Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stop funding obesity

Obesity is becoming more and more common, and especially among the poor. This promises to eviscerate the quality of life of people who otherwise could be expected to thrive. This is not a situation where the solution can come from government doing for people what they can not do for themselves. Rather, people, individuals and families, will have to change their own lifestyles from what is prevalent today.

If we are going to continue to share the risk of illness across a greater community, then the incidence of the co-morbidities of obesity must be much lower than what they portend to be, looking at current trends. Failure to improve our nation’s health will undermine radically the extent to which the public can provide healthcare to those without the means to acquire these services on their own.

Simply continuing to provide aid to low or no income people without seeing improvement in their health status is unsustainable. The gravitation to a society where people in good health contribute all of their resources to prop up those in failing health is not likely to proceed long on this path before upheaval undoes the connection between the haves and have-nots.

It is time to require those who receive health coverage from the state to comply with interventions to reduce childhood obesity. We can not afford to take on responsibility for a demographic train wreck, and why would we want to try? Compassion alone should motivate us to put in place requirements that are in obvious need, and absent of which widespread catastrophe can be expected.

Mere objection to change will not prevent changes from occurring. Given the unsustainablility of the status quo with respect to aid to the poor, change is not only in order, it is inevitable. We can actively alter our course, or allow things to drift in high seas towards a rocky shore. And no one is isolated from the ravages of the demise of families in our community.

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