|QUOTE ( ‘The Washington Post’)|
|CHICAGO -- Is it OK for doctors and parents to tell children and teens they're fat? That seems to be at the heart of a debate over whether to replace the fuzzy language favored by the U.S. government with the painful truth _ telling kids if they're obese or overweight.|
The diplomatic approach adopted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and used by many doctors avoids the word "obese" because of the stigma. The CDC also calls overweight kids "at risk of overweight."
So… let’s see here. The choice is, allow doctors to inform their patients when they are overweight or obese (which wasn’t an offensive term the last time I checked), or replace it with an inaccurate, euphemistic newspeak that completely mauls the rules of grammar.*
Hmmm, tough call.
So what’s the justification? Rather than the euphemisms the experts give, I’d rather quote the obese 17-year-old that is for some reason interviewed:
|Obese "sounds mean. It doesn't sound good," said Trisha Leu, 17, who thinks the proposed change is a bad idea.|
The Wheeling, Ill., teen has lost 60 pounds since March as part of an adolescent obesity surgery study at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
"When you're young, you don't understand what obese means," Leu said. "I still don't understand it."
I’ve got news for you Trisha: if you’re 17 years old and you don’t know what the word “obese” means, then I have another politically incorrect medical diagnosis for you: retarded.
It’s the same term I think most appropriate for anyone who thinks that doctors should be assisting their patients in evading the reality of their condition; for anyone who wants feelings to be put before reality. What’s next? Should we mandate that psychologists encourage the delusions of schizophrenics? How about when a patient has malignant cancer and must operate immediately or die? Better not tell him. You don’t want to hurt his feelings.
What’s that? How’s he going to know to go to a surgeon? Evading reality doesn’t work? Oh no. Now you’ve hurt the PC crowd’s feelings.
*”At risk of overweight” could mean one of two things. Either they’re at risk of becoming overweight, which is inaccurate, since this is a euphemism for those who are, in fact, overweight, or it means at risk of health problems from being overweight. Either way, it’s not even remotely grammatical.