Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Obesity, Responsibility, Plausibility

David Cameron has just weighed (pppffffttt) into the Great British Obesity Debate with a call for fat people to face up their, alright our, responsibilities. It's our fault that we are fat and it's up to us to do something about it. No use pulling a tarpaulin over the elephant in the room: we're fat because we're greedy and lazy and it is time to take ownership of our problems. Political correctness has gone too far. We need to start judging people a litle more.

But what to do? How should we take responsibility for ourselves and our families? For the Nation? Well, perhaps the smoking ban gives us a clue. Since July of last year 400,000 smokers have quit, according to the world-famous Chard and Ilminster News. Which seems like a lot, but anyway - let's say that's true. Changes to the environment can have a major impact on behaviour. If people don't want to be fat and unhealthy, they (we) will probably welcome reforms that hold out the prospect of their losing some weight.

So let's not whine about processed food and the corporations that promote it, or go on about the obesogenic horrors of modern life, like a bunch of tofu-munching, Hampstead-haunting, Guardianista , more-organic-than-thou, er, bi-coastal, food Nazis. Let's get to it and put into place a series of public interventions that will reduce obesity; we could ban advertising to children, we could remove junk food from schools and public institutions. We could, if we were really serious, ban the promotion of foods with a high sugar and fat content, or require processed food advertisers to pay for equal air time for advice on healthy eating.

Surely David Cameron, hungry for votes as he is (I am killing me here), can see that steps to improve public health like this are sure-fire vote winners. And unlike empty and vicious calls for the healthy and wealthy and wise to despise the poor and the disadvantaged (from a former booze peddler, no less), action of this kind stands a chance of working.

So what if a few extremely powerful vested interests will suffer! They are filth-peddlers and it's political correctness gone mad not to judge them for it.

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