A new report shows people, the world over, are living longer than ever! Yay!
And people, the world over, are fatter than ever! Yay!
So what’s the problem? Why isn’t this good news?
Well, you know those kids who say they would rather have cancer than be fat? Ali Mokdad, co-author of a report published in The Lancet, claims that the health burden from obesity is greater than hunger and we have to do something about it!
Yeah, because I’m sure that someone would much rather die of hunger than of fat. Oh wait, the predictions of fat people dropping dead early haven’t materialized – in fact – news flash – PEOPLE, THE WORLD OVER, ARE LIVING LONGER THAN EVER / PEOPLE, THE WORLD OVER, ARE FATTER THAN EVER!
Since so many fat people have had the audacity to keep on living instead of dropping dead on schedule, Dr. Mokdad is predicting that all these fat folks will be old sick fat folks and require lots and lots of medical treatment.
For example, per Dr. Mokdad: “We’ve figured out how to keep the person who suffered a stroke alive, but then they’re living disabled for years afterward. That’s not the quality of life that person expected.”
Maybe not, but for many (if not most) disabled beats dead.
Dr. Mokdad makes the assumption that old fat people are sick/disabled people. He seems to be unaware of (or is ignoring) research that shows health benefits fat people may have (especially as we get older).
According to the CNN article on the report: “Researchers credit advances in medical technology for longer lives.”
Okay. So, even if fat old people tend to be sicker or end up disabled (which is not a foregone conclusion), does Dr. Mokdad think that medical research and technology stops here? If more and more people will benefit, don’t you think the research and technology will focus on the need (and the monetary payoff for meeting that need)?
And by the way, this is not the first time Dr. Mokdad made predictions about fatties. He used to be employed by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and he was one of the authors of the CDC report that said:
At least 400,000 Americans die of overweight and obesity every year, making it soon to surpass smoking as the leading cause of preventable death.
HOWEVER, as noted in the article by Dr. Linda Bacon in the Fall 2006 NAAFA Newsletter:
In fact, obesity and overweight only result in an excess of 26,000 annual deaths, far fewer than guns, alcohol or car crashes.
So excuse me if I take Dr. Mokdad’s current predictions with a grain (or two) of salt (preferably around the rim of a Margarita glass).
And Dr. Mokdad, please stop peeing in the world’s Cheerios; and just be happy more people are on the right side of the grass longer than ever.