Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Does this mean they spit in the food?

A group of diners in England received a bill which included, at no charge, the item "SUCK MY D--- F--- FACE" after complaining about the service.
What is really scary about this is, #1, that is obviously an item programmed into their computer, and #2, this was the apology given:
Joe Delucci's owner Mr Langsdon said the message had been meant to be seen only by kitchen staff and he did not know how it ended up as an item on the receipt.
He said: "That shouldn't come out on the bill, so we've got to find out what's gone wrong there."
WTF!? Does anyone but me think that is absolutely INSANE? WHY would the restaurant even have an item that read (face it) suck my dick fuck face? And just for the kitchen? That clearly means, to me, that they will do something awful to your food.
And notice he did not apologize for having the notation, only for allowing the patrons to SEE it. Nor did he explain why exactly the kitchen staff needs to have that notation on a customer's order.
Anyone work in a restaurant? Is this common practice?
(Screenprint; image source=article source)

Kirstie Alley dumps Jenny Craig

Apparently Kirstie Alley and Jenny Craig have broken up, and Alley is going to form her own weight loss company.
Alley, 57, told People that while her experience with Jenny Craig was "extraordinary," she wants "to create something new that will help millions of people end the seemingly never ending fatty-roller coaster ride."
Alley said she intends to develop her own weight-loss brand with plans to launch in 2009.
I wish her luck; maybe her "something new" will help people. But considering all the weight loss pills (OTC & FDA), devices, diet plans, books, etc., out there, and that obesity is at an all-time high, it's doubtful.
(Screenprint; image source=article source. If you view the screenprint, notice the Dunkin Donuts ad placement. Amazing.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I wrote earlier about how I hurt my leg worse than ever on vacation. I've been back over a month and my knee still hurts all the time. I am having a terrible problem climbing stairs as it doesn't want to take my weight. My mom says "go to the doctor" well yeah, and what's he going to say? "Lose weight." Duh.
I've found that if I take 1 Advil Liqui-Gel I can walk without wincing at every step. If I take two, I can work out without screaming in pain. But there is a price, of course, and that price is insomnia and horrible stomach problems. My food isn't digesting; it sits in my belly like a lump for hours and hours, and then I feel nauseous and bloated and in pain. I have stomach cramps and have to go to the bathroom about twice as often as usual (and I already go twice as often as most everyone I know). The other night I lay awake watching bad sci-fi movies until almost 6 a.m.
And I understand intellectually that pain-killers don't make the pain go away. The knee still hurts. The painkillers actually just block the brain from feeling the pain. And pain is nature's way of saying, "Hey! Something's wrong here!"
Although the pain of working out (even through 2 Advils) is bad, I know I have to do it. I've pretty much been going home from work and going straight to bed every night. Not to sleep; I watch TV and use my laptop (wireless internet is wonderful), but I have to rest my leg. But when all I'm doing is lolling in bed like a giant walrus, I know I am only a few steps away from staying there permanently and in a few years being taken out by a forklift through the back wall.
I have to climb 2 flights of steps to get to work (no elevator) and I have to drag myself up them, literally using my arms to pull myself up the steps, because my leg can't do it. Same thing at home, but only 1 flight.
It is so discouraging. I love the water. I love going to the pool and putting on my underwater MP3 Player and working out. I don't want to stop. But I don't know what to do. I feel like I am destroying my knee by working out, but if I don't go the pool, then I am just going to get fatter and fatter and weaker and weaker, in a downward spiral that will end in humiliation and death.
And it doesn't matter if I'm in the deep end with no weight on it. Bending it hurts. Holding it stiff hurts. Doing nothing with it hurts. It hurts all the time.

"The Full Body Project"

I saw Leonard Nimoy ("Spock" from Star Trek) on a repeat of the Colbert Report last night, taking about his new book, The Full Body Project, which is all pictures of overweight and obese women, naked. He was very passionate talking about how models and advertising are ruining how women think about themselves.
During an interview with Salon, Nimoy said, "I began to become conscious of this question of body size and body image in our culture. I became more aware of what we're bombarded with in magazines, newspapers and television commercials -- "Lose 10 pounds in three weeks! Eat and be thin!" It's incredible if you stop and think about it."
He goes on to say, "This particular project has put me richly and intensely in touch with this cultural question of beauty. Women are being sold a concept of beauty. In other countries and at other times, and even in this country at other times, a robust woman was considered beautiful. In other countries, these women would be considered affluent."
Ironically, of course, in America, obesity is seen as a disease of the poor, created by poverty and poor eating habits, and extremely thin women are the affluent ones. Rich women can afford to go to spas and have personal trainers. Poor people can only afford cheap fast food.
"Look, the fact is that young girls 12 and 13 are already becoming disenchanted with their bodies. They're looking in the mirror and struggling to achieve something that, for many of them, is unattainable. You're born with the body that you're born with, and you can work and diet all you want, and for many women, it's still unlikely you'll attain the look that advertisers say you should."
The only comment of his I didn't like was this:
Joy Behar, from "The View," held this book up and said, "These pictures make me feel svelte." I love that. I think it's wonderful.
I see it a little differently from him. I see it as Joy Behar saying, "At least I'm not that fat."
Since I have no clue who she is, let's find her photo.
And here it is. I'm sorry, is she supposed to be FAT?! Give me a break.

Watch the interview (interesting talk about oral sex, possibly NSFW):

(cover image from Amazon; screenprint of Salon interview page 1 page 2)

Monday, February 11, 2008

seatbelts & the obese

This is one for the duh file. Obese people tend not to wear seatbelts, because seatbelts don't fit. That would be the same reason most obese people don't wear a size 4--because it doesn't fit. How can people be so STUPID? That goes right up there with the expensive studies which conclude if you are fat, you are more likely to become obese. Yes, because "fat" is a step on road to obesity. That's like saying if you standing halfway up a ladder, you are more likely to be higher up than people on the ground.
(A) new study found that seat belt use declines as body size increases. But even large drivers who want to use a seat belt may be thwarted because not all carmakers offer bigger belts or extenders.
See, this is bad writing. It's not a "BUT", it's a "BECAUSE". I usually drive when I go out with my friends, because my seatbelt fits me. My friend has a new (used) car, a Toyota Avalon, and I can't get the seatbelt around me. So I'm illegal (in my state) through no fault of my own. I could get a ticket, basically for being fat.
Federal standards that specify the length of auto seat belts date back four decades and only require that seat belts accommodate a 215-pound man....The standard instead says belts must fit up to a 215-pound man who has a seated hip circumference of 47 inches. That was set in the 1960s....(T)he National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated (in 2003) that more than 38 million people, or 19 percent of the total U.S. population, were larger than the seat belt requirements.
That's 1 in 5. And they don't think it's a problem? And 215 lbs seems to be about the norm now, not at all odd, like it probably was in 1960.
(M)ost top manufacturers including Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. have seat belts that are longer than required. The companies each provide an average of 18-20 inches of extra belt length, more than enough to accommodate the largest percentage of drivers. Many of those manufacturers also have seat belt extensions or longer belts that can be purchased or installed at dealerships. Ford offers their extensions for free, said Wes Sherwood, a Ford spokesman.
Yay! Buy a Ford! Fords for Fatties!
Of course I'm sure that the fat-hating trolls of the internet (who are now, by the way, allowed to insult people and be as rude as they want with no fear of legal action--see this story or read screenprint) will use this as an excuse to attack fat people and use all the stereotypes--eating a lot, no willpower, push away from the table, get your fat ass off the couch, etc.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

custom menu info for fast food

A reader sent in links for custom food at McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's. You can add or delete toppings, and customize your meal anyway you want, just like I was saying I wished I could see. THANKS!

Friday, February 08, 2008

mandatory nutritional labels on menus?

I support this. I think it should be nationwide. San Francisco wants to require that all chain restaurants print nutritional info on their menus.
It makes sense. Food in the grocery store has that info. Many people use it, as intended, to compare foods and use the info to decide which item to buy. My husband is on Atkins again so he's always looking at "net carbs" before he puts anything in the carriage (when he deigns to come with me). In a restaurant he doesn't know if the sauces or other condiments have sugar in them so it's annoying.
(The) proposed menu-labeling ordinance...would rightly require chain restaurants with 14 or more branches in the state to post calorie information on their menu boards. Under this bill, calories, sodium, carbohydrates and saturated fat content would be required on menus.
I think if I was looking at a menu and deciding between 2 things I liked equally, and I knew what calories they had, I might pick the lesser calories of the two. Wouldn't you?
While San Francisco fast-food chains are already required to provide nutritional information in the store, placement remains a major obstacle. Nutritional information is often placed on tray liners, brochures, food-case stickers or posters that are not in plain view. In New York, where similar menu-labeling practices exist, the City Health Department polled 11,825 diners at 275 restaurants. The results were dismal: 3.8 percent reported seeing nutritional information at Burger King; 4.7 percent at McDonald's; and 6.9 Percent at Wendy's.
I don't eat at McDonald's. Burger King has a board with tiny print which you can't read from the line. I have no idea where Wendy's is.
Chain restaurants are a reasonable focus of the mandate because they have standardized menus, thus making it easier for them to analyze and distribute the nutritional information.
And small non-chain restaurants simply wouldn't HAVE the information without having the food analyzed.
What I would LOVE to see is all the ingredients broken down. Everyone says how many calories is in a Whopper, for instance, but I eat mine plain. How many calories are in a PLAIN Whopper, without all that crap & cheese & bacon on it? No one knows. It's a great mystery.
And while many would argue that common sense would preclude would-be healthy diners from making the wrong food choices, a survey ...showed that that is hardly the case. The poll asked 523 registered voters to identify dishes with the most calories, fewest calories, least salt and most fat among menu items from various chain restaurants. Two-thirds answered all four questions incorrectly, and not one person got all four answers right.
I'm not surprised. How can you know something if the information isn't available?
If you want to take the survey yourself and see how you do, click here. (BTW, I got EVERY answer wrong. Not that I'm proud of it, just point out that I am as ignorant as anyone else when it comes to things like that.)
Given today's obesity crisis, diners can no longer afford to play a guessing game when choosing the food they eat. While menu labeling alone will not solve the problem of obesity, it can play a vital role in a multipronged effort to combat the epidemic. This ordinance does not dictate what a person should or should not order, rather, it provides the tools necessary to make an informed decision. Whether they choose to use that information is up to them - but at least they have a choice.
That absolutely true--it gives consumers a tool to make an informed choice, unlike the Mississippi bill which simply banned overweight diners from entering the restaurant.
(screenprint) (image source)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"one person, one fare" on Canadian Airlines

I referenced this in my previous post on gluttony. I found a non-paying source.
Canada-based airlines have been ordered to offer disabled or clinically obese travelers accompanied by an attendant the ability to fly using one ticket, even if they take up two or more seats.
Some bad writing here. Is the attendant charged for a seat? What if a disabled person doesn't have an "attendant", can they charge him for 2 seats?
The ruling applies to disabled people, including the severely obese, who require two seats to accommodate them. It also applies to disabled persons who need an attendant seated with them on flights.
This doesn't clear it up. So the attendant flies for free? Can I say my husband is my attendant and between us we can take up 3 seats for the price of one? Seems a little unfair.
When I was going on vacation last month, I actually tried to call the airline and buy a 2nd seat. I was told by various people (not airline people) that I could buy a child's seat for a reduced rate as my second seat, for maybe $100. But when I called US Airways, they said if I wanted a 2nd seat for any reason, that I had to pay the full adult price, even if no one would sit in it and no luggage would be transported for that seat. So I was willing to pay, and it was denied, because I sure as hell wasn't paying 100% extra.

That said, there was a sidebar article to the airline fair, about having to deal with fat people when traveling, and how to travel as a fat person. It's actually pretty good and worth reading in full.
Travelers come in all sizes, yet airplane seats don’t seem to. In fact, although 60 percent of Americans are considered overweight and the average American waistline keeps getting larger, airplane seats seem to be getting smaller. These days, the standard width of most economy or coach seats is just a smidge over 17 inches — about as wide as your computer keyboard.
Damn. I knew they were narrow, but that's ridiculous.
Some airlines ask employees to resolve seatmate situations on a case by case basis. Other airlines have policies stating that passengers unable to lower the armrests and/or who take up any portion of an adjacent seat may be required to purchase a second seat or take a different flight. Do your homework so you’re not taken by surprise by a gate agent, a flight attendant or by another passenger once you’re on board.
I don't like squeezing onto strangers. I keep the seat rest down unless it's my husband next to me. And I went over my airline's website and found no policies on "people of size" or any other stupid euphemism for FAT.
If you do purchase two seats, get two boarding passes and keep them handy until take-off (or you may be) asked to give up that “empty” seat to a stand-by passenger.
Which is total bullshit. I had an unused ticket last year (the person switched flights, the airline would not give a refund)--I asked if they would re-sell the seat and they said "of course" but they wouldn't give the money back. So I spread myself out in all my fat glory across the two seats and dared anyone to tell me to move when I had two tickets.

"more than gluttony"

My handy Google Alert sent me this story today.
The title of the editorial is: Stop judging – obesity is about more than gluttony
but then it has a provocative first paragraph:
A ruling made last month by the Canadian Transportation Agency, ordering airlines to provide the same fares to disabled passengers, has elicited much discussion about the implications with respect to the clinically obese. Let's face it — looking at such people is not fun; their oversized bodies betray years of overindulgence and lack of self-control. Obese people are the victims of their own poor lifestyle choices. Society, and certainly the already struggling airline industry, should not be forced to pay for their unchecked gluttony.
I don't know anything about this airline ruling....anyone else? Bueller? (The site wants to charge me $4.95 to view the archived article on the subject.) But that paragraph pretty much sums up the attitude of people like the troll who visited here a few days ago. "Unchecked gluttony"? Didn't the troll say I had an insatiable appetite? Same thing.
But the article goes on to say:
If you find yourself agreeing with these assertions, you are likely a member of a not-so-silent majority. You are also a significant part of the problem that obese people face every day.
The editorial goes on to compare being fat to getting lung cancer from smoking, saying that people have sympathy for the cancer victim even though that person brought it onto herself, even though every pack of cigarettes says it causes cancer.
He says:
I think obesity scares us. It forces us all to examine our own weaknesses and proclivities. Who among us has not overindulged or felt a loss of control? In the obese, we see just how close we are to our own personal vulnerabilities.
Well, obviously I have, or I wouldn't be fat, right? Although he's slipping from his theme here, if he's back to implying that being overweight is all about non-stop eating and never exercising.
Obesity is about food, which we all require to live. The alcoholic can swear off alcohol, the diabetic can avoid refined sugar and the celiac can eliminate wheat. But the obese don't have the luxury of swearing off food. Every meal presents a challenge.
I've heard it said before, how well would an alcoholic do if he had to take 3 small drinks every day to live?
(screenprint of article)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

stay fat and save your insurance company a bundle!

One of my faithful readers sent me this rather ironic link:

Smokers, the obese cheaper to treat than healthy, long-living people
Preventing obesity and smoking can save lives, but it doesn't save money....researchers found the health costs of thin and healthy people in adulthood are more expensive than those of either fat people or smokers....
The researchers found that from age 20 to 56, obese people racked up the most expensive health costs. But because both the smokers and the obese people died sooner than the healthy group, it cost less to treat them in the long run.
On average, healthy people lived 84 years. Smokers lived about 77 years, and obese people lived about 80 years. Smokers and obese people tended to have more heart disease than the healthy people.
Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000 US, from age 20 on....The cost of care for obese people was $371,000 US, and for smokers, about $326,000 US....
The results counter the common perception that preventing obesity will save health systems worldwide millions of dollars.
This study is definitely something I'll reference when people say that obesity is bankrupting the US health insurance industry. (I don't believe that; I believe that diseases that put you in a nursing home for years and years, like Alzheimer's and strokes, cost far more than fat people.)
And it's interesting to note that being fat will cut 4 years off my life. Although according to the death clock, I've only got about 30 years to live--09-13-2036 is the date my ticket gets punched.
screenprint of article

Sunday, February 03, 2008

obese to be banned from restaurants in Mississippi

Completely insane. A (completely insane) legislator in Mississippi has decided that the way to combat obesity in his state is by banning obese people from all restaurants.
I can't make this stuff up, people. It's on The Smoking Gun, and they archive their stuff forever, but I've put up my usual screenprint as well, just in case.
Mississippi legislators this week introduced a bill that would make it illegal for state-licensed restaurants to serve obese patrons....(It) proposes that the state's Department of Health establish weight criteria after consultation with Mississippi's Council on Obesity.
And included in the article is the text of the bill itself:
An act to prohibit certain food establishments from serving food to any person that is obese...The State Department of Health...may revoke the permit of any of any food establishment that repeatedly violates the provisions of this section.
There are SO MANY problems with this, it's just not even funny.
What if an obese person is driving across country and has to drive through Mississippi? Where is this person supposed to eat? What if, for whatever (incomprehensible) reason, someone obese had to get a hotel room in Mississippi? Where would that person eat?
Even better, are restaurants going to go for this? I imagine there's some sort of restaurant lobby, even on the state level. Go to any restaurant, in any state, and guess what? People are fat. Wanna know why? 66% of the US population is at least overweight. Take all those people away, and who is left to eat in restaurants? And if the restaurants serve fat people, they get closed down. They refuse to serve fat people, and then their clientèle dries up and they go out of business. Nice options.
And it doesn't get into what they will use to qualify if someone is obese. A tape measure? A floor scale? Body fat calipers? And what sad sack of a manager has to go tell someone like me that I'm too fat to eat there?
And can obese people WORK there? What if an obese worker nibbles on some food?
(Photo source=article source)