Midnight Rantings

Tired rantings in a tired world.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

The obese are in the news again. This "epidemic" facing our country is out of control. Steven Milloy points out the problem with the statistics of the obesity problem. Obesity is more than gluttony. To be sure the morbidly obese have problems and will have health problems, but to put overweight and mildly obese in the same category is a little disingenuous. Sandy Szwarc wrote a series of articles for TechCentral Station about obesity. After doing a lot of searching, she basically states that (b)y removing weight as an issue, recognizing the benefit of all foods and letting Americans take responsibility for their own health, there won't be anyone or anything to blame anymore.

The fast food restaurants have already seen the writing on the wall. McDonald's plans to phase out super-sizes. This after only one lawsuit. This will not solve the fundamental problem of freedom choice. Instead of giving people the facts and letting them make an informed decision, we are forcing them to conform. This is similar to the problem over movie popcorn, Chinese food, etc. Sure, if all I did was eat movie popcorn, I would have a problem. How many people do that? If all I did was eat McDonald's, I would have a problem. Not necessarily because of the food in question, but the problem of loss of essential nutrients. If a person has a well-balanced diet, then a Big Mac will not kill them. The clod, who made the movie eating only McDonald's, should have his health ruined. No one, not even obese people, eats McDonald's three meals a day everyday. I am not defending McDonald's. I do not really care for McDonald's. I care about the freedom to choose what to put into my body.

As Mr. Milloy notes, we may be getting heavier, but we are living longer. The "epidemic" does not seem to be causing very many deaths. We should be proud that our society has made our poor people the heaviest in the world. What society in history has done that?

Forces array against your personal freedoms. This is my central rant. If someone wants to shove greasy cheeseburgers down his gullet everyday, how is that my business? If these cheeseburgers cause health problems, then he should accept the consequences. Frankly, it is a little bit insulting for someone to tell me how to live.