Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Obese Objects



Can it ever have been so bad? Just as we're getting used to the fact that we all apparently drink too much, and are well on the way to destroying significant vital organs - and our sanity - by so doing, along comes the next great human disaster. We eat too much. We're all obese. WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! Well, that last statement, I suppose, does rank in the category of the blindingly obvious, but really, in a world of a billion human stories, is our capacity to eat so very important?

History offers us a perspective of sorts. It is true that our 16th. century forebears tended not to be as fat as we are, but that's largely because the majority of them lived on the copious amount of calories found in the average hunk of dark bread and occasional bit of cheese. Since they were generally beset by a variety of intriguing plagues, or if they managed to avoid those they were just as likely to be carried off before the age of 35 by human means of dispatch, I guess they didn't really have time to enjoy the gradual enlargement of their bodies. As for drink, well, Bill Bryson, in his admirable, and admirably slender, tome on the late Will Shakespeare, had this to report about the drinking habits of Will's England:

"Beer was drunk copiously, even at breakast and even by the pleasure-wary Puritans...A gallon a day was the traditional ration for monks, and we may assume that most others drank no less. For foreigners English ale was an acquired taste even then. As one Continental visitor noted uneasily, it was 'cloudy like horse's urine'. The better-off drank wine, generally by the pint."

Crisis? What crisis?

3 comments:

consultant said...

What's the difference between William Hague and a sixteenth century monk?


About 6 pints.

future tory PM said...

Another classic example of a PM (the not so slender Gordon Brown) trying to draw attention away from stolen policies to softer issues in an attempt to win back some favour with the public by pretenbding to be proactive!

Cheeky Cheeky Boy said...

some reports state that a third of british men will be obese by 2050.. unlucky ladies but it does appear to be a problem. we should focus on making fatties work for their food, i propose an SGS fat club.i also think that we should elect a leader who could control the rising obesity problem. Lembit Opik and his cheeky girl seem to have the situation more than under control.