De oude anti-roken en de nieuwe anti-vet beweging liggen in de VS zwaar met elkaar overhoop omdat ze beiden de eerste plaats opeisen als volksvijand nummer één.
De tegenstelling kwam vorige week aan het licht toen de Centers for Disease Control, na heftige protesten van de anti-rokenbeweging, snel cijfers naar beneden moesten bijstellen als zouden per jaar 400.000 Amerikanen sterven aan overgewicht. De anti-rokenbeweging vreesde voor hun weelderige subsidies als roken niet meer bovenaan de lijst van meest gevreesde leefstijlproblemen zou staan.
Een publicicist in een Amerikaanse krant analyseerde de situatie en kan maar tot één conclusie komen: beide groepen moeten zich maar eens met hun eigen zaken bemoeien en zich uit het leven van anderen terugtrekken!
LIKE THE family fissures that sometimes erupt during holiday gatherings, the “public health” community couldn’t keep it together last week. Incensed by a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that obesity was Public Enemy Number One — killing more than 400,000 Americans each year — the anti-tobacco lobby sprang into action. Smoking opponents just couldn’t stand playing second fiddle to their anti-obesity comrades. Although both are supposed to be concerned about public health, one is just more concerned than the other. Thus, the anti-tobacco lobby forced the CDC to slim down the obesity statistics and restore smoking to its rightful place as the leading public health killer.
While the tobacco prohibitionists got to keep their “street cred” and public funding for pet programs on how to run other people’s lives, the obesity police were left licking their wounds. Oh, can’t we all just get along? Can’t we all just stop worrying about other people and mind our own business? Can’t the nattering nabobs of nosiness please just give it a rest?
Since the latter half of the last century, our society has been rolling back regulations into personal lives. From contraceptives to abortion to same-sex relationships, prudes and puritans have consistently lost to the enlightened elite. But the same liberal promoters of personal choice, who turned their noses at prying behind bedroom doors, began sticking their noses into some of the most common activities.
Today, in many cities in our alleged land of freedom, you can’t even willingly walk into a bar where people smoke; smoking is not allowed — anywhere. Bartenders, waiters and waitresses can’t assume the risk of working in an environment where it’s known that they will voluntarily expose themselves to second-hand smoke. Thank goodness the anti-obesity lobby is too busy fighting the anti-tobacco lobby over who’s number one. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to walk into the bar and order a cheeseburger either.
The public health elite needs to put its ego on a diet and stop treating everyone as if they need protection from themselves. Originally understood as a centralized effort to prevent highly communicable diseases like smallpox and influenza, the public health movement has morphed into a lifestyle Taliban. Eating too much cholesterol or too many calories? Ten lashes of the whip for you.