The Canadian Medical Association Journal has some great points on how to curb the obesity problem, but I have a couple of my own. You may think that these are fiscally irresponsible, but bare with me for a minute.
-Firstly, I agree with the CMAJ to tax junk food (plus fast food) to the point where healthy food is less than this crap. -Second, every time tax season rolls around everyone gets their bodyfat percentage taken (NOT BMI as it is antiquated and useless in my opinion) and if you are obese, you get taxed 10% your annual income. If you are overweight, you get taxed 5% your annual income. Obviously people with legitimate health problems NOT caused by their obesity would not be included (ie. thyroid problems)-Lastly, ban genetically modified foodsAnyone reading this must think I am insane, especially with point #2 thinking it isn't fiscally feasible.
-If everyone at healthy food (organic/local fruits & veggies and mostly lean meat), there would be muuuccchhh less digestive, cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes problems. How you say? Antacids are one of the fastest growing over the counter medicines and are so popular because our acidity levels in the crap we eat are through the roof! This is just one example of how it would fix digestive problems, though there are many others. Consuming more 'good' cholesterol (HDL) that is naturally present in many healthy foods and decreasing the amount of 'bad' cholesterol (LDL) that are present in tons of junk crap is a pretty easy cure, and heart disease goes hand in hand with this as well. By having fibre in most (read: all) of our daily meals we will regulate our blood sugar better, leading to less cravings for more food (continual daily eating leading to obesity) as well as helping prevent us from becoming insulin resistant. This is all just off the top of my head, by the way.
-Hitting people in their wallets is how you will get this obesity epidemic to stop. If you tax people a large amount (as proposed above) they will for damn sure try and fix it. If you are wondering how much these bodyfat calculators will cost the foot to hand machines (which are the best of the electronic ones) are relatively cheap and measure most of the fat in the body (whereas the scales you stand on only measure the bottom 1/2 of your body and the hand held ones measure only the top half). The taxes would more than pay for these in the first year alone and could be reused. Even if you were to hydrostatically weigh people in dunk tanks all over the country it would still be fiscally feasible. This isn't even taking into account the healthcare savings!
-Banning GM or GE foods, even though evil big business says they're 'reasonably safe', will save us a ton of money down the line in health care costs. The studies that have been undertaken have shown some frightening results (google it if you don't believe me). Cancer, decreased testicle size, loss of hair in labs rats, etc. are some of the 'reasonably safe' outcomes of GE food. The KEY thing in here is that I am going by bodyfat percentages and not BMI. You would be surprised how many thin people are overweight when it comes to bodyfat percentages, the 'skinny-fat' population if you will. Usually these are people who eat very little and never exercise. These people will not be exempt from the taxes! If you are wondering what the percentages are for normal/overweight/obese here they are:
I do realize that these are obviously never going to come into play - there are too many fat voters - but one can dream can't he?
The thing that got me on this entire rant were the some of the comments saying that it wasn't their fault they were overweight/obese. This is just ridiculous. Your health is in your own hands and I am tired for paying for your health care costs already! I did it and so can you.