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I took a class in Medieval British literature, and my professor reinforced what you say about the sin of gluttony: it was considered a major offense during periods of the middle ages when food was at a premium. As conditions improved, it dropped down the list of offenses, so that by Milton's time, it was a foregone conclusion that the worst of the sins was pride.

Of course, none of this gluttony stuff has any root in the Bible, where Jesus is always giving folks free fish sandwiches, replacing their healthy drinking water with some nice wine, and picking grain on Sunday.

Half Canadian

I could of sworn that there are polyniesian societies that do not view fat people negatively. And that's excluding the canibal's perspective.


In the UK we are in the midst of what is being described as an obesity epidemic. As we have a public health service free to all there are predictions that in the next 15-20 years the vast numbers of obese, coupled with the ageing baby boomers and less workers in the economy as a whole will cripple the NHS.

Those who abuse alcohol and cigarettes in our country pay Value Added Tax on these products and in a way, this offsets their negative health burden on the health service, society and the economy as a whole through their self-induced poor health.

Some of us are arguing that their should be a Fat Tax on sugary, fatty and unhealthy junk foods to cover the extra cost burden on the NHS in the coming years from those abusing these products. Tony Blair will not countenance it as he says it will hit that part of the population that eat these foods - the poorest - hardest. Surely, if people can't afford to buy fatty foods anymore, they'll switch to cheaper, healthier alternatives and the knock on effect will be less diet-induced disease and better lifestyles.

But then, if the NHS collapses under the strain in 15 years time, the fattest will bring our National Health Service crashing down with them, probably to the detriment of us all.



Surely, if people can't afford to buy fatty foods anymore, they'll switch to cheaper, healthier alternatives and the knock on effect will be less diet-induced disease and better lifestyles.

Where exactly are these cheaper, healthier alternatives you speak of? I, for one, would love to see them.

Just please don't assume that they're gourmet cooks and have hours to prepare every meal, OK? We're talking about something you can grab in a 20-minute lunch break.

Where are the healthy alternatives that cost the same as fast food's cheapest meals, while providing enough substance to perform physical labor? THEY DON'T EXIST. Yes, that will solve everything, make people choose things that DON'T EXIST.


I agree alot of what's said here, and disagree a lot. I agree that Spurlock is on very thin ice with his historical "references". However, comparing plump romans with today's overweight people is unrealistic. In earlier days overweight people were looked up on because it ment they were rich enought to eat what they wanted, and they did not have to do any manual work. Now this has changed, fat people are looked down upon, because it is assumed that healthy food is more expensive. Upperclass people can affort to eat healty, have personal trainers, and do cosmetic surgury to remove fat etc. I'm not saying this is right or fair, but there is one thing that is unarguable: People consume more calories than they did before, and they move around less. Also we are eating more manufactured food, and more refined sugar, in other words more calories per food-volume. Quote World Health Organization: "Overweight - The key causes are increased consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and reduced physical activity." Furhter this is stated: "Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer."
Please don't come and sayt that that people are suggested to loose weight because we are disgusted by fat people. These are hard facts, dont a condemnation of fat people. It is also said that most diets fail... this is probably correct. What do we learn from this? When your body has become overweight, there's little chance of correcting it. Therefore what seems ovious to me, is that you have to fight this at young age...(In school cafeterias etc.) Overeating is not a bad habit, it's an epidemic.

Bulemic and anorexic disesases were mentioned as growing problems in our society. Scientific studies suggest that Bulemic/anorexic diseases, ARE caused by society. This tells us that out beauty ideals are also unhealthy. But what is this ideal? It's the complete oposite of overweight. It's tempting to say that the more overweight people we get in the world, the thinner the beauty ideal gets...

The UK taxation on fat food seems like a bad idea to me. It's a wrong way to attack the problem. I agree on tax on Tobaco and Alcohol... these are luxury goods that create major health problems, the sociey must bear economically. But food is something we all need. The ceapest food you cant get(unless you cook at home), is most of the time fast food, burgers etc. To tax this kind of food would just make food more expensive for people... nothing more. What should you do instead? Maybe it would be possible to lower cost on healthy food. Get people drinking Orange juice instead of Coke, eating full wheat bread(which is very expensive in US for example... from own experience) instead of white bread. I think governments need to start being a little critical to the mayor food chains like Mc D. and Burger King... you know they will watch us eat ourselves to death with a grin on their corporate faces.

[Source: The WHO website: www.who.int/en/ ]


You say that yo yo dieting is bad for you, worse then never dieting at all? I think you fell for one of the biggest lies the diet books tell us. Yo yo dieting has never been proven to be bad for you. It's just a new wives tale.


Dagny: "Where exactly are these cheaper, healthier alternatives you speak of? I, for one, would love to see them."

OK, come on over to my place, and we can eat plain carrot sticks, which is what I was doing when I read your post. I was going to have some (gasp!) hummus on them, except I forgot to buy any today.

"Just please don't assume that they're gourmet cooks and have hours to prepare every meal, OK? We're talking about something you can grab in a 20-minute lunch break."

Well, for dinner tonight, I had couscous with vegetables, which I bought pre-made at a local store. I'll probably have some yogurt soon (which I didn't make myself either). Does that count? Come on, get off your high horse and try looking around. It ain't _that_ hard. For the record, I'm not a vegetarian (I just don't always feel like eating meat) or any kind of health-foodie at all. I had some marshmallow cookies before dinner, and a beer with my couscous. :-)

Pixy Misa

Scarfing down suppositories?

I do not want to know.

Mister Joshua

Just because some Renaissance perv named Ruben had a fat fetish, that doesn't mean fatties used to be pretty. For crying out loud, the supposed "epitome of beauty" by Rembrandt is clearly over the hill and balding! It is ludicrous to cherry-pick paintings of fat women and claim that they represent a standard of ideal feminine beauty, knowing that they could just as easily indicate a scarcity of beautiful women or--mirroring today's Bizarro World of political correctness--a skewed agenda on the part of the artist.

This kind of relativistic nonsense should be left to the liberals. The fact is, there are ideals of physical beauty, thin is preferable to fat, and ugly is ugly across international lines. Why? Because human beings have ideals. Don't apologize for them.

chris sanger

Pixy Misa you are a putz. You have no historical basis for saying what you just said. As dagny said, thick women were thought of as beautiful in the days of yore as they could afford to eat thus they were wealthy and out of reach. Which in truth is what we are all attracted to, those out of our reach. Women that im attracted to im sure differ from whomever your attracted to.

but then again, i dont know why i am bothering with you, you showed just how bright you are with your liberals comment. moron.


I like the points you made here (I found this while searching for Rubens paintings on google). I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that the BMI definitely is being used too liberally. I think we're attacking symptoms more than the actual problem. Wouldn't it be more productive to be positive and encourage people to be happy? I know that everyone has different taste in body type, but honestly let's work with what each individual has. 'Healthy' is relative.


Dieting is bad for you, it takes away some vitamins that you need. You shouldn't diet you should just change the way you eat.


Yet another inaccuracy in Super Size Me is the cause of Spurlock's liver dysfunction. Rather than being caused by saturated fat, it was most likely caused by a combination of trans fats and MSG.

The condition is called Trans-Fatty Acid (TFA)-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Here are just two of many links explaining the negative synergistic effects of trans fats and MSG:


You have to realize that McDonald's food, at least back when he was eating it, had far more trans fats than saturated fats in it. This is because trans fats are cheaper and McDonald's is all about low prices.

Everyone thinks saturated fats are bad for you, but consider that in 1900 heart attacks were almost unheard of and everyone ate almost nothing but saturated fats. As lower cost vegetable oils come on the market, they were instantly popular because of the lower price and heart attacks have been on the increase ever since.

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