Today I’m going to share with you one of my pet peeves. It often happens when people feel the need to comment on what or how much people eat. How often have you heard someone say something along the lines of, “It’s a good thing she’s skinny because she likes to eat so many sweets!” or “He’s so lucky that he can eat like that and stay in shape!” This drives me crazy.
It drives me crazy because it tells me a lot about people’s beliefs about food. They believe that certain foods are “bad” and should only be eaten by people who they recognize as being “thin”. What’s wrong with this picture? Pretty much everything.
This kind of thinking promotes dieting behavior (labeling foods as forbidden, and then alternatively restricting and binging on them), expresses a misunderstanding of food and weight (eating dessert makes people fat), and places an unreasonable value on a certain body type or size (skinny=saintly).
I’d like to ask these people why only those with a BMI less than 24.9 should be allowed to eat foods like chips, cake, and chocolate. Do the Calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar get digested differently by fat people versus thin people? Does the same food make fat people even fatter and with worse lipid levels and blood pressure, while thin people exercise their super-human powers to fend off unwanted effects of their food choices?
More than that, I’d like to ask who they think deserves to eat. Is the right to eat reserved for 32% of the population? Are the rest found guilty of gluttony and sentenced to follow set rules and regulations of the types and amounts of foods they can eat and the timing of their meals and snacks? Are diets a punishment for a lack of proper self-control and willpower?
I think we all deserve to eat without self- or other-imposed guilt. I think we all have the right to choose what we want to eat without needing a book, label, or Calorie counter. I think when we stop obsessing about food and weight, we will free ourselves and others from the burden of unmet and unreasonable demands. Do you want to be free?