This Morning’s “The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Read”

In Northwest Indiana, a hospital put up billboards:

A northern Indiana hospital that erected billboards with the message “Obesity is a disease. Not a decision” is facing a backlash from people offended by the signs’ suggestion that obesity isn’t a lifestyle choice.

One opponent to the billboard says:

“There is no disease that causes your body to drive to McDonald’s to go get some fries. There is no disease that makes your hands unwrap a candy bar. It’s all habits,” her email said.

And the hospital says:

…the reasons why a person gains and carries weight involve more than just eating.

Sleep, stress, access to healthful food, a decrease in movement due to technology, people’s genes and even what a mother eats when she’s pregnant all impact weight of adults, Stanish said.

And one area resident says:

Ward said she was compared to her thinner sister, who ate the same food she did. She said she tried to get the weight off, sometimes eating only vegetables and cottage cheese.

“No one comes in the world and says, ‘I want to be overweight,”‘ she said. “It’s with you. You don’t choose that.”

After having two daughters, Ward had gastric bypass surgery and lost about 150 pounds. She now has a personal trainer and rides bikes with her daughters to help them live a healthy lifestyle.

So, let’s recap: a hospital thinks being fat is a disease, some people think that’s ridiculous, because what kind of disease makes you eat a Big Mac? A doctor doesn’t seem to grasp that sleep and access to healthy food aren’t all that difficult, considering that crappy food keeps you awake (laden with sugars, harder digest, etc.). And I’ve not been in a grocery store in my life that didn’t have a produce section. A head of lettuce costs 99 cents. A box of hamburger helper and the hamburger is about $5-$6.

The doctor doesn’t seem to grasp the correlation between “sleep”, “stress” and a “decrease in movement due to technology” as all lifestyle choices. Has he ever considered telling his patients to, you know, move? Moving sorta makes you tired, right?

And an area resident sped up the process by getting her stomach tied. Oh, and she started biking and eating better. The two may or may not be related.

I get that if you’re really, really overweight that exercising is almost impossible because of your size. But for a lot of people who aren’t quite “lift me with heavy machinery size”, this does not need to be hard. I refuse to believe that suddenly being fat is a disease. It sounds like restless leg syndrome. If my grandparents didn’t have this problem, I don’t see how it can exist today. People haven’t evolved that much in 100 years. 1,000, maybe, a generation or two, no.


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Justin has been around the Internet long enough to remember when people started saying “content is king”.

He has worked for some of Indiana’s largest companies, state government, taught college-level courses, and about 1.1M people see his work every year.

You’ll probably see him around Indianapolis on a bicycle.

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