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Government Health Care: Trojan Horse for Fascism

In about the hundredth post in this series, yet another example of government health care costs being used to micro-regulate even the smallest personal lifestyle decisions:

The city that banned plastic grocery bags and styrofoam take-out containers has found a new cause: your favorite soft drink. San Francisco may impose a new fee on those big retail stores that sell them. The purpose is to curb the obesity problem among kids and adults. Such fee or tax would be the first in the nation.


San Francisco says the obesity problem is costing the city too much money in health care costs. Studies have linked obesity to diabetes and heart disease.

"One third of all of our new on-set diabetics are type 2 because of obesity and this is in children now," says Robert Lustig, M.D., Endocrinologist, UCSF.

It is perhaps appropriate, given the polls in Iowa, that Mike Huckabee precipitated one of the earliest posts in this series:

Mike Huckabee, the Governor of Arkansas, now requires annual fat reports. These are sent to the parents of every single child aged between 5 and 17; a response, he says, to “an absolutely epidemic issue that we could not ignore” in the 1,139 schools for which he is responsible.

I just cannot craft any reasonable theory of government where this is the state's job.   The "obesity" crisis in this country just amazes me. "Experts" every few years broaden the definition of who is overweight or obese, and suddenly (surprise!) there are more people defined as overweight.  Even presuming it is the state's job to optimize our body weights, is it really the right approach to tell everyone they are too fat?  Having known several people who were anorexic, including at least one young woman who died of its complications, is it really a net benefit to get young people more obsessed with looks and body style? And what about the kids that are genetically programmed to be overweight?  Does this mean that years of taunting and bullying by their peers is not enough, that the state's governor wants to pile on now?

It is interesting to note that governor Huckabee apparently started this initiative after his own personal battle with weight loss:

[Huckabee] lost 110lb after being warned that his weight, more than 280lb after a life of southern fried food, was a death sentence. A chair even collapsed under him as he was about to preside over a meeting of state officials in Little Rock.

We all have friends who have lost weight or gotten into homeopathy or became a vegan and simply cannot stop trying to convert their friends now that they see the light.  Now we have the spectacle of elected officials doing the same thing, but on a broader scale and with the force of law, rather than  just mere irritation, on their side.  One can only imagine what report cards kids would be carrying home if Huckabee had instead had a successful experience with penis enlargement.  What's next, negative reports for kids with bad acne? For women whose breasts are too small?  For kids who are unattractive?

Update: I see Q&O posts on the same issue

Posted on December 18, 2007 at 08:18 AM | Permalink


This is a very nice post. Thanks for the info

Posted by: Provigrax | Dec 18, 2007 10:46:59 AM

You are absolutely right. I wish more people, voters and those in office or seeking office, were as sensible.

Posted by: WP | Dec 18, 2007 11:13:58 AM

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