No Fatties Allowed
Topic: Personal Commentary
A friend of mine clued me into this article at The Smoking Gun. TSG reports on a bill submitted by a trio of fat-hating legislators whose proposal would require that restaurants refrain from serving the obese. That's right, no food for you, tubby!
According to the National Institue of Health, more than 64 percent of Americans are overweight. So I'm guessing that Mayhall, Read, and Shows don't plan to run for re-election? I mean, how do you win an election after you've ticked off more than half the electorate?
There are few people in this nation who would deny that we've got a weight problem. Obesity leads to heart problems, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes. With kids and adults fatter now than they have ever been, this is a critical public health issue.
There are a number of reasons why we're fat...
- Generational movement to more sedentary lifestyles;
- Overuse of cornsyup and other sweeteners;
- School districts cutting physical education programs;
- Schools selling soda and candy from vending machines;
- Prevalence of an "eating-out" culture; and
- Food tastes great!
Several years ago, I gave a presentation at a dinner seminar comprised largely of school nurses.
"It is not lost on me," I said, "That I'm a fat guy giving a presentation on the subject of Childhood Obesity..."
That got a nice laugh as they ate their cheesecake topped with raspberry sauce.
I don't disagree that we've got a - pun intended - big problem. It is shameful, though, that these elected politicians are wasting their time with legislation that will never pass and if it did would be found unconstitutional by any reasonable court. It's irresponsible and a waste of taxpayer dollars that are better spent on - I don't know - PE classes and gym memberships. The good people of Mississippi districts 40, 89, and 112 should immediately engage in recall efforts.
The answer to this problem of prodigious proportions (again, pun intended) does not involve mean behavior toward fat folks. You cannot make a person be healthy, but you can create an environment in which a person can be healthy.
- Remove candy, soda, and all dessert like items from schools;
- Don't make gym memberships and exercise programs tax deductible - rather provide a tax rebate; and
- Provide tax incentives to companies that provide gym memberships and exercise programs to their employees.
The money spent on such programs would be made up in the decline in ER visits. Prevention is always cheaper than treatment.
That's all I have to say. We're on our way out for fried catfish and beer.
Posted by Aron Head
at 6:35 PM CST