Free Markets, Free People

BMI

You can see this one coming a mile off

The other day in the comment section of one of the many posts on health care, Looker brought up the fact that the new HCR law counts obesity as a chronic illness and uses Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine whether or not one is obese.   BMI, of course, is not the greatest way to determine obesity.  In fact, given that BMI is used, I even question the underlying definition of “obese”.  But that’s an argument for another day.  Suffice it to say, obesity is now officially a “disease” or “illness”.  And, of course, that means all sorts of new things when talking about it or taking action to counter it, doesn’t it?

So it came as no surprise to me to see this article about the conclusion of a recent study (timing being everything):

The study, involving rats, found that overconsumption of high-calorie food can trigger addiction-like responses in the brain and that high-calorie food can turn rats into compulsive eaters in a laboratory setting, the article said.

[...]

“Obesity may be a form of compulsive eating. Other treatments in development for other forms of compulsion, for example drug addiction, may be very useful for the treatment of obesity,” researcher Paul Kenny of The Scripps Research Institute in Florida said in a telephone interview.

Obesity-related diseases cost the United States an estimated $150 billion each year, according to U.S. federal agencies. An estimated two-thirds of American adults and one-third of children are obese or overweight.

Question – is there anyone out there that hasn’t understood that much of the obesity we see is caused by overeating and overindulging in the wrong  types of foods?   Anyone?  So that’s not news, is it?

So what is the key point to be gleaned from this study?

Well, what does “compulsive” mean?  Ah, yes, now you get it.  The first sentence leads us into the swamp.  Compulsion, as it is used here, is synonymous with addiction.  If obesity is a form of addiction that changes the whole game, doesn’t it?  It is suddenly something you can’t help.  It is something you need help beating, right?   And – follow me here – if the medical profession now finds itself with more and more “government insured” patients who are considered “obese”, per the law and obesity is a “chronic illness”, per the law, what’s likely?

For those who still aren’t following this,  don’t forget the first lady has declared “war” on childhood obesity, the last sentence above tells us that “obesity-related diseases cost the United States an estimated $150 billion each year”, and the government has promised to reduce health care costs via preventive medicine.  So where do you assume that leads us?

Or, here, let me ask this another way that may simplify it for you- which industry is the next to be demonized and which group is next to be draped in the mantle of victimhood and told “it isn’t your fault” while the rest of us pay for their “treatment” ?

~McQ

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