Nearly 60 per cent of girls aged 12 to 15 described themselves as
overweight when only 15 per cent met the medical criteria for excess
The findings prompted the Schools Health Education Unit, which carries
out the annual survey, to issue an appeal for an end to the "obsession"
with skeletal body shapes in the media and fashion industry.
Yeah, I know this is the UK, but I bet you would get similar results in the states. While the article points the finger at the media and fashion industry, how about government and academic know-it-alls who with their recent obsession on teenage obesity are reinforcing this message? For example, remember this previous post about the Arkansas governor's new program:
I get email and comments from time to time that my language deriding
government's intervention into every aspect of our lives is overblown
and exaggerated. My answer: Oh yeah, well how about this:
Mike Huckabee, the Governor of Arkansas, now
requires annual fat reports. These are sent to the parents of every
single child aged between 5 and 17; a response, he says, to "an
absolutely epidemic issue that we could not ignore" in the 1,139
schools for which he is responsible.
just cannot craft any reasonable theory of government where this is the
state's job. The "obesity" crisis in this country just amazes me.
"Experts" every few years broaden the definition of who is overweight
or obese, and suddenly (surprise!) there are more people defined as
overweight. Even presuming it is the state's job to optimize our body
weights, is it really the right approach to tell everyone they are too
fat? Having known several people who were anorexic, including at least
one young woman who died of its complications, is it really a net
benefit to get young people more obsessed with looks and body style?
And what about the kids that are genetically programmed to be
overweight? Does this mean that years of taunting and bullying by
their peers is not enough, that the state's governor wants to pile on
It is interesting to note that governor Huckabee apparently started
this initiative after his own personal battle with weight loss:
[Huckabee] lost 110lb after being warned that his
weight, more than 280lb after a life of southern fried food, was a
death sentence. A chair even collapsed under him as he was about to
preside over a meeting of state officials in Little Rock.
all have friends who have lost weight or gotten into homeopathy or
became a vegan and simply cannot stop trying to convert their friends
now that they see the light. Now we have the spectacle of elected
officials doing the same thing, but on a broader scale and with the
force of law, rather than just mere irritation, on their side. One
can only imagine what report cards kids would be carrying home if
Huckabee had instead had a successful experience with penis
enlargement. What's next, negative reports for kids with bad acne?
For women whose breasts are too small? For kids who are unattractive?