BEAR ATTACK! (The Cucumber Vol. 1)

29 Jun

The Cucumber brings you Onion-style LGBT news in a more palatable, easy-to-swallow manner.

Bears Up In Arms Over New Dietary Guidelines

Bears are in an uproar over a recent publication advising Americans to follow a number of new personal health initiatives, which range from losing weight to reducing dietary sodium.

Last Tuesday, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), jointly formed under the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, released the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans to the public on their website. The nearly unreadable 700-page document is the latest iteration of a thirty-year old quinquennial publication that has aimed to provide Americans with the latest information on maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

What makes this year’s edition so controversial, however, is the DGAC’s decision to address what they call “an American public of whom the majority are overweight or obese.” Or, as a quick Babelfish translation from “Public Health” to “Gay” phrased it, “We’re talking to you, bears.”

While some laud this as an important step towards reversing the growth of the obesity epidemic in America, others see it as an attack towards those of a particular body type.

“I get that the DGAC is trying to address a major public health issue,” says Dominic Archer, founding member of the New York City-based bear social group Metrobears. “But labeling people as ‘unhealthy’ because they have and appreciate a fuller physique is just plain offensive.”

According to BLoGT’s own ACO, bears by definition are “stocky or heavy-set,” which puts them at the borderline-high body mass index (BMI) level between “booty-licious” and “Precious.” A high BMI is associated with an increased risk for contracting cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and cankles, a triumvirate syndrome better known as the Bear Trap.

BMI charts are constantly redesigned as new research emerges; indeed, the current and most widely accepted one within the scientific community has been based on the novel Push by Sapphire.

Lisa Crone, however, sees the DGAC’s guidelines more as an aesthetic critique than a public health advisory. Crone is a professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Bear Studies at UC Berkeley, and has observed the leather-bar-to-leather-bar migratory patterns of bears over the past two decades. Her research has shown that the natural, leather-bound environment that bears normally thrive in has become inhospitable due to the current negative social climate.

“Bears deal with an astonishing amount of discrimination from the public, and that has been a major factor to the sharp decline in their numbers over the past decade, even in nationally protected leather bars” she explains. “The claims of the DGAC further endanger these bears by legitimizing the mentality that they have no place in our thin-centric society.”

The DGAC admits that “a disconnect exists between dietary recommendations and what Americans actually consume,” but never has it seen such outrage and dismissal of its advice as it has with these bears. Dan Sanders, chair of the DGAC, has promised to meet with the bears and resolve this issue as soon as possible.

“The Dietary Guidelines were never meant to be offensive to anyone; they’re simply guidelines,” he said in a press release on Monday. “The last thing that we want to do is to discriminate against and disenfranchise members of our community, no matter how enormous and hairy they may be.”

Several notable bear-rights groups have recently released an open letter to the DGAC condemning their recommendations, blasting them as “discriminatory” and “prejudiced.”

Others have not taken as peaceful of a route in their dissent, as the DCAG headquarters have been vandalized several times in the past week with spray painted protests, including “Let Us Eat Cake!” and “Bears Are People Too.”

Though sympathetic to their cause, Sanders asserts that the nutrition advice is scientifically sound and does not warrant what he calls “these random bear attacks.”


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