Smoke A Fatty

May 31, 2007 

With the proportion of the U.S. population defined as clinically obese approaching 33%, the Massachusetts legislature is considering a bill making it “unlawful” to discriminate against fat people. 

Maybe they are still reeling from “Teddy Kennedy’s photographed 1982 nude promenade on the public sands of Palm Beach, reportedly in the presence of several old ladies”. 

Aside from the fact that I was once hip-checked out of a buffet line by a 300 pound woman behind me who was hell-bent to get that last piece of lemon-chicken...this is one of the most ridiculous legislative proposals of 2007. 

When you think “fat”...smoking should come to mind. 

Obesity and smoking are both personal lifestyle decisions.   

Obesity and smoking both supposedly incur enormous economic costs on society. 

Obesity is the result of a food compulsion whereas smoking is a chemical addiction...much research supports the argument that nicotine is one of the most addictive “drugs” on earth. 

But, the same government that actively penalizes and discriminates against smokers now wishes to enable obesity. 

The American Obesity Association estimates that “the direct health care costs of obesity (were) $102.2 billion in 1999”. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that the 1998 cost of obesity was $78.5 billion. 

In 1998, when the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) was finalized, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that the economic cost of smoking to society was about $50 billion annually. 

That would make the cost of obesity anywhere from 50% to 100% greater than the cost of smoking in same year dollars. 

For foisting cigarettes onto an unsuspecting American public, the MSA penalized the tobacco industry as follows: 

·        Up-front Payments ($12.742 billion)

·        Annual Payments ($183.177 billion)

·        Strategic Contribution Fund ($8.61 billion)

·        National Foundation ($250 million over 10 years)

·        National Public Education Fund ($1.45 billion over the next 5 years)

·        Attorney General Enforcement Fund ($50 million - one-time payment in 1999)

·        Payments to the National Association of Attorneys General ($1.5 million/10 years)

Or, as the National Association of Attorneys General bragged at the time, “Over the next 25 years, states will receive over $206 billion from the settlement”. 

The vast majority of those funds has thus far been squandered in the states’ general funds and never even minimally used for their intended purpose of smoking cessation and treatment programs. 

Additionally, a person’s right to enjoy a cigarette has been sharply curtailed.  In fact, the government and its supported NGOs have actively depicted smokers as almost subhuman creatures.  There is increasing momentum to even ban smoking within the confines of a person’s auto and/or home...but not in their Congressional office. 

More significantly, smokers are increasingly penalized for their nicotine addiction by way of federal, state and even local tobacco taxes...the first taxes to be increased to punitive levels. 

So the government position on nicotine addiction is to: ostracize the addict from normal society; make the addict feel subhuman; curtail the addict’s personal freedom to smoke; deny First Amendment rights to cigarette manufacturers and tax both the addict and the cigarette manufacturer into the dark ages. 

Yet, the government of Massachusetts, following the lead of both Michigan and Washington D.C., wish to protect fat people from discrimination...fat people who cost society twice as much annually as do smokers. 

Jeanne Toombs, a 300 pound piano teacher who is a board member of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, thinks that “overweight (are we talking an extra 20 or an extra 200?) people routinely are discriminated against because of their size...It's not fair. No matter what you think of fat people, they deserve to be treated like human beings”. 

While that may be true...they do not deserve, or have a right to, special concessions for a condition that is solely a matter of choice. 

The human body is like an automobile...it needs fuel to run.  Some bodies burn that fuel less efficiently than others, but the bottom line is that if you fill that tummy with 5000 daily calories and you only burn 2500—you will get fat.  Don’t blame anything except your appetite and/or your sedentary nature.  

Now, if you want to claim that food addiction is a medical condition...than that is a different story. 

In that case, the consumption of food should be regulated...like getting a prescription from a doctor for a bag of Doritos.  Or perhaps the government should open Twinkie clinics and help treat the disease. 

But beware...this will require additional tax dollars and should also include a curtailment of food advertising to the public.  And Ronald McDonald must be banned because he is nothing more than a propaganda vehicle enticing children to become fat. 

That 99¢ chicken sandwich will now cost you 99¢ plus a $2.50 fat tax. 

Already, in a state that loves to tax, “New Jersey's health department is escalating the battle against the bulge by starting a new Office of Nutrition and Fitness to better coordinate programs aimed at preventing obesity.”  Just imagine the shape of things to come in that state agency’s staff.... 

Think of this perversity.  New Jersey complains that it “...has many black and Latino youth, who are more likely to be overweight than white kids.”  So they give free food away to all comers and then spend millions on an obesity agency. 

Their strategy is to “de-normalize the massive portions served in restaurants”.  How do you spell further government interference in your right to choose? 

The ridiculousness of these proposal are obvious. 

It is just another “Oh poor me” from a group of people in this society who literally do not want to carry their own weight. 

And you will end up paying for it. 

 

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