Real Problems: Fat Kids

Send in the SWAT team.

If you didn’t know any better you might believe there’s an epidemic of Fat Kid Syndrome, or put in politically correct terms: childhood obesity! Many on the left are clamoring for government intervention. As I’ve posted before, the city of San Francisco had gone as far as banning Happy Meals in order to squash the gluttony. The War on Fat is upon us! Who better than the bloated, corrupt, debt burdened state to take care of the problem!

Progressives are unable to “cut the fat” when it comes to government spending, but damn the torpedoes on the fat kids eating cheeseburgers. Before anyone complains that I’m unconcerned about fat kids, it should be noted that nowhere has government intervention reduced obesity. Well, I take that back. I’m pretty sure prisons reduce obesity. Prisons outside the United States I mean. Even the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have gained weight. Oh, and let’s not forget one of the greatest wars on fat ever: the collectivization of farms in the Soviet Union shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution. It was awesome. Millions starved to death! Yeah for big government! But I digress… Julie Gunlock wrote on The Corner today about the obesity issue.

This year, Ohio State University released a major study on childhood obesity. The study revealed that only three activities help reduce childhood obesity: eating dinner at home with your family, watching less television, and getting enough sleep at night. These are all basic parental responsibilities.

Gunlock also points out that according to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity rates for children haven’t budged in over ten years. What?!?! How can this be possible in a world full of Happy Meals? There is a great deal of of hyperbole about the long term health effects of obesity.

More recent research on obesity has found only a very slight (and statistically insignificant) increase in mortality among mildly obese people, and that in fact it is underweight individuals who have a higher rate of death than those in the “healthy” weight category. [emphasis added]

I guess being too skinny is a bigger problem. Now that’s a problem the federal government can solve immediately. The State cannot force people to be good parents. My parents made me go to sleep at a regular time every night, the heartless fascists. I wasn’t allowed to eat fast food very often and we didn’t drink gallons of soft drinks, Kool-aid or whiskey. In other words, they cared.

The First Lady will claim a lot of great headlines with her obesity initiative, but little will be done to combat the real problem. The real problem is parental responsibilty.

3 responses to “Real Problems: Fat Kids

  1. Nearly all medical physicians would agree there is an obesity problem and that 20 years down the road we will be facing serious health issues. Now, we all know that obesity leads to higher risks for health problems. And we all know that an influx in people heading to the doctor will; (a) raise health insurance rates to compensate for the expenses and (b) increase the funding for govt health programs that cover the elderly or those who cannot get private insurance. Since health insurance companies are “profit” minded, efforts to avoid covering those who drive up costs (obese) will undoubtedly be implemented. Since the fattiest foods are fast food, cheap, and easily accessible the poor will naturally be drawn to these options. Eventually, the poor will need more and more medical attention for their growing health issues related to their poor nutrition. Since most Americans don’t want the mandated health insurance coverage, a steady increase of people will show up in the ER. And who do you think pays for the ER bill for someone without coverage? The taxpayers.

    Capitalism is a great thing. But nothing is perfect. And the imperfection of capitalism is that decisions are based on profit and not the well-being of the society. It’s not about controlling what people eat. It’s about looking ahead to a societal problem that we will have to pay for because of an industry. Just look at the tobacco industry. Could you imagine how much money we would have saved in health premiums and medicare taxes if we didn’t have to treat an entire generation of tobacco users? Who will treat the generation of fast food eaters? Answer: the tax payers. You want lower taxes and health insurance premiums right?

  2. I should have added this to my post. I can’t remember if I’ve written about it before, but fat people generally live shorter lives. Healthy people tend to live longer and accrue more health care costs over time.

    Deb, prepare to have your mind blown. Here are the numbers:

    Cost of lifelong care (from age 20 onwards)

    * Slim and Healthy Group: $417,000
    * Obese Group: $371,000
    * Smoking Group: $326,000

    Maybe obesity is the answer! If you live long enough something will eventually kill you and whatever it is will most likely be very expense to treat. Obesity is a problem, but it’s not one that can be solved by the state. Also, by reducing obesity we would also increase health care costs.

  3. Great study! Definitely got me thinking about the other side of the issue. However, the study should be interpreted cautiously, For example, it assumes a baseline health status beginning at age 20. This means everyone is equally healthy at age 20. The problem is that recent studies are finding growing rates of obesity in US infants. 1/3 was the latest number. We simply don’t know how much more the first 15 years of an obese child will cost.

    There are other issues but every study is flawed so I won’t dwell on those. I appreciate the link. Very nice.

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