Monday, 25 August, 2003

Who's at fault for fat?

This AP article does a pretty good job of summing up the two major camps in the debate over who is at fault for America's obesity problem.  As the article states:

The left's view is that the food industry and advertisers are big bullies that practically force-feed people with gimmicks and high-calorie treats.  They say Ronald McDonald is the cousin of Joe Camel.

The right's argument has been dubbed:  You're fat, your fault.  They say people can make their own choices about food and exercise.

In the left's view, we're all at the mercy of "Big Food."  Their argument implies that people are sheep, powerless to resist the barrage of advertising for Big Macs, Hostess Ding Dongs, and Kellogg's Pop Tarts.  We're like moths drawn to the flame of high-fat, high-calorie foods promoted by beautiful people, and spurred on by gimmicks like  million-dollar giveaways.  Our children are mindless puppets, unable to resist Ronald McDonald, free toys, and in-restaurant playgrounds.  Parents' voices cannot be heard over the television; the sight of their good examples blocked by billboards.  Toucan Sam, Tony the Tiger, the Lucky Charms leprechaun, and the Trix rabbit are evil influences; heirs to Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man.

What a load of crap.