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Harry Potter and Obesity

  • Date Submitted: 09/22/2012 06:58 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 42.1 
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Obesity Surgery, 12, 298


Harry Potter and Obesity
To the Editor:
This past Sunday, I took the kids to see “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, a G-rated film narrating the story of an 11-year-old child, orphaned by two sorcerers, and raised in England by his uncle. While in his uncle’s custody, he is abused by his aunt, uncle and a stupid cousin of the same age. Friends of Harry’s parents (wizards themselves) located and sent him to a school where he develops into a great sorcerer. The school was located in an old medieval styled castle, whose atmosphere reflected a 19th century elite college. Harry becomes an adolescent hero who surmounts many obstacles by demonstrating intelligence, courage and loyalty to his schoolmates and teachers. He eventually saves the world from evil. The ethnic mixture of his classes included black and Asian children who demonstrate the same capabilities as their white counterparts. The film’s content outwardly appears strange, since a 19th century English College would probably not have accepted such an ethnic mixture. However, the occidental world in which we live, accepts a multiracial society. All who see the film, regardless of race and color of their skin, identify with Harry or one of his classmates. This sends the message that everyone has the same opportunities in life. The film portrays Harry’s adoptive parents and cousin as evil and stupid. They force him to live in the basement and forbid attending school. The uncle’s family is all obese, whereas Harry is thin and fit. There are several incidences of laughter in the audience when his cousin gets into trouble and cries to his mother. The ridicule of the cousin’s obesity is amplified by his conversion into a pig. Harry, being a thin, intelligent, loyal and courageous young man, contradicts his cousin’s depiction as a fat worthless cry-baby who resembles a pig. I hesitate to make the accusation that the film’s director specifically targeted,...


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