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1. What is the uncle a symbol of? Why is he fat?

2. What is the meaning of this cartoon? (What message is the cartoonist trying to get across by portraying the uncle as fat?)

3. Ask a parent if he/she agrees with the cartoonist and to explain why or why not.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.


1. The uncle is a symbol of the U.S. government.  The U.S. government is often referred to as Uncle Sam and he is usually depicted as tall and thin. In this cartoon he is fat because the cartoonist feels the government is spending too much.

2. President Obama recently approved the creation of the first-ever federal task force to address the problem of childhood obesity. The cartoonist indicates that the problem the governement should deal with is government obesity – that the government is bloated because of out of control spending.

3. Answers vary.