Once Upon a Fat Girl

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tax the Fatties?

I really am taking today off the gym. My body is aching. I had a little sample pack of Excedrin PM that came with my regular Excedrin bottle. Last night I took a dose, because my legs were so sore, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to sleep. That stuff is pretty powerful. It gave me that nasty sort of drowning feeling...you know what I mean? When you're falling asleep and can't wake yourself up? I hate that.

I've been thinking about the donuts at TOPS and realizing that I still have a ways to go on the "stop dieting" front. I can have a donut if I want to. I don't have to let them torment me. The problem (my brain keeps telling me) is that one won't be enough. One donut won't fill me up until lunch. One donut won't fill up the empty donut-shaped space inside me. One donut will open the floodgates. And that's on me. I'm still afraid of donuts. Until I get over that, until I can look at a garbage-bag filled with donuts and either eat one without guilt or realize I really don't want one...and regardless, be anxiety free...I won't be free of the diet mentality. Until I stop feeling either anxiety over eating a donut, or rightousness over not eating one, I will continue to be stuck in this mindset that has so far lead to me weighing more than twice what I weighed as a teenager.

I read this article this morning. I know the paper is British and they aren't talking about taxing Americans. But...how far away is that? And if we're going to tax 'fatties', why do smokers and drinkers get off free? How about all the Atkins refugees who are thin, but have high cholesterol? Or the those who have ruined their internal organs with diet pills?

It's so easy for someone who has never been more than ten or fifteen pounds overweight to say that obesity is simply a matter of self-control. And that those of us who are obese are gluttons who just don't care enough about the skinny people to lose weight.

Are they going to base the tax on a BMI chart? Will they tax the underweight? Will anorexics be taxed? Surely they are at least as much of a burden on the tax base as 'fatties'? Will there be a lower BMI number, underwhich the tax kicks back in? Or does this guy buy into the "you can never be too thin" mentality? What about body builders who have a deceptively high BMI?

Clearly, there will never be a tax on fat people. Because it would be an insurmountable task to keep track of the weight/BMI of every person in the UK/US/wherever. This guy's thought process, his justifications, are so simplistic and so offensive, that I wonder what made him hate the fatties so much. Was his mother fat? Was he a fat kid, teased by the bullies? Do fat chicks make him want to hurl? What? Where does prejudice like this come from?


Blogger Jen said...

I get that drowning feeling if I take Nyquil too. I don't mind if I'm sick and just need to sleep but I continue to feel cruddy from it the next day. Zoned out, blah.

I'm afraid of food too. I love food as well. It's a battle in my head every day.

OMG. That article made my blood boil. I don't even know what else to say about it. What a JERK.

9:53 AM  
Blogger snackiepoo said...

I read that article last week and had to just hit my back button and not read all of the replies because it made me sick and it is stupid. You are right tax drinkers and smokers and other fucktards.

Eh, I love that sinky drowny feeling, hahaha!

10:02 AM  
Blogger Amazon Alanna said...

I relish that drowning feeling if I haven't slept in a few days and I need to "drown" in sleep. I get stress related sleep deprivation. It stinks, but is manageable with out much need for "drowning" myself.

As for BMI, I hate it. My husband comes out with a BMI of about 35...which is obese, but he has less than 10% body fat and his cholesterol is at 160-something. re-dang-diculous.

1:00 PM  
Blogger kathrynoh said...

While taxing people for being fat is never going to work, I think a tax on junk food would be a great idea. In Australia, we already have huge taxes on cigarettes and alcohol so I don't see any difference between that and taxing big macs.

2:55 PM  
Blogger drstaceyny said...

AGGGGHHHHH! (re: the article) I think that he's absolutely right--being fat is a choice. Who wouldn't choose to be ridiculed since childhood, discriminated against as an adult, stared at, sneered at, pitied, perceived as weak, dirty, lacking in willpower, and made the subject of uninformed, prejudiced, and, outright, cruel articles such as this one?

Okay, now that my sarcasm has found release--I'm scared that people would actually buy into these ideas (not Americans, of course!) Enacting such policy would actually promote eating disorders (in order to "make weight," people would restrict, purge, etc) and because eating would be made an even more illicit activity, the motivation to binge would be that much greater.

Moreover, I'm not sure I've seen that much data that supports his healthy-food-is-cheap hypothesis. Even if the food itself is comparable, access to it is not (how many smoothie shops/organic vegetable stands do you see in low SES neighborhoods?), time as a resource (to prepare foods) may be more limited, and exercise is really a luxury for those of us who have extra time, childcare, and other equipment/activities available to us other than a pair of walking shoes (assuming the neighborhood, itself, is safe to walk in!)

If you're going to tax the obese, you'll also have to tax the alcoholics/addicts (not just for the products they use, but for the treatment they require), the depressed (they surely can't be helping the G.N.P. by staying in bed sometimes), anyone who has a genetic disease (because clearly, their parents shouldn't have CHOSEN to have children), and pretty much, everyone else.

If you're going to tax junk food, we'll see it become a hotter commodity than it already is (think alcohol during prohibition). Bottom line is, there's a difference between taxing food (which you need to live and which, especially to poorer populations is more readily available in "junk-food" format) and taxing alchol and cigarettes.

6:12 PM  

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