Australian reader Kira writes:
Finally we beat the Americans at something. Australia is the world’s fattest nation.
I’m a general lurker on your blog, but I saw this on the telly tonight and just had to let you know that America can breathe a little easier tomorrow, knowing that they are no longer the fattest nation on earth.
We’re number two! We’re number two!
The report on this is called Australia’s Future Fat Bomb, and Kira says,
I saw the Professor being interviewed on the news tonight and he said (and I shit you not), “The fat bomb in Australia is about to go off!!”
Ish. That sounds messy.
Two thoughts about this. First, I would like to draw your attention to what seriously might be the single worst line I have ever seen in an article about obesity:
Experts are now calling for extreme measures like gym discounting and denial of surgery based on body mass index (BMI) to rectify the situation.
Yes, folks, gym discounts are an “extreme measure” on a par with fucking refusing people surgery. I don’t even know what to say about that.
Second, I wonder how much we’ll hear about this over here, and how it might change the widespread perception that our advancing hordes of fat people are a metaphor for gross American overconsumption. I mean, we’re still number two, and in every important respect, we do lead in gross overconsumption. But I don’t hear people talking about those fucking Aussies and their fucking SUVs and fucking huge houses and overflowing landfills and whatnot, let alone how all their fucking fat people are just another manifestation of the same problem. I can’t imagine we’re going to see alternative weeklies calling Australia “a rapacious, gluttonous, insatiable nation of swine… the fat neighbors who are fouling the whole neighborhood, consuming everything in sight, and strewing waste in your wake.” The U.S. not being the fattest nation in the world wrecks the whole story! And people really, really like that story!
What we are going to see, though, are even more Australian articles spewing shit like this, with no supporting evidence or critical thought:
An analysis of the data shows that there will be an extra 700,000 heart-related hospital admissions in the next 20 years due to obesity alone.
Almost 125,000 people will die as a result, many prematurely.
[surgery waiting lists prioritized by weight loss and, uh, discounted gym memberships] “are some of the controversial things we need to deal with because the healthcare system is going to be overwhelmed by weight-related hospitalisations from knee replacements through to heart attacks and strokes.”
Sorry about that, guys. Welcome to the club.