By Tennant, Michael
The New American , Vol. 29, No. 3
Agricultural subsidies--Health aspects
Obesity--Laws, regulations and rules
World Health Organization--Health policy
United States. Department of Agriculture--Agricultural policy
United States. Department of Agriculture--Health policy
As fewer and fewer people deem man-made global warming to be a crisis worthy of an international response, globalists are using the "obesity epidemic" to achieve their goals.
Last November, the government of Denmark announced that it was repealing a year-old tax on fatty foods because the tax had failed to curb fat consumption but had succeeded in driving business--and jobs--to neighboring countries. It was a rare retreat in the international war on obesity.
From London to Lima and from the Big Apple to Budapest, governments are imposing increasingly onerous diktats in an effort to shrink their populations' rapidly expanding waistlines. The hope is that by reducing the incidence of obesity. the many health problems associated with it, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, will also become less common, thereby reducing healthcare costs--a major concern in an era in which governments either heavily subsidize or fully operate their nations' healthcare systems.
Few would deny that obesity is a serious problem in the modern world. Sedentary lifestyles, poor diets, and possibly many other factors have caused scales to tip at previously unheard-of rates. According to the United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO), as of 2008 more than 1.4 billion adults were overweight, and more than hall a billion were obese. The WHO claims that every year at least 2.8 million people die as a result of being overweight or obese.
As one might expect, the problem is most acute in prosperous countries. Among industrialized nations, the United States bears the dubious distinction of being the world's fattest, with over 35 percent of adults and 17 percent of youth classified as obese, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. But, says the WHO, "obesity is now also prevalent in low- and middle-income countries." It is not, however, a noteworthy concern in communist countries, where the population is continually kept on the brink of starvation: North Korea tops the list of thinnest nations.)
The obesity problem, therefore, is not to be ignored; and governments, ever eager to seize upon the latest "crisis" to arrogate more power to themselves, have most certainly not ignored it. While the varied interventions--among them fat taxes, soda bans, and even mandated waist measurements--may appear to be isolated efforts by governments hoping to improve their peoples' health and reduce healthcare costs, they are, in fact, part of a much larger, global movement seeking vastly greater state control over all aspects of society.
The New Global Warming
"Obesity is the new global warming," Wesley J. Smith declared in a 2011 issue of the Weekly Standard. With the alleged threat of global warming increasingly being viewed: with skepticism by the general public, he wrote,
it seems clear that modern liberalism has devised a new strategy for imposing policies that it can't attain through ordinary politicking. First, identify a crisis ostensibly caused by modern lifestyles and/or capitalism. Next, launch a multifaceted international response to prevent allegedly looming catastrophe. Third, act as if the desired policies are objective, scientific solutions. Fund it all by imposing onerous taxes on an expanding list of villainous enterprises, et voila: Liberalism rides to the rescue. And if the strategy fails on one front, as it appears to have with global warming, find another crisis and start again.
The first major salvo in the global war on obesity was launched by the WHO in 2004, when it published its "Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health."
As befits a UN pronouncement, the document's objective was audacious: "The overall goal of the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health is to promote and protect health by guiding the development of an enabling environment for sustainable actions at individual, community, national and global levels that, when taken together, will lead to reduced disease and death rates related to unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. …