Monday, December 24, 2007

Feeling Fat and Fed-up

This Christmas Season, the long awaited celebrations make many people salivate for the holiday dishes that are the centerpiece of the Midnight Dinner or "Noche Buena". Food items such as Chinese ham, Edam cheese, fruit salads in various recipe concoctions, roast pork, beef delicacies, and all such meaty delights are in everyone's radar of good eats for the period. Before the culminating midnight dinner approaches however, this solemn occasion celebrated with one's inner family circle and dear loved ones becomes a necessary ritual that is too much to bear. The week before Christmas Eve is full of social occasions such as office parties, client's parties, reunions with former officemates and friends, reunions with classmates, long lost relatives get-togethers, community celebrations with neighbors, etc; that one gets the feeling of being fattened for the feast itself and fed up with the events.

The loading of sweets, salt laced foods, meat, and other sources of bad cholesterol is enough to send one to the hospital. People have always gained weight during the Christmas Holidays, and those who are already overweight throw all restraint out the window. Many are beyond their normal poundage in terms of body mass but are in denial. Some blind themselves into believing that they are just healthy or on the chubby side, not fat nor overfed or obese.

Parents who overfeed their kids are the loudest in terms of denial. These kids would have problems with diabetes, hypertension, or even osteoarthritis, but parents say they will eventually reach their normal weight when they get older. They then let their kids loose in the kitchen or the heavily laden dining table for the Christmas Eve dinner to the detriment of the child's future.

Some parents even declare that they "were larger at the child's current age, but look how slim I am now". If she was talking about living for a long time, I'd say "yes, that's slim!" A friend asks, "My son is 9 years old, weighs 188 pounds, but he's not obese, right?" How do you respond to that? Lie? I don't. I simply ask questions like: Do you still buy his clothes from the kids section? Can his shoes fit me? How many seats does he pay for when he takes a bus? Has someone ever refused to be seated near him?

Others forcefully say about their fat kids, " he's very athletic!" I ask, " What sport, Sumo wrestling?" There are those who simply want you to agree by saying " Isn't my 11 year old daughter cute?" I think to myself " Yes, if you like to see a bologna with feet!". Then I gaze at a boy with a nanny feeding him two huge platefuls of dishes and I ask, "is this Timmy, the 6 year old I last saw 5 years ago?". "Your godson," replies the mother. "Doesn't he remind you of a movie character?", she adds. I say, "Yes, definitely! He used to look like the young Anakin of Star Wars. Now he's more like Jabba the Hutt!".

I don't know if these parents can be considered neglectful or plain ignorant. In the US, there are attempts to consider obesity a crime of parental neglect and the child could be removed from the parents. I am regarded simply as being funny or joking around by these parents but there is nothing hilarious about the condition of these children who are pampered, overfed, and over indulged. Their parents love them so much its killing them! Walking away from such gatherings and seeing the frail, hungry, emaciated kids in the streets triggers a rage within me about the inequality and unfairness of such a system, together with attitudes that breed such stark contrasts in society. John Kenneth Gailbrath said " If we cannot help the many who are poor, we cannot save the few who are rich".

As far as I can see, the rich have started killing themselves already.


1 comment:

ZenDenizen said...

Good job on tackling a topic most don't like to talk about.