Wednesday, November 18, 2009
$344 Billion by 2018. Stop the Pussyfooting...
If obesity really will cost us $344 Billion by 2018, as yesterday's stunning report says, where's our state of emergency?
Are we refusing to address obesity due to implications on the Economy? Food/Bev/Pharma would all suffer if Americans ate right. But the economics have shifted grossly when the rest of us have to pay a $344 Billion Obesity Bailout.
We're at the point where 75% of our youth are unfit for military service. It's time to stop debating a baked chip vs. fried. It's time to really do what it takes to reverse obesity...and nobody's gonna like it. But can we afford to continue letting industry decide? Big Tobacco isn't at the table determining how to curb smoking. Why are Pepsi, Coke and Kellogg's at the table when it comes to obesity policy?
We need the soda tax, we need calories on menu boards, we need School Wellness Policies enforced around the country, we need formula pushers out of the ob/gyn offices and breast-feeding perks in, we need junk food out of daycare centers, we need more obesity-related diseases classified as "elective," we need to finally stop advertising junk food to kids (debated since the Carter administration!), we need affordable and easily accessible produce, we need clean, safe and abundant public recreational facilities, we need to stop freshly minting new fat kids everyday...
And we DON'T need to give special legal protection to the obese, as they have in Michigan...and are demanding in Massachusetts. Why should employers be forced to hire expensive employees who are so predominantly by lifestyle choice? Harassment and Disability laws are already on the books. Obese is the dominant population in the U.S., followed by Overweight. So the overwhelming majority--a majority of habitual improper eaters--are now demanding special treatment from the measly minority of us who exercise daily and eat right..?
This is a crisis. Sorry the name isn't as scary as "Swine Flu," but yes, President Obama, this is a crisis we can't afford now, and certainly can't afford the price tag coming our way as the majority of us succumb to decades of obesity-induced chronic disease.
Stop pussyfooting around. We need an Obesity Czar, (I'm available). We need a member from every cabinet office with a plan on how to reverse this crisis right now. Not one single more child should become fat on your watch, Sir--OUR watch.