No, Marianne. NO!
I know that your BMI is not an infalible mesure of your health, and I get that there are people who have certain medical conditions or are just big made. But I also know that they are the minority.
Between 1990 and 2000 obesity in Irish men doubled, in the States the rate of childhood obesity tripled between 1980 and 2008. Both correlate with changes in lifestyle, specifically poorer diet and less exercise, these people are obese because of choices they are making, and these people are the majority.
Now, you will say that I’m ‘body policing’, and that’s because I am.
If you’re lucky enough to have all your parts working the way they should, then you have a moral obligation to make the most basic of efforts to keep them functioning because there are plenty of people who don’t have that option.
I Mayo Clinic’d obesity:
If you’re obese, you’re more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:
- High cholesterol and triglycerides
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome — a combination of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and high cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Cancer, including cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, breast, colon, rectum and prostate
- Sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts
- Gallbladder disease
- Gynecologic problems, such as infertility and irregular periods
- Erectile dysfunction and sexual health issues, due to deposits of fat blocking or narrowing the arteries to the genitals
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat builds up in the liver and can cause inflammation or scarring
- Skin problems, such as poor wound healing
Now all of these things can strike a completely healthy person with a very good lifestyle, but that was out of their hands, they got screwed over by fate. If you are obese because of reasons within your control then you should be ashamed of yourself for squandering the opportunities you could have had that someone else is denied through no fault of their own.
This is also one of the reasons that your ‘eating disorders are to thin, what obseirty is to fat’ argument is total nonsense. A mental illness is in no way comparable with something predominately caused by poor diet and lack of exercise.
And then there are the figures, look at the stats you posted:
1.2% of Irish girls may be at risk of developing anorexia nervosa, with 2% at risk of developing bulimia nervosa
These figures are minuscule compared to the 22% of Irish 5-12 year olds are overweight or obese.
Your tax argument is equally inconsistant, the health service in this country spend €4 billion a year on problems related to obesity, compare to €1.2 billion due to alcohol, and €365 million due to smoking. Governments should, and most of the time do, legislate to discourage behaviour that leads to such a massive drain on the exchequer before it reaches a point where they need to use hospital services, thats how welfare states work.
Oh, and we give money to arts and sport because they produce a social good, obesity is just a drain.
*At this point I would drop my microphone and walk off*
I have a twitter now! I was very skeptical of twitter for a long time. I even went so far as to scoff at it, as Stu can attest. But, as I find is often the case with things I openly mock, I have been totally sucked in and I’m now happily tweeting away about my day-to-day exploits. It’s riveting stuff. In a way, I’m glad that the bulk of my short-form blathering has been rerouted away from facebook. At least if you’re following me on twitter, you signed up for the regular short-form blathering.
Anyway, I got into my first twitter debate the other day! Well, not really a debate, because I don’t think it’s possibly to have a meaningful dialogue in
incisive and witty 140 character spurts. SO WROTE A BLOG POST ABOUT IT INSTEAD.
This got super long, so more behind the cut!