How not to do it

Here's a few stories from the Daily Mail. It's always good for a slow blogging day.

The theme for the next three stories is, "How not to make your point".

Story number one is the incredibly fat kid who, apparently, didn't get incredibly fat by eating incredible amounts of food.

21st schoolgirl who was 'unhealthier than a 100-a-day smoker' gets new lease of life after £6,000 NHS gastric bypass

A teenager who weighed more than 21 stone had a £6,000 gastric bypass on the NHS because she was tormented by school bullies for being fat.

She had the operation at just 16 years old after a two-year hunt to find a surgeon willing to do it.

If she was 21 stone at sixteen years old, that's a lot of overeating.
The teenager, now 17, claims her weight, which reached 21st 6lbs, was down to a genetic condition passed down from her father.

Er, no it wasn't. If it was a genetic condition, it wouldn't be treated with a gastric band. A gastric band is supposed to stop you being able to eat food by the skipful, it would do nothing for any condition that wasn't caused by serious gluttony.

She had always eaten healthily and could not understand why she kept putting on weight.

Really? Then why...

She now has a maximum of 1,000 calories a day and sticks to well-balanced healthy meals and tiny portions.

She said: 'Now I don't really think about kebabs or McDonald's because I know it will just make me poorly. I'm happy with a piece of fruit or some salad.'

If the gastric band is curing the problem then there can be only one conclusion - You are responsible for your own weight (And your parents as they must have been paying for your food), the genetic thing is just a nice way to absolve yourself.

Story number two is a girl who got stung for dropping litter.

Office worker, 24, fined £400 for dropping small sachet of SALT in front of litter warden

Actually she wasn't fined £400

But she was spotted eating in her car by a litter enforcement officer from the local council who handed her a £75-on-the-spot fine.

She was fined £75

But when she failed to pay the fine, she was hauled up in front of Carmarthen Magistrates Court.

She pleaded guilty to an offence contrary to Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990m and was told that as well as the original fine she would have to pay £316.85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Now £316 is way over the top for costs, and don't even get me started on the victim surcharge, but the point here is, If you don't want to pay the fine, don't go to court and plead guilty.

Pay the fine or take your case to court and fight it. What were you thinking?

Office worker Laura Howells, 24, dropped the tiny sachet - measuring just 2.5cm by 5cm - as she ate her lunch from a KFC takeaway.

Sorry girl, size doesn't matter. Any smoker will tell you that.

Lastly we have a very sad story.

Family to be charged £650 a year by council for keeping seven-year-old daughter's bedroom as a shrine after she died of cancer

loosing a child must be horrible, however this short piece is about how not to make your point.

Mrs Bell, who is also a mother to Vicki, 24, and Mark, 12, added: 'It's not the money that's the issue.
'If we did have a spare room we would be more than happy to pay the money.

'But it's the fact that Becky's room is being called a spare room, that's what I can't get my head around.

'In our house we don't have a spare room, it's Becky's bedroom, everything is still there exactly how it was.

I'm sorry but you do have a spare room. You're arguing semantics.

If you would be more than happy to pay the money, then pay the money. If you think the best way to grieve your daughters loss is to keep a bedroom shrine to her, pay the money.

Pay the money? That's not the correct term, is it? You are not being asked to pay money, you being offered less in housing benefit. Or am I arguing semantics now?

I'll not comment about my thoughts on the bedroom tax, it's there. As sad as this is, it's still a spare room.

Three people, three stories worthy of the Daily Mail. In my opinion, three ways not to get yourself in the paper.



JuliaM said...

If we still retained the capacity to feel shame, the 'Mail' would have none of these sort of stories to print. As it is, they must have bulging sackfuls....

Bucko The Moose said...

Bulging sackfulls? Oh, I see what you mean.

Matt said...

My thoughts?

Well, so far as the fat girl goes your take on the gastric band is spot on... but I would also add that thanks to the principles of conservation of energy/mass it is IMPOSSIBLE for somebody to get fat without over-eating regardless of their genetics. True, the definition of "over-eating" depends on the person's normal activity, metabolic rate and digestive efficiency and is different for everybody, but you can never get more out than you put in!

The problem is therefore entirely down to believing yourself to be "hungry" when not actually in need of food - and whilst there may be possible genetic predispositions in some cases, I'd say it's almost always immediate situation/behavioural factors to blame. We tend to eat more when we're bored or depressed. Considering how tedious and unpleasant school was in my days (and it seems like it's worse now) I'm actually surprised there aren't more fat kids.

Also I'm convinced that, contrary to what "experts" often say, regular mealtimes are a totally unnatural idea and make the problem worse. By conditioning the body to expect food at certain times of the day the hunger reflex becomes decoupled from physical necessity for food.

As for the salt litterer, your analysis is spot-on again for the real world. However as for "size doesn't matter", the officials can't have it both ways... did you know that in the stupid complicated computer-game (PPP contract) under which the London Underground is managed, litter only constitutes litter if its surface area is above a certain size? The classic example being that a discarded ticket counts as litter but if it is ripped in half before discarding then neither half is now litter despite there actually being twice the mess. People are actually paid to sit and calculate this stuff, as well as other staff to do "mystery shopper" surveys.

microdave said...

"She had always eaten healthily and could not understand why she kept putting on weight"

Ah, but she could have been eating the sort of diet which would be "healthy" for a burly manual labourer who burns several thousand calories a day...

As my old dad used to say: "No fat people ever came out of Belsen"

Bucko The Moose said...

Matt - They pay people to work that stuff out? Nothing like a bit of job creation, is there?

Microdave - No, they never did. Can't blame it on the fat person though. If it's not genetics, it's the evil food companies, making us fat.