The new normal?

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Where I’m at: Chicago (until late March)
What I’m doing: frustrated at BarBri’s technical support
Why I’m posting: gauging public opinion
As the intro states, I’m gauging public opinion on something. And since the entire public reads this blog (my mom and wife = the entire public), I thought I’d use this forum to ask. If you have thoughts, please post them in the comments, email me, or call me.

So President Obama and Congress are considering a number of efforts to reduce childhood obesity. There’s been talk of a soda tax, more money for public schools that provide healthier lunch options, more money for preventative health, etc. Heck, ol’ Barry was even in one of those NFL “Play 60” commercials promoting 2 hours/day of TV and 1 hour of outdoor time. [Note: there’s more than a foot of snow on the ground in Chicago right now. One hour of outdoor time = negative 2 toes]

My question is this: is this all misplaced? There’s wide acknowledgment these days that obesity is a problem in the U.S. It’s even officially a disease (mostly for insurance purposes). But the problem is so widespread that a full 2/3 of America is officially overweight, nearly 30% is obese, and the numbers for children is quickly catching up (about 50% and 20%, respectively). It thus appears that for once in our great, but sometimes manic history that we’re discriminating against the majority – or soon-to-be-majority – on an issue of this sort [Note 2: that comment should draw some criticism, people]. So should we care? Is overweight the new normal? Obese the new overweight? Not overweight the new dangerously skinny?

It seems a ludicrous concept to become accustomed to, but we’ve done it before. As these blogs posts have already pointed out, we’ve frequently come to widely accept ideas that relatively recently had been blasphemous to many.

I could say a lot more about this, but I’d rather hear from others. So there’s the question: will fat be the new normal?

(PS: Scroll down and keep posting to the polls!)
Who said it: Michelle Obama, First Lady and a pretty good lawyer herself
Why it’s relevant: She just rolled out her “Let’s Move” initiative designed at “conquering” childhood obesity in one generation

The quote: “This isn’t about politics…I’m talking about commonsense steps we can take in our families and communities to help our kids lead active, healthy lives.”


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