Obesity is becoming a major issue on the national political stage. We have city governments putting restrictions on restaurants and trying to ban certain foods outright. We have politicians pressing to have sugar labeled as a harmful substance. We have Congress weighing in on whether school lunches should include french fries and pizza.
But really, is this all necessary? The main argument I hear put forward to defend all of this is the national cost of health care stemming from obesity. Now, I know I’m going to open a can of worms for a lot of people, but this whole issue reminds me of the issue of sex in America. It seems inconsistent to me that we have people arguing that sex is natural, necessary, and should be openly available to any consenting adult and then turning around and insisting that the government has the right to tell us what to eat.
Yes, the cost of health care for the overweight is high. So is the cost of STDs, unwanted pregnancy, pre-natal care, child welfare, child support and the court costs to obtain and ensure it, feeding children, and raising them to adulthood. Yet not only do the people who want to monitor our food think that sex should be freely available regardless of consequences, they want taxpayer money to go to fund abortions to “correct” the problems arising from sex.
By this thinking, why don’t we let people eat whatever they want, and as much as they want, and then have the government provide them with free bariatric surgery? Suddenly it becomes all about saving taxpayers money and protecting the public welfare. To quote Sherman Potter, “Horse-hockey.”
If anything they have it backwards. You think you can’t live without sex? Try living without food. People live without sex all the time. It’s called abstinence, but that’s unpopular, so we don’t talk about that. Try living without food for more than three days and see how far that gets you. And yet just about everyone out there is more than happy to teach you how to diet.
So why is it, then, that sex is treated as the pinnacle of our existence as human beings, and therefore should be completely uninhibited no matter the expense, while something truly essential like food must be regulated and legislated to death for our own good? Don’t both sex and eating take place in the privacy of our own homes? If the government should stay out of our bedrooms, why should it be given full access to our kitchens? If Sex Ed is the answer to teen pregnancy, why aren’t the health and nutrition classes our kids get several times during their education the answer to obesity?
Personally, I’m all for self-denial and personal responsibility on both issues, though that immediately tags me as…well, all sorts of unpleasant things, I’m sure. But at least I’m consistent. The progressives who want to keep “free love” while shutting down “all you can eat” really need to take a step back and ask themselves how they can reconcile such contradictory stances. Until then it’s hard to take them seriously as the Great Social Architects who will save humanity from itself.
I think they’re just making things up as they go along.