The Guardian informs us that in future parents of British schoolchildren will receive official letters telling them if their children are obese, to raise their awareness of their children's weight and urge them to develop a healthy lifestyle.
This great idea has already raised a minor storm in a plastic beaker for high-calorie soft drinks. Because of course ministers won't call fat children obese because that's a nasty word and might prove counterproductive to this particular public health project:
Ministers do not want the word "obese" to be used in the letters home after research found it "shuts people down" to addressing their child's weight.
Would someone please explain to me what the TV-shrink phrase "shuts people down" means in proper English? When the hell did Webster's Dictionary become Winfrey's Dictionary?
And might that whole "shutting down" thing have to do with some parents actually not knowing what "obese" means? Maybe they think it means willowy, slender, slim, slight or svelte, and so everything is okay, really, with Kevin or Tiffany Walrus?
And at the same time: are people really deemed so stupid that they can't tell a fat kid from a not so fat one?
Want pictures? Have pictures!
[Macabre UPDATE here.]