Skinny Americans Escalating War on the Fat

Advocates push for 'sin taxes' and other punitive measures
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2010 1:14 PM CST
Skinny people are fed up with their girthier brethren.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – America’s ever-shrinking population of skinny people is fed up with obesity, and they’re not taking it anymore. Over the last decade, healthy people have advocated increasingly harsh measures penalizing their wider neighbors, the LA Times reports. Some notable offensives:

  • Pennsylvania’s Lincoln University floated a plan to force obese students to take fitness classes.

  • Mississippi’s legislature introduced a bill to let restaurants refuse to serve the obese.
  • PETA ran billboards showing obese women in bikinis accompanied by the message, “Go vegetarian.”
All of these efforts failed, but the tides are starting to turn. Many employers now offer wellness programs that give lower premiums and other financial incentives to the thin—indirectly penalizing the heftier among us. Supporters of such initiatives say that obese people cost society money, by driving up medical costs. But sociologists say there’s other underlying resentment. From economic waste to environmentalist fears, “we’re struggling with other issues of consumption,” says one.

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