Tuesday, March 04, 2014
My family has certainly benefited from "free" health care. And I'm hugely grateful, for sure. But one of the disadvantages of a socialized medical system: we all share the burden of epidemic illness. Including obesity.
My morning Globe and Mail tells me that the number of obese Canadians has tripled since the mid-1980s. (Nope, that doesn't mean the average Canadian has tripled in size -- even though that's the image which immediately came to my mind! Particularly given Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's recent decision to attend the Oscars . . . he says for the purposes of promoting Toronto as a location for TV and movie making. Sure.)
Why this rapid expansion of collective Canadian girth? Researchers don't believe the increase in obesity signals a massive failure of Canadian will power. But rather a massive flood of cheap packaged foods in restaurants and grocery stores. Fat salt sugar. Together with a lack of "nutritional literacy". To be tackled with better education including menu calorie counts.
OK then. Whether made in Toronto or elsewhere, I seldom watch any television at all, never have (no virtue in this, just didn't have a TV as a kid). But DH has recently got me watching House of Cards reruns available on Netflix. And one of the striking disjunctions is the super slim appearance of pretty much every character, whether lead or crowd scenes. In comparison with what I saw on my recent trip to Florida. And what I see every day back home here in Ontario. (Even though Ontario has not been identified in this new Canadian obesity research as one of the "fattest" provinces . . . ).
So: do regular TV viewers really identify with all these impossibly svelte bodies? Thank goodness we've already seen most of season one! I can imagine it would be very easy to get hooked into sitting on the couch, sipping wine and munching tortilla chips, and deluding myself that I really do look just like Claire anyhow!!