The Joke is On All of Us

Jay Leno said, “Now there are more overweight people in America than average weight people. So overweight people are now average. Which means you’ve met your New Year’s resolution.” Funny right?

In a Fourth of July message a few years back, the Center for Consumer Freedom, an advocacy group financed by Coca-Cola, Wendy’s and Tyson Foods, stated, “Worrying about the rapid rise in American obesity is unpatriotic.”

“Far too few Americans,” declares the center’s Web site, “remember that the Founding Fathers, authors of modern liberty, greatly enjoyed their food and drink. … Now it seems that food liberty – just one of the many important areas of personal choice fought for by the original American patriots – is constantly under attack.”

Quoting from Paul Krugman’s op-ed article in the New York Times, “Girth of a Nation“, “It sounds like a parody, but don’t laugh. These people are blocking efforts to help America’s children. I’ve been looking into the issues surrounding obesity because it plays an important role in health care costs.   According to a study recently published in the journal Health Affairs, the extra costs associated with caring for the obese rose from 2 percent of total private insurance spending in 1987 to 11.6 percent in 2002. The study didn’t cover Medicare and Medicaid, but it’s a good bet that obesity-related expenses are an important factor in the rising costs of taxpayer-financed programs, too.   Fat is a fiscal issue.”

As the health care reform debate rolls on and the expenses of new programs and laws are tallied, doesn’t it make you wonder if real personal responsibility for our health and wellness wouldn’t be the best solution. On the Center for Consumer Freedom’s website, they say, the Center “is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. We believe that the consumer is King. And Queen.

A growing cabal of activists has meddled in Americans’ lives in recent years. They include self-anointed “food police,” health campaigners, trial lawyers, personal-finance do-gooders, animal-rights misanthropes, and meddling bureaucrats.”

Tony Horton, creator of Power 90 and P90X among other programs, offers his own opinion, posted in a note on Facebook.   He says, “Your poor health is ruining this country. It’s not the Democrats and it’s not the Republicans, it’s YOU! Your inability to move your ass and eat right is a burden on the rest of us. If you’ve turned things around, I thank you for your courageous effort. Just keep going. If you have not then find a way. Now! I’m tired of listening to all the whining and finger pointing from people with no discipline and bad habits. Good Health Care starts with YOU taking care of your health!”

I guess that the Center for Consumer Freedom would say that Tony, along with a lot of other people trying to bring about positive change, are “activists” meddling in American’s lives. I say he is being honest about the reality of health and fitness in this country…


Richard Dafter
Spring 2009 Team Beachbody Top Coach
Independent Team Beachbody Coach
Team Howtobefit Head Coach
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