Mombama Tackles Obesity

So I read in a Reuters news article that Michelle Obama has taken on obesity as a cause.  Which I think pairs nicely with her “saving-the-world-one-out-of-work-corporate-lawyer-turned- organic-hippy-farmer-at-a-time” agenda she had last summer.  And why shouldn’t the two causes work well together? Veggies have been known to cure fatness, and the world can always use one less lawyer. It’s a win-win.

Initially, Momma Obama’s  (Mombama’s) new cause gave me a glimmer of hope, finally something I might be able to support.  Until of course I start to read the article, at which point I was instantaneously jolted out of that warm fuzzy feel-goodiness condition Chris Matthews suffers from every time he hears, says or reads the name Obama (that’s just after he forgets they’re black, or at least that’s what Matthews said) and back into the world of reality.  

This is just one in a series of disappointments for which I blame the Obamas.  My hope that the first lady and I might share a common goal was firmly rooted in the belief that I didn’t think anyone could screw up wanting to reduce the number of girthly challenged individuals in this country.  Boy was I wrong.  The statistics on which are downright frightening.  Nearly two thirds of all adults and one third of all children in the U.S. are overweight.  Which, by the way, is precisely why I can’t ever find a pair of size 2 jeans on a sale rack.  (Now there’s a cause).

So how did Mombama take a seemingly benign issue that everyone should be able to get behind and turn it into yet another Obama debacle?  Let’s see.  The first problem was getting the Surgeon General involved.  Now I’m not suggesting that the S.G. — Regina Benjamin — shouldn’t be involved.  She should.  Just not as test case.  Here is a woman who has admitted struggling with obesity herself.  In the absence of her overcoming this struggle, her example is not helpful to those who struggle with her.  If it was, then no one would ever need change anything in order to be a credible advocate for change.  Regardless of how well that irony has worked for our current president, it doesn’t work for people who seek real solutions to being fat.  I know, I’ve been pregnant, and the size of a tractor trailer on three separate occasions. I had to work to get my butt down to a respectable size.  It was ridiculously hard, but I didn’t need the government’s help to do it.  

Which brings me back to the phony “economic stimulus” bill passed last year. A reported $650 million in stimulus spending has gone towards the prevention of smoking and obesity. Now I ask you, how much money does it take to NOT put something in your mouth?  Last I checked that was free.  Not to worry, however, because the burden is not the sole responsibility of the government.  According to Ms. Obama, “everyone must be willing to do their part to end this public health crisis,” and “it’s going to take all of us.”  

Really?  Obesity is now a public health crisis like those other willfully contracted conditions called Swine Flu and Ebola.  (Ok, ok. Neither of them is really a crisis either). And what, exactly, must I be willing to do to?  You’ve already taxed me to pay for your “be free from fat” campaign, and I’m also not contributing factor to the problem. I’m skinny, hot and I support our military.  So really, everyday I walk out my door and go to work, I’ve done my part.  

Consider this for a moment; the U.S. government currently doles out about $150 billion a year to pay for complications related to obesity.  That is taxpayer money going towards a problem that is almost entirely self-induced.  We’ve got the Obama administration telling our military to pick and chose which life-saving weapons programs to give our warfighters because we don’t have the money and yet, people with Frito intake issues are getting hundreds of billions of dollars a year for insulin shots and wound debridement.  That’s wrong.

Now I’m chuckling and restraining a belly laugh. But it gets worse.

To further illustrate the severity of this horrific public health crisis, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said this, "The unhealthier we are as a nation, the more our health care costs will continue to rise and the less competitive we will be globally.”  Wow. That was a slam, a threat, and a deflection of responsibility all wrapped into one.  According to that statement the obese are responsible for our failure to compete globally, the taxpayers better get on board or their going to have to pay more money to care for the oversized global competition wreckers and finally, the administration had nothing to do with any of it.  Well played, Madame Secretary.  

I could have supported our first lady’s endeavors to make America less fat if her objective centered on individuals taking responsibility for their own condition and getting healthy.  But I grow so very tired of the collective mentality that says we are all responsible for everyone’s choices. No we are not  It is every Americans right to eat whatever they choose, and I for one, fully support that.  If you want to drown your sorrows in a gallon of ice-cream, everyday for the next decade, go for it.  Furthermore, I flatly reject the idea that exercising that right makes you a menace to our public health system.  The reason Ms. Sebelius sees the obese as a menace is because this administration operates off the principle of personal responsibility.  Put another way, we have to pay for them anyway so that gives us the authority to meddle with their menu. That’s wrong, again.  

Is obesity an issue?  Of course.  But as usual this administration has the solution backwards.  The problem cannot be solved from the outside in, i.e. the government and taxpayers dollars.  It must be solved from within.  The reason is simple. At the end of the day, no one –not Michelle Obama or Weight Watchers — can stop you from eating that donut.  You chose what and how much you eat, unless of course there is a gun to your head, but that can’t be everyone’s excuse.  Remember only you are responsible for donut denial (and the prevention of forest fires).