Take for instance, the folks over at "Size Friendly TV."
They've actually taken the time to compile a list of "offenders" on TV. Offenders of what, you ask? Television shows that under-represent the demographic of, as they call themselves (are you ready?):
People of size.
In particular they don't like 24, CSI NY, CSI Miami, NCIS or House because there are no overweight people on those shows.
They want more people who are at least 25-30 pounds overweight represented on TV shows, since they say that about half of the U.S. is overweight and television programs should reflect that more accurately.
So let me get this straight: Here's a site which is acutely aware of the obesity problem in this country (and yes, it is a problem), yet instead of setting their sights on reducing the number of overweight people, their goal is to increase the visibility of overweight people on TV so that they can feel better about themselves?
Talk about getting things backwards... Do you know where I think fat people are grossly under-represented on television?
Fast food commercials.
I am sick to death of watching one commercial after another for McDonalds and Burger King where the only people populating the screen are young twenty-somethings that are completely fit and look like they belong in a Gold's Gym commercial. Yet there they are, stuffing two pound, 1,000 calorie burgers in their faces - implying that the food contains something akin to invisible calories.
How about a better representation of overweight people there, eh? Hell, probably 80% of the people in those commercials should be fat, but aren't. And why aren't they? Because despite the fact that so many people are overweight, most people don't want to be fat. They don't feel attractive and they don't feel good about themselves. And to be blunt, if McDonalds thought overweight people in general were more attractive, don't you think they'd slap them on the screen faster than you can say "Big Mac"?
An example of this mentality that infuriates me was a comment on the site I'm talking about where someone posted a comment basically saying that the TV show The Biggest Loser is the most degrading show on the air. And there you have it: Don't show me people who are actually trying to improve themselves and their health, I'd prefer that you make me feel better about being fat to soothe my feelings.
Take a look at the photo above - Do you think it would be better to:
A. Make these kids feel better about themselves as they are?
B. Address the fact that they're overweight by teaching them about nutrition and exericise and mentoring them in a weight loss program.
Folks who put up sites like those would better spend their time fighting obesity than trying to make the obese feel better about themselves. By doing so they would also be working to reduce:
- Adult onset diabetes in YOUNG CHILDREN.
- Type II diabetes in adults (totally preventable, and caused by being grossly overweight).
- Heart disease.
- High cholesterol.
- Various other diseases/ailments.