Imagine the hubris of the European Court Of Justice to rule that obesity is a disability as it did just before Christmas last. The timing couldn't have been better for all of the newly defined 'victims' to gorge themselves into oblivion, mumbling through mouthfuls of Brandy Pudding; "Oh, my word, I'm obese and it's not my fault. This disability is killing me, pass the Quality Street".
Obesity can certainly be disabling and perhaps that's where the confusion lies. Being born disabled or becoming disabled as a result of an accident involving severe physical impact surely does not compare with the slow, almost glacial onset of progressive physical deterioration caused by progressive weight gain? Along the journey to obesity there are several warnings that indicate severe overeating such as being unable to tie your own shoelaces or not fitting in the bath anymore but these appear to be ignored in so many cases. The word obesity first came into use in 1610 in France. The French word obésité taken directly from the Latin obesitas meaning "fatness, corpulence," and from obesus "that has eaten itself fat," So the Obesity, or 'massive accumulation of bodyfat' has been self inflicted in the vast majority of cases one might reasonably construe. I remember only one very fat classmate has a child and he was a rarity in the 1970's but fast forward to the 21st Century and obesity has become an epidemic. So who really should shoulder responsibility for this dilemma? The Fast and packaged foods industry is the obvious culprit. With their 'more is better' ideology of Super-Sizing everything you purchase, everyone gets everything they want and a bit extra but no one gets what they need. I used to truly believe that big fat people were totally to blame for being that way but not anymore. I've been helping people lose weight for over 20 years now and here is my current status on this topic; many people are weak and easily manipulated, couple that with spiraling literacy and you can truly see what cannon fodder they really are for Big Food! The Fast Food business is a monster and by definition a monster is outside of nature. It is an unnatural force of powerful persuasion, influencing millions of a certain class into abnormal consumption of excessive fats and sugars-and the results cannot be denied. Generally, the same poor, ignorant souls who are captivated by populist television like 'Britain's Got Ice Dancing' and 'I'm an Alcoholic, Get Me on the Telly' are invariably the same sad souls who are addicted to eating this rubbish on a regular basis. They follow the masses like sheep, not having the necessary critical intellectual faculties to recognize the difference between popularity and prestige. How are we to change things and rescue the NHS who are drowning in sick people with lifestyle based diseases?
In July last year an American widow of a cigarette smoker who died of lung cancer was awarded $23.6billion in compensation from America's second biggest tobacco company. The woman sued the makers of Camel and other famous cigarette brands, seeking compensation for her husband's death in 1996. Her Lawyers argued that the companies' negligence led to her husband contracting lung cancer from smoking cigarettes after becoming "addicted" and failing to quit after many attempts to stop smoking. Whose fault is that you might ask?! Well, it was widely reported after the case that "The jury wanted to send a statement that tobacco [companies] cannot continue to lie to the American people and the American government about the addictiveness of and the deadly chemicals in their cigarettes." Now just consider for a moment that the tobacco companies', as malevolent as they are and even when they could advertise, promoting cigarettes as 'cool' to the impressionable and the naive, never openly or directly targeted children-but Big Food does it every day and mainly as a priority! It continually and aggressively promotes the consumption of its products to impressionable children via every means available. Primarily and blatantly though billboards and television commercials through to more subliminal means such as social networking and strategically placed vending machines. Surely this saturation of junk food promotion, this over selling of these addictive foods of dubious nutritional content, full of sugar or saturated fats to societies most vulnerable is the worst crime of all? The tobacco companies have been held responsible for their transgressions so why not big food too? If smokers who get sick cannot be entirely held responsible for smoking, how are fast food victims any different? The argument for action against them is virtually identical and yet possibly even more profound. If predominantly adult smokers have been found to not be entirely responsible for their erroneous lifestyle choices then surely the people who have been eating junk foods since they were children must be considered in the same fashion. The majority of blame must fall on the 'hidden persuaders' pushing the fatty burgers and fries as unlike most smokers, many of the fast food addicts were already far too young to recognise a good decision from a bad one when they first began eating this junk. Society as a whole can no longer indulge in schadenfreude with regard to these poor bloated people if the economic problem is ever to be redressed. These gullible innocents were never informed by said companies that this food was a special treat just for the weekend or that home cooked real food should be the main staple of their nutrition. No, the brakes were off as the junk wagon rolled through society, relentlessly promoting hideously fattening junk. This tastier fare was the best choice they were told, not once a week, not twice a week but daily and regularly-just like cigarettes. This indefatigable siege has resulted in generations of abnormally sized families and these peddlers of this artificial garbage must be held accountable. Vast profits must be redistributed for justice to be served. It's in the zeitgeist.