Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Changing the word doesn't change the condition

A plan to make the Daily Mail combust with fury has been exposed by the BBC.
Liverpool City Council is to consider banning the word obesity in its literature aimed at children.
The Liverpool Schools Parliament has asked for the description "unhealthy weight" to be used instead.
The 90 nine to 11-year-olds believe that obesity is offensive and may de-motivate overweight children.
A council spokesman said that the proposal would be considered after it invited ideas for its Children and Young People's Plan (CYPP).
It could be adopted as part of official strategies to improve children's lives in the city over the next two years.
"We can't change government terminology or clinicians' terminology, but we can look at changing how we communicate weight issues in council reports and in our communications with children," said the spokesman.
The proposal would be considered over the next two months, he said.
The Liverpool Schools Parliament represents the views of schoolchildren across the city and is consulted by the city council on youth issues.
 Obesity is an offensive word? It's actually a medical term describing the fact that someone is fat. As in fat fat fat fat fat little piggies.
And honestly, 9 times out of 10 if you are overweight you can do something about it. At the beginning of last year I was about 10 pounds heavier than I am now - not exactly fat, but could use some weight loss. Right now I'm at the "optimal" weight that I'm supposed to be for my height and age, and have never felt better. All it took? Actually watching what I eat, and working out regularly.

Moral of the story is that it is a condition that is more often than not the fault of an individual himself or herself. Yes, there are some people with medical conditions that require extreme measures to stay within healthy weight, but more often than not, obesity has less to do with those conditions and more to do with the lack of self-control and understanding of what causes it. Here's a hint - eating fast food = bad. Cooking at home with full understanding of what you are eating = good. No need for special diets either - just knowing what is a lot of calories and what isn't will take care of most such problems.

Of course, there is also a sociological angle (i.e. poorer people may have hard time affording food that does not come from Mac D's or the like), but that's another story... someone with a reasonable level of income should have no excuses for getting fat. 

Personally if they have to change it I suggest they change the word obesity to hippolike. That should clear up any misunderstandings.

6 annotations:

Macheath said...

Liverpool...now that rings a bell...Oh yes, this from the BBC today:

Obesity is also putting a strain on resources[...]In Liverpool, the consultant who deals with children who are seriously obese [...]said he is seeing heavier children at a younger age: "It is maybe to do with [...] parents working quite often, the amount of time they spend watching television, how much time they spend outside being physically active and the type of foods they eat."

Talk about fiddling while Rome burns!

tris said...

I think they are right to ban the word obese. They should replace it with FAT.

John M Ward said...

In a "Not The Nine O'Clock News" sketch the preferred word (as promoted by Mel Smith) was 'stout'. It was quite a good sketch...

scunnert said...

Pleasantly plump?

Anonymous said...

I am not fat or obese!

I am very short or height challenged for my weight.

OK, you're right, I am fat, obese and lazy and I'll do something about it tomorrow

Anonymous said...

Oops!
I forgot to finish the sentence with a ".".
Here it is. .
I should be more careful.