June 6 was National Donut/Doughnut Day. Don’t get me started about abbreviations- I just found out my initials stand for “Let Me Know”; so much for my imagined popularity in the world of acronyms.
But I digress. What is with our obsession with naming every day of the year after something, especially food? Unhealthy food at that. It so happens we recently celebrated National Hamburger Day on May 28, and my nephew DJ has the privilege of sharing that with his birthday for the rest of his life. Me? My birthday coincides each year with National Cheeseburger Day (Sept. 18), a coincidence (or is it?) that actually fills me with great pride.
Shame on me for being so excited about sharing with a national food day. The latest statistics released by the national journal JAMA Pediatrics on April 7, 2014 asserts that U.S. childhood obesity rates have increased over the past 14 years despite all efforts. Currently, adult obesity rates have doubled since 1980, from 15 to 30 percent, while childhood obesity rates have more than tripled. Fully half of Americans will be obese by 2030.
What’s up with this? Certainly too complex a topic to address here, other than my plea to stop naming days after doughnuts. As for the national illiteracy rate? Is it too complicated to spell that word the way it was originally spelled by Washington Irving in his 1809 History of New York? When did this change? Thank you, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Donuts. That’s right- a fast food chain bastardized the elegant spelling and changed it into a fast food word.
Don’t get me started on the word “burger”, okay?