Back when I had my own website “Doctors For Freedom”, I always dedicated my monthly November entry to celebrating all that is fun about U.S. obesity. Okay, so I didn’t get to it in time for this Thanksgiving, but after mixing all those ridiculous food groups, that nap wasn’t going to take itself.
According to one study, the obesity rate in the 2-4 age range dropped in 31 states. The CDC (federally funded) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (ditto), inferred that this improvement was in part due to WIC (a federal program), but didn’t specify what happened in in the other non-improved 19 states. To make up for the oversight, the article name drops Michelle Obama (wife of a federal employee, and herself a major advocate for federal programs) because she too opposes toddler porkiness. The best state was Utah (8.2% obesity) while Virginia (20% chub rate) was the worst, oddly so since it is next to D.C. from whence all good things flow. The average obesity rate is 14.5%, up from 8.2% in 1992.
But hold on – another study that prompted First Lady O’ to proclaim being “thrilled at the progress we’ve made over the last few years in obesity rates among our youngest Americans” actually said they got fatter. “Published online in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, [it] used the same data source as the CDC, but analyzed obesity rates over a different timeframe. It found increases in obesity for children age 2 to 19, and a marked rise in the percentage who were severely obese.” This study shows an increase to a higher obesity rate of 17.3%. So pick your study.
According to stateofobesity.org, the adult obesity rate now exceeds 30% in half the states. In between going back for thirds and loosening my belt, I tried to find Medicare performance/quality measures and payment penalties for specifically for increased obesity rates. No such luck, and I’d be grateful if anyone could direct me to them. Of course there are penalties for not controlling hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes to approved levels, so …
What it all boils – or fries – down to is that we are a fat society, and after this past weekend I damn sure need to hit the treadmill. But it’s not my fault if my patients don’t do the same. And even as all the larger forces are conspiring to make it my fault, we have this tasty bunch, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance and their “Guidelines for therapists who treat fat clients.” The way this cookie really crumbles is that there should be no federal role, no subsidized advocacy, no low-cost food, no mandated do-gooderism, and no associated biscuit toxicity penalties from the federal government. And I didn’t make you take that last slice of pie.Tweet