March 22, 2004
The top nutrition news recently was a new government study that warned that obesity will soon surpass smoking as the leading cause of preventable death. 400,000 Americans die each year because they eat too much and move too little – just 35,000 less than the number knocked off by that nasty nicotine habit. The results appeared two weeks ago in the Journal of American Medical Association.
For a contrarian reaction to this report we turn to the ideologically unpredictable blogger Andrew Sullivan. “What’s to be done?” asks the former New Republic editor, his answer: “Nothing.” Sullivan smugly calls this indifference “libertarian,” but such cynicism gives self-ownership a bad name.
You don’t have to be a statist to recognize there’s plenty to be done to combat obesity, mostly by private individuals, industry and organizations. How about education, or outreach to elderly and minority groups, or parents’ boycotting companies who market unhealthy products to kids, or simply making better choices in our personal lives?