat overnight, is why oh why did he have to die so young? It’s not like he brought it on himself. He was just naturally big boned and big whiskered. And big tailed and big furred and big, big tummied.
Vets said Meow died overnight as a result of complications from his morbid obesity. Well, those remarks are just plain catty. “Meow” spent his whole life on the high protein Catkins diet, yet still ballooned out to a catastrophic weight.
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If the majority of your friends drink too much, eat too much and are overweight, it may be time to do some culling.
We become like the people we spend our time with. As a general observation, this would appear to be true. Just take a look at suburbs. It is fair to say that the people who live, work and socialise in the east of Sydney do tend to look and behave differently to those who live, work and play out west. There is no judgment associated with this observation, it is simply because as humans, like animals, we like to associate with others who are like ourselves. This “oneness” helps us to feel safe, warm and cosy.
When it comes to lifestyle habits though, this connectedness which occurs at both a conscious and unconscious level poses a significant issue as it appears that both good and bad lifestyle habits are catching. This means that if your friends are overweight, unfit and lazy, statistics suggest you are going to head that way too.
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A storm of controversy has been brewing in the US. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say the storm has been dipped in oil and deep fried. Twice.
At the centre of the controversy is a series of ads aimed at tackling the growing obesity crisis in American children.
In one of the ads (above) a young girl stares forlornly into the camera and says: “I don’t like going to school because all the other kids pick on me. It hurts my feelings.”
Another opens with the statistic that 75 per cent of parents of overweight children ignore the problem growing before their very eyes. It’s followed by a scene in which an obese boy sits facing his equally obese mother and asks, “Mum, why am I fat?”. The silence that follows his question is deafening.
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The Australian Greens may well be a sanctimonious blight on the national political landscape but I don’t see why they should be teased for eating lentils or tofu.
There is nothing wrong with lentils at all. They’re terrific. Dhal rocks, as does lentil salad with mint, peas, red onion and feta, and stewed lentils make the perfect base for a grilled sausage.
Anyone who doesn’t like tofu should try the kick-arse Chinese dish mapo tofu, which is fresh tofu served with spring onions, minced pork and heaps of chilli. If that still doesn’t work they should get along to a little place called Barbecue City in Adelaide’s Chinatown and order the tofu with broad beans and pickled cabbage. While there is nothing smart or clever about vegetarianism there is also nothing wrong with eating vegetables, and this vegetable dish is one of the best going around.
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According to Andy Warhol, everyone has their “15 minutes of fame”. Looking back at four decades of work as a health scientist mine will probably be the development of ‘GutBusters’, the world’s first men’s “waist loss” program in 1991.
GutBusters lasted for over a decade before it was taken over by Weight Watchers and closed down for being unprofitable (men won’t admit to having anything wrong with their health and hence won’t pay for it).
This is despite the fact that it achieved (and still has) world-wide acknowledgement as an ethically-based and economic scientific weight loss program. Those are rare, by the way.
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I am the postgraduate dream. I live on minimum wage; I have a flirtatious relationship with the poverty line. However, I think this is a karmic repercussion of my own bad choices. As a younger, less-worldly type I entered into a line of work - dirty, unrewarding work - from which I seem unable to escape: I kill people.
In the beginning it all seemed like good fun. Harmless fun. However, recently the inescapable truth has dawned on me. Hospitality is about killing people. Most of us are all too familiar with government propaganda about the perils of smoking and drinking, two activities frequently central to hospitality.
However, it’s not these which really grate against my sensibilities. It’s the fat that is propelling me towards a nervous breakdown. They haul themselves out of their cubicles and waddle in at least once a week. Very often they appear more frequently, their numbers certainly seem to be growing.
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It may sound like a risqué sexual manoeuvre, but in fact it’s a burger - KFC have decided to rid a chicken burger of its cumbersome bun – instead of those pesky empty bread calories you now get fried chicken. It’s called the Double Down.
It’s two slabs of fried chicken spooning strips of juicy bacon, cheese, and it’s got almost 2000 kilojoules. Mmmm… kilojoules.
Cue the righteous disgust from health professionals.
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Having won its long battle against evil smokers, the Australian Medical Association now wants to implement graphic Quit-style advertisements for fat people showing diseased organs and larger lads drinking litres of liquefied lard before keeling over to die.
This is the thin end of a fat wedge.
Unless they’ve been living under a plus-sized rock, every last big boned person is already well aware of the dramatic social and health implications of being overweight.
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