Fat Off!

Saturday, July 29, 2006, 10:34 AM

A suicide waiting to happen. And not because of the Alf T-shirt.

The fat police are at it again.

These past few days, in case you haven’t heard the word on the ground, have been filled with the reactions in Canberra of the findings of a study that suggests junk food advertising is deliberately targeting children. Well shock horror! Won’t somebody please think of the children! Well the Gubbinment won’t, apparently.

Now, it’s very uncharacteristic of me to side with the likes of McDonald’s and company, but I don’t think they’ve done all that wrong here. We live in a capitalist society, and it’s hardly illegal for a company to candour to a specific age group. If it was, 14 year old girls would be smuggling copies of “The Steph Show” like it was crack.

Not that I believe that these companies should be completely vindicated, however. They still do dish out unhealthy serves of shit on a plate (or in a wrapper, in most cases), but at least they don’t tie down people in a medieval-style rack and force them to eat their food.

No, what annoys me out of this whole mini-saga is the ever-continuing pointing of fingers. Brace yourselves for an old man rant.

It seems to me that modern-day western society, we are increasingly moving towards the point where no-one is willing to take responsibility for anything. Why that is I’m not quite sure, I guess the main factor is that it’s a lot easier to blame someone else’s actions than to analyse your own.

I’m proud to say that I personally take responsibility for the things I put into my body. I’m not some health-conscious nutbag measuring out my niacin intake for the day, either living in fear of the possibility of putting on weight again, or fear of being objectified by society for my weight, or whatever reason someone can give for being a fitness freak.

However, I do make sure I get my necessary intake of all the good stuff it takes to run a human body. I cut the fat off my steak, I eat my greens and my lean figure thanks me. I’ll never have rock-hard abs, but I know that I’m fit and healthy. And it’s not just food. I’m happier walking to the train station instead of catching the bus, and I’ll drink tap water rather than bottled crap because I know the tap water will be better overall for my immune system. And that’s what it boils down to (sorry about the water-related pun). I’m fit and healthy because I stay informed.

Education is the key to winning over the obesity epidemic. Parents, this means you! Stop pointing fingers at McDonald’s, television, the Gubbinment and pretty much anyone who walks into the room, and take some control over what your kids are eating. They’re ultimately too young to take responsibility for themselves, so you need to.

And I’m not just talking about “99% fat free means you can eat it” style education, either. Teach them the value of good eating. Teach them how to make good food taste good. Teach your kids to respect their bodies too, and they’ll be ready to take responsibility. C’mon, the schools are holding up their end of the bargain.

So hopefully one day, we can all take responsibility for ourselves and put the obesity epidemic behind us. And maybe then I won’t be chastised by complete randoms for taking the rare liberty of cracking open a fucking bag of Skittles.
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