If you're just tuning in to :: Escapism ::, you might not know three things:
1. I'm a liberal Democrat
2. I desperately want to fix health care in this country (i.e. hopefully get universal health care)
3. I'm seriously overweight and have been trying to lose this weight for years.
Anyways, I'm trying to lose again, so I've been reading a lot of weight loss/obesity articles lately. The obesity epidemic (and YES, it is an epidemic) is something I care deeply about. The way we're headed, 1 out of every 3 children born in 2000 will be diabetic. This is NOT COOL. Go ask txvoodoo if you think diabetes is a fun thing to have.
So I'm reading this article from a wire service about the cost of obesity in the United States: $147 billion a year, almost 10% of all medical costs. WHAT?!? That's just... gah!!!! I can't even wrap my head around that.
I was fine until I read this paragraph:
"Today's report demonstrating the clear link between rising rates of obesity and increasing medical costs is alarming, but not unexpected," Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said in a statement. "Obesity is the driver of so many chronic conditions -- heart disease, diabetes, cancer -- that generate the exorbitant costs that are crushing our health-care system," she said.
... And then I started thinking about something. Yes, we all have personal responsibility about what we put in our mouths. We all have a choice. But then, the government is the one who started subsidizing the crap out of corn, wheat and and soy. Now virtually all our food is made from those 3 foods. Corn is in EVERYTHING. We're not meant to eat this much HFCS.
We're subsidizing the crops that make us fat and most of the people who work at the USDA, making our nutritional guidelines, used to be food lobbyists. We have this free market system that show our kids nothing but candy and fast food ads, and lets a new Micky D's open up on every corner. Don't get me wrong, I love capitalism, but doesn't it seem excessive?
Not to mention we have the whole evolution thing going on. You know the drill: our caveman ancestors didn't get food, especially fat, salt & sweets very often, so they had to eat as much of it as possible when they could. Now we can get this stuff all the time, but our primitive physiology doesn't know that.
I dunno. I'm not making my point very clearly. I guess what I'm trying to say is our landscape and culture in this country, from the time we're kids, is skewed towards making us fat. And I feel like our government is kind of saying, "If only those lazy fatties would just walk for 20 minutes a day, we could solve the obesity epidemic. Oh, and the health care crisis to boot!!!" All the while keeping up all their same business as usual.
WELL, JERKFACES, it doesn't work that way. We're all going to have to make massive changes. Individuals, governments, doctors, schools, hospitals, institutions, everyone.