Obesity Is The Government's Business

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

With 33% of adults and 17% of children obese, the U.S. is facing an obesity epidemic. A major risk factor for expensive, chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, it costs our health care system nearly $150 billion a year.

Should government intervene, or is this a matter of individual rights and personal responsibility?

  • For Obesity

    For

    Dr. Pamela Peeke

    WebMD Chief Lifestyle Expert

  • For Obesity

    For

    Dr. David Satcher

    Former Surgeon General of the United States

  • Against Obesity

    Against

    John Stossel

    FOX Business News Anchor & Commentator

  • Against Obesity

    Against

    Paul Campos

    Author The Obesity Myth & Law Professor, University of Colorado

  • Moderator Image

    Moderator

    John Donvan

    Author and correspondent for ABC News.

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For Obesity

For The Motion

Dr. Pamela Peeke

WebMD Chief Lifestyle Expert

Dr. Pamela Peeke is a nationally renowned physician, scientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, metabolism, stress and fitness. Named one of America’s top physicians by the Consumers Research Council of America, she has been the recipient of numerous national awards in recognition of her leadership in promoting fitness and healthy lifestyle.

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For Obesity

For The Motion

Dr. David Satcher

Former Surgeon General of the United States

Dr. David Satcher served as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States and published America’s first “Call To Action To Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity.” Formerly a four-star admiral in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and Director of the CDC, Satcher simultaneously held the positions of Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health from February 1998 through January 2001.

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Against Obesity

Against The Motion

John Stossel

FOX Business News Anchor & Commentator

The host of “Stossel,” a weekly program airing Thursdays at 10 PM EST and midnight on Fox Business Network, John Stossel has received 19 Emmy Awards and has been honored five times for excellence in consumer reporting by the National Press Club. Stossel also appears regularly on Fox News Channel providing signature analysis.

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Against Obesity

Against The Motion

Paul Campos

Author, The Obesity Myth & Law Professor, University of Colorado

Paul Campos is a law professor, author and journalist currently on the faculty of the University of Colorado in Boulder. He is the author of The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obsession With Weight is Hazardous to Your Health. Campos has published extensively on the current obesity debate regarding

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Declared Winner: Against The Motion

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    2 comments

    • Comment Link Steven Saturday, 13 April 2013 09:03 posted by Steven

      Right off the top, I believe the government to be excessively invasive on our lives at all levels. Pertaining to the subject of this debate, I would expect the government to educate and pass along information they discover, but not to interfere directly with our choices, nor to propagate misinformation.

      As for the medical profession, they are part of the problem because their solution is to cure all these ills with pharmaceuticals rather than educate and encourage their patients to adhere to changes in lifestyle.

      Like many people, I've lost weight and gained it back. I have never lost weight directly through dieting, but rather through changes in my daily life. Each time I've lost weight it's been because I was so busy that I didn't have time to eat. I even lost weight eating the wrong foods. For instance, I lost 30 pounds eating Burger King woopers, fries and coke, but it was all I ate, once very day. It was all I had time for. This is only one example.

      There are other methods for losing weight, but in all cases, it amounts to lifestyle changes that differ from what caused the weight gain. The reasons we fail and revert back to our previous overweight condition is that once we lose the weight we change our daily routine back to what it was before the weight loss.

      The other thing is that normally it only takes a small amount of food to satisfy our hunger, but when we eat, we over indulge. Many of us eat enough food at lunch to satisfy our caloric need for the entire day. The point is that health, in terms of this debate, is not about food, but rather about lifestyles or social influences that encourage over eating.

      With that said...

      The government interferes with my life at every level and I am very resentful of it. The war on drugs has created a nation that spends enormous amounts of money prosecuting and incarcerating people for victimless crimes and it creates new laws almost every day that micromanage everything we do to the extent that it is virtually impossible to not break a law, just by walking out your front door. I could give more examples, but the bottom line is that many times, I feel like I am in prison even if I am considered to be free.

      While the government and the special interest groups that drive it have the best intentions, they create a society that is oppressive and prevents it citizens from exercising any freedom of choice. We are only on this Earth once and to be forced to live in the confines dictated by government greatly reduces our freedoms and the quality of the lives we choose. Quality is a subjective opinion and one shoe does not fit all people.

    • Comment Link Elaine Doremus Monday, 30 July 2012 05:02 posted by Elaine Doremus

      This was a very interesting show. I didn't listen to this entire show, however. From what I did listen to, I was surprised that the issue of suburban sprawl wasn't brought up. There is some evidence to suggest that suburban sprawl (vs. living in a city) is related to obesity due to the following factors: Suburban sprawl requires people to get in their car for any goods, services, or work. People who live in a city can walk to most places they need, and in some cities they don't need a car at all. Suburban sprawl has been shown to cause a sedentary lifestyle, including watching tv and eating too much. People living there don't get any exercise, and there aren't any sidewalks even if you wanted to walk. The design of suburban sprawl discourages people to get any kind of exercise, whereas the design if a grid city directly encourages it. Why wasn't the issue of suburban sprawl brought up in this discussion? Thank you.

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