The fat of the land
AP story in the NY Sun: Obesity on the Increase Across Nation
“Bulging waistlines are growing, and it’s going to cost taxpayers more dollars regardless of where you live,” said Shelley Hearne, the organization’s executive director
Why should it?
For starters, people are not going to get lean because the goverment is “trying to do something about it”. To the contrary: A case could be made that once the government-approved “food pyramid” was shoved down people’s consciousness, obesity rates in this country increased.
Then there’s the scientific fact that, (via Samizdata) Life Expectancy in America Hits Record High, while the number of heart disease deaths has decreased. The average (fatter) American lives 77.6 years.
Not only that, the Center For Disease Control (CDC) had to revise its own figures just this year, not that that did anything to quell the hysteria:
One would be forgiven for thinking CDC stands for Center for Damage Control. Just a year after its widely-publicized and exceedingly controversial announcement that excess weight kills 400,000 Americans annually, the agency is rumbling, bumbling, stumbling toward an explanation for a new study that says the real figure is just 26,000.
In the past few years, the federal government has waged an all out war to scare Americans about our so-called “obesity epidemic.” The Surgeon General says it’s just as dangerous as the threat of terrorism. A leading Harvard expert compares obesity to a massive tsunami heading toward American shores. The director of the CDC called it worse than the Black Death.
Unfortunately, trial lawyers who see dollar signs where the rest of us see dinner have seized on the CDC’s 400,000 deaths number to justify their frivolous crusades.
Now word comes from experts within the CDC that excess weight is about one-fifteenth as dangerous as previously thought, and has a lower death toll than diseases like septicemia and nephritis. Each death is of course tragic. But has anyone heard of the septicemia “epidemic” or the nephritis “tsunami”?
It turns out that the 70 million Americans who are technically “overweight” have no increased mortality risk.
To answer my own question, then, the reason “it’s going to cost taxpayers more dollars regardless of where you live,” is that the goverment agencies will want to bloat their budgets even further and the trial lawyers are finding obesity a means to new-found riches.
The fact that responsibility for personal health lies within each person is, from the bureaucrats’ point of view, a moot issue.
Update: Speaking of obesity, Iowahawk has Hello Blubbuh, Hello Flabbah.
Also posted at Blogger News Network.