Fat More Dangerous than Terrorism?

You know, I have to go back to my no-news ban. My psyche was happiest this way. Anyhow, as I clicked through my Yahoo! News today, I see an article that basically tells me that obesity is more dangerous that terrorism. What amazes me is that, well, we’ve talked about this already, but apparently the doctors and researchers wanted me to know and understand that the Threat of Fat is real, and as such, we’ve got to fight it.

I am trying my damnedest to understand this whole theory. Seriously. So, I’ll break down the newest article, and perhaps we’ll learn together.

First, let us look at the assertion:

“While we’ve been focusing so much attention on that, we’ve had this silent epidemic of obesity that’s killing millions of people around the world, and we’re devoting very little attention to it and a negligible amount of money.”

No attention? So, the diet industry hasn’t registered a blip on his radar? Silent? See comment about the diet industry. In other words we know full well about this supposed epidemic (which I thought didn’t even exist). I reckon plenty of money is being spent, both consumers and researchers alike, that let us know that the threat and shame of fat is alive and well.

An estimated 388 million people will die from chronic disease worldwide over the next 10 years, according to World Health Organisation figures quoted by the alliance.

“There’s a political paralysis in dealing with the issue,” said [Lawrence]Gostin, an adviser to the US government and a professor at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins universities.

He noted that prevention of obesity and its effects had hardly rated a mention in the current campaign for the US presidency.

It hasn’t? Did Meowser make up the quote out of thin air?Also, there are MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO FOCUS ON. We’re in a war, in case you’ve forgotten. How’s about we focus on getting our servicewomen and men back home? How’s about we focus on providing more jobs so this economy can do better? How’s about we focus on getting better healthcare for folks who can’t afford it? I’m not concerned with keeping costs low. I want folks to be able to just AFFORD IT. We have bigger things to worry about and fix than someone’s supposedly broken waistline.

Like terrorism, some passing health threats get major government attention and media coverage, while heart and lung disease, diabetes and cancer account for 60 percent of the world’s deaths, the meeting was told.

“It is true that new and re-emerging health threats such as SARS, avian flu, HIV/AIDS, terrorism, bioterrorism and climate change are dramatic and emotive,” said Stig Pramming, the Oxford group’s executive director.

“However, it is preventable chronic disease that will send health systems and economies to the wall.”

These “preventable chronic diseases” he speaks of are obesity and lung cancer and the like. Except non-smokers get lung cancer too. And folks can’t exactly explain why that is. Preventable, huh? You can reduce a risk factor, but reduction don’t equal prevention.

There was, however, a part I could actually get on board with:

“We need to build the physical activity back into our lives and it’s not simply about bike paths, it’s about developing an urban habitat that enables people to live healthy lives: ensuring that people can meet most of their daily needs within walking and cycling distance of where they live,” he said.

Thus said Professor Tony Capon. I’m ok with this, as well as the reducing carbon emissions and making fresh food more affordable. I will also note I’m mad I had to wait to the END of the article to find something of some use.

But you know, when it comes to obesity, when it comes to smoking (and other “lifestyle choices”), they have to put the hysterical before the common sense. I just wish folks focused on the common sense more.

1 Response to “Fat More Dangerous than Terrorism?”

  1. March 7, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Excuse me, but is he fucking kidding? Both Obama and McCain have mentioned “obesity” in debates. Undoubtedly they’ve talked about it on the stump, too. Clinton has stuff on her Web site about it. People don’t want to talk about fat, because they’re so afraid of hurting our feewings? I want room under your rock, dude.

    Jules Hirsch, quoted in Gina Kolata’s Rethinking Thin: “You can’t possibly saturate the country with any more warnings…I don’t think anyone can say, ‘Gee, I don’t know about this.'” The man has been up to his armpits in this stuff for over 50 years now. He knows what we’ve “tried” (and tried, and tried, and tried) and what we haven’t. Listen to him.

    Speaking of smoking, one cannot fail to notice that in the 15 years or so following the Surgeon General’s report about smoking, smoking rates in America dropped precipitously. What’s happened since C. Everett Koop sounded the trumpets about fat 20 years ago? Oooh, oooh, I know…PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN FATTER! What does that tell you? How about, just for starters, that fat is not smoking and should not be treated as such? Two-year-olds, after all, don’t smoke cigarettes, but they certainly get labeled and diagnosed with “obesity.”

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