I HAD AN interesting discussion with a young friend the other day as we observed a steady flow of people walking past our table at the local diner. That reminded me of an old essay tucked away in my files.

A majority of the people were at least a little more than their optimal weight range, but a few were well below the accepted standard. Actually, they were skinny and with that in mind, we came up with lots of ideas on “What’s Wrong with Skinny People.”

Skinny people can get involved in a project, skip lunch and not even notice. Many of those people can buy clothes from the hip teenage fashion stores and wear those fashionable yoga leggings.

Skinny people leave food on their plates and it doesn’t seem to bother them when they are reminded that billions of people around the world go to bed at night starving. They can take any seat on a crowded airplane and have room to spare.

Skinny people can sit next to the cashews and the trail mix all night and the bowl doesn’t empty out. When they do eat, skinny people can eat huge amounts of special food and they don’t apologize about it. How rude is that?

Skinny people think vanilla ice cream tastes good, even without butterscotch sauce and pecans. Skinny people can talk right in the middle of eating their roast beef and potatoes and not care when their food gets cold.

Skinny people really don’t know how good chocolate tastes. They like flavors like lemon and pineapple sherbet. No one knows how a skinny person can sit through a movie and not need to munch on popcorn and Junior Mints and sip a large soda.

Skinny people don’t like things they think are “too rich.” My friend and I decided we didn’t know anything that was too rich. Skinny people eat lots of whole-wheat bread and oatmeal. They also eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and claim they are never hungry.

Skinny people can leave just one small piece of pie on their plate because they just couldn’t eat another bite. We decided skinny people drive us nuts.

*  *  *

IF YOU keep your food in a refrigerator, clothes in a closet, have a bed to sleep in and a roof over your head, you are richer than 75% of the entire world population, which is estimated at nearly 7.5 billion.

About a month ago, the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine, issued a report updating the “If the World Were a Village of 100” scenario. Here’s what the small community would look like keeping the same proportions we have today. Note: I will share with you additional information in a later column.

Ethnicity: 61 Asians, 13 Africans, 12 Europeans, eight North Americans, five South Americans and the Caribbean, and one from Oceania. Gender: 50 male, 50 female. Religions: 33 are Christian, 21 Muslims, 13 Hindus, six Buddhists, one Sikhs, one Jewish, 11 practice other religions, 11 are nonreligious and three atheists.

Skin Color: 70 nonwhite and 30 white. Language: 17 speak Chinese, nine English, eight Hindi, six Russian, six Spanish, four Arabic and 50 speak other languages. Food: 30 would always have enough to eat (15 would be overweight), 50 would be malnourished and 20 would be undernourished.

Health: 12 are disabled and one adult has HIV/AIDS. Living standards: 43 live without basic sanitation; 20 have no clean, safe water to drink; 80 live in substandard housing; 68 breathe clean air and 32 breathe polluted air.

Appreciate what you have and do your best for a better world.