Friday, March 14, 2008

Satire? Yes, but I can see this happening

This is a masterful satire on the obesity epidemic and experts who say the government is the only entity able to end it. What scares me is that I can see this happening if the government gets its way with BMI monitoring for children in school, the newborn screening that wants the government to own our DNA and test our babies for all kinds of genetic anomalies that may or may not develop into disease, the way the government keeps revising downward the standards for health (consider the lowering of standards for overweight and obesity in the BMI, the lowered numbers for 'healthy' blood pressure, the lowered HbA1c for diabetes diagnosis, just to name a few), not to mention how the diet industry, pharmaceutical companies, and medical interests lobby the government to advance their agenda of selling ineffective treatments/pills/surgeries for the treatment of obesity, which isn't a disease, it's a natural condition of certain genes that is not within anyone's power to change or control.
We're already seeing parts of this with schools that suspend kids for buying/selling candy, going through kids' lunches and removing anything they consider 'unhealthy', and not allowing cakes or cupcakes or cookies for birthdays (have to have those 'healthy' snacks for your birthday, you know, the carrot sticks, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, but no dip, no that's not 'healthy', you have to eat them plain). Does it matter to them that none of this (including following government calorie guidelines on school meals) is getting fat kids thin? No, because they think they're doing something to end obesity, and doing something, whether it works or not, is better than leaving well enough alone (if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and being fat is not being broken so doesn't need 'fixing').


  1. In that story on the kid who got suspended over the Skittles, I couldn't help noticing that this "wellness policy" had been in place at that school for 5 years. Has anyone asked them the magic question: "Are the students any thinner or healthier than they used to be 5 years ago?" I'll bet anything NOT.

    Look, there were NO vending machines in school when I was growing up. None. Ever. No convenience stores around either. And no money to buy anything extra in the cafeteria. What happened? By the end of the school day, after I'd gone through the day with no breakfast and a few bologna and cheese cubes for lunch and not a bite of anything else (diet diet diet!), I was SO HUNGRY by the time I got home that I would binge on anything I could get my hands on. Cold cereal out of the box, powdered skim milk mixed with chocolate syrup, ANYTHING.

    Unless they also want to send kids home with bodyguards to make sure they don't eat before dinner -- and rigidly control their dinner portions too -- and hell, why not just put guns to their heads and make them jog after dinner for an hour while they're at it? -- they are KIDDING THEMSELVES that their policies are going to change anyone's weight or "health" one bit. If anything they will make it worse; if you get hungry enough to binge, you can eat a lot of really nasty shit in a hurry.

  2. meowser - I graduated from high school 35 years ago (well, 36 this June), and we didn't have vending machines or soda at school (not in grade school, not in junior high, and not in senior high) and kids were still fat. We had mandatory phys ed of 45 minutes every day and kids were still fat (I was one of them, according to BMI). So it doesn't matter what they do, it's not going to end people being fat, and the sooner they realize it, the better off everyone will be.

  3. The sad thing about the calorie restriction NOT working in schools is that the likely answer the schools will have to it not working is to restrict calories even MORE.

    These are the brilliant people teaching our children, who can't possible get their minds unwrapped from the concept "calories in must equal calories out," and, most importantly, that every child is naturally thin (or at least some arbitrarily defined "normal").

  4. bigliberty - it's already happening in Florida. Kids there are getting fewer calories in school lunches than the government recommends, but they're still fat. So school districts want to further restrict the number of calories served in school lunches (totally ignoring that for some kids, that school lunch may be the only decent meal of the day). It's insane.

  5. They are STUPID if they do that, Vesta. What part of "rebound binge" do they not understand?

    Look, they could keep all the fat kids after school every day until 6, not allow them any extracurricular activities or afterschool snacks, make them run and run and run and run the entire time, not let them off campus EVER during the school day, make them exercise during lunch and only allow them restricted diet meals, confiscate every bit of money in their pockets...they could do all that, and they'd find out what Singapore found out after years of pulling that crap, that it will not make any difference. They might be crazier, but they won't be any thinner.

    The more you starve kids during the day, the hungrier they will be when they get home. I know what it's like to be crazy hungry after being starved all day. You'll eat ANYTHING, and lots of it, and fast, preferably things with as much carb as possible because your blood sugar is dragging the ground. If food is available at all, anyplace, you will binge when you get that hungry. Guaranteed.

    Do people really want a total police state, 24/7, in order to get a few lousy pounds off their kids? Is that really how we want the time, energy and money in this world to be spent? How far do they want to go?

  6. meowser - I know how stupid it is, but the hysteria over fat killing us soonest is all they see/hear from the lobbyists on behalf of big pharma and the diet industry, not to mention that the medical field isn't helping any either. The studies that refute everything that says obesity is killing us are spun so that they sound like they're backing it up and how many lawmakers are going to take the time to really read and understand even one study, let alone thousands of them, to see that they're being misled and lied to? It's easier to believe what they're told and legislate and pocket the money for doing so (yeah, I'm cynical out the wazoo when it comes to politicians and money from lobbyists). They might believe the FAM if we could throw millions of dollars at them and had lobbyists to out-shout big pharma and all the other vested interests, but maybe not, they're too used to hearing that hysteria.

  7. I wrote a long reply to the author of the article. Basically it really does freak me out, cause it is a possiblity. Maybe not to that extent, but it at times seems like the world has stopped until people get thinner. Like, we can't have any shows or anything cool, until we're all right and thin.

    Perhaps though this is a good sign. People are starting to see the obesity hysteria, for the rediculousness that it is.

  8. Don't worry, violet - Lewrockwell is a libertarian site and *knows* that these types of insane interventions are the result of constant government meddling into personal business. I'm thrilled to see them getting on board, and once they're exposed to the debunked science on Sandy's blog I truly believe they're going to be on the side of FA. It's one of my goals in life to get more libertarians - who will right now defend your right to stuff yourself with twinkies and sit on the couch and get huge so long as you don't ask for confiscatory tax dollars to help you afterward - to realize that that is NOT why most fat people are fat at all, and that precious little can be done to incur long-lasting, significant weight loss, at least without unacceptable risks.

    So I come, and I'm hopefully bringing some sympathetic ears with me :)


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