The “obesity epidemic” has been in the news a lot recently.
That makes me suspicious.
Now before we go any further let’s be clear I’m NOT advocating everyone becomes obese or that there’s anything “body positive” about being 400lbs & unable to see your own feet.
I’m NOT saying obesity is not a problem for a lot of people.
I’m saying that this problem is very likely about to be hijacked – & overstated – and potentially vulnerable people are about to be exploited in order to sell an agenda that has nothing to do with helping people or increasing human wellbeing.
So, let’s take a look.
In December, the UK magazine Politics Home published an articlewarning that the NHS needed to “Prioritise prevention or prepare for its collapse”, which made special mention of obesity:
Britain is eating itself to death, and it is a recipe for imminent disaster for the NHS.
Last Wednesday, at Davos, there was a panel dedicated to “Fighting the Obesity Epidemic”:
On Friday The Telegraph warned that the “obesity crisis threatens the world’s financial stability”
Then, on Saturday, the Mirror reported on a “bombshell study” that revealed “Obesity’s terrifying impact on your likelihood to get cancer”
Of course there was no mention of the idea that maybe the chemicals in ultra processed food that make people obese might also give them cancer, because that’s not the agenda.
But what is the agenda?
I know nobody here is naïve enough to believe any of these people or institutions genuinely care about the NHS, the economy, cancer or the welfare of the overweight, so what’s really going on?
The answer to that seems to be taxation, medication and – in the long term – probably rationing.
If you think I’m just guessing, well then here’s an opinion piece from this weekend’s Sunday Times arguing “Junk food tax can stop Ireland’s obesity crisis hitting critical mass”.
Taxation – check.
Second, there’s medications. That’s the big topic here.