Boomer Health: Obesity and its side effects reach all of us in one way or another

By Steve Dorfman
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Our country’s conflicted attitude about our collective weight never ceases to fascinate.

On the one hand, many of us are outraged every time we hear of a portly airplane passenger being forced to buy a second ticket in order to accommodate his or her girth.

On the other hand, we think nothing of holding up for ridicule public figures who are obviously losing their battle with the bulge. For instance, at last month’s White House Correspondents Dinner, comedian Jimmy Kimmel (no waif himself) remarked from the podium to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: “Governor Christie, I think you might be misunderstanding New Jersey’s slogan – it’s not ‘The Olive Garden State.’ ”

And then there was the inflammatory Newsweek cover a couple of weeks back featuring a baby holding a container of french fries with the accompanying tease reading: “When I Grow Up, I’m Going to Weigh 300 Lbs. Help!”

So, in order, the contradictory messages being sent are:

* Empathy (“It’s OK to be overweight “)

* Scorn (“Ha, ha – you’re fat!”)

* Panic (“Oh, no – our kids will all be obese!”)

No wonder we’re all so neurotic about the topic.

Scroll to Top