Chicago Tribune columnist Leonard Pitts has encouraging words for those of us with a little extra meat on our bones this holiday season: “It’s not your fault.”

“Blame your jumbo-size thighs,” Pitts suggests, “on the host who offered morsels too tasty to resist. Blame the stomach that arrives five seconds before you do on the restaurant whose menu was just too darn appealing.

“Blame anyone and everything, in other words, except your own utterly blameless self.”

Pitts finds it “hard to believe that a kid who was eating at McDonald’s several times a week was dining on steamed fish and brown rice the rest of the time. So how is it that Mickey D gets tabbed to bear responsibility for making the kid fat? Maybe I’m just the suspicious type, but I’m thinking that nearly $15 billion in annual revenue might have something to do with it.”

Elsewhere, the great golden-arches money-grab is being met with almost universal public derision. Last Friday the Chicago Sun-Times called trial lawyers’ “discovery” about overeating contributing to obesity “blindingly obvious.”

“It’s hard,” opines the Sun-Times, “to imagine our Pilgrim forebears suing their aboriginal brethren for getting them hooked on turkey, corn, and pumpkin pie. And an after-dinner smoke.”

And National Review columnist Joel Mowbray writes this week: “I lost 80 pounds with fast food.” To his own unlikely tale, he adds this cautionary coda: “[I]f I had wasted my energy suing Ronald McDonald and his buddies, I wouldn’t have looked within myself to find the guts to lose my gut.”