From a letter to the editor in suburban Pittsburgh:
In the Feb. 26 issue of the Daily Courier there was a report that Alexander's Pizza and Subs in Mt. Pleasant prepared a 12-pound pizza, which was offered to two young men who were challenged to consume the pie within one hour ("Alexander the Great tops pizza eaters once again").
In due respect to your editorial staff and Alexander's Pizza and Subs, it will be well for our citizenry to recognize the seriousness of health problems that evolve from self-abusive eating disorders.
Since 1987, the National Eating Disorders Association designated the last week in February as National Eating Disorders Week. It is a nonprofit organization, and its purpose is to prevent eating disorders. Through the promotion of healthful eating habits and a healthful body image, this creditable association is increasing public awareness of the need for proper eating habits.
Though our God-given bodies are temporary vessels, we shall live longer and enjoy wholeness of mind, body and spirit by honoring God and taking proper care of that which has been entrusted to us.
The Rev. Marvin C. Watson
The writer is pastor of Pennsville and Pleasant Hill United Methodist churches.
Perhaps it's of little moment, or akin to a cry in the wilderness, but this letter stood out to me because, so far as I know, he's not a professional advocate on the issue, but he still has the sensitivity to see all the potential effects of joyful gluttony.
Can you imagine if it was a bar, stoking so-called harmless fun by offering up the five-gallon jug of Bud with the challenge, "I bet you can't finish it!" I don't think the newspaper would be engaging in conspiratorial merriment thern. No, it is not the same thing, but it is not unrelated. For millions of Americans, overeating is not a victimless diversion, but a serious health threat.
No, really. If you don't get that yet, it's OK. I think you will see it eventually. And if/when you do, you'll see that a newspaper's yucking up such events might be a misstep.