I watched this NPR program Sunday (audio at the link) and though it had a good set of arguments from Stossel, Campos, and the former Surgeon General David Satcher (even though I disagreed with his assessment.) However, the strident, angry, and arrogant posturing of Pamela Peeke — a woman with the charisma of an eel and the argumentation style of a Bolshevik commissar was not just unconvincing, but gave a face to the real personality behind many Progressives I’ve known.
She’s angry. Not just that you’re a fatty fatbutt that won’t exercise because they haven’t gotten enough information out there (Does anyone out there not know that a bit of exercise will help you slim down a bit and stay healthier?) or that we haven’t forced folks — starting with coercing children in schools — to slim down…it’s that Stossel and Campos have the audacity to disagree with her! A medical professional!
She’s dismissive of other opinions. Not just in a “I don’t agree and here’s why” fashion, which Dr. Satcher and Mr. Campos exemplified, but with the insulting, condescending manner that those who “know better than you” use for their intrusions into your life, from banning large sodas and salt, to berating women in hospitals for daring to not breastfeed but choose a bottle, to taking away physical education and competition because it could hurt children’s self-esteem (only to decry this trend, as Peeke does, later.)
These health professionals are right — being fat can adversely affect your health. you should probably get off the couch and go for a walk. (Charles Dickens famously used to walk 20 miles or so a day. A relative of mine regularly strolls the same to Lock Lomond. they were (and are) heavy. But they were healthy.) What they also won’t tell you is that the new weight standards are much more aggressive than they had been 20-30 years ago. At 5’9″ and in the 180 range, depending on the day or what I’ve had to eat, I’m overweight. 20 years ago, I would have been normal. How much of our “obesity epidemic” (a misnomer, as this is not a disease, but the consequences of actions) is due to moving the bar on people? And at what point are we
perfect healthy? Do I really have to be 165 pounds?
The idea that people are not aware that exercise is good for them, and being overweight could be disadvantageous is ludicrous. Aren’t these the same people telling us that the media gives a skewed image of “perfection” to the youth of America? There are very few celebrities that are not (too) skinny. Could it be that the people that internalized this message are “the public”, but professionals like Peeke.
Say we get everyone health and slim eating organic home-grown sustainable rabbit food…what will she have to be angry about? Because reformers do not stop being busybodies; it is what they define themselves by: important, caring folks that are making the world better? Maybe the next “epidemic” could be folks that have dangerous hobbies like mountain climbing (good for getting slim!) or skydiving. These are pretty hazardous to your health — I’d submit more so than carrying an extra 20 pounds. What about motorcyclists like myself that like to push ourselves and our machines harder than we should? Marksmen and -women who play with things that go bang? Or swimming? If you get tired and stop, bad things happen to you. Should we prevent these people from doing these activities? If it is a public health issue, wouldn’t if behoove the public — especially now that we’re on the hook for health care coverage — to either prevent or exclude these daredevils from health care access?
What about astronauts…space is dangerous! There’s no air, there’s loads of radiation, the lack of gravity attacks the muscle and bone of the space traveller.
You’re being ridiculous, Scott! Am I? Salt is necessary for your body’s function, yet because a few studies showed a temporary increase in blood pressure after sodium ingestion I’ve had to listen to multiple lectures from health “professionals” about the dangers of salt since I have high blood pressure. Never mind my sodium levels are perpetually borderline too low. Banning large sodas? Or sugared drinks altogether? You would have been (and should have been) laughed out of the room even 10 years ago. Now Michael “the Duke of New York (He’s A Number-One!)” Bloomberg wants to harass women in hospitals for not breastfeeding…something dear to my heart as “medical professionals” nearly killed my child by not feeding her for almost a day, because my wife — despite her milk not having come in — said she wanted to breastfeed.
Reformers do not stop. They do. not. stop. They will always find something to be outraged about and try to control you through it. They are naturally unhappy people who wish to, as the Bare Naked Ladies sang in Angry People, “drag you down…until you’re just like us.” The only response to these people is to say “NO”, to push back, if need be physically.
Gee…I kinda sounded like Pam there, didn’t I?