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'South Park' Ties Physical Education to 'Occupy Wall Street'

Is it fair to have one underachieving student's physical-fitness scores bring down his entire school's average?

The cartoon South Park took a satirical stab at answering that question on Wednesday night, in a jab at No Child Left Behind and its response to a single subgroup failure in a school.

This week's episode started with a school assembly, where the students at South Park Elementary were informed that their school scored the lowest in the U.S. on the presidential fitness test.

In actuality, the overwhelming majority of the students scored at a normal level. But one overweight student (who had a "terrifying body-fat score, high blood pressure, and the cholesterol level of a 70-year-old man") scored so low that he dropped the entire school's average down to the lowest in the country.

In response, the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition recommended that each South Park Elementary class would take turns giving up recess for an extra session of physical education every week.

It didn't take long for the students to single out their overweight peer, Eric Cartman. While in gym class, one of Cartman's friends blames him for being so unhealthy that the entire school got punished.

"We're paying for your being fat," another student said.

Cartman responds by accusing the rest of the students of being "the 99 percent ganging up on the 1 percent," as a nod to the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests.

He also manages to blame President Obama for the whole mess, as he "didn't make that stupid presidential fitness test, Obama did."

The episode only escalates from there, as anyone who's seen an episode of South Park can well imagine.

Of course, this blog does not consider childhood obesity to be a laughing matter. A number of studies published this week underscore the severity of the ongoing obesity crisis in U.S. youths.

But in true South Park tradition, this week's episode tiptoed between the line of "offensive yet funny" and making a salient point.

Judge for yourself with a clip from the episode:


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