Student Life Archives (2001-2008)

With great size comes great responsibility

Margaret Bauer

As most of us know, college is home to a plethora of distractions. At any given moment in time you can find someone willing to bong a beer with you or fire up the hookah or take part in any number of other activities, so long as they don’t include doing any actual work. My roommate Slav happens to be one of those people. Last Sunday night I needed his help with my Russian homework, but he had just started watching the movie “Super Size Me.” If I wanted his help I was going to have to sit there and watch the movie with him and ask questions during boring parts. Talk about twisting my arm.

I had heard about this movie when it first came out, but I decided to skip it and use that hour and a half of my life to catch up on some sleep. Since I would be studying while watching it I figured it would be OK. I normally distrust “documentaries” such as “Super Size Me” and anything by Michael Moore because these people obviously have an agenda and anything they choose to show me will be exactly that, what they want me to see and nothing else.

Surprise, this film was no different. Long story short, this guy wanted to prove how bad fast food is, so he only ate McDonald’s for an entire month. He would super-size every meal if he were asked to and ate three meals a day there. After 30 days he had gained 25 pounds and his blood pressure had jumped to 160/120 from a healthy 120/90. His liver resembled an alcoholic’s and his girlfriend told us that he was becoming impotent. Ouch.

The moral of this story is that we should start punishing fast food companies because when we eat only their food we get sick and die. America is the fattest nation on the planet and this is obviously the fault of McDonald’s. If you’re fat and unhappy, go ahead and sue them. They made you that way. Move over personally responsibility, the buck no longer stops here.

My advice to people who feel victimized because they’re fat is to put down the double quarter-pounder and the half-gallon soft drink and go for a walk. You are the reason you are fat. After living in Europe for over a year I re-examined my view of our health crisis.

Most Americans are of European descent, and if being fat was truly a genetic problem that we cannot possibly control, there should be a relatively equal number of “naturally” large people in Europe as there are in America. Not so. They have all the same fast food that we have and they can eat it without any problems. The only difference between them and us is they can maintain a healthy balance while we have the self-control of a lab monkey who can self-administer cocaine.

We now live in a culture of victimization. If I have lung cancer from smoking, it’s because the cartoon camel made me do it. If my kid accidentally shoots himself it’s because guns are bad, not because I left a handgun with a round in the chamber where he could find it. If I’m fat, it’s because the food you sell me is bad, not because I’m too lazy to make myself a decent meal and I have no self control and must super-size because the high school kid behind the counter told me to.

Soso Whaley did the exact same thing as Spurlock, the man who filmed “Super Size Me,” did and actually lost weight. She didn’t super size unless she felt like it. She ate a lot of salad and didn’t always put on the dressing. She made wise decisions, something that I feel most Americans are no longer capable of doing.

I wouldn’t care all that much, except it’s you people who are ruining it for the few of us who can enjoy food responsibly. Damn, I can’t believe I had to write “enjoy food responsibly” but the sad truth is that is what it has come down to. Fall and winter are creeping up on us, so you’ll soon be able to hind behind sweaters and long pants, but keep what I said in mind because spring time will come before you know it and deep down inside you know that the only person to hold accountable is the one looking you in the mirror every morning.

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