I’m just wondering if it’s a function of aging. For example, people tend to lose bone density and weight as they age. The Baby Boomers, the largest generation, are aging and would be changing the statistics rather dramatically. Think about it. When you visit an old folks home, how many people are super overweight? Is it because the morbidly obese people have already died, or is it because they slim down because they eat less, absorb less, or whatever.
I don’t really think that awareness campaigns have anything to do with the dwindling numbers. Everyone knows, and has known, that being grossly overweight is unhealthy. When it comes to smoking, people didn’t realize the health risks for a very long time. The statistics and evidence demonstrated how bad it is and reversed the smoking trend.
People have always known that candy and fast food and excessive this or that is bad for you–they did, and do, it anyway.
So are people changing or are they just aging? I couldn’t tell from the research. It’s good news that people aren’t getting fatter, but I don’t know that the information says much about changed American behavior.
Who really cares about a pudgy Surgeon General? Remember K. Everett Koop? He was lovable in his Little House On The Prairie, old timey Doctor sort of way. Was he the Supreme Master of Fitness? Uh, no. But that wasn’t his job. His job, if a Surgeon General, even has a real job, was to explain, in simple terms, important health initiatives to the masses.
The Surgeon General’s job qualifications seem to be one: be a decent doctor, and two: be able to communicate easily. Mostly, people don’t know who the Surgeon General is, though they surely guide and direct policies and form part of an administration’s enforcement minions. So maybe a Surgeon General’s real power is behind the scenes.
Some Leftists believe the Surgeon General is very important. At Going Granola, the anonymous writer, a journalist and life-long vegetarian says:
But she also deserves criticism as a doctor for living an unhealthy lifestyle. Part of the oath of a doctor is the phrase, ” first do no harm.” As a medical professional who knows that diabetes runs in her family, Dr. Benjamin is doing harm, to herself. This does not set a good example for the rest of the nation.
Her personal weight issue is not an attack on her race or gender. (I am amused that it was brought up by a man who obviously is struggling with his own weight) Bringing up Dr. Benjamin’s race is an attempt to shock listeners away from the true debate, it’s nothing but noise to drown out the fact that fat is not ok. Sadly this is just more evidence that being overweight is okay in America.
See, Dr. Benjamin needs to have the moral authority to enforce the states rules. A skinny Surgeon General would be a much better tool to enforce government policies over what you eat, how you eat, how much you weigh, if you get insurance, what treatment you receive, etc.
A Leftist will be upset about Dr. Benjamin because the state power to affect social change is inhibited by a fat Surgeon General. And that’s why a skinny Surgeon General matters to Leftists.