Friday, January 22, 2010

The BMI-Obesity Police Are Hanging With the Salt Police

Karen DeCoster over at LRC blog writes:

    The BMI-Obesity militarized police force is at your door, and they would love to stick your child into “intensive weight management programs” when necessary. And certainly, “when necessary” is open to a wide array of interpretations. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) — yes, Virginia, there is such a thing — recommends that all federal property, oops, I mean children, be screened for obesity at six years of age and older. The results of the screening will dictate what intervention will be “recommended” for your child.

    Well, you know how I love words and how people use them. The story states that Dr. Ned Calonge, chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health in Denver, says that changing behaviors in obese children, when they are still very young, is an “investment” that will pay off in the future. He notes that early intervention is “an investment that can pay off lifelong.” Hey, I’m off to TD Ameritrade to get me some of those shares! In fact, do I have to pay a capital gains tax on that? Or better yet, can I short ’em?

    As usual, just follow the money. From the article:

      Calonge said that at least for now, there may be a shortage of programs. But, he said, as more children are referred, and more insurers start reimbursing for the treatment, more programs should become available. He pointed out that when mammograms were first recommended, few centers were available to address this need, but that hospitals and private companies quickly filled the gap.

    Imagine all the treatment providers (health interventionists!) lobbying for this one?

    On the other hand, a computer simulation may be the basis for a federal program to beat the salt out of people. Salt is the new target of the lifestyle control community — I suppose soda, sugar, and trans fat got boring after a while. Here’s a tip for the salt police (from the article):

      Many food manufacturers have long sold “low sodium” versions of products, but generally they haven’t been popular with consumers.

    These products are all processed foods, made by a half-dozen or so mega companies that make up the bulk of the toilet food industry, and they all get special favors, patents, and unique powers from their friends in government — the same government that is demonizing the products that it subsidizes and puts at the top of the food pyramid. Imagine trying to sort out that conundrum: someone will have to figure out who all gets wealthy (and not just Big Pharma), whose products have to go away, and what those companies will get in return for having their processed, disease-bearing (non-food) food berated and banned. Can you imagine a chain of Monsanto walk-in disease intervention clinics? Surely, major insurance companies will cover all costs and pay handsome rates. Or how about ConAgra alternative, fast food restaurants that use only the finest whole and natural foods such as Wesson Oil, Crunch ’n Munch, Snack Pack pudding, High-fructose corn ketchup, and Orville Redenbacher’s super-healthy microwave greasecorn? (See ConAgra’s lung-killing popcorn here.) The government could subsidize adult meals just like they do those healthy taco-and-pizza school lunches (with a can of healthy-healthy fruit soaked in high-fructose corn syrup on the side).

    We can call the new federal program, “No Corporate Interest Left Behind.”