Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Fatification of America

Do we wonder why America is becoming obese?  Burger King's newest burger boasts 1,000 calories of pure junk and a LOT of fat calories.  I mostly don't eat stuff like that.  Well, hardly ever, really.  I'm still a bit overweight - about 10 pounds or so, but nothing like a couple of people living here.  One of which is somewhere around the 400 pound mark.

How do I know? Unlike my great lack of skill in being able to estimate people's age, I am usually pretty close on guessing a person's weight.  I have learned that having extremely heavy people living here is not the same as having normal weight people, either.  I would go into it in detail, but, I  really am not looking to hurt anyone's feelings.  If you are obese, I can't help you - but you can help yourself.  I know, I know, there are some that have medical conditions that make them heavy.  Don't doubt that, what about the rest?  I'm actually shifting in to the camp of agreeing with a fat tax.  I'm really not trying to be insensitive, but at the same time, I don't really want to have to pay for someone else's obesity in the form of extremely high health care coverage costs.

There has to be, at some point, an extreme "penalty", some sort of incentive - probably a negative one - that will induce people to to start losing the fat and weight.  Just like some places that are considering a $5 tax on every pack of cigarettes to discourage smoking, so, perhaps, some sort of disincentive, I guess I should really call it, for people to stay at a weight level that is WAY overboard.

But, as long as places like Wendy's; McDonald's; Jack-In-The-Box; Carl's Jr (especially that place!); Burger King and all the rest of it both exist and thrive, that is a great sign that the weight problem is going to only get worse, not better.  Around these parts, exacerbate the problem with a huge number of Mexican food restaurants.  Refried beans and lard.  Just take a glimpse at the fat content of refried beans or a flour tortilla, main staples in the Mexican diet.

I love all of that food, I really do.  Yet, at work, I mostly buy salads and use non-fat dressing.  I sometimes spring for the Santa Fe salad - which has a package of guacamole in it and that also has fat calories - but I still use the non-fat dressing.  It's always chicken, so no encounters with beef or pork.

The only way I can see to break America of the fat habit is to hit them where it always hurts the most: in the wallet.  Just like some life insurance companies make you do a swab inside of your mouth to determine whether you smoke or not, so should a fat test be included in any health care coverage plan.  Make them pay an extra 20% or whatever figure deemed sufficient for health care coverage and see the gyms start filling up.

But, we pander.  We are a nation of panderers.  Senseless condoning of things that are bad or bad for us because we want to all be politically correct.  Because if we say something like what I have stated here, it might be offensive to some.  Their feelings might be hurt.  Well, my feelings have been hurt many times in my lifetime and I am still here, still plodding along and I am sure everyone on the face of this planet has had their feelings hurt as well.

Perhaps the government should look at helping people lose the fat instead of taking over the health care industry in the United States.  It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court rules on Obamacare.  If we were a nation of mostly fit, healthy-level-weight people, well, figure it out.