Food is generally regarded by bodybuilders not as an experience of organic and sensual enjoyment, but as fuel or a substance which contributes to the achievement of a particular physical goal. Bodyfat, in “fitness culture”, is the physical manifestation of overindulgence. Eating, for many people in this culture, is something to be brought under control, and to be done within a clearly defined regimen of bodily discipline.
Enjoyment of food and control of the body are thought to be incompatible; after all, who gets brown rice and lentil cravings? Thus, if the pleasure of eating is antithetical to control of the body, it stands to reason that foods deemed appropriate for “health” goals must be-symbolically or actually-separate from those kinds of foods which are enjoyable.
Fat has become an obsession in North American society. As a society, we revile fat people, we eat too much fat but profess adherence to low-fat diets, we say some fats are bad but others are good (and this designation changes regularly), and we buy products that are fake fat or supposed to absorb fat (or suck the fat out of our bodies… as if). Many people, especially women, fear and avoid all fat in hopes of staying slim. In other words, we don’t have a clue about fat. There is so much confusion about fat that I could write 32 volumes of the Encyclopedia Fatannica about it.
Consider this your helpful Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Fat Galaxy. And, just like Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the words “DON’T PANIC” are written on the front.