The Fattest Continent


Why are you such a disgusting fat pig? That’s the question confronting all patriotic Australians after it was revealed that Australia is the fattest nation in the world, surpassing even the United States of America, where people are so fat that over 30 per cent of the population has been rendered completely immobile and must feed off the flocks of deer that roam their bellies.

This is, it scarcely needs to be elaborated, a national crisis of a magnitude that can only be described as reasonably amusing. Australia is now a laughing stock throughout the rest of the world. Other countries are making jokes like "Australia is so fat, when it sits down Tonga turns into a marine sanctuary", and spreading stories about Australians overturning fishing boats in the Congo.

How did we get to this point? How did we go from the sexy, toned land that spawned such calorific heroes as Olivia Newton-John and Phar Lap, to a country that now slouches around the South Pacific with kebab stains down its shirt?

Obviously, one problem is food. We have far too much of it about the place. Every day we hear farmers complaining about the drought, apparently oblivious to the fact that the food they keep stuffing down our collective gullet is killing us.

Yet for some reason we fret about farmers not having enough water. If anything, they should have their water restricted even further, and be forced to mainly produce foods that nobody wants to eat, such as asparagus and zucchini. The farmers, as always, will whine, but speedy action is required if we are to avoid crossing that already-thin line between agriculture and genocide. It’s quite simple: if we have less food, we will eat less. If we eat less, we will become slimmer. If we become slimmer, we will be valuable human beings. Circle of life, etc.

Then there’s the vexed question of fast food. Fast food has received some negative publicity in recent years. It’s been battered from pillar to post, by medical groups, parenting groups, the crypto-fascists at the Heart Foundation — everybody. And it’s true that fast food is not, strictly speaking, "healthy". But it can play an important role in the fight against obesity. For example, not long ago I began including KFC as a regular, 20-times-weekly element in my diet, and I’ve found it’s greatly enhanced my capacity for exercise. Even ordinary everyday tasks, like reading or rolling over, now provide me with the most intense of workouts — I’m sweating almost 24/7. Eat The Skin, Feel The Burn — this should be our motto from here on.

Which brings us to the next piece of the puzzle: exercise. It is often said that exercise is the key to losing weight, and should therefore be encouraged amongst our young. However, my own intensive research has revealed this to be a myth. Let’s look at the evidence: what happens to people who engage in regular exercise? Apparently, they suffer serious, crippling injuries. Look at Florence Griffith-Joyner (or "the Lithgow Flash", as she was known). She spent her life engaging in vigorous physical activity, and where is she now? Dead. Look at rugby — seemingly a wonderful way to keep fit and healthy, and yet experience shows us that rugby is one of the world’s leading causes of cannibalism.

No, there must be a better way to get our children to burn calories. Rather than exposing them to dangerous fresh air and the possibility of torn ligaments and plane crashes, better to fit them with one of the many excellent fitness devices, such as the waist trimming belt, which are sold on late-night television commercials featuring happy, rock-hard people with demented smiles who have managed to shed literally thousands of pounds and leave behind the days when they wore ugly jumpers and were constantly out of focus.

But probably the biggest problem is role models. Australians revere fat. Look at our national icons. Bert Newton, Les Twentyman, Paulini. Is it any wonder we’re following in their porcine footsteps, when the media is so obsessed with blubber-worship? It seems the legacy of legendary Aussie slimmer Weary Dunlop has been completely lost.

Undoubtedly, we need an attitude adjustment. Look at the way we carp and criticise those in our country who have managed to achieve a healthy, fat-free figure. Look at the way we tell models they’re "too thin". It’s a sad development in our culture when we look at a young girl, radiating good health from every jutting collarbone, every spindly leg, every bulbous, alien-esque eyeball, and tell her she’s some sort of freak just because she has the willpower to avoid cramming yet another dim sim into her overflowing mouth like the rest of the repellent land-dugongs that make up the population of this country.

For some reason, we just can’t get behind people who try to promote a healthy, skinny lifestyle. We call them cruel names, like "anorexic", "stick figure", "Erika Heynatz". Someone finds an innovative way to ease their own personal obesity crisis by, say, inducing vomiting, and we shunt them off to therapy.

Look at how the mainstream media pillories parents who try to do the right thing by their children, savagely attacking those mothers who did their best to help their kids lose weight. Starving children? Neglected? Isn’t it possible that these people were just trying to stop their children turning into lard-thighed little bundles of cellulite like so many others? Oh, the kids weren’t fed? Well, given the national crisis, maybe that’s the best way to approach child-rearing.

Even more abhorrently, we actually try to export our fatty culture overseas. Look at Africa, where so many people have unlocked the secret to keeping trim, taut and terrific. We see these pleasantly emaciated folk, and instead of admiring their ability to control their carb intake, what do we do? We try to feed them. For the love of God, people, can’t we for one minute stop making everything about FOOD?

Australia’s obesity crisis is killing us. For the sake of our future, take the burger out of your mouth, and stick a couple of fingers down there. Your nation will thank you.

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