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Americans are born and bred on famous products like Big Macs, Slurpees and Cheetos, to the point that junk food has been elevated to an art form. But in this age of political correctness, is mocking fat people a good idea?

美国人是在巨无霸,思乐冰(雪碧)和奇多等著名产品上出生和繁殖的,以至于垃圾食品已被提升为一种艺术形式。但是在这个政治正确的时代,嘲笑胖子是个好主意吗?

As an American living abroad, it’s hard not to feel a sense of shame when the United States looks bad, really bad, on the world stage. It’s even worse when we crush the world stage to splinters just by standing on it. Yet, as citizens of the so-called ‘indispensable nation,’ we rarely admit to our faults, or allow outsiders to draw attention to them. Indeed, America’s sense of self-worth and gift of navel-gazing is world renowned, which is very ironic since many of us are so fat we can’t find our navels.

作为一个生活在国外的美国人,当美国在世界舞台上看起来很糟糕,真的很糟糕时,很难不感到羞耻。更糟糕的是,当我们仅仅站在世界舞台上,就将世界舞台压塌了。然而,作为这个所谓“不可或缺的国家”的公民,我们很少承认自己的错误,也很少让外人注意到自己的错误。的确,美国人的自我价值感和凝视肚脐的天赋举世闻名,这非常具有讽刺意味,因为我们很多人都太胖了,以至于找不到肚脐。



At this point, however, I had to pause and rethink my criticism. Was this individual suffering from some sort of chronic disease that made losing weight impossible? Perhaps he was suffering from a thyroid affliction. Another possible explanation was that this guy was suffering from deep depression, maybe due to some profound personal tragedy, and his only relief came through the ‘coping mechanism’ of consuming food. Or maybe he was simply living out his life exactly the way he wanted to, without any regrets, and despite the fact that it required him to use an electric buggy to get around town. He may justify his condition by saying, ‘It’s my business how I live my life, leave me alone.’

然而,在这一点上,我不得不停下来反思我的批评。这个人是否患有某种慢性疾病,使得减肥成为不可能?也许他患有甲状腺疾病。另一种可能的解释是,这名男子患有严重的抑郁症,可能是由于某种深刻的个人悲剧,而他唯一的解脱来自于进食的“应对机制”。或许他只是过着自己想要的生活,没有任何遗憾,尽管他需要使用一辆电动婴儿车才能在城里四处走动。他可能会为自己的处境辩解说:“我怎么生活是我的事,别管我。”

Yet, such a carefree attitude doesn’t make the problem any less worrisome for the US government. The New York Times recently summed up America’s health crisis in two words: “our food.” In fact, poor diet – not guns, terrorism or car accidents – is the leading cause of mortality in the US.

然而,这种无忧无虑的态度丝毫没有减轻美国政府对这一问题的担忧。《纽约时报》最近用两个词总结了美国的健康危机:“我们的食物。“事实上,在美国,导致死亡的主要原因不是枪支、恐怖主义或车祸,而是饮食不良。

The total economic cost of obesity, when cardiovascular disease ($351 billion) and diabetes ($327 billion) are factored in, comes out to an estimated $1.72 trillion annually, or 9.3 percent of gross domestic product.

如果将心血管疾病(3,510亿美元)和糖尿病(3,270亿美元)计算在内,肥胖的总经济成本估计为每年1.72万亿美元,相当于国内生产总值(gdp)的9.3%。

Those mind-blowing stats are placing a huge strain on the US healthcare industry at a time when sick and obese alike are struggling to pay their hefty medical bills. As healthcare costs rise in direct proportion to the increase in obesity rates, who is going to pick up the tab?

在病人和肥胖者都难以支付高额医疗账单之际,这些令人震惊的数据给美国医疗行业带来了巨大压力。随着医疗成本与肥胖率成正比增长,谁来买单呢?



So, now it appears that the US is confronting a dire situation that could be considered nothing less than a real national emergency. Yet, due to the stifling atmosphere of political correctness, even mentioning the name of the problem has become taboo.
Will Americans be willing to listen to discussions about the hazards connected to overeating, or will such efforts go the way of Michelle Obama’s school lunch programs? Will corporations become more proactive and start offering healthier food options to consumers? Would McDonald’s go out of business if they went the vegan route? Or perhaps a tax increase on high-calorie products, like sugary soda drinks, will curb America’s seemingly insatiable desire for unhealthy foods? Thus far, such governments efforts for addressing the problem have met with mixed results.

因此,现在看来,美国正面临着一种可怕的局面,这完全可以被视为一个真正的国家紧急状态。然而,由于政治正确性令人窒息的气氛,甚至提到这个问题的名字都成了禁忌。
美国人会愿意倾听有关暴饮暴食的危害的讨论,还是会像米歇尔•奥巴马的学校午餐计划那样努力?企业会变得更加积极主动,开始向消费者提供更健康的食品选择吗?如果麦当劳走素食路线,他们会破产吗?或者对高热量产品,如含糖苏打饮料增税,将抑制美国人对不健康食品似乎永不满足的欲望?迄今为止,各国政府为解决这一问题所作的努力收到了好坏参半的结果。

In the end, will comics like Bill Maher, who think that ‘fat shaming’ people back into shape is a great idea, have the last laugh? Is this the only way to make a fiercely PC culture heed vital advice, when it is delivered like bitter medicine in a heaping spoonful of unabashed and tasteless criticism? If all else fails, America may be in for a revolt against political correctness in order to save it from ultimate physical collapse.

最后,像比尔•马赫这样的喜剧家会笑到最后吗?当它像一汤匙苦药一样在毫不掩饰和无味的批评中传递时,这是使激烈的政治正确文化遵循重要建议的唯一方法吗?如果其他所有措施都失败了,美国可能会发动反抗政治正确性的行动,以使其免于最终的自然崩溃。