Writing in the LA Times, David Gratzer, a doctor and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, takes on the “McVictim” syndrome that has become all too common an excuse for why so many Americans are fat. He also lays out a startling fact: (emphasis is mine)
Obesity is preventable, but its consequences seem difficult to avoid. Consider that the cost of treating resulting conditions such as diabetes is about 7% of all U.S. healthcare spending — and a significant drain on federal and state budgets. Obesity is a national security threat because it severely limits the pool of military recruits; in 2009, the Pentagon indicated that since 2005, 48,000 potential troops had flunked their basic physical exams because they weighed too much. Most important, obesity is a human threat, destroying otherwise healthy lives and increasing personal health costs, all for the sake of a few daily moments of instant gratification.
Just last week someone told me about a 7-year-old who is already substantially overweight and whose parents have been told that if the child doesn’t start to exercise and consume a reasonable diet, diabetes and heart disease are nearly assured by the time the child is a young adult.
The answer to all of this isn’t more government regulation of food; it is to be frank with people about who/what is causing obesity and frank about the solution. In short, to find the obesity culprit, just look in the mirror. When done accepting reality, head outside for a brisk walk before eating a reasonable dinner.