"This ever-expanding national girth is a reflection of our over-tolerant attitude to fatness. It is a much more comfortable social experience to be fat in the UK or the US than it is in Europe. Call it body fascism if you like, but in Europe excessive weight gain, much like excessive drinking, is socially disapproved of.
In the UK, on the other hand, being fat is so common as to be acceptable, even expected. Indeed we live in the era of fat militancy, borrowed from the US, where clothes shops catering for teenagers are taken to task for not stocking previously unheard-of sizes upwards of extra large, and where the design of everything from toilet seats to bus aisles is rapidly being scaled up to cater for greatly enlarged dimensions."