America's Obesity Problem
When I was writing on the Internet forums about America's obesity problem, I was attacked widely. I was called heartless, I was called shallow, I was called a "fat-basher." But there are bigger problems with obesity than just obesity itself, and one needs to be neither heartless nor shallow to notice them.
One statistic that does not often get mentioned is that, since 1990, the average lifetime of American women has declined by 5 years. 1990 is when America's obesity problem began. Prior to that, most American people, women as well as men, were in decent shape. Now, over a half the population is obese. And obese people become less healthy and die younger.
One Russian joke has been, "Medicine didn't fix America's obesity problem. The economy did." In reality the obesity problem continues. America has the most obese population in the world, two tiny Pacific islander countries excluded. And what these people lose is more than their beauty or sex appeal. What they lose is their health, and, as we can see, longevity.
This is not about picking on fat people because they are fat, nor is this about beating anyone down. This is about a serious problem that has been affecting a vast population. And far from making a person heartless or shallow, paying attention to this problem can be a matter of caring for how long and how well the people live - as much as it can be a matter of caring for the triple-digit-billion costs that the country incurs as a result of the problem.
I must state right here that the real issue is not the treatment of the obese people. Much rather the issue is whether the population, the country, and individuals, benefit from obesity on the scale that we are seeing right now. I think that not even the most fat-accepting people believe that obesity is a good thing. It is legitimate to demand tolerance; it is not legitimate to promote something that causes ill health and early death.
So stating that obesity is a bad thing does not make one shallow and it does not make one heartless. Instead it is a matter of calling a spade a spade.
Obesity is bad, period.
And promoting obesity is as wrong as is promoting alcoholism or AIDS.