You Want Fries With That?

obese-man-calendarSo, the fat numbers are in, and the winners are: Americans. a billion gazillion pounds of excess flab hang about them, every state now has more than 15 percent of adults obese. It’s ridiculous — and not particularly surprising, really, when you look at what’s for dinner around here. Or perhaps it’s the stuff people are having between meals. So what? Well, the CDC has a solution:

We need intensive, comprehensive and ongoing efforts to address obesity

Yeah, right, Doctor Frieden. Let’s spend lots and lots of taxpayer dollars “addressing” the fact that people are scarfing down empty calories and not exercising enough. Really? Do we really need to institutionalize this? How about we flip it on its head — instead of encouraging people to eat less, how about we punish them for eating too much? What if their health insurance premium was directly linked to their BMI? How about we make it harder for them to drive everywhere by raising the cost of gas significantly? How about we do what New York and California have been considering: a tax on all the excess sugar going into our diet? Make that 128 Oz big gulp of Mountain Dew cost $9.95 and I’m sure people would have second thoughts… Maybe we stop subsidizing corn growers in the midwest so they’re not compelled to crank out gillions of gallons of high-fructose corn syrup every year, which in turn needs an outlet in the marketplace. What if they started growing real fucking food for a change?

I think it’s great to hear Doctor Dietz from the CDC declare that “We need to change our communities into places where healthy eating and active living are the easiest path.” It’s a no-brainer. But when our communities have zero dollars to do so, and our government continues to spend billions each year ensuring that precisely the opposite takes place, it’s not going to happen fast enough. Just as with his tepid response to the need for a genuine stimulus package, Obama will no doubt dig deep into our wallets and come up with some billon-dollar plan that’ll put some lipstick on this pig. But he won’t touch the farmers, he won’t touch the fast food industry, he won’t touch gas prices, and he won’t do anything significant about infrastructure or health care costs that might be a substantial enough incentive to really put people on a path towards health.

Dieting is *so* fucking easy: take in fewer calories than you need, and you’ll lose weight. Burn more calories than you take in, and you’ll lose weight. Fewer calories in means less food or leaner food. More calories burned means more activity or more intense activity. That’s about all there is to it. But in order to justify their bloated budgets, dozens of government agencies will now set in motion elaborate schemes costing millions to plan and promote those four simple concepts — but of course, they won’t even be willing to spell it out so clearly, because they have to suck up to the meat packers, and the dairy boys, and the car lobby, and Nestle and Mars and ConAgra and all the others who are growing rich while we grow fat.