Daddy-O à Go-Go (rpkrajewski) wrote,
Daddy-O à Go-Go
rpkrajewski

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Fat as a Moral Issue

For years, we've been told that Americans getting fatter (which is definitely true), and that's because of our bad eating habits and lack of exercise. But what if They are even in the least bit wrong ? After all, the subtext for our anguish over fat is that fat is the symptom of some kind of moral failing. If the science is not there, it's no longer possible to bully people into doing the right thing for their bodies because somehow they need to be shamed into doing so.

A friend of mine who works in the epidemiology department in a large city has also noticed that activists and advocates for public health also try to bowl over opposition by trying to reinforce their arguments with morality. For example, there's a school of thought in vogue that asserts that even the smallest amounts of organically active or mimicking chemicals in the environment are responsible for hormonal imbalances and especially cancer. It's as if there have been no public health improvements since the beginning of the 20th century (when, after all, there were far fewer man-made chemicals in existence). Of course, this goes against common sense, because overall, people live longer and look better at any given age than the previous generation; but optimism is the enemy of the activist. All those people who grew up on sugared cereals and Wonder Bread will be jogging around in their 60s soon.

This is not to say that there are still serious public health issues in this country, especially among the poor. However, political agendas interfere with our understanding the real issues involved, and serve only to heal the consciences of those who trumpet them

Tags: health, think
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