Growing up you believe the world is meant to be the way it is. The older I get the more I realise that this is not the case. The world is full of injustices and atrocities that governments and the voice of faith expect us to accept, though with each passing year they grow fewer and fewer, at least one would hope. I have created this blog as a space for me to rant about all things science, politics, philosophy and religion, before it’s too late and the vessel of new atheism propelled by a growing surge in secularism solves all of the world’s problems for good.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Obesity threatens to lower life expectancy, so what?

FYI this is going to be a bit of a pessimistic rant, but it's been frustrating me recently. I'm going to be honest, I have no sympathy for overweight or obese people at all. Yes some people have less control over their weight than others, I do concede this fact. However, it all comes down to self control. The more garbage you shovel into your mouth, coupled with very little or no exercise, then the fatter you'll get. It is a life choice and it's time those who choose to be fat take some responsibility for it. If you want to thin down then eat less and do more exercise fatties! You just simply can't stay fat if you eat healthily and get off your arse for 30 minutes a day and exercise.

I can't stand people blaming advertisement, the cheapness and availability of junk food, and our more sedentary lifestyle today, among other things. We all have the ability to eat well and eat less, to exercise daily and stay at a reasonable and healthy weight. If you want to be fat, that's fine. I don't have a problem with it other than how visually offensive it can be when coupled with inappropriate attire, it's your choice though. Just like smokers, if they want to get lung cancer, emphysema and any of the other numerous and terrible diseases linked to the habit, be my guest. But don't complain when a life long bad habit leads to illness, especially when it's so well known and advertised. If you want to base-jump, and eventually end up a paraplegic or worse (as a huge portion do), go for it! But don't complain when and if it happens, and don't blame everything else but yourselves. You who choose this lifestyle, being more than sufficiently educated about the risks, must deal with the consequences should they arise.

The main reason for my posting this is that I am so sick of hearing about the obesity epidemic and how for the first time in 1000+ years the life expectancy of western people is expected to decline. Good! Why give a monkey's? It means more air, more food and most importantly MORE ROOM ON THE TRAIN for me and the rest of us who live healthy lifestyles to enjoy (train anecdotes below)!

Why do the rest of us have to worry about how long others live? Since when was it high priority to make everyone live as long as physically possible, whether their personal choice of lifestyle allows it or not? If people want to reduce the length of their life expectancy, that's their choice. We shouldn't be worried about this, nor should we be trying to avoid it or force them to live longer. To the contrary, we should be facilitating this obesity movement. Let all the fatties have as much food as they want. Let's give them housing next door to Maccas and KFC. Screw it, we'll put down those flat escalator things, moving walkways I think they're called? Let's give them all the food in the world, let's keep them from exercising, and get them to lower their life expectancy as much as possible and as soon as possible.
Historical U.S. Obesity Rate, 1960-2004

It's a good thing if they shorten their life expectancy. Most of us in the west probably haven't really noticed, but food is actually becoming more scarce, let alone more expensive, as our population increases. We're well on the way to running out of fossil fuels that we so heavily rely on for generating and transporting the world's food, that the sooner our population growth slows, reaches equilibrium or even declines, the better! So we should be happy that such a large portion of our western world's population is willing to take it upon themselves to die earlier. It would be more fortunate if it didn't require using up our food resources, but you hey we can't have our cake and eat it too, the fatties need it. On top of that the obese are less able to have sex, less attractive and less fertile anyway... three more helpful attributes for curbing population growth.

With estimations above 50-60% for obesity rates in adults from the US, Canada and Australia, we should be positive about things. The average life expectancy will decrease as the majority of people are obese and their life will loser between 6-20 years. This however is misleadingly scary for the average person, who sees "decrease in average life expectancy" and thinks it applies to EVERYONE. No! It applies to the population as a whole, only the fat people are losing years of their life. If you're healthy and eat well, your life expectancy won't decrease at all. In fact it is likely to increase with time as medical science breakthroughs continue.

People will complain about all of the health costs, and beds taken up in hospitals, etc. However, the obese pay their taxes, have health insurance and medicare as well, so they have as much right to health care as the rest of us. And when it comes down to it, they're really just going through these medical issues sooner in life. They'd be in the hospital later on if they weren't fat as a result of something else towards the ends of their life anyway. The sooner these people end up in hospital with obesity related diseases and subsequently die from them, the faster we free up beds in hospitals to other people.

So bring on obesity, fill the streets with them. It'll suck hard for the rest of us in the short-term, losing seats on the train, having to wait hours in queues at Hungry Jack's, and having to watch these people blob around in public. But in the long-term it will be of great benefit to the healthy portion of the population. Living in a fat world will be a temporary inconvenience that will be better of us and the planet itself in the long run! So do your part and buy a fat friend a cheese burger and make this world a better one!

Anecdote 1: I have a not so fond memory of waiting for the train to Geelong one afternoon with a very obese woman on the platform next to me. The train pulled up and she pushed in front of everyone to make sure she'd get a seat (or perhaps two as she would require). She had to step through the train door sideways, without realising the next door was even thinner (these carriages were reminiscent of those in the Harry Potter movies when they head to school. Old and quaint. Anyway, in her haste she pulled the second door open, stepped through and it closed on her wedging her in the door. The three adult men who she'd pushed in front of, including myself, had to open the door and push her through it in order for us to board the train.

Anecdote 2: I was on the same train to Geelong one day when another more than portly woman was waddling sideways down the isle bumping into everyone. I was asleep until her right breast struck the side of my head. I woke up suddenly and she asked if I was able to move elsewhere to another seat. The offensive thing to me, was the fact that I was sitting beside an empty seat, however she clearly required both of the seats and thus wanted ME to move somewhere else.

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