Sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org (author), email@example.com (co-publisher), firstname.lastname@example.org (co-publisher), email@example.com (editor)
I am certain that you have received many letters and/or e-mails in regard to your "Banning the Obese from Restaurants?" column. I decided, after being utterly shocked and outraged at your words, to respond to you personally.
In this column, if you were going to for shocking sensationalism, congratulations, you succeeded. If you were going for a well thought out and educated debate over the unfair treatment of smokers, you failed. If you were going for a well thought out and educated discussion over obesity in the USA and what to do about it, you failed. If you were going for a well thought out and/or educated article at all, you failed. Miserably, I might add.
The attempt to compare the dangers of obesity to the dangers of smoking in an environmental sense is absurd. There are numerous documented cases of second hand smoke from smokers causing many health problems, including cancer and emphysema. I challenge you to find a single documented case of excess insulin from an obese person escaping and forcing itself into an innocent bystander, causing them to become obese. I do not believe such a case can be found on file.
All joking aside. Did you ever stop to consider the reasons for obesity other than "they eat too much."? What about diabetes? What about thyroid conditions like Hypothyroidism? What about heritage? Would you tell someone from Samoa or Alaska that they need to 'quit eating so much' despite their genetic predisposition of carrying what many consider to be excess weight?
At the age of 35, my own mother literally had to have her throat slit open so the doctors could remove a nodule growing on her thyroid and half of her thyroid as well. She is on medication to help synthesize the hormones that the thyroid produces. Because of this, she is unable to stay at a low weight range. The weight range her body sets as 'comfortable' is considered obese.
Are you telling me that because my mother had to have thyroid surgery twenty years ago that she should not be allowed in restaurants? Are you seriously telling me this?
Finally, Ms. Zilizi, I have to admit that I am concerned at the tone of hatred and anger you have in this article. Hatred of this sort often stems from fear and self esteem issues. I could go into this a bit more but, I suspect, if you are still reading this email, you really couldn't care less about what sources I site to back up my supposition. So, I will just leave it at this suggestion - maybe you should seek counseling to deal with these extreme anger and self esteem issues. (If I'm wrong, email me back. I'll give you plenty of reading material and resources to investigate.)
The rest of this e-mail is directed at the publishing and editorial staff of the Central Florida Future publication. (I'm putting it here because I believe that Ms. Zilizi has a right to know what I am saying about her to her Editor and Publisher.)
I am shocked and dismayed that the editorial and publishing staff allowed this column to be published. There are no facts backing up Ms. Zilizi's supposition that obesity is as harmful to the environment as smoking is. If Ms. Zilizi's article topic was supposed to be discussing what she considers to be unfair practices against smokers, the absurd comparison to obesity as an environmental hazard should never have been made. If she had made her comparisons against drinking, there would have been a much more tangible, if oblique, correlation. (IE: Documented facts backing up the dangers and results of alcohol consumption on bystanders.)
Shame on you all for not sending this column back to be rewritten. I fully believe in freedom of the press, but, at the same time, I fully believe in responsible journalism. Allowing this column to go to press, as is, was nothing short of sensational journalism worthy of only the most outrageous tabloid rags. Whether or not this column 'reflects only the opinion of Ms Zilizi,' her vile and revolting words still do reflect on Central Florida Future publication. This column has stained your entire publication with its absurd and hateful message.
I strongly urge the editorial and publication staff of the Central Florida Future to bar Ms. Zilizi from any future articles until she can demonstrate a working knowledge of acceptable comparisons between the issues, the ability to back up her work with documented facts and to present her work in a more professional tone of voice.
Thank you for your time and attention.
QA Engineer and Contributor to Black Gate, Games Unplugged and Campaign magazines