Both the diet scam artists and their enablers in the public-health establishment keep selling, with great success, the following utterly incredible message: Americans are fat because they aren’t trying hard enough to be thin.
This claim is about as plausible as the hypothesis that Americans are poor because they don’t care enough about being rich. Imagine the absurdity of an argument that the reason there are 50 million poor people in America is because our culture is insufficiently materialistic.
Yet this, in effect, is the claim of our anti-fat warriors: Americans are fat because they don’t care enough to make the sacrifices necessary to be thin. Interestingly, it’s somewhat difficult to find people of even moderate intelligence and education who can maintain the level of self-satisfied ignorance necessary to believe that poor people “choose” to be poor, yet it’s very easy to find such people who accept as self-evident the notion that fat people “choose” to be fat.
This inspires me to point something out to my more liberal readers. Remember that particularly clueless right-wing acquaintance of yours? The one who believes that anybody in America can become rich, because he thinks about poverty in a completely unscientific, anecdotal way, which allows him to treat the exceptional case as typical? The one who can’t seem to understand the simplest structural arguments about the nature of social inequality?
The next time you see some fat people and get disgusted by their failure to “take care of themselves,” think about your clueless friend.”