Thursday, May 6, 2021

Dear Ethicist: Overeating

"Gourmands" by Krzysztof Lubienicki (1659-1729)

Dear Ethicist: I'm an avid overeater and I’m gaining a lot of weight. The problem is that eating is all I like to do. I have been this way all my life. In fact, a kid I knew in elementary school once rebuked me for talking about food all the time, by asking, “is eating all you like to do?” I had a brief respite when all I could think about was sex, but now it’s food. I feel badly since this obsession can impact those around me. For one I take up lots of room in bed. Secondly, my wife has accused me of becoming so narrowcasted in my gluttony that I’ve lost interest in things like theater and dance. Thirdly, I hog everyone else's food. I used to look at eating as a reward after attending some boring cultural event, but now I don’t want to take the time out for the opera, even if it’s Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”  We are losing friends because many people are trying to diet and lead healthy life styles and I’m a bad influence. I used to look at myself like a joyous ribald 18th century aristocrat, with my joint of beef in hand. However, I'm beginning to fear that my lifestyle may not only be off-putting, but immoral.




Dear Overeater: You’re not sick (in the head), though I imagine you must get the occasional stomach ache due to your need to devour. You’re a pig. I had a friend like you who ate too much and developed a snout. I think if you’re an addictive personality, which you plainly are, you may be better off going back to sex—which is good exercise and actually helps people to lose weight. I’d echo the sentiment of your elementary school pal when it comes to eating. Is that all your interested in?

Dear Ethicist: Right now yes.

"Read It's Not a Rehearsal" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

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