Imagine the federal government of the United States came to your door with a national security problem — and asked you to handle it.
Well, it essentially is.
Obesity has become so common and so chronic that it is now a national health and budget crisis — one that endangers the future strength and vitality of the nation.
A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study predicts 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030 (aren’t they already?), and that 10 percent will be morbidly obese — meaning 100 pounds or more overweight (aren’t they already?). ...
If accurate, these projections paint a picture of an American health-care system, already straining under the weight of our unhealthy lifestyles, having to absorb untold millions more folks with obesity-related maladies, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Even if all these people were as fit as a fiddle, we’d have a demographic problem on our hands — with the baby-boom generation moving into retirement and being supported by a shrinking workforce. The nation is already $100 trillion behind in funding future retirement and senior health care. But weight-related illness only will make matters worse. Much worse.
That we’re facing a growing crisis isn’t the question anymore. The only question is what we’ll do about it.
And who will do it.
Some experts say you are powerless to control your weight, and the government must step in and do it for you. ...
That’s just poppycock. But that mentality will be used to encourage government restrictions on the locations of restaurants, the size of community infrastructure and even tax policy, including a surtax on sugary drinks.
If people were that helpless and in need of a government nanny, then obesity would be beyond 30 percent by now. ...
But while this may be a weighty national security problem, it’s not a government one. ...
May 19, The Augusta Chronicle