As reported in the Daily Telegraph, British politician David Cameron openly declared war on the “culture of moral neutrality” by “calling on the obese, the idle and even the poor to accept some responsibility for their plight.” (see video here)
Going further, Cameron says that “Britain risks creating a society where nobody is prepared to tell the truth about what is good and bad, right and wrong… Society has become far too sensitive to people’s feelings with no one prepared to say what needs to be said…. Instead, we prefer moral neutrality, a refusal to make judgments about what is good and bad behaviour, right and wrong behaviour. Bad. Good. Right. Wrong.”
About obesity in particular, Cameron said “We talk about people being at risk of obesity instead of people who eat too much and take too little exercise. We talk about people being at risk of poverty or social exclusion. It’s as if these things – obesity, alcohol abuse, drug addiction – are purely external events like a plague or bad weather.”
He went on to speak about personal responsibility – “We have seen a decades-long erosion of responsibility, of social virtue, of self-discipline, respect for others, and of deferring gratification instead of instant gratification.”
Wow, strong words indeed. I can only imagine the nasty emails in his Inbox after this went public.
If the comments from this blog post are any indication, then the honorable Mr. Cameron will definitely need a shovel to clean up all of the @$%#& and &$%#@* and ^#$$@& when he is finished sifting through his Inbox.
So, Is He Right or Wrong?
IMHO, he is…
- 100% politically incorrect and…
- 100% right on the facts.
Barring any genetic abnormality, such as a congenital leptin deficiency, we ARE responsible for our weight gain.
- We choose which food we eat
- We choose which beverages we drink
- We choose how much we eat
- We choose when we eat
- We choose where we eat
- We choose how much physical activity we get
- We choose how long we sit on our butts
- We choose our leisure time activities
- WE CHOOSE…no one else chooses for us.
So…is this the end of story? Is it all my fault? your fault? the lady with the morbidly obese kids’ fault?
Obesity is not the same as alcohol or drug abuse. I don’t need to drink or smoke, but I do need to eat.
I just don’t need to eat bacon and Bagel-fuls and processed food-like products and high fructose corn syrup and Big Macs and Beefaroni and Slurpees and Frosted Flakes and triple latte mocha sugar bomb coffee desserts and……
And while it is 100% my fault if I choose to eat obesogenic processed foods, there is a systemic problem that contributes to the obesification of modern humans.
Western governments have decided to subsidize the production of obesogenic foods with your tax dollars. This has allowed big food producing companies to become giant food producing conglomerates able to pump out cheap calories that are nutrient deficient leading to a perpetual hunger for more cheap calories.
And those tax subsidies are unlikely to ever be repealed. The American (processed) food lobby spends a LOT of money and applies a LOT of pressure on government representatives to keep pumping tax dollars toward the big food corporations. This keeps the price of processed foods artificially low and the price of healthy foods comparatively higher.
Which…if you are on a strict food budget (and have kids addicted to processed food), makes it difficult to break the habit of buying obesogenic food.
Difficult…but not impossible. It is still YOUR choice to buy food that makes you and your fault that your kids are fat and unhealthy.
NOTE: In addition to voting with your wallet, feel free to combat the lobbyists by writing all your political representatives a “sternly-worded” letter threatening to organize a campaign against their re-election unless they start taking the health of your kids into consideration.
Or…like most of us, you can do nothing and be surprised when your kids become fat & unhealthy.