As a disclaimer: I identify with, most closely, the libertarian party (see my post on FA and libertarianism). Logically, I would not be supporting any of the current candidates for the presidency based on my views; each of them hold some kind of deal-breaking beliefs which makes it impossible for me to rubber-stamp them in. I don’t do the “lesser-of-two-evils” thing. Perhaps it is convenient I live in Massachusetts, which is never a state in contention during the general election. Therefore I can write in my own candidate, which I plan on doing, without even the hint of the possible sabotage to the candidate of ‘least evil.’
That being said, this post is merely educational. I’m not for any of the front-runners right now over another; I want to illustrate that, in their own words, we are careening ever deeper into the inevitability of fat discrimination in the next presidency.
The prevalence of overweight, obesity, and eating disorders is increasing at an alarming rate in our country. It is time that we recognize the causes and costs associated with poor dietary behaviors and physical inactivity and begin to focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and behaviors. To address these issues I have co-sponsored the Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity (IMPACT) Act with Senators Frist (R-TN) and Bingaman (D-NM). This legislation, which passed in the Senate in the 108 th Congress, would provide grants to train health professionals and students in obesity and eating disorders; grants to promote increased physical activity and improved nutrition; and provides funds to collect and analyze data related to obesity and youth health behaviors.
Here’s my analysis:
Line 1: indicates that she firmly believes in the verity of the junk science behind the so-called “obesity epidemic.”
Line 2: indicates she believes that obesity causes disease and poor health, and suggests the government intervene with anti-obesity programs.
Line 3: confirms she believes in government-sponsored and -enforced programs to ‘combat’ obesity, and in fact has co-sponsored a bill to that effect.
Line 4: details the anti-obesity initiative: the first part would either create new anti-obesity sections in health classes in high school or reinforce those existing, as well as “training” care-givers to accept and/or promote the junk science behind the so-called “obesity epidemic;” the second part would give monies to create programs which would further regulate and ritualize what children eat, and get them to exercise more; and further creates programs to find more correlations between “youth behaviors” and “obesity,” cementing the idea that obesity is behavioral, not genetic, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
From his personal website, bullets taken from his “health system reform” page:
Childhood obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are all on the rise. We must again teach our children about health, nutrition and exercise – vital life information. Public health initiatives must be undertaken with all our citizens to stem the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes, and to deter smoking
Bullet 1: confirms his believe in the so-called “obesity epidemic” rash of diseases. “We must once again teach our children about health,” etc indicates that the Thin People of Yore had apparently more nutrition and exercise training than children do now. “Vital life information” suggests that fatter people won’t live as long, which has been shown to be false.
Bullet 2: not only indicates that obesity/diabetes is a choice like smoking, but says that “public health initiatives” i.e., government intervention, “must be undertaken to stem the growing epidemic…”
Taken from his official healthcare policy.
The nation faces epidemics of obesity and chronic diseases as well as new threats of pandemic flu and bioterrorism.
This nation is facing a true epidemic of chronic disease. An increasing number of Americans are suffering and dying needlessly from diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma and HIV/AIDS, all of which can be delayed in onset if not prevented entirely. One in 3 Americans—133 million—have a chronic condition, and
children are increasingly being affected.52 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 1 in 3 children born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.53
Childhood obesity is nearly epidemic,59 particularly among minority populations,60 and school systems can play an important role in tackling
this issue. For example, only about a quarter of schools adhere to nutritional standards for fat content in school lunches.61 Obama will work with schools to create more healthful environments for children, including assistance with contract policy development for local vendors, grant support for school-based health screening programs and clinical services, increased financial support for physical education, and educational
programs for students.
NOTE: Obama uses statistics from this CDC 2004 obesity study, referenced in his plan. This study was investigated and shown to have inflated its numbers. A JAMA study later on showed that the CDC’s numbers had been, in fact, inflated by about 400%. A good exposition of the CDC 2004 study is here.
Points: I don’t have much to say about this that hasn’t already been said in response to Clinton’s and McCain’s plans and observations. Also, my “NOTE” at the end of the quotes from Obama’s plan discredits his major source of information, likely cherry-picked to push forth an agenda considering it just took me a quick Google to discover the JAMA refutation to this study (which his staffers should/could have done).
A fat acceptance activist would be hypocritical to support any of these candidates, given their anti-FA beliefs about fat, obesity, and required government intervention. Furthermore, there is every indication that they would vigorously promote those same anti-FA beliefs, spending tax dollars on ignorant and biased programs that would only serve to in one way or another harm future generations of Americans.
Plan of action: Write in your own candidate. Seriously. Stand against fat discrimination, ignorance, and hate in a consistent manner. What does it serve you to vote for these candidates based on 90% of a platform you agree with, when that last 10% is so discriminatory, ignorant, and potentially harmful?
Given that I don’t expect all FA activists to do this, and most to vote for one of these three front-runners, please resolve to do all you can to educate your favorite future administration as to their error of their ways. For their error will become our terror, if we give them, with our vote, the power to commit it.