Saturday, August 18, 2012

I am a reductionist

Pardon the pun. Then you might wonder why it's so difficult for me to (as my mom's generation would say) "reduce" and lose 25 pounds. Is obesity a disease or a moral failing? Sorry, but put me in camp #2. It's downright delusional to think the following: 
The groundbreaking report and accompanying HBO documentary, “The Weight of the Nation,” present a forceful case that the obesity epidemic has been driven by structural changes in our environment, rather than embrace the reductionist view that the cause is poor decision making by individuals.
What "structural changes"? Too many McDonald's restaurants per square mile? Climate Change? Mind control from outer space? Hormones in milk?

I joked with Mr. P. that some folks actually believe there is a conspiracy by Big Food: they've put secret ingredients into snacks to make them irresistible to munchers. Mr. P. snorts: "Yes, they're called sugar and salt."

Since obesity is now in large part (sorry) a problem of the poor, another delusionist thinks that cash payments will help people make better choices, calling bribery a "new silver bullet in global health." Good luck with that.

There is only one silver bullet: it's called Self-Control. The hard part is figuring out how to get there, after decades of If it Feels Good, Do It and Get Your Laws Off My Body morality.

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