Monday, 19 March 2018

Different ways of doing things. Fooling a Fitbit.

There used to be, probably still are, restaurants in the UK which did not have a licence to serve alcohol but which were happy for you to take a bottle of wine along. They would loan you glasses so that you could have a drink along with your meal. We went a couple of times to an Indian restaurant in Tooting where we took cans of beer along with us.

Yesterday we did things the other way around. We went to a bar that my Spanish sister and her family have frequented for years and years. Everyone in the party took along something to eat as the bar does not serve food any longer. The owner of the bar was quite happy with the arrangement, especially as we took paper plates and plastic forks. Tortilla espaƱola - the classic Spanish potato omelette, a rice omelette my sister had made - an interesting idea I had never come across before, using up leftover rice and adding chorizo and onion and garlic, slices of cheese, a variety of potato salads; we had quite a feast!

Later we walked into town for coffee and were served the inevitable pile of churros to go with them. I will eat almost anything, but churros just do nothing for me at all. I suppose it would not do for us all to love the same things.

I am not walking as far or as fast here as I do in other places. Maybe it’s the company I am keeping. My poor Fitbit is confused and keep reminding me to get up and move around to meet the target of so many steps an hour and such like. Mind you, the Fitbit is easy to fool. The other day I spent ten to fifteen minutes kicking a soft ball to and fro with my Spanish great-nephew and the Fitbit decided I had met my exercise target for the day. Poor confused gadget.

I read about a Fitbit wristband called Fitbit Ace which has been launched for children over eight. It will feature “reminders” for them to get active, undertake family step-challenges and also monitor sleep patterns. Do children really need a gadget to remind them to run around? And those who need reminding, will they take notice?

But apparently a third of children between two and fifteen in the UK are overweight or obese so maybe such a gadget for children is needed. How did we get to such a situation? However, as the writer of the article pointed out,

“ Children are already bombarded with harmful messages about body image. Overweight kids are teased. Normal-sized girls feel that they should be on strict diets. Even young boys are succumbing to anorexia.”

The writer concluded: “Do children need what amounts to a “fat-shaming toy”?”

There is even a new kind of anorexia called orthorexia, anorexia which hides behind an obsession with health and fitness.

Such are the problems of the modern age!

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