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POSTED BY THE VEGAN HUSBAND

 

The list of people who are trying valiantly to reverse the obesity trend in this country is a long one. The National Football League has Play 60, promoting sixty minutes of activity for kids every day. Michelle Obama has the Let’s Move! initiative which is dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made September National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. I’m sure Dr. Oz has done something for this matter. I just don’t know what it is. To each and every organization battling obesity, I give them a standing ovation.

But there is one trend gaining in popularity that is supporting obesity in much the same way that oxygen supports a flame. The way Bonnie supported Clyde. I’m speaking, of course, of the fashion trend known as “athleisure”.

Popularized by Lululemon, the athleisure movement is characterized by elastic-waistband stretch pants originally designed for yoga or (gasp) working out at the gym. Except now you wear the pants outside of the health club.

And athleisure is not just for the market or the coffee shop. You can wear them to a movie. You can wear them to a concert. I wish I was at the meeting where a model trotted out in stretch pants and someone with buying authority said, “Sweatpants! Tres chic!”

While this trend may be great for this moment in fashion, it is terrible for the war on obesity. For those of us who have fought the weight battle, the primary motivation to curb our eating is so we can fit into our clothes. But how much food would you have to eat before you were forced to say, “Gee, these stretch pants feel a little snug.”

Another victim in the athleisure trend is the manufacturer of jeans. According to financial services giant, Piper Jaffray, retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Levi Strauss, and Wrangler are all seeing their sales of jeans suffer.

And, frankly, I’m worried about Levi Strauss. Just a few weeks ago CEO Chip Bergh came out with the statement that he hadn’t washed his jeans in over a year. He claimed that not washing them keeps jeans in good condition and saves on water. Maybe he was secretly trying to get them to be soft and shapeless like stretch pants.

But what about stains and germs? Chip says you can spot clean the stains with a sponge. As for germs, you can put your jeans in the freezer. Yup. Right between ice cream and frozen pizza, ensuring that they’ll never be worn again.

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