Monday, February 09, 2004


Just in time for the folks who've failed at their Lose Weight! resolution (as I predicted), our local paper is running a multi-part series on fat people.

I always read these things because, like watching The Jerry Springer Show, it makes me feel all smug and superior. At least my boyfriend isn't having an affair with my daughter and I'm not shopping for an extra-long lotion applicator (don't ask). Plus, since I don't know that many fat people myself I get to wonder about where the 2/3 of Minnesotans who are reportedly overweight (about the middle of the national pack--but our paper's more hysterical and long winded formulation is "we're more likely to be obese than residents of 25 other states and the District of Columbia") and 1/5 who are obese are hiding. I see some of them once a year at the Minnesota State Fair. Where are they the rest of the time? Hiding out in their homes shoveling down ice cream so next year they can compete with the fattest hog exhibit (it always draws a huge crowd)? Who knows?

As I would expect, there's also a piece on the recent trend of suing various calorie-sellers for making people fat. One lawsuit I hadn't heard of was mentioned: an ice cream manufacturer was sued for lying on its nutrition labels (it hugely understated the fat and calories in its product). As a rabid label-reader myself I'm glad and not surprised to learn the lawsuit resutled in a $1.2 million settlement. But what did the pudgy consumer get? Well, if they hung onto their receipt for the more than 2 years it took to litigate the case, they could get a refund. If they didn't, they could get some free ice cream. That'll help them lose the weight they gained from eating the mislabeled ice cream.


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