Fat discrimination slim compared to bias against smokers

As more and more Big Macs go down the hatch, it seems more and more folks are crying that fat people have become the new outcasts.

Macaroni and cheese, please/File photo Ryn Gargulinski

A handful of news articles, opinion pieces and interviews – written by folks of all sizes – insist that the overweight are treated poorly, sneered at and discriminated against.

We agree – to an extent. But we also say they haven’t seen anything yet.

If the husky were truly to be the new pariahs, we would have to treat them the same way people treat smokers.

For starters, we’d have to pick out the food that makes them fat and tax the heck out of it.

Unlike all forms of smoking, we simply can’t ban all forms of eating from the Earth. But we can target what we’ll call fatty foods.

This means ice cream, cookies, caramel, candies, chocolate and the like will now cost at least triple the amount it used to. The new tax will also apply to anything that people seem to enjoy eating or anything with the word “Super” in its name.

Anyone care for a $22 Twinkie?

Would you like onion rings with that?/File photo Ryn Gargulinski

Next is controlling where people can eat these fatty foods. The foodstuff will be prohibited in both indoor and outdoor sports arenas, bars, bowling alleys, the workplace, any government owned facility, in certain areas of restaurants and on select campuses.

No more honey coated peanuts on the airplane. No more custard éclairs on the bus.

Folks who still choose to poison their bodies with such monstrosities will be forced to stand at least 20 feet from any public building doorway and cower outside in the rain.

People who tip the scales above their recommended body weight will also have a hefty price to pay when it comes to health insurance. No more free meal.

An additional $200 will be added to the annual insurance fees for every pound people are above their target weight.

This means if a woman whose average body weight should fall around 130 actually weighs in at 170, she now has an $800 surcharge added on to her regular annual insurance rates.

File photo Ryn Gargulinski

Health insurance surcharges for smokers require them to cough up an annual $700 or more.

Once all the technicalities are handled and new “No Fat” laws in place, the public ostracism can begin.

Complete strangers will walk by anyone who carries any extra pounds and make loud oinking noises. Others will glare and wave their hands in front of their faces or abruptly blurt, “Oh, yuck! You smell like food.”

Those thoughtful, do-gooder parents will train their kids to run up to fat people eating fatty foods in a pubic park and say, “Why do you eat that? My mom said it will kill you.”

Help wanted ads will note, “Non-fat people preferred,” while hotels and rental properties will insist upon it.

Once the transformation is complete, and the pleasantly plump truly become the new outcasts, we can duly move on to the next set on our quest to right all societal wrongs.



Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who likes a good slice of Junior’s cheesecake now and again, but wouldn’t pay a higher tax to get it Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at RynRules.com and Rynski.Etsy.com. E-mail rynski@tucsoncitizen.com.

What do you think?

What habit or trait is most discriminated against?

Have you ever been ostracized or discriminated against? For what?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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17 Responses to Fat discrimination slim compared to bias against smokers

  1. tiponeill says:

    I understand your rant about the ostracism of smokers perfectly 🙂 – but it’s important to avoid “divide and conquer” thinking. Persecuting the overweight might make us feel better about being persecuted ourselves, but it won’t make the situation any better.
    I have some friends who are overweight and honestly I feel sorry for them.
    Despite the public perception  it isn’t their fault and they are not piggies with no willpower. And think about how it must feel to be asked to purchase 2 airline tickets for your fat ass every time you have to fly – that’s worse that the long no-smoking flights 😉

  2. Alan in Kent WA says:

    Rynski, how dare you give any ideas to those in the UA School of Law who don’t really have a grasp on which direction to go as far as a career path.  Geraldo and Kimberly G. don’t look like they are retiring yet, which means a long wait to get a spot on Fox News, and the tobacco industry has already had the life sucked out of it.  Plus, it has already startedwith Trans Fat.  We will know that it is happening when Mexican Drug Lords find it more profitable to sneak Blue Bunny Vanilla across the border than dope or illegals.

  3. leftfield says:

    Not much time, so I’ll keep it short.  If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life, don’t eat American food and don’t take American-approved drugs. 

    (with a tip of the hat to Jimmy Soul)

  4. andrew farley says:

    So, do you have any “Commie” food or “Commie approved” drugs? Just wonderin’. “Ribaldry Mandatory” itc

  5. azmouse says:

    I like the fact that people come in all shapes, sizes and colors. How boring it would be if all men and women just looked kinda the same.

    Variety is the spice of life!

  6. Hellsaz says:

    I wonder how the government would fill the tax void if everybody did quit smoking.  How would they replace the $BILLIONS OF TAX $ that smoke contribute.  Lets level the playing field.  Lets put a 10% tax on all gym memberships or a 20% tax on booze.

  7. curious says:

    No its not necessary to tax fat or fatty foods (fat is good for you in small doses) and your characterization is way over the top. However I think that insurance companies have every right to increase costs and premiums for overweight people who are at risk of diseases due to being overweight. Physical testing is what needs to be done first though as some ‘overweight’ people are stocky builds and have low percentages of body fat.

  8. radmax says:

    Hi Rynski! I totally agree, a law/tax on every form of debilitating lifestyle choice should be enacted immediately. No more free ride for the holier than thou finger pointin’ crowd. You see, everybody’s got something to hide, except for me and my monkey.(sorry John, Lefty put me up to it 😉 )
    PS-if your flabby upper arm ‘wings’ are bigger than your head, you could be overweight. If your ass fills the back seat of a Volkswagen, you are probably overweight. If your thighs resemble cottage cheese jello, you are definitely overweight.

  9. Hoosier Woman says:

    It really irks me when people compare smoking with “overweight” or “obese” people. There is a huge difference between the two! If someone totally quits smoking they dont die, they CAN live without cigarettes. BUT if someone totally quits eating they WILL die, I havent met anyone yet who can live without food! So to compare the two is just stupid. Everyone HAS to put food into their mouths to live, but no one HAS to put a cigarette in their mouth to live. I do agree with taxing “fattening foods”. I dont see anything wrong with taxing twinkies, since they arent vital to stay alive. But I DO NOT agree with making “overweight” or “obese” people pay more for insurance. The reason why is because most people “think” or “assume” that because people are overweight or obese then they MUST be pigs and just shovel the food into their mouths and that that is the sole reason that they are that way…WRONG! There are many medical reasons that someone could be overweight or even obese, and if they cant afford health insurance to cure that medical condition that is CAUSING the weight gain, they will just die. They will just continue without health care (b/c they cant afford it) and they will continue to gain weight and then die. I believe that health care should be even less for people who have medical conditions that could be causing their weight gain, so they can get testing done, and find the cause, and address the medical problem, and the treat it with medications, to control or even STOP the person’s weight gain. There is no medical problem that will make a person smoke, but there are medical conditions that will make a person overweight. Please dont stereotype  fat people, and compare two totally different things.

    • Whoa There says:

      Now, wait a minute! Obese people can refrain from stuffing their faces, too! They don’t have to go without food, just not so MUCH food. They will still live, and not be obese. Everyone has to eat food, correct…but not everyone has to eat SO MUCH food. Obese people are as addicted to food as smokers are to tobacco. There ARE medical conditions that cause obesity, but there ARE medical conditions that cause alcoholism and addiction, too. Please don’t sterotype smokers. It’s NOT two different things.

  10. tiponeill says:

    There is no medical problem that will make a person smoke, but there are medical conditions that will make a person overweight. Please dont stereotype  fat people, and compare two totally different things.
    Can you prove that ? I suspect that there are genetic reasons which cause people to be addicted to nicotine, in much the same way that there are genetic reasons that people are overweight.

    When you get down to it – there are genetic reasons for everything 🙂

  11. Hoosier Woman says:

    True, there are genetic reasons which could cause people to be addicted to nicotine, and drugs, booze. But you have to choose to put that cigarette in your mouth (not because you have to to live) and smoke it that first, second, third time for that gene to kick in. I heard that people are gentically more prone to become alcoholics if their parents/family members are alcoholics…but you have to drink the alcohol to become addicted to it. And its just not necessary to drink alcohol to live.
    My point is that from the day your born you have to eat to stay alive. You have to put food into your mouth at least once a day or if you go long enough you will die from starvation. NOT eating is not a choice (well unless you WANT to die) smoking, drinking, doing drugs is a choice.
    I am obese. For the longest time I could not understand why why why I kept gaining 20-30 pounds a year. I dont eat fried foods, chips, soda, cake, cookies etc. I do not shove food into my mouth and over eat either. I love fruits, veggies, water etc. The worst thing I eat is shake n bake chicken or occasionally pasta and I feel like those things are too fattening. Both of my parents and many other relatives are overweight or obese. So I just assumed that it was genetics. I had no health insurance and was thinking “I’m going to die if I keep gaining like this”. I finally got state health care and found out that I have Hashimoto’s Thyroid disease. Even though my thyroid test (that your doc usually does) was considered “normal” or 1. I still had the weight gain and other symptoms of thyroid problems. A special blood test showed the Hashimoto’s. I am doing a lot better, even losing weight now. BUT I needed medical help for a medical problem. I didnt choose to be this fat. It was something out of my control.

    • radmax says:

      Sorry to hear of your condition Hoosierwoman. I don’t want to put words in Rynski’s keyboard, but I read this as a sarcastic look at the folks who choose to grab that big mac and fries over the salad bar. True, we all have to eat to survive, but a lot of the daily choices we make regarding our sustenance do in fact boil down to personal choice, twinkies over whole grain, doughnuts over cereal. When those of us choose poorly, expeditiously, I have no sympathy.
      Again, hang in there, and obesity due to medical condition is another matter altogether.
      BTW-I eat all those nasty things,(some of ’em are just so dang good!) and am very trim. I believe you can eat whatever you want, as long as you burn it off.

  12. Gary says:

    We should not put a tax on the food we need to tax the fat slobs that cant control what they eat.  Why tax the people who can keep a slim body.  These fat people are helthcare problems just waiting to happen.

  13. Whoa There says:

    Why is it that obese people are the only ones who defend obesity and smokers are the only ones who defend smoking? It’s because they are ADDICTED, or have a MEDICAL CONDITION.  Addiction and medical conditions are caused by many factors. And the medical community (and everyone else) should not be prejudiced against them. HELP and UNDERSTANDING is what is needed. If everyone were perfect, there would be NO NEED for medical care. Period. So there. Tax my opinion!

  14. fraser007 says:

    OK Here it is: My Confession.
    I am 5’10” At one point 7 years I was 293. I have always been big, played football. Etc. My doctor sent me for a heart scan check. Numbers came back very, very bad. During the test I was sent to get a “high fat. high caloric” meal. I had nuclear material in a lead vial taped to my arm. I was to get the meal then go back for the remainder of the test. So I went to McDonalds and ordered  the big burger, fries etc. While there I was sitting next to a couple of fat high school kids stuffing themselves. I figure you are stupid and you will die in 30 years. So go ahead and kill yourself. (I was no better!) Bottom line I end up getting a quad bypass. It was pre-emptive and scheduled ahead of time. Got to pick the date and everything!!
    After that I lost 83 pounds. South Beach Diet. I am also diabetic so the South Beach works for that too. So after my recent check my doctor sends me for a heart test. Numbers come back “normal”! Boy was I happy. My HDL and LDL’s were not too bad before but on the recent blood tests that were perfect. Thats right they are perfect!! I have been on a statin which helps.
    When I go to a Chinese buffet (not that often) I get veggies and meat No carbs etc. And I see the overweight people piling it on. I dont feel sorry. I had my chance blew it and came back. I was lucky. Thats my story and I am sticking to it!!!!

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