Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Obesophobia: Just eat less everyone!

Pathologically steer clear of populist wisdom, is a maxim to which adherence would normally be advisable, but occasionally there arises an issue in the media where common sense is apparently so palpably subverted that it is simply not possible to resist manifesting an attack of the “Jeremy Clarksons”.

Initially I was tempted to respond to the news that a study had declared individuals no longer responsible for their own obesity, in just such a fashion. Having ruminated briefly on the issue and simultaneously on a full fat buttered slice of toast, I came to the more measured conclusion that although this was the angle the BBC were taking on the story, the experts behind the research were simply highlighting the scale of the problem and concluding that it was simply not enough to submit the issue to individual responsibility ALONE any longer.

The damning statistics detailing decreased productivity and spiralling costs of care for obesity related conditions for the NHS, does compel the government to consider what it might do encourage healthier eating. Any initiatives however, should be constrained to education and encouraging healthier diets and life-styles. Actually changing dietary habits, or adopting a healthier lifestyle, remains solely the prerogative of the individual however this story is reported. It is simply none of the government’s business to actually attempt to regulate what people consume and how they spend their leisure time (whether through indirect taxation or other methods).

Now if you’ll excuse me I must go and buy some beer before ordering a curry for a sedentary night watching international football.

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