Leave the fatties alone!

Lost in all this is an appreciation of how much the chubby, the plump, the tubby and even the massively overweight have contributed to society down through the ages. Henry VIII, whose rupture with the Catholic Church was a pivotal moment in history, was by no means immune to a case of the munchies. Johann Sebastian Bach, viewed by many as the greatest composer who ever lived, was a charter member of the Clean Plate Society. Queen Victoria, who presided over a golden age such as no nation had experienced since the collapse of the Roman Empire, certainly didn’t miss many meals. And anyone who has ever seen a statue of Gautama Buddha realizes that he too knew how to hold up his end of the feedbag…

It’s all well and good to say that excess weight puts a strain on the heart, leads to many premature deaths, and dramatically inflates our national health-care bill. But the very same arguments can be applied to workaholics, alcoholics or garden-variety idiots, none of whom violate any specific law by indulging in a lifestyle others deplore. And once a society starts down the slippery slope toward deciding which behaviors are acceptable and which are not, it’s time to assemble kindling for the funeral pyre of democracy. First they told people to stop smoking. Then they told them to lay off the hooch. Then they told them to stop eating between meals. And then they told them to stop being neurotic. Pretty soon, no one in New York City could be seen in public anymore.