The United States. Home to levels of fat-assery unprecedented in human history. It's a trend that doesn't seem to be waning anytime soon. In fact, a new movement is afoot to counter the fat-haters called "fat acceptance."
This movement - a loose alliance of therapists, scientists and others - holds that all people, "even" fat people, can eat whatever they want and, in the process, improve their physical and mental health and stabilize their weight. The aim is to behave as if you have reached your "goal weight" and to act on ambitions postponed while trying to become thin, everything from buying new clothes to changing careers. Regular exercise should be for fun, not for slimming.
"Fat acceptance" ideas date back more than 30 years, but have lately edged into the mainstream, thanks in part to public hand-wringing by celebrities like Oprah, Kirstie Alley and the tennis player Monica Seles, who said she had to "throw out the word ‘diet' " to deal with her weight gain. (Oprah now cites her goal as being not "thin," but "healthy and strong and fit.")
Yes, it's perfectly okay for people to engorge themselves silly every day as long as they can trick themselves into believing that their bloated bodies are "normal." So very painfully modern, no?
Of course, the person who stands to gain the most from this is our own Richard Blakeley, who will probably sell more copies of the "This Is Why You're Fat" book because the "fat acceptance" crowd will want to sift through it looking for new recipes. And Oprah, America's thuggish overlord, will gain something from this, of course, because she always does.