I make no bones about the fact that I am obese. I could lose 50 lbs and just barely get below the standard BMI (Body Mass Index) indicator for obesity. According to this chart, I am “severely obese” which is just a hairsbreadth from me being “morbidly obese.”
My “ideal weight” ranges from an impossibly thin 149 pounds to a reasonable 183 pounds. I spent most of my 20’s in the 160-170’s, most of my 30’s in the 180-190’s and since I was about 42 I have been over 200 pounds.
So yes, I am a enemy of the state - a borderline morbidly obese American who greedily uses health care resources that would be put to better use by thin people. (Haven’t been to a hospital for illness since I was 6 months old.) To make my crime even more heinous, I am a smoker, a couch potato (thus not contributing to the gross domestic product by purchasing all that useless exercise equipment), and a red meat eating, potato chomping, cold cut binging, mayonnaise slathering, coca cola swigging criminal mastermind who wants to overturn the established order in America and corrupt the young.
Fortunately for you, I am not contagious:
It has actually happened. Lawmakers have proposed legislation that forbids restaurants and food establishments from serving food to anyone who is obese (as defined by the State). Under this bill, food establishments are to be monitored for compliance under the State Department of Health and violators will have their business permits revoked.
House Bill 282 was introduced in the 2008 Mississippi legislative session on Friday by Representative W.T. Mayhall, Jr., a retired pharmaceutical salesman with DuPont-Merk. Its co-authors are Bobby Shows, a businessman, and John Read, a pharmacist.
This is a joke, right? In America? How could this happen in the land of the free and the home of the busy-bodying, do-gooding, well meaning health Nazis?
Is this a tongue-in-cheek bill, meant to point out how absurd the war on obesity has become? Or do lawmakers actually believe the myths that gluttony is the cause for obesity and that it is the governmentâ€™s role to force people to eat and live how it deems best?
I called lead author, Rep. Mayhall, and asked if this was serious legislation or tongue-in-cheek to make a point. He kindly took a moment to answer my question while the legislature was in session. He said that while, regrettably, he doesnâ€™t believe his bill will pass, this is serious. He wrote it, he said, because of the â€œurgency of the obesity crisis and need for government action.â€ He hopes it will â€œcall attention to the serious problem of obesity and what it is costing the Medicare system.â€
Ah, yes. What it is costing the government run health care system. Let’s get a peek of where this kind of deep thinking will lead. Let’s go to Great Britain and look in on their version of Hillarycare or Obamamedicine:
Doctors are calling for NHS treatment to be withheld from patients who are too old or who lead unhealthy lives.
Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone.
Fertility treatment and “social” abortions are also on the list of procedures that many doctors say should not be funded by the state.
The findings of a survey conducted by Doctor magazine sparked a fierce row last night, with the British Medical Association and campaign groups describing the recommendations from family and hospital doctors as “outÂrageous” and “disgraceful”.
It may be “outÂrageous” and “disgraceful” to contemplate withholding treatment from the obese, the old, those “undeserving” of help in order to allocate resources to the pretty people but that doesn’t mean that Great Britain’s national health care program isn’t headed toward a day when those kind of decisions won’t be necessary.
But the issue here is not so much sticking it to the obese as it is forcing private businesses to enforce the government’s disapproval of obesity.
Should this pass, scales will appear at the door of restaurants, people with BMIs of 30 or higher wonâ€™t be allowed to be served. And to comply with government regulations, restaurants will have to keep records of patrons’ BMIs.
The Crusaders who believe they have the absolute right to tell us what we can eat, drink, ingest, or smear on our bodies will never stop. It is not about “health.” Nor is it about “the children.” For them, it has always been about control - the ability to tell others what to do and get the emotional satisfaction of being, in their own mind morally superior to the rest of us.
Their current target is the obese. And as long as they target one minority after another - smokers, fast food overeaters, sugar addicts - they can continue with impunity.
One day, they will come after you - probably for something you can’t imagine being harmful or anti-social. But their need for control knows no logic nor no bounds.
And then where will you be, my friends? Where will you be?
Pretty much of a first. James Joyner is at a loss for words.
And from Misha’s “You just can’t make this sh*t up” file, his highness has some high quality photos of a gaggle of BBW’s doing their best imitation of “piling on.”
Talk about meat on the hoof…