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The Fat about Combatting Obesity

I’m not sure what happened to civilization in the past decade. OK, that was a loaded opener. A lot has happened.

What I mean is that I don’t know when obesity became a big problem, or when it became a trendy condition against which to combat. Perhaps it had to do with the Oprah movie Precious with the morbidly obese Gabourey Sidibe as the protagonist.

According to the Ontario Medical Association, obesity costs taxpayers around $2.5 billion a year. In the US, the CDC puts the national cost somewhere around $147 billion. Perhaps that’s because more than one third of US adults are obese. We Canadians don’t seem to have as much of a problem with obesity…at least not yet.

How did this happen? And why is it soooo trendy to campaign against obesity? Is it because Michelle Obama is championing the cause, a condition which has the highest incidence among African Americans? Is obesity the new cause du jour like AIDS was in the 90s?
 I disagree with most of these campaigns. It’s one thing to put out nutritional information to educate people on what to eat and how to prepare food. However, I strongly believe that when people are motivated to get active and to eat right they will.

When citizens are responsible for their own health costs, they’ll generally try to stay healthy. When people are forced to be on a budget, they’ll learn that making a homemade pot of chicken noodle soup is actually cheaper than buying a can of Cambells or Chunky. How do I know this? Because I and a billion people around the world do it everyday. Cooking from scratch with inexpensive, yet healthy, ingredients is the way to stretch your dollar. But clearly Americans don’t feel the need to stretch their dollar. And why should they? The ATM, ahem, the Government, is handing it out for free. When you’re flush with free cash and free health care, why put the effort into health, exercise, and non-convenience food.

Oh, I can just hear the chorus of negative nancies now: “But poor people can’t afford a gym membership!” Well, if you have legs, then go for a mile walk. Take some of those cans of high-sodium baked beans and use them as free-weights. My point? If there’s a will, there’s a way. The problem is there is no will, and the government encourages no will by giving Americans endless hand-outs instead of a hand up. And a hand up would come in the form of a one-day course on eating healthy, exercising and capping it off with utilizing all that free-time on cooking from scratch. Oh and cut the benefits- health and otherwise.

Oh yes, I’m so awful, aren’t I? I’m suggesting that people do for themselves, instead of relying on the government. And that folks, is how you solve the obesity problem. Yes, you have people do for themselves.

So please, Mrs. Obama, save the country the millions you’re blowing on combatting obesity with your go-nowhere campaign, and get your husband to shut the money tap. It’s time for America to get moving Again….and without you two.