Health & Safety… Remember the Fat!

This morning I was forwarded an “all users” message from our health & safety department.

Was this a reminder about wearing a hard hat on construction sites, or properly lifting boxes by using your legs so you don’t throw out your back? A lesson in ergonomics? Or perhaps it was just the usual holiday reminder to “drive safely” or “don’t drink and drive and be safe” and all that?


Oh, no no.

This year’s Health & Safety information was about avoiding those holiday pounds!


Now, OK, they give sensible advice, and it’s good advice for those of us who have traditionally spent most of the holidays binge eating (this is the first year I’m packing my jogging clothes with me for my week of home-for-the-holidays. I figure I can jog my brother’s route), but you know… it says a hell of a lot about today’s America when the Health & Safety department of a bazillion dollar international company finds it neccessary to remind everyone to watch what they eat over the holidays.

Unfortunatley, the only bit I can include here without violating my confidentiality agreement is the part they took from an ivillage article:

Drinking one beer every night adds 1,036 additional calories per week or 15 pounds to your stomach per year. No wonder they call it a beer belly. Three glasses of dry wine a week adds 318 calories, or an additional three miles on the treadmill just to walk off the extra calories. If you’re watching your weight, try this advice:

· Don’t drink alcohol on a regular basis.

· Remember that the calories from alcohol add up quickly, and they go straight to the fat in your abdomen.

· Most people eat high calorie snacks when they drink alcohol, a double whammy in terms of weight gain.

Yum. Beer! I think I still have four bottles of Negra Modelo – my beer of choice – over at my parents’ place: Thanksgiving leftovers.

And you better bet I’m drinking beer at Christmas. Calories or no.

I think my worry about all this concern about food and calories is that it makes people obsessive about it. You start not being able to think about anything else. Your whole day revolves around what you’re “allowed” to have… and now the workplace is getting on board.

I have such incredible mixed feelings because, honestly, I’d rather we had a fruit tray as the morning office treat instead of two dozen donuts, and I prefer whole wheat chicken wraps to pizza (yea… they brought in chicken wraps yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised), but…. but… I worry. I worry that we’re all going to become food Nazis.

And I don’t know how ethical it is to start telling people what they can and can’t eat. The future of where all this Fear of Fat is going really worries me.

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