'McVictim Syndrome' Helps Keep Americans Fat

Opinion: Americans want to find a scapegoat for their waistlines
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2010 12:04 PM CST

(Newser) – A physician worried about the nation's obesity epidemic says Americans must first overcome what he calls "McVictim syndrome"—the urge to find a scapegoat. "McVictimization teaches Americans to think that obesity is someone else's fault—and therefore, someone else's problem to solve," writes David Gratzer in the Los Angeles Times. The harsh reality is that a lousy diet "is almost always a poor personal choice."

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Sound public policy has a place in fixing the problem, but until this culture of blame-someone-else is defeated, laws and regulations are pointless. "Governments can't micromanage your waistline for you," writes Gratzer. In fact, overzealous laws may actually make the problem worse. "Americans won't make better choices if the McVictim syndrome provides a convenient excuse to carry on as before." (Read more obesity epidemic stories.)

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