Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Fat of the Land

It's official! The English have made it into the big time - literally. Apparently they are now Numero Uno in the European obesity stakes which I suppose gives them a sporting chance in the Sumo contests at the Olympic games.
Sixty-one per cent are now officially boxing in the heavyweight class or so 'they' say. Now I'm always a bit worried about 'they' since they never seem to reveal themselves. In this case, I assume it's a bunch from the Ministry of Obesity and it's the preciseness of the sixty-one per cent I find troubling. Not 'around sixty' or 'over fifty' but exactly sixty-one. For this sort of accuracy I would have thought that 'they' would have had to measure and weigh every man, woman and child in England to come up with the answer. And I know 'they' haven't - or otherwise I'm sure the Daily Mail would have reported it.
And what about the Welsh, Scots and the Irish (Northern Division)? How come they're not included? Too skinny or what?
There's a lot of fuss being made over this weight problem but the answer is surely as obvious as an embonpoint. Not many get much in the way of exercise, especially those at school, since it might be hazardous to play sports. When I was at my seat of learning, not only did we have gymnasium periods several times a week but on Wednesday afternoons, sport was compulsory. If you didn't aspire to cricket, rugger or soccer, you were sent off on a long cross country run. And to make up for missing an afternoon of lessons, we went back to class on Saturday morning, only to have compulsory sports in the afternoon. I do realise that the word compulsory is not used in polite society any more when referring to the young as it might give them a complex and spoil their Nintendo practice.
I'm pretty sure that if any of us were obese after this regime, it would be regarded as a medical miracle.
Without television, even watching a game of some sort involved some exercise since it was unlikely that your parents would deliver you to the stadium in their 4 x 4 and so you would have to hoof it. No lounging on the couch with a remote at the ready and a supply of crisps and fizzy drinks at hand.
Now there is arising in the magical East End of London, a mighty sports stadium. I can't remember the cost, not that it matters since it will be exceeded by a few billion anyway, but this huge investment is geared, not to provide facilities for the playing of sports, but for watching a select few perform. The money would be far better spent in providing adequate playing fields for the young and shipping the Health and Safety inspectors off to far away places where they can't watch the kids playing their dangerous games.
The Romans got into the business of spectator sports in a big way too, although I suspect their Colosseum will outlast the Stratford E 15 one by a few millennia, but look what happened to their empire.
However, I now have high hopes for the English Sumo team at the upcoming Olympics.
That really is Weight Watching.


Post a Comment

<< Home