Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Will My Excess Weight Become a National Crisis? Has It Already?

Any political analyst who only pontificates about war, health care, global warming, energy, gay rights and abortion and doesn't think about tomorrow's issues may be missing a major issue that could have considerable influence in upcoming elections -- how fat we are. What?

It's not just me and how fat I am.

Sure, I am fat, actually obese by any measure. But so are a lot of other people and now, according to at least one source, the problem has reached crisis proportions. They've only been talking about this for 10 years or more, but now...

Health officials say the latest state rankings provide evidence that the nation has a public health crisis on its hands.

Unfortunately, we're treating it like a mere inconvenience instead of the emergency that it is," said Dr. James Marks, senior vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropy devoted to improving health care.


Perhaps I've been wasting my time worrying about our present problems including infrastructure neglect, election reform,etc., when our nation has more than 30 percent of us who are not just overweight, but obese. It's hard to go to any public venue in Michigan and not notice that my roundness is not unique. Hell, there are a lot of fat folks out there and I am just like them, so why worry. Everybody does it, right? Well, not the other 70% who are not obese. A good bunch of them are just "pudgy," "chubby," or maybe even "feeling the freshman 15."

Now comes word that Michigan is among the worst in the nation. How could that be? Our Governor is a fox, slim, healthy and about as vigorous as governors come. O.K. lets, not mention our Lt. Gov.

But we have some pretty healthy Democrats here, don't we? Sure, I was the fattest guy on the dais at the Jeff-Jack dinner, but those very polite Dems didn't mention it. Not one of them said I was a crisis. They might have been thinking it, but they didn't say it. Maybe I was chosen to represent those 30% or at least the token white fat guy with a beard. If only I had known -- I could have been throwing my weight around.

Maybe John Cherry has a natural 30% constituency he hasn't thought about. Pay attention, Mark B., but don't look in the mirror just yet. You've got enough on your plate.

But seriously, folks, issue development takes time before the general public becomes fully aware of the true proportions of an issue, pun intended.

Health costs are out of sight and if we are ever able to put together a national health care program that makes sense, even an effective state health care policy, we need to address obesity. We need a plan and some slogans.

It's easier to think about slogans first even though we know the slogans should come from the plan and be another tool to carry out the plan.

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask how many pounds you can lose for your country.


Might work.

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