Miss Piggy said you should never eat anything bigger than your head. Fat people clearly weren’t listening. I’ll cut them down to size…by Andrew Martin / September 22, 2010 / Leave a comment
Published in October 2010 issue of Prospect Magazine
On a recent visit to the cinema, I found my enjoyment of the thriller The Secret in Their Eyes spoiled by the noise of a man behind me eating popcorn. While I have sadly given up hope that people will stop talking after a film starts, I had continued to believe that they would stop eating fairly early on because, surely, after a while there is no food left. But half an hour in, there was no let-up in the steady munching sound, so I turned around and gave the offender the old death-ray stare. Even if I do say so myself, it was a particularly malicious look and it did check the movement of his hand as he reached towards… well, it was a cardboard bucket of popcorn, and he was no more than about a quarter of the way through it. My only hope was to shame him out of continuing, and I saw an opportunity in the fact that he was rather fat—among the 25 per cent of British adults who are obese, according to figures from the National Obesity Forum. So I glared at his overweight form, then down at the bucket of popcorn on his knee, and began alternating my glances so as to set up the message: You’re rather fat…You’re eating a bucket of popcorn… You’re rather fat… You’re eating a bucket of popcorn… My aim was to establish in his mind the dawning realisation: Mmm… I’m rather fat, and I’m eating a bucket of popcorn… Perhaps these two facts are in some way connected.
It didn’t work. And for all I know, he was eating what was classified as a “small” or “medium” popcorn. There might have been someone further back in the darkness of the auditorium who had been compelled to book two seats—one for himself, and one for his bucket of popcorn, having gone for the “large.”
The Food Standards Agency (FSA), which has been reorganised by the government with the aim of rendering it ineffective, was concerned about the amount of saturated fat, sugar and salt we were consuming from snack foods. It was also worried, to a lesser extent,…