The BBC would agree with the title of this post. They have walked through their news stories of 2007 and listed the ones that affected obese people or obesity. The list isn’t pretty, but keep in mind this is for the UK only. The US has seen a wave of media reports about obesity throughout 2007, as it seems to be the new cause the media will rally around as a health battle. I have no idea why they don’t go for low hanging fruit such as immunizations for kids or even ensuring innercity kids are worm free.
Rolling through their list you’ll see:
Kids taken from parents. In the UK the BBC uncovered multiple times where children were taken from their parents simply because they were obese. Childhood obesity became another form of child neglect along the lines of physical and sexual abuse. In many cases the children had no medical impact of obesity besides their weight. One cannot imagine what would happen if the US undertook such a position. Would it stop with obesity? Maybe parents who allowed their children to play “too” many videogames would be next.
Rationing healthcare for obese patients. This trend is based on the fact that the UK has national healthcare, and there is only so much to go around. While I agree with the fact that obese people should pay more for their coverage, I am unsure if they should find limited options based on their weight. One could make an argument for poor people who lack the ability to pay for aftercare or even proper nutrition. Per chance we would find more success by eliminating wide food choices and implementing a series of government approved food stuffs. Yes, that is sarcasm.
Obesity as dangerous as climate change. I don’t even know where to begin with this one, but the BBC did quote the UK Health Secretary Alan Johnson. I guess if you want to hook your media train to something it might as well be climate change.
The interesting thing about these stories is that they all suffer from knee jerk reactions to a problem that is becoming more and more benign. Yes, obesity is a bad thing. Yes, it does affect society. Yes, there are more important things to worry about.