Moan, moan, moan! Chewing the fat

I chewed the fat a bit on Bill’s Underground Edition when, as usual, called on to have a rant about this or that – or the other. You can find a link his programme on the Celtica home page.


When I was a kid I had a bit of puppy fat. Once I was in my mid-teens, I shook it off. Could be because I took up weightlifting and other exercise or just that it went. Puppy fat does. But not these days. I’ve just read about a 12-year-old lad who had to go to hospital in order to be put on a diet, and his family were caught smuggling one-pound chocolate bars in to him. That’s bigger than one of those one-pound-thirty-pence-or-so Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. But obesity’s been a factor in at least 20 child-protection cases in the last year, according to a survey dear old Auntie BBC has done by contacting 50 consultant paediatricians around the UK to ask if they believe childhood obesity can ever be a child-protection issue. Well of course it can! If I starved a child so she was a bag of bones, it would be a child-protection issue. So if I let a kid get so enormous he can walk only with a walking stick – as in one case was reported – am I not equally guilty of child abuse? 

Get real, folks! Stop blaming everybody else. If your kid’s fat for no congenital reason – in other words, because you have fed him too much fat and not encouraged him to exercise – then that’s your faultNothing wrong with a bit of puppy fat or a rounded figure. Goodness, but the great masters used to paint beauties who’d look a bit on the plump side to us now, but they were considered gorgeous back then. Bit of something to grab hold of, you know? Or so I’m told. But there’s a difference between enjoying life with the occasional bit of choccy as a treat, and getting enormousAs you’d expect, the touchy-feelies have entered the arena in this one. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said that obesity is a public-health problem, not a child-protection issue. Oh, yes? Well who’s looking after the child, Mr Paediatrics and Child Health? Not the public, but the parents, you moron. I’m not blaming the kids in this. In fact I feel sorry for them. They’re the ones whose health is at risk, and they’re the ones who get to look like shite and won’t be able to pull members of the opposite sex, the same sex, a sheep, a sexy Welsh yak or whatever. And they’re the ones who, when it does come to crunch time, have to suffer the big changes their lifestyle will need to get them back to a healthy size. 

I think people who want to become parents ought to be licensed. One doctor told the Beeb that as a society we’re lily-livered, and he’d seen an obese child taken away from parents actually get back to normal bodyweight in a few months. Another said parents were killing a kid slowly because they were feeding her only chips and high-fat food. No one else was doing that, Mr Paediatrics and Child Health touchy-feely hippie tree-hugging excuse for a human being. Not the public, but the parents. Then you get manufacturers who say they’re being responsible by making some things in smaller portions. But they don’t want to lose a bit of revenue for the sake of ensuring they have healthy kids who’ll live long enough to continue buying their choccy, oh, no. No long-term thinking like that. What they do is sell something that’s in two bits or easily breakable and say, ‘For sharing’ or some such nonsense. Oh, yes, in today’s me, me, me society, kids share all right: ‘I’ll share this with me,’ they say. ‘I’ll give the me of now half of this four-kilo bar of fondant-filled milk mush, and give the other half to the me of ten minutes hence.’  Nah. Manufacturers don’t do responsibility, except to the bottom line. And it’s the bottom lines that are getting bigger. A bit of parent power might make them and their own kids think a bit. Government initiatives don’t seem to cut the mustard. You might say they’re a fat lot of good.

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About Andrew John

Andrew John is a writer, editor and broadcaster with Celtica, providing, among other things, a weekly moan on a topic in the news. He spends much of his life moaning and criticising, and is crap company at parties. But just humour him. He's not a bad bloke, really.

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