Fat Nanny State


We can’t criminalized everything in this country.  An obesity is not a crime.  Sorry.  In a recent example of stupidity, “Legislators in Puerto Rico are debating a bill that would fine parents of obese children up to $800 if they don’t lose weight”. What?  Listen, as a physician I want our citizens to be healthy.  I don’t want our kids to be obese.  That being said, I really don’t think parents want them to be fat and unhealthy and stigmatized either.  It’s obvious that we really don’t know what we are doing in understanding nutrition (goodbye cholesterol intake guidelines) and environment and how the wrong choices are screwing us up.  But to fine parents is moronic and will lead to a different type of abuse.  This is not a Fat Nanny State.  At least not yet.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  8 comments for “Fat Nanny State

  1. T Newberry
    February 18, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Curtailing individual freedoms is downright un-American – particularly when the effect is largely to the individual. People do not choose to be obese. Other than the obvious moral failings like poverty, why do they have so little control?

    Well, if the food industry could make food addictive, would they? Of course they would. That’s just good business. Even if any individual company wanted to do better, they are trapped. What would happen to McDonalds if they abandoned the appetizing model for the good-for-you model? How long would they last?

    We want freedom TO eat how we want. Can we also have freedom FROM the unwanted influence of the food industry? How about more effective regulation on that side?

    And sorry to quibble with you Doug but we do not need to understand nutrition to understand what the problem with it is. To put it simply – YOU CANNOT ARTIFICIALLY BALANCE A DIET.

  2. Ana
    February 18, 2015 at 11:03 am

    You should take a look at the legislators themselves. Are they going to penalize their own parents $800 for being fat?

    • Ana
      February 18, 2015 at 11:18 am

      My apology if what I wrote disturbed you, no intent.

  3. RWatkins
    February 16, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    It’s outrageous to hold parents responsible for their obese children. Everyone knows that it’s their doctors who are to blame.

  4. Russell Brunet, DO
    February 16, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    How about we stop subsidizing corn. It’s pretty hard for impoverished families to afford anything without HFCS.

  5. Steve O'
    February 16, 2015 at 11:06 am

    P.J. O’Rourke toured East Berlin in the bad old days, and noted “Everything that is not forbidden is compulsory.” His writing bears a re-read; East Berlin is a history tour nowadays, as all of Berlin is reunited; but here in the US, we’re picking up his observation and running with it.

    Raising citizen awareness, i.e. “Here’s why you s**k,” is very much in vogue. Healthcare, vocations, and politics seem to revolve around a recitation of the other person’s failings. Uncle Phil says you are bad – go with it. Fat-children = failing-parents = source of government revenue. Huh? And where does the money go to – broccoli billboards? A million-dollar Madison Avenue ad campaign about the virtues of spinach? Prob’ly.

    • Pat
      February 16, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      PJ O’Rourke is badass, and nails it

  6. February 16, 2015 at 11:04 am

    If we must make stuff illegal, how about making it illegal to add sugar to baby food?

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