So after years of extremist scare tactics and scientists screaming from every rooftop that the Nation, nay the WORLD is getting fatter by the very second, that our children were at risk from the DEADLY and contagious disease of fat and if we didn't do something drastic, we would all become enormous blobs living in little floating chairs sucking down 5000 calories a day and die of diabetes...leaving the earth to lower life forms (like cockroaches and fundamentalists)
Then, in a trick reminiscent of the stage magician who pulls the tablecloth away while leaving crystal and candlestick undisturbed, the CDC comes out with the astonishing information that there has NOT been a significant increase in the number of obese people in the last five years (since 2003).
Oh, happy day! The billions of dollars we've been dumping into government tactics and research and programs and banning coke machines in school are finally paying off!
Wait, the trick isn't over yet...what new wonders shall be revealed in our victory over fat? Why, that would be a 2004 CDC report that said...
...wait for it...
That there wasn't a significant increase in the number of overweight or obese people between 1999 and 2002.
Wait...1999? Isn't that BEFORE all the expensively necessary government programs to combatant this rampant "disease" that's going to overrun the world and kill us all? Does that mean that all the hype, hysteria and marginalization of over a third of the human population was to counter a problem that didn't exist?
Now for the best part...folks know that a magic show isn't a magic show without that finale, that moment where they stop pulling rabbits out of hats and create a wondrous disappearing act that leaves the audience breathless. In this case, the magicians at the CDC proved as never before that they can actually make facts disappear! Impossible you say? A violation of the natural laws so beloved by our scientific institutions? Well, I say to you that not only can this astounding feat be accomplished, but a further wonder is in store! Not only will the CDC make facts disappear, but in a dark act of magical transformation they shall re-appear...
A gasp falls over the crowd...dieting women faint away with astonishment and malnutrition,
Thank you everyone, please tip your waitresses...
Ok, so I take the analogy too far. It's a Friday. I missed breakfast because I had to chase down an escaping cat before work this morning and I get a little punchy :-) Let's try it again.
Despite that their own findings state clearly that there has been no significant increase in obesity rates in almost a decade, the CDC still tries to avert any correlating decrease in its budget by hastily re-assuring us that even though we're not getting fatter, even though we haven't been getting fatter in almost a decade, even though we weren't getting fatter when the government launched it's war on fat....well...we're still fat, right?
Yeah, yeah, that's it. So..like...we weren't trying to keep people from getting fatter, and, like, even if we were..it worked, right? Umm...so yeah we're just trying to make already fat people LESS fat! Yeah, that's it. So...like..don't be fat people. Where's my grant money? Gotta go, I've got a round of golf with GlaxoSmithKline.
Ok, one more time, and see if I can make it through without slipping into cynical mode..
In the face of their own evidence that "obesity" has not increased since 1999, and of increasingly frequent findings by others that fat doesn't cause all the nasty health issues attributed to it (in one of the greatest causality vs. correlation debacles since phrenology), they're still hanging on to the obesity fight like a hyena on a baked ham. Perhaps there's just too much at stake considering the millions they've poured into research, grants, school programs and their own staff to handle the load. Maybe they'd rather tackle obesity than a real epidemic, like aids...or stupidity.
Sorry...some days I just can't keep the snark in check. Best not to try, really.
On why I don’t care about health - As a Fat Studies scholar and fat activist, the issue of health is forever looming around me. In the background; in the foreground; off in the wings; wait...
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