Shut Your Big Fat Mouth

I absolutely hate it when people trivialize big issues.  In an age where reputable sources of information are easily accessible, ignorance is inexcusable, even more so when you’re in a position of influence.  For the sake of sparing others around you the poison of your ignorance, educate yourself.  Do not add to the rhetoric of half-truths, hearsay and unbacked opinions!

Why this desperate appeal?  Sarah Palin time and again proves how dangerous ignorant rants can be.  This time she spoke of an issue, or rather commented on the addressing of an issue, of which I feel strongly: obesity.  As a food scientist and an aspiring doctor, it’s a public health issue that I hope to tackle head on.  Also, I suffered from childhood obesity, and I’ve only recently been able to control my weight within the past few years (for those who haven’t seen me since graduation, I’ve lost about 35 pounds to date :-)).

I don’t get what Sarah Palin’s trying to prove when she opens her mouth.  It seems she’s against anything that any democrat supports.  If Obama says the sky is blue, she’d find a reason to say that it’s not.  So her recent criticisms of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” Campaign which targets childhood obesity, is really just hot air.  She claims that government needs to step back and stop interfering with people’s lives and let parents make their own decisions about what to feed their children.

As I understand it, participation in “Let’s Move” campaign is more or less voluntary.  It is not law, it is an INTIATIVE.  Obama may lobby for certain legislation that support the initiative, but participation in the “Let’s Move” campaign is not compulsory in anyway.  The point of the campaign is improving the health of the younger generation, which is disproportionately afflicted by obesity.  The national goals of the initiative hope to bring changes to the nutrition of school lunches and the legislation that regulates food in schools.

I may be speaking from my own personal experience here, but as I remember, unless the child had some dietary requirement, parents rarely interfered with what the schools fed their kids before…  So how is the initiative to feed the nation’s children healthier meals any more intrusive to parenting than the way school lunches operate now or have in the past?  Anyway, parents are always trying to get their kids to eat more vegetables (at least my Mom always did)…. so shouldn’t salad bars at schools and healthier options be a good thing?  I don’t know, I don’t have kids… if I did, maybe I too would be outraged, à la Sarah Palin!

The First Lady’s goals are admirable to say the least.  The fact is that obesity statistics in the Western world are staggering. In the UK in 2009, 61 % of the total population was either overweight or obese.  The obese percentage of the country’s population has consistently been increasing, particularly in households earning the least in the nation (I think this well known fact is telling and supports the claim of the complex nature of the disease’s development, which is something that is rarely addressed when treated, but more on that later).  In the US, the obesity trends have been just as disturbing (take a look at this animation here).   Two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese and the national average of obese adults is well over 20%, with something like a third of adults classified as obese.

In the spread of any disease during an epidemic, one of the populations at a higher risk of infection are children.  Obesity, though not infectious, is no exception.  In the US, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years, predisposing the upcoming generation to a plethora of chronic diseases such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and heart disease, just to mention a few.  It is predicted that one in three children born after 2000 will develop type II diabetes.  The children are our future and with this health crisis afflicting them, the future of the Nation’s health is in jeopardy.

I don’t get it.  It seems that Palin isn’t even aware of the magnitude of the obesity epidemic or else she would be praising Michelle Obama for her efforts.  Considering the potential economic and public health consequences, shouldn’t it be something she’s more aware of as a mother (0r, more appropriately, as someone who has Presidential ambitions)?  Just do us all a favor, Palin, please, for your own sake and ours: just shut your big, fat mouth (but we all know she won’t… damn that first ammendment…)!

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Take me away from here… Nightmares live where you live…

~ L. Astounded

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