Still Life with a Turkey Pie

Food, Family, and Gratitude in Play at Thanksgiving

If we grant that this is the year of Ozempic, then perhaps the flood of stories about how Ozempic will mix with the food-focused holiday of Thanksgiving should not surprise us. Will it throw us all off because it robs us of a “food orgy” as the AP suggests? Or will we find a better balance between food, family, and gratitude at Thanksgiving this year?

Kim Tyler tells Yuki Noguchi at NPR that she’s taking it all in stride as her relationship with food has changed because of semaglutide:

“I still love to cook for people, I still love to watch my family eat. I still like to make things for people – I just don’t care for it for myself. I’m completely apathetic.”

When Family and Food Intersect

But let’s face it. Even without relationships with food changing because of a new obesity treatment, Thanksgiving can be fraught because of the intersection of food and family. You don’t like my food? is hardly an unfamiliar refrain. Adrienne Bitar tells the New York Times:

“I’d be hard-pressed to find another occasion in which someone’s eating habits are so on display in a setting that is often marked by a lot of family tension and fraught family dynamics.”

It might take some practice to move our more intrusive family members on to more comfortable subjects than weight and health. Fortunately, we can tap into plenty of expert advice to help us feel ready.

Finding a Balance

Stepping back from a few challenging relatives, let’s be very clear about what is important. Claudia Stearns told JoNel Aleccia of the AP that her experience with effective obesity care has been helpful with this:

“Last year, it felt so lovely to just be able to enjoy my meal, to focus on being with friends and family, to focus on the joy of the day. That was a whole new experience.”

Reagan Seabourn shared a similar perspective with Alex Janin at the Wall Street Journal:

“This medication is allowing my body to run like it was meant to. Instead of Thanksgiving being about the food, it will be more about the family and that’s how I’ll be thankful about it.”

Gratitude really is good for us. We have much for which we’re grateful, and most especially we are grateful for each of you and the time you spend with the things we write for you. Happy Thanksgiving.

Click here, here, and here for further perspective on the intersection of food, family, and gratitude at this holiday.

Still Life with a Turkey Pie, painting by Pieter Claesz / WikiArt

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November 23, 2023

One Response to “Food, Family, and Gratitude in Play at Thanksgiving”

  1. November 23, 2023 at 11:49 am, Allen Browne said:

    Happy Thanksgiving!!