Tuesday, June 16, 2009

We're all a bunch of fucking fatties.



From "Mother’s Fight Against Junk Food Puts a School on Edge" in The New York Times HERE.

And then you have to read THIS, which was published in the UK last month about her.



Full NY Times article:

MeMe Roth, a publicist and an Upper West Side mother of two, is getting really, really mad — “and I do not mean angry,” she clarified. “I mean mad, like crazy.” Ms. Roth is being driven mad by Public School 9, where her children are in second and fourth grades, and it seems that P.S. 9, in turn, is being driven mad by Ms. Roth.

Ms. Roth, who runs a group called National Action Against Obesity, has no problem with the school lunches provided at the highly regarded elementary school on Columbus Avenue and 84th Street. What sets her off is the junk food served on special occasions: the cupcakes that come out for every birthday, the doughnuts her children were once given in gym, the sugary “Fun-Dip” packets that some parent provided the whole class on Valentine’s Day.

“I thought I was sending my kid to P.S. 9, not Chuck E. Cheese,” Ms. Roth, a trim, impassioned 40-year-old from Atlanta, said in an interview. “Is there or is there not an obesity and diabetes epidemic in this country?”

When offered any food at school other than the school lunch, Ms. Roth’s children — who shall go nameless since it seems they have enough on, or off, their plates — are instructed to deposit the item into a piece of Tupperware their mother calls a “junk food collector.”

This solution seemed to be working pretty well until Ms. Roth’s daughter dutifully tried to stick a juice pop — a special class treat from her teacher on a hot day — into her plastic container. The teacher told Ms. Roth’s daughter to eat it or lose it, and according to the child pointed out that she had seen the young girl eating the corn chips served with school lunch — did that not count as junk food?

This prompted one of Ms. Roth’s infamous heated e-mail messages to the school. Which, in turn, prompted administrators to pull her daughter out of class to discuss the juice pop incident, which only further infuriated Ms. Roth, who said her daughter felt as if she’d been ambushed.

What followed was the kind of meeting in which bureaucracy masquerades as farce, or maybe it’s the other way around. Ms. Roth and her husband, Ben, say they were told by Helene Moffatt, a school safety official, that if they considered the regular dissemination of junk food a threat to their children’s health and safety — and indeed, they do — they should request a health and safety transfer, something that generally follows threats of violence. That transfer request, they were told, would also require filing a complaint with the police.

“What would that conversation even sound like?” asked Mr. Roth, who works in marketing. “ ‘We know you guys are dealing with stabbings and shootings, but stop everything: We have a cupcake situation’ ?”

Both parents left feeling they were being pushed out of P.S. 9, which they perceive as exhausted by Ms. Roth’s intense lobbying for, among other things, permission slips for any food not on the official lunch menu. It would not be the first time: The Roths previously lived in Millburn, N.J., where, after Ms. Roth waged war on the bagels and Pringles meal served to kids at lunch, received e-mail from one member of the P.T.A. that said, “Please, consider moving.” That was in 2006, and P.S. 9 has been hearing about its transgressions against healthy eating pretty much ever since.

“The community is very concerned,” the principal, Diane Brady, wrote in an e-mail message. At the meeting with Ms. Moffatt, Ms. Brady said that Ms. Roth “was hostile” and “threw candy onto the table and cursed.” It was not the first time, she added, that Ms. Roth had “displayed this hostile behavior.”

Ms. Roth’s message is hardly outlandish: There is an obesity epidemic, and there are probably better ways to celebrate a child’s birth than sending a passel of kids into sugar shock in the middle of math class.

Her extreme methods have earned her attention before: The police were called to a Y.M.C.A. in 2007 when she absconded with the sprinkles and syrups on a table where members were being served ice cream. That was Ms. Roth who called Santa Claus fat on television that Christmas, and she has a continuing campaign against the humble Girl Scout cookies, on the premise that no community activity should promote unhealthy eating.

“She has some valid points, but the way she delivers them is abrasive,” said Jim Stanek, a fellow P.S. 9 parent, who responded angrily to an e-mail message Ms. Roth sent to around 75 parents saying that the physical education teacher who served her children doughnuts probably “couldn’t pass a standardized phys ed. test.”

It is too bad that Ms. Roth’s suggestions come in e-mail messages strung with too many capital letters and undiplomatic, if accurate, scare tactics (on the threat of diabetes—“we’re talking amputations, blindness, endless finger pricking, endless disabilities”). It would probably benefit New York’s students, and no doubt Ms. Roth’s family, if she tried to catch a few flies with honey. Make that agave nectar.



***

I am a little irritated that the Times didn't really give enough backstory on the whole thing. It seems like Elle tells the better story HERE,

From Elle: "...She has since relocated to New York City, where, she says, nutrition standards in public school are among the best in the country and she no longer has to deal with those 'undersexed PTO-fraus.'" (That made me laugh.)

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think I read somewhere that she didn't eat all day basically. She seems a bit psycho. Yes, we should be concerned about what food we are giving our children. But I think hating on fat people isn't a solution either. I'm a size 14 and I eat really well and healthy and exercise and have good blood pressure and all that but in medical terms I'm overweight. So...it's not all cut and dry as overweight = unhealthy, thin = healthy

Jesselyn said...

Yeah...crazy psycho bitch. If she really doesn't want her children to be given 'bad' food at special events, why doesn't she just ask teachers to notify her when they will happen so she can send a healthy treat for her kids, or ask the parent providing the treats to provide something healthier for her kids at least, or the whole class if they are so inclined? This woman would be getting a lot further if she weren't so abrasive to the school/PTA.

Anonymous said...

I definitely think this situation would be better served if this woman perhaps made a healthier snack for the entire class on one of the children's birthday's or at another special event.

But I also think it's important to note that in general a child's metabolism works differently from an adults. Is it possible that the recent "epidemic" of childhood obesity is caused by the fact that children simply don't have time to play anymore? They can't play outside because they're too busy training for the beginning of the rest of their lives so to speak. Maybe if we just stepped back a little and gave kids some time to just be kids, the obesity problem could largely take care of itself

Anonymous said...

I wonder if she ever put her husband's dick in her mouth?

NIKKISS08 said...

I bet she's so crazy because she's hungry.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, but she probably didn't swallow. That's like 4 Weight Watchers points.

Anonymous said...

girl scout cookies don't make people fat. 10 boxes of girl scout cookies consumed by one person very quickly makes people fat. oy.

Anonymous said...

Agree with anon 5:52. The issue with kids is the lack of exercise. My generation ate the very same crap, but we were no where near as fat. We went outside to play. Because there were three channels, boring Atari and NOTHING ELSE TO DO.

I had neighbors when I lived in NH 14 years ago who refused to allow their 7 children to eat candy. EVER. So the kids would steal it any chance they got. My daughter was two at the time, I vowed to never forbid anything (within reason, of course). We never bought our kids the video games, and we encouraged fitness through fun activities and play. She is 16 now and the fittest, healthiest cheerleader on her squad.

I don't know why, but after reading all three article, this lady creeps me out.

Anonymous said...

FOUR Weight Watcher points?!

Shit.

Mrs. Limestone said...

Yea, her kids are going to be so well adjusted. NOT!

Anonymous said...

Can we just talk about the hair? Shorter layers, woman. Shorter layers.

iona said...

My kids lived on fast food shit until, well, forever. They're now 26 and 29 and doin' just fine Thank you! College grads, brains intact and not FATTYS.

Rose said...

I take issue not with her concerns about her children's diet (which are valid), but with her chosen method of expressing her concerns. Her comment in the Elle article: "You know, I don't really like confrontation. It stresses me out," made me laugh out loud. She obviously loves confrontation AND the publicity she's garnered, or else she wouldn't continue down this path. As other commenters have mentioned, there are other, less confrontational ways to go about ensuring her kids don't get access to junk food behind her back.

She's a PR professional, so no surprise that she's taken this beyond her family into the mainstream media, changed her name (I think MeMe is pretty appropriate), and has fashioned herself as an authority on the issue, no matter that her dietary habit of fasting is hardly ideal.

Great topic Decorno!

rerun said...

SHIT. she's from atlanta. as if we don't have enough image issues...sigh. sorry, but we southerners can take that kind of thing personally.

√Čtienne said...

I disagree with her tactics and especially with her utilitarian approach to food (I think taking time to prepare good meals and appreciate well-sourced produce breeds good eating habits), but her message doesn't seem that crazy (in the Elle article, at least. The UK one paints a different picture).

Obviously the obese shouldn't be shamed and stigmatised, but it is a global epidemic that needs to be dealt with and she deserves credit for bringing attention to problems with food labelling etc. It just seems that as a very driven woman, she could accomplish so much more by focussing her attention on the bigger issues and less on personal attacks and classroom cupcakes.

Anonymous said...

Women have become so horrible in recent years--so many anger junkies, like this chick and Kate Gosselin and Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin and all the hideous Real Housewives... We've become a culture of chronically enraged females.

Depressing.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please. That's not a chick thing. Let's see... Alec Baldwin, O' Reilly, Dick Cheney. them some angry dudes.

Anonymous said...

One month before an Italian vacation and this is what's on Decorno's mind.

As official Grand Vizier of Homoland, let me assure Dearest Decorno that the Italians will be looking at her tits. Keep the twins fed, hydrated and glowy. Don't fuck up a vacation with a hunger strike.

As for MeMe, she's picked the worst possible time for this crusade. Food is the one affordable comfort in these uncomfortable times. Remove it and your going to have a bunch of angry fatties wailing on your brittle ass.

She's right about the HFCS; I get moobs just thinking about bread - shit is loaded with HFCS.

Decorno said...

Oh god, I couldn't hunger-strike if I tried. Trust me.

Lolo said...

She's got valid points and serious issues.

Those emails of hers read like little bon bons of compassionate tact, I'm sure.

If she really gave a black bean fart about rampant obesity, she would use some of that activism of hers to help poor people gain more convenient access to fresh and healthy foods instead of fast food chains. The rich can be as fat as they want. They have health insurance and can fly first class where the seats are roomy and wear silk muu muus to boot. It's the poor who are prisoners of high fructose corn syrup, transfats, refined flours and few safe venues for physical activty. No affordable health clubs in the inner city or the boondocks, I'm thinking.

MeMe can kiss my size 2 ass after she checks it for cellulite.

s. said...

Her name, MeMe, is apt. The only name that could possibly suit her any better would be MeMeMeMeMe.

In a society where junk food is widely available, it seems a better lesson to teach youngsters to enjoy an occasional cup cake or ice cream bar as part of a balanced diet than to create all sorts of weird emotions and taboos surrounding them.

I'd be furious if I were another parent at this school; all this time and energy wasted on dealing with one woman's rage when there's a whole school-full of kids who need to be educated.

When I was little, a girl in my class had a mom who was a health food cookbook author/ tv personality. The mom or dad quietly had a meeting at the beginning of every school year with our homeroom teacher, explaining that they didn't want their daughter eating cake and candy, and the teachers complied and there was no fuss or muss. I think that this was the appropriate way to deal with this kind of issue.

Anonymous said...

all i can say is: poor kids.

And thanks for the 4 weight watcher points! All the bf and husbands of women reading this blog will wonder why their women have suddenly stopped swalloying!

Anonymous said...

This woman is wrong in so many ways. The fact that she eats so unhealthily (starving herself all day) makes her insane meddling and insistence that everybody else eat nutritiously utterly irrational.

MaryBeth said...

Instead of every kid having to suffer by not being allowed treats, maybe her kids should be told to not eat any. This is not like an allergy where they have no say. Each person needs to be responsible for themselves instead of making it everybody else's problem. MB

Cristina said...

She's the Ann Coulter of food.
But she makes a valid point - her delivery just sucks.

She exercises. She eats healthy foods. And 1600 calories a day isn't starving yourself if you're eating the right kinds of calories.
3 cups of green beans = 240 calories.

I think she's just the one person who is SO offensive that will jumpstart this issue and bring it home. I think her methods are TERRIBLE.

As for the icecream incident at the YMCA. Come on. That's just mean to do that to people who just lost 5 gallons of sweat. I wonder if those overweight ladies serving icecream are the same people who observe their exercising friends and say "She was so much nicer when she was fat."

Alicia B. Designs said...

This woman is CERTIFIABLY insane and this Times article didn't do that aspect of her justice. I just feel so bad for her daughters. They're incredibly screwed.

Anonymous said...

Tie her down and force feed her marshmallow whip and hot fudge sauce.

Anonymous said...

A food fascist. Oh joy.

Kwana said...

She is a hot mess. She has some points but she is so wrong on so many other points not taking into consideration that people come in many shapes and sizes and not all can be skinny.
She was on GMA this morning you can watch her here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA

My mouth was hanging open. I felt so sorry for my kids. My teenage son can in and saw her and said mom I'd kill myself if that was my mom. Of course he was laughing when he said it but part of it was real. What must her kids be going through having to move because of their mom?

I may have to borrow this topic from you.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if David had hit her car.

Jirayu said...

yeah! imagine if David has given her kids candies or popsicles.
i'm size 2 or 4 and i've never considered cupcake a junk food!
we are all gonna die, might as well live a little... the only substance our bodies crave for is sugar. if you don't modestly give sugar to the kids, they'll constantly crave for it.
how can her husband not realize that she's crazy?

Anonymous said...

"The Ann Coulter of food"!!!

Damn that is good.

calculations said...

As nice as it is that she's advocating healthy eating, one wonders what her true definition of "healthy" is. She may not be an anorexic, but after reading those articles, I get the impression that she definitely has some sort of eating disorder.

...but it's nice to know about those 4 Weight Watchers points. Guess I'll have to cut out that afternoon pudding cup!

S. said...

what if it was a sugar-free vegan glutenless cupcake flavored with organic cacao?

'cause my soon-to-be roommate can make some killer chocolate cupcakes.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, no wonder she doesn't live in the south anymore! This lady needs to get herself to Athens for some Weaver D's STAT.

The Countess of Nassau County said...

I feel for any PTA member or teacher that has had to deal with this nut case.

Basically this issue has become the bullhorn with which she can scream at the world. She does not really care who she insults or humiliates along the way, as long as she gets her daily fix of rage and superiority.

Condo Blues said...

I appreciate that she's seen the effects of obesity first hand in her family memebers. I understand that as a mom she wants her kids to eat well. However, the way that she's going about it seems to do more harm than good and possible give the people she's harrassing some serious body images issues and eating disorders. Not or barely eating all day keeps you thin but doesn't teach you to HOW to eat heathly and well.

Anonymous said...

What a selfish piece of shit this woman is. She got exactly what I'm sure she's really wanted all along, attention for herself. With all of these magazine/newspaper articles and television interviews, has it really changed a fuckin' thing? NO. So let's see what she has managed to accomplish, attention for herself and ruining her children's lives. Do you think those kids have friends or get invited to parties? So now not only do they have food issues they have social ones too.

Anonymous said...

PSYCHO... I bet her husband is cheating on her with a size 12 woman!... jijijijiji....

Anonymous said...

I actually like MeMe. She's totally right about the obesity and diabetes problem. Skinny may not = healthy but fat never = healthy. Fat people always talk about how their blood pressure is fine, they're in great health, yada yada yada... (isn't this what Starr Jones kept saying before she has the gastric bypass?) but I'm telling you, just BEING fat means you are not healthy. It is hard on your bones and all your organs, including your heart (which has to work harder), your back, your feet. Fat people act like the medical community falsely created the notion that being overweight is unhealthy. This isn't a rant hating on fat folks... it's just the plain truth of the matter. Our society is so worried about being PC it's allowing people to kill themselves with food and a sedentary lives. Stop the excuses and feel good marketing... being fat is unhealthy and obesity is an epidemic that needs to be addressed.

According to Lia said...

OK, I go on, but supposing you couldn't work out until four o'clock in the afternoon - would you not eat until after that?

"I might."

I look at my watch. It's 3.30pm. Alarm bells start to ring in my head. How about today, I ask. Have you eaten at all today?

Roth is a little quiet.

"No," she says.

There is a pause.

"But I feel great!"

-Guardian/Observer interview.

This woman has no business talking about health. She is thin because she starves herself. What a terrible example to set for her children. I am not fat, and my family is thin. I feel like I learned my healthy eating habits from them, but there's the rub...it includes EATING. What a stroppy cow. Also, I am a firm believer that women who don't eat and view the sensual pleasure of a really good meal with suspicion have terrible sex lives. If you can't let yourself go with some chocolate cake, chances are you don't know how to have a good time between the sheets either. I am a happy healthy size 6, at 5'8" I would have to literally starve myself to be a size 2 and I say fuck it, I going to have my cake and eat it too.

According to Lia said...

“People are sometimes disappointed in me because I’m not an Alice Waters foodie-type,” she says. “I’m trying to emphasize the utilitarian aspect of food and keep it in its place. I think we should stop fetishizing it,” she adds, getting warmed up. “I think we need to just put the food away.”

-Elle Interview

It just gets better and better. What a distinctly American point of view. It is no wonder that this country has the highest obesity and the highest levels of eating disorders simultaneously. Food is either treated as the cure-all for every bad day, or a suspicious substance to consume sparingly as fuel. In France, where people enjoy butter, cheese, meat, and desserts in moderation most people are thin. What a miserable human being. She probably can't cook and obviously doesn't enjoy eating, no palate for flavor or quality...basically white trash on a lifetime diet.

Jesse Lu said...

get a new fight meme roth. yeesh!

David said...

You know she's got vodka and Milk Duds hidden all over the house.

Anonymous said...

As a recovered anorexic, I think that her children are at terrible risk of developing anorexia when they're teenagers. There's a strong pattern of anorexia patients whose mothers are control freaks about food. This woman is textbook.

She should do some research into that before she decides to have her daughter publicly shamed for eating a juice pop.

Anonymous said...

"People are sometimes disappointed in me because I’m not an Alice Waters foodie-type." No. I hate Alice fuckin' Waters, too.

Anonymous said...

Lolo gets Best Comment award. It's the poor who have the biggest problems with obesity and bad eating.

Daniel B. said...

my mom and my sister are both teachers and have to deal with finicky parents every year and some can be total nazi's but nowhere near as p-s-y-c-h-o psycho as this biatch! i read her elle interview back in january when it came out and was just thrown aback at how idiotic this lady is. i seriously understand where she's coming from (obesity is pretty apparent in my family and i struggle with it on a daily basis) but you don't have to be such a damn nazi and spew your bile on other people. there's ways to make your point without being a wanna-be anne coulter. ick. this lady gets no props in my book.

Anonymous said...

While I understand that there is an obesity problem, this woman seems to really not be addressing the health concerns. While being obese is always unhealthy, there have been numerous studies that say that people who are somewhat overweight but exercise and eat healthy (maybe just eat too much healthy food) are actually HEALTHIER than skinny people who don't exercise. I totally agree with the person who was talking about poverty and poor quality food. That is what needs to be addressed. Also, the fatter people get, the skinnier the "ideal" body is. It is getting to the point that you see people who are either very large or very tiny and not so many people who are in between and healthy looking, and this woman is part of the problem, not the solution. Your kid can have a girl scout cookie now and again, dammit, just make them play outside and put daily PE back in schools.

Anonymous said...

I am final, I am sorry, but, in my opinion, it is obvious.