I’ve noticed for some time now that thin people, genuinely slim ones, have a secret loathing of fatties. Kindly though they may otherwise be, the sight of rolls and overhangs, jowls and bulges, makes them angry. One extremely thin woman I know finds it hard, she told me, even to have fat friends. Another shivers with horror if she catches some poor podge in the act of wolfing a treat. It’s not an aesthetic affront, she says, so much as a moral one. Where’s their willpower, where’s their grit?
It’s hard to argue with a censorious thinny. We all know, these days, that there’s no excuse for being a lardarse. Faulty glands, slow metabolism — all tripe. The brutal truth is that if you’re fat it’s because you eat too much. It’s a simple calculation. A very sad calculation for those of us fond of cake.
And something must be done about the extraordinary rise of fatties. In less than a decade’s time, according to a study in the Lancet, a fifth of all adults on the planet will be obese. A fifth! And rising. As a child I had a book, Fattypuffs and Thinifers, written in the 1930s by a Frenchman called Maurois. The book was set in a world inhabited by two warring tribes, the benign, obese Fattypuffs and the mean and angular Thinifers. I increasingly see this not as fantasy but prophecy — especially for the UK.
We may be sliding down the inter-national academic league tables, but in the Fatty-puff stakes we really shine. By 2025, a third of British adults will be Fattypuffs; the most obese nation in all of Europe, in or out of the EU.
I feel for the Fattypuffs. I’m a Fattypuff by disposition. I say yes to seconds.