A Norwegian travel writer has written a piece for the New York Times in which he labels Newfoundlanders obese after dining at a local restaurant.
The picturesque Canadian island of Newfoundland was the subject of travel writer Karl Ove Knausgaard’s piece in the New York Times, covering his travels through North America. And although he does make mention of the historical significance of the area, being where the Vikings settled, the charm of the area seems to escape him, as one thing in particular about Newfoundland takes away his attention.
“I knew nothing about the U.S., much less Canada. And my only observation thus far was that people here were fatter than back home. What was that if not the cliché about America?” Knausgaard wrote in the piece about his visit to local restaurant Jungle Jim’s in St. Anthony. “I had never seen people that fat before.”
“The strange thing was that none of them looked as if they were trying to hide their enormous girth; quite the opposite, several people were wearing tight T-shirts with their big bellies sticking out proudly.”
Unsurprisingly, the article didn’t go down too well with Newfoundland locals, who have been fighting back against Karl Ove Knausgaard’s comments on social media.
@CTVNews True or not, fat shaming is not a solution. He's a glorified bully.
— Faith Kirk (@kirkfe1) March 2, 2015
@CBCNews …good god! Has he seen Americans?!
— felixMJ (@Felix147MJ) February 28, 2015
@CBCNews That's a spelling error. It's 'phat'.
— Davie (@Old_Dude_Dave) February 28, 2015
But others have said the Norwegian’s words were a timely reminder that Newfoundland has an issue with obesity that hasn’t been addressed.
“Actually, somebody has to start speaking out on this and I’m glad there are people unafraid of speaking their mind when it is a legitimate issue that sorely needs to be aired,” Joanne commented on social media.
Another added, “Don’t shoot the messenger. Cut back on the calories, people.”
— Rebecca Taylor (@bc_rebecca) February 28, 2015
What do you think? Has Newfoundland been fat-shamed? Or is it a painful truth that the writer has rightly brought attention to?