Kate Moss & Girls' Body Reality

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I read all these stories that suggest Kate Moss should be burned at the stake for saying her motto is, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” Sarah and the Goon Squad has a funny, light-hearted and compelling post about it. Instead of being outraged, I seriously considered adopting the motto, repeating it to my daughter as often as, “did you brush your teeth?” and taping it to my fridge to help my whole family stop rationalizing the junk food that goes into our mouths.

Here’s the thing: No one in this family is at risk for becoming Anorexic or Bulimic. In fact, to put the “fears” about our food issues into perspective: Only 1-3 percent of girls in this country suffer from anorexia nervosa and another 1 percent suffer from bulimia nervosa.

Conversely, 16 percent of girls are overweight and another 15 percent are tipping the scales in high risk weight categories (meaning one or two more “yeses” to the stop at McDonalds will push them into the next category up.) There is an Obesity Epidemic in this country. There is a Childhood Obesity Epidemic in this country. This is a serious personal concern as well as a national concern for the well-being of one-third of our children. Not to mention the future of America as these children join the approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese. That’s 64.5 percent of U.S. adults, age 20 years and older, who are overweight and 30.5 percent of us are obese.

My thinking is that if the motto, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels” is effective, (and judging by the size of Kate Moss, it just might be) it wouldn’t kill America to adapt it as our National Freaking Motto.

The 2-4 percent of us who fall victim to becoming too thin and suffering from anorexia and bulimia should obviously seek treatment for those tragic diseases. Why shouldn’t the majority of Americans, who face the opposite eating disorder, yet just as damaging and far more expensive (health insurance and national health cost crisis, anyone?) seek treatment ? Or at least not have a hissy fit over the motto of a skinny girl as we ask our children to “pass the Cheetos?”

It’s a little like never letting our kids go outside to play so we can keep them “safe,” even though there is only 1 in a million chances that something terrible and irreversible will ever happen to them. One in a Million. All the while, saddling them with an obesity problem they’ll have to combat for the rest of their lives, not to mention the higher health insurance premiums they’ll have to pay.

* Statistics from American Obesity Association, and here.

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