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The International Writers Magazine: From the Bowels of unscientific thought...

• John Alexander
Obesity is a big problem in the United States- one-third of adults and 20% of children are affected- and I have a theory about where it all started.


Now, I’m sure you’ll all agree that except for a handful of old people hanging around, everyone that we see today is either a descendant of the baby boomers or a baby boomer themselves.
You see, obesity started with the baby boomers- and this is how it happened.

Back in the day- when the boomers were little kids- the playgrounds were pretty simple. There was the swing set, the monkey bars, the slide- maybe a merry-go-round- and most importantly- the see-saw.
There were also- in each classroom- maybe one or two kids who were teased because they were overweight. Today, it’s called bullying, but back then, it was just the way that it was- par for the course. So, not only were these kids teased in the classroom, but, on the playground, these overweight kids were at a serious- and significant- disadvantage. They had trouble climbing the monkey bars; they couldn’t get the swing to go as high as the other kids; their weight made their trip down the slide absurdly slow; and they couldn’t run fast enough to get the merry-go-round spinning in a way that made being on it fun. So, everything on the playground held the potential for ridicule and derisive laughter- everything except the see-saw.

Yes, once they were on their end of the see-saw, they were both unmatchable and unsurpassable- and that’s where obesity started, on the see-saw.

For you see, all the “skinny and fit” kids just hated that they- by themselves- couldn’t get the “fat” kids up in the air- and keep them there. So, they doubled and tripled-up on their end of the see saw to try and beat the “fat kids.”

It was this psycho-emotional-social-schoolyard trauma that was so profound that it took up “residence” in their psyches and led them- subconsciously, of course- to take up eating in the excess in order to win in life- in order to win at the see-saw.

Then, after the boomers had kids, their children- through subtle social learning and not-so-subtle overt example- became just like their parents, doomed to obesity.

I know, I know, it seems simplistic- and maybe even unfair- to place the entire blame for obesity on the see-saw. But, when you think about it- over time- can there be another explanation for the phenomenon of obesity?

Yeah, maybe. Maybe they can blame it on genes, hormones, emotions, medications, an inactive lifestyle, fast foods, smoking, cable television, video games or social media- maybe. But me? I’ll blame it on the see-saw.

That said- and, so- goodbye- until the next time- from the bowels of unscientific thought.

© John Alexander April 2015
johnalexandernyc at

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