Americans (and especially American women, of which I am one) are obsessed with their weight. Nonetheless, about two-thirds of the US population is overweight or obese. It’s a critical health issue in the nation, which will no doubt put a heavy burden (pun intended) on health care resources stretched thin (ditto) by Obamacare.
However I can now reveal the heretofore secret to combating obesity: EAT LESS.
According to senior natural scientist Deborah Cohen, writing in the Washington Post, “Obesity is usually the consequence of eating too much junk food and consuming portions that are too large.”
Really? I had no idea! You mean if we just stuff less pie in our pie holes we can control our weight? That’s it?
Ah, but according to Cohen, that’s not it at all. We are still not responsible for what goes in our mouths.Who is? Why evil big business of course! And only the government can save us! Cohen says:
Yes, blame business practices! I say that EVERY time I tuck into a tub of ice cream. Blast you, Ben and Jerry, for tempting me with Heath Bar crunch! Although it’s my spoon shoveling another scoop into my mouth, I know it’s your money-grubbing fingers clutching it and forcing it in.
The food industry has developed tens of thousands of products with more calories per bite, as well as new, effective marketing strategies to encourage us to buy and consume more than necessary. We should blame these business practices, which are modifiable, for obesity rather than our genes, which are not.
Not even supermarkets escape blame. Sure, they have lovely fruit and vegetable aisles, and even Cohen says for the most part it’s not access to healthy food that’s the problem,
People may head to the produce section of their grocery store with the best intentions, only to be confronted by candy at the cash register and chips and soda at the end of aisles.
Somehow all that junk just leaps into my cart at checkout! I weep as it trundles down the automated belt, but I am helpless against a packet of sandwich crèmes.
What is Cohen’s suggestion? Why, government regulation of course! After all, she reasons:
Even with more information about food, extra-large portions and sophisticated marketing messages undermine our ability to limit how much we consume. Consider Americans’ alcohol consumption: Only licensed establishments can sell spirits to people older than 21, and no alcohol can be sold in vending machines. Yet there are very few standards or regulations to protect Americans from overeating.
Yes, that’s right. We just need to expand the nanny-state a couple more notches to regulate what we can and cannot eat.
The last time anyone ever made me eat something I didn’t really want to eat was when I was two. Unless you are being raised for foie gras or veal (both of which are mighty tasty by the way), I truly doubt you are being forced to overeat.
It’s the same old liberal story that nothing is really your fault, and the government needs to protect you from your own gullible stupidity. Well I have a message for the government. Stay the heck out of my refrigerator.
But not according to Cohen, “Education can help, but what’s really needed is regulation — for example, limits on marketing that caters to our addiction to sugar and fat.”
Oh right. Because if we didn’t see any ads on TV for Doritos, we wouldn’t want them anymore. Just like cigarettes and bourbon…