Saturday, May 26, 2018

On the Supposed Fatness of Spaniards

I have just remembered that blogging involves reading the Guardian.

Thisarticle says that Mediterraneans are the fattest people in Europe, naming Spain specifically. I find this very odd, because I don’t know where all these fat people are.

Not only do I live in the south of Spain, but I interact daily with large numbers of teenagers and young people (I was very bad in a previous life, I suspect) and very few of them are fat. Casting an eye over the groups I was teaching this morning, sizing them up as it were, I don’t think one in ten, one in twenty, could even be described as slightly fat, let alone obese. Chatting breezily with colleagues, the number of children we might refer to as ‘that fat one’, is very small indeed. In the street, also, by way of experiment, I tried applying the first adjective that came to mind to those I passed, and ‘fat’ crossed my mind very rarely.

I also know that, to my students, eating fruit is a natural and enjoyable thing, we have conversations about which are their favourites, which is hard to imagine with English children, and most of them play some kind of spot regularly, again, it is a natural thing to do.

On the other hand, I visit England most summers and I am always struck by how big people (and dogs) are. Bulging thighs and upper arms, flabby stomachs and wobbly jowls seem to be everywhere you look.

South Americans and gypsies tend to be big and flabby around the backside and the midriff, but there have always been gypsies here, and I doubt if the recent increase in South Americans is large enough to skew the figures that much.

So I declare myself non-plussed, but I offer these observations from the theatre of action anyway. Perhaps someone can shed some light.

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