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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Coffee!: If you are going to be a “denialist”, why not be an obesity denialist as well, ...

If you read this blog, you are a denialist already, probably. You doubt that truth flows one way from the Establishment, and there is no hope for you. So, ... Here, Julie Gunlock comments on the response of professional busybodies to people who doubt that The Government Can Make Everybody Thin:
Hiatt also echoes the first lady’s warnings that fat Americans are all going to keel over from obesity-related diseases. This also doesn’t pan out. 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.

But the real crux of Hiatt’s piece is to call into question the “obesity deniers” whom he says history will judge harshly (alongside global warming deniers, natch). He asks: Could anyone really be against children eating healthier food and getting more exercise?

Hiatt shouldn’t stoop so low as to question these so-called deniers’ motivations. We’re not some sort of anti-kid cabal set on ridding the world of these loud, sticky creatures. Instead, those who have been critical of the first lady’s mission simply question the efficacy of school lunches and are concerned about the decreasing role of parents in a child’s life. These “deniers” also see this effort to provide children more nutritious school meals as only treating the symptoms of childhood obesity, not the disease. In other words, Americans have to tackle the much bigger issue of just why so many children rely on these school lunches and why parents are so willing to cede this responsibility to the government.

- Julie Gunlock, "The Passion of the Obesity Deniers" (December 28, 2010)
Well, as I have written elsewhere, when I was a kid, it was hard to get fat:
. . . in that pre-microwave era, cooking was labor intensive, so children ate mostly at home at mealtimes. Between home and school we were largely unsupervised—definitely a no-no today—and we rode bikes, swam, or ran for hours on end.

Fat? Most of us couldn't get fat if we tried.

Today, by contrast, the internet turns out kids whose best-exercised body parts are their index fingers.
To say nothing of the fact that, if Mom couldn’t think up chores for kids, Dad sure could. Or Grandma, or ... So it was usually better to be out swimming or cycling beyond shout reach.

As a longtime denialist, I would say that if the government cannot restore those millennial childhood conditions, taxpayer-funded crabbing about the existence of French fries will hardly produce the desired results.

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