Life Advice



Ask Amy: ‘Best of’ column concerns weight gain

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

So, as a person who sympathizes with those writers, I'd like to know what helpful suggestion (aside from, in this case, telling Hal he really is shallow) or resource there is for those of us who feel this way about obese people but, apparently, shouldn't.

Overweight people have a huge impact not only on their own health, but also on those they have relationships with, as well as on the greater society and our health care system. Yet it is considered anathema to voice negative feelings about them.

– B in Colorado

Dear B: If lecturing, challenging, or voicing negative feelings were proven to have an impact on overweight people, forcing them into a health journey, then I'd say go for it. Unfortunately, it doesn't. (And, I need to add, not all overweight people are unhealthy.)

The Al-Anon model might work for family members of food-addicted people.

This is about loving detachment and accepting that you cannot make choices for your loved ones. But "Shallow Hal,'' the guy who wrote to me griping about his girlfriend putting on a few pounds, while he was so awesome?


He was just shallow. And there's no cure for that.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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