Cancer Research UK has ruffled some feathers with its campaign to publicise the links between obesity and cancer, prompting accusations of 'fat-shaming'. I'm not easily offended - in fact, I dislike the whole notion of 'offence' - but the campaign does deserve some scrutiny.
First off, why OB_S___Y? Why the missing letters? Why not just come out and say it? OBESITY.
Is it a puzzle? I've checked on crosswordsolver.org, and OBESITY is the only word that fits. Perhaps they are just determined to make it tricky for people who don't use crosswordsolver.org (perhaps because they don't do crosswords) or who struggle with reading, English or reading English.
Or maybe they are ashamed to print the whole word because they assume that people are - or ought to be - ashamed of being obese.
The fact that excess weight is linked to health problems will surprise absolutely no-one. Fat people get this message every day. If an advertising campaign could stop people getting overweight, then we would be a nation - even a world - of thinnies.
Or perhaps they think that there are fat people out there who don't care about the dangers they already know of heart disease, strokes, diabetes, depression and more, but will suddenly vow to lose weight because of this revelation about cancer?
And yet, all this begs a more important question. Obesity may cause cancer, but what causes obesity? In part, distress and shame. So let's stop adding to that, yes? And in another part, the vigorous promotion of unhealthy food by profiteering corporations. So how about aiming a campaign at them?