What the Right (and Left) Get Wrong in the Obesity War
Choice is great—but we're making the wrong ones, writes Cathy Young
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 13, 2010 1:34 PM CST
"The ultra-libertarian opposition is reinforced by a populist one which regards healthy, low-calorie food as elitist and effete, and hot dogs, Big Macs ... as the mark of real Americans."   (?meshmar2)

(Newser) – As Michelle Obama and Congress champion efforts to fight childhood obesity, the right, led by Sarah Palin and Fox News, is angrily firing back. While some of their concerns are fair—that healthy-eating messaging can escalate into “propaganda,” for example—others suggest “a reality check is in order,” writes Cathy Young at RealClearPolitics. "For the right, 'my body, my choice' means not only that the government shouldn't be able to ban your favorite junk food or ship you off to a fat-farm gulag, but that you should be able to gorge yourself into obesity without having to endure societal disapproval or lectures from do-gooders." But the anti-obesity campaign is about “persuasion,” not “coercion.”

"Parents have the right to decide what their children eat—but let's not pretend that many of them don't make woefully bad decisions." To wit, a third of American kids are overweight, and almost 20% are obese. "Personal choice is a fine thing; but not every choice deserves to be celebrated," argues Young, who closes by pointing out an irony: The right's "anti-food police" movement is a cousin of the left's "fat acceptance" movement. "True, the cult of thinness poses its own health risks. It is equally true that no one, adult or child, should be treated cruelly because of body weight. But the answer is not to go to the other extreme and normalize, if not glamorize, obesity or the lifestyle choices that create it."

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Showing 3 of 20 comments
Dec 13, 2010 6:48 PM CST
who boy. what a mare's nest this topic has opened up. on the one hand most view the very obese negatively. someone who weighs ----- plug in the number, is disgusting, a pig -------plug in the rest of the disparaging words. 300+ lbs. might be ok and comfortable to one person but to another 30+ lbs just might be disgusting. no food should be banned. there is no reason for the govt. to do so. and hopefully no one should fear the that takeover. food is a personal choice. except were children are concerned. if one is raised on twinkies, fries, mac and cheese, white bread etc. one is not going to embrace a card sized chicken breast, or beef with a side of veggies and whole wheat bread. anorexia isn't any more pretty than the morbidly obese. the military is now having a problem finding fit recruits. many are turned away because they are too fat to serve. no word on the anorexics on that one. personally i'm not liking my 20 lb. overage. but then, last night i watched a show about the world's fattest man who got married in 2008 and hadn't left his bed in 6 years.. manuel uribe weighed 1,230 pounds in 2006. a flatbed truck hauled his ----- fill in the blanks to his wedding ceremony. granted an abomination. but whose?
Dec 13, 2010 6:11 PM CST
How about teaching moderation and encourage being active. Stop cutting recess, gym classes, and after school sports. Serve healthier school lunches, fries are not a vegetable!
Dec 13, 2010 3:19 PM CST
Liberal (Rational) view on obesity: "It's important to eat healthy and be active because you wont be as sick as much and you won't spend as much on health care and you'll live longer and have a better quality of life." Conservative (Retarded) view on obesity: "It's mah rite to be a miserable fat fuck. How dare the gubmint tell me that I shouldn't eat deep-fried salt smothered in cheeze (real cheese is spelled with an s) so mah heart duzzint 'splode and I kin see mah own penis. That's fascism ah tell ya!! Obammy is worser than Hitler!!" Night and fucking day people.