I came up with what I would do if I wanted to make the world obese. The first thing I would do is to put a fast food restaurant on every corner of every street. I would pass legislation allowing discounts for high caloric foods and deep fried food. I would make fast food less expensive than whole foods. I would even sell bottled water at the same price as sugary drinks, sometimes even more.
I would put playground equipment near or even inside all the fast food restaurants so that children would want to go there often to eat and play. I would encourage companies to put addictive chemicals in the foods to make them harder to resist. In due course, I would hope to have hundreds of addictive additives for food companies to choose from. Then comes my advertising.
If I had political power, I would make it so that companies making fast food, packaged foods and soda companies would have the best advertising spots on prime time television and sponsorship on all the top radio stations. I would hire advertising executives to come up with catchy slogans and ideas to keep these foods in the forefront of people's minds.
The most important part of my advertising would be that I would market specifically to children. Children's minds are very impressionable and this would allow me to gain lifetime customers because the children's minds would be made up about their favourite products before they became adults that could think intelligently and use their critical faculties to decide about the reality of what was being advertised. I would put chocolate and other junk food next to almost every cashier or counter in shops. I would put it right next to where people walk in and out of any store. To encourage higher caloric consumption, I would offer larger sizes for a tiny difference in price. For example I would allow someone to get a much larger meal for less than one additional pound or just a few extra pence. I would then train all the employees to ask customers if they would like to get the larger meal. Another trick I would employ is that I would make the meal larger in only the sugary drinks, the french fries, and other low cost high calorie foods. In this way, people will get a disproportionate amount of calories from the worst possible foods.
Over time, I would find creative ways to increase the sizing of just about any food. To add calories cheaply, I would encourage sugar being added to everything that it was possible to put it in. I would even encourage the sugar industry to make the sugar cheaper through hydrogenation and synthetic chemicals. One example of this is high fructose corn syrup. I would encourage this on all levels. The other extra benefit of added sugar is that it will make people have stronger appetites. The artificially high amounts of sugar will cause people to have a sugar crash from too much released insulin. This will then induce artificial hunger pangs to bring the low blood sugar levels back up. People will then consume even more calories. I would put vending machines in schools that sell sugar-filled drinks and chips and lots of junk foods. I would put a cash dispensing machine near each vending machine. I would find the highest calorie foods like chips and pizza and fries and put those in as part of the daily foods offered at school lunch. The food would not be cooked from scratch at the school instead it would be brought in from outside all packaged up from various corporations that know how to put in the additives and chemicals properly.
Everyone, even those on a low income would be able to afford to purchase the junk food at a reduced rate.
I would sell off all the parks, and soccer fields, basketball courts, and any other item that encourages exercise. I would have virtually no sidewalks and pavements. Every home would have one or two or three cars so that people would never need to walk anywhere.
In the psychology department I would accommodate being fat as painlessly as possible. In every culture I would have advertisers create campaigns that make obesity attractive. Obese people would be used more in ads. I would encourage society to not only accept fatness but to prefer it. Being fat would become the 'norm'.
I would find ways to make it so people had to work constantly. I would create an economic climate that required most everyone to only have a few minutes a day to themselves. With increased business, people won't want to spend their few minutes preparing healthy foods and will be more likely to eat the fast food from the drive-thru on the corner, have junk food delivered to their door or stock the house with lots of microwavable packaged food created just for them. People that are excessively tired will turn to food stimulants like caffeine laden sodas and sugar to make it through the day. People will still have freedom to resist, but we will keep the media programming so powerful it would be just too tempting for most people to eat more.
...And who to blame? I would certainly encourage media to blame obesity for reasons that can't be changed. I would blame it on big bones, hormones, defective genetics, and poor self control. In fact, I would most often make it an objective to point out how lazy obese people are and that they just had a poor upbringing. Proper blaming will keep corporations from feeling any regret, sorrow, or responsibility for their products. More importantly it will keep the public from demanding or looking for any types of changes. They will simply believe that they have poor will power and blame it on themselves. The sadness and despair will have the positive effect of more people popping antidepressants and that will be good for the economy. The last and final smokescreen would be to have lots of cheap 'supermarket' style gyms. People would then get together once a week to learn how to lose weight. There is one really good reason for this. People that don't want obesity will think that someone out there is able to help them for peanuts in payment.
However, the supermarket style gyms are invariably poorly staffed with low education, low motivated and poorly paid individuals who are themselves addicted to gym life because of anxiety in dealing with regular society. Gyms are one of the few places where not much is required intellectually and the people who have gravitated to them as a workplace are generally just the other extreme of being unhappy with whom they are. So when the obese people join the gym, they receive no real support or education with their weight problem and so still fail to lose the weight and the blame will then continues to shift to themselves and not on systemic problems created by fast food giants media campaigning for over excessive consumption. It also keeps those who are the angriest with obesity to simply have an outlet to cry out their pain and this makes them less threatening to the obesity society.
Past is prologue so it can only get worse-which is hard to imagine. I am sure I've given you enough to think about but I am also sure you can come up with a lot more ways to make people fat. It's pretty easy in a society like ours.
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