Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The tyranny of consumer choice

This is, I think, good news.
There are now more overweight people across the world than hungry ones, according to experts.

Whilst malnourished people in general do not have the option available to eat more, the huge majority of fat people could choose either to eat less or exercise more (or both).

This, I hear my audience clamouring, is a fairly mundane truth. Quite so. That is what makes the reporting of this issue on the 10 O'clock BBC1 News so poor. Obesity - as opposed to conditions linked to it, such as Type 2 Diabetes - was repeatedly referred to as a disease. It is not. It is a choice. We should not shy away from describing it as such.


Robert said...

Were they actually calling it a disease, or were they referring to the term 'clinically obese'?

The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

Afternoon Robert,

Yes: They were actually calling a disease, and worrying that there is an "epidemic".

It's a slip of the tongue to refer to the obesity rather than its consequences, but a noticeable one nonetheless.

All well at NTS?


ninme said...

You know, you folks are catching up with us with some speed, so unless you mean "Europe" as in "Continental Europe"...

As for the good news, I think anyone that fat probably also has a car. So not only are they rich enough to eat about six servings of meat at every meal, it's also a case of a car in every driveway. An American car. With wide seats. And a comfortably squishy suspension. That doesn't go around bends so quickly that it upsets the digestion after a large meal.

james higham said...

Says it all, P-G. Over hee, in this neck of the woods, they all have butts like on the left. That's one of the key reasons I'm over here.

towcestarian said...

To a casual observer, obecity now is synonymous with "poverty" - at least in the UK. Or if I was being very provocative obecity = low intelligence.

As Ricky G once said, its not your glands its your pies.

gerryz said...

Eating oneself into a sack of walking lard is perfectly natural, in that it strikes me as normal animal behaviour. It's only recently that any organism knew when or if the next meal might arrive. We've just got Palaeolithic brains with C21st food supplies. Like other posts, I too get irritated by "obesity epidemic" as if it's a disease instead of lifestyle choice.
BTW And don't get me on "behavioural problems": it's not some moral retard doing havoc stuff, it's this "behavioural problem".