Originally published at FLAPPR.net: Political Satire and News You Shouldn’t Use
Are you going broke funding the Cheeto and Mountain Dew diet of that obese gamer who’s living in your basement? Sick of hearing his sob stories about being teased at school because he keeps breaking chairs in the classroom? Tired of having to buy him new pants and repair torn couch cushions every time he plops down like a drunk gorilla doing reverse cannon-balls into the sofa? The wheezing? The featured photos on PeopleOfWalmart.com? The thrice-daily napalm burn scars left on your bathroom porcelain?
Ask your pediatrician if PfatQid is right for your child.
This new medication was engineered by the same altruistically irreproachable men of science who brought you the 95% effective heart strengthening BioNTech COVID vaccine. And just like COVID, Pfizer is ready to cure childhood obesity.
If you’re thinking, as a good skeptic should, “Why jump straight to Big Pharma to solve my fat kid’s problems?” trust us when we say, You shouldn’t.
The problem is, we’ve tried pretty much everything, almost. The government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars studying childhood obesity, and the effect has landed somewhere between zero and statistical zero.
A 1990s study tracked 1,700 students for eight years starting in elementary school. They were divided into a control group and an intervention group that was subjected to such cruel and unusual punishments as “exercise” and lectures about “healthy lifestyle choices.” Another program put fat kids through 26 hours of in-person treatment sessions. The result was what one would expect from government programs–failure: an overall decline in Body Mass Index (BMI) of between one and three points.
While “obesity interventions” sound nice–nothing like lecturing someone on why they’re a failure–these were orchestrated by the same “experts” who told you butter killed grandpa and shutting down the country over COVID would save lives. Their fat kid interventions pushed low-fat diets rather than low-carb diets, and with school lunch options ranging from prison slop to Pizza Hut, it’s no wonder obesity has continued to climb.
Childhood obesity has more than quadrupled since the 1960s, which is why your friendly neighborhood pharmaceutical conglomerate decided to take the bull by the love handles, funneling millions through backdoor channels into government agencies, dumping even more into congressional re-election campaigns, and lobbying agencies like the American Academy of Pediatrics to convince the mainstream media that the future of “intensive interventions” must include drugs (and surgery, but drugs first, lots of drugs).
If you think Big Pharma is in this for the money, you’re right, but mere greed isn’t the only motivation. Unchecked capitalism only works on the uneducated masses (pun intended)–people with no self control and so little to live for that they’ll buy literally anything to avoid lifting weights or giving up the corn-based TV dinners and seed oil sludge that Big Food has shoveled down their triple-chinned gullets all these years.
People love drugs, so the product sells itself. But more importantly, hopelessness has hijacked the childhood obesity debate, and for good reason.
Thirty years ago, a high-protein, low-sugar diet was enough to keep most people within a couple inches of a healthy waistline. Today, kids suffer from what’s call a “genetic predisposition” for obesity. “Genetic predisposition” is a PC way of saying, “Your mom was fat,” and while the scientists get this wrong too–the epidemic is less “genetic” than “epigenetic,” the result of environmental factors influencing the expression of genes rather than literal genetic alteration–the effect is similar enough that it’s not worth losing people’s attention trying to explain it. The point is, kids today have a harder time with their weight than previous generations because mothers eat at lot more garbage than mothers from previous generations.
Can it be done? Can a 200-pound eighth grader lose half their body weight with fitness, discipline, and real food?
The answer is complicated.
When your four-year-old–who is normal body weight because you’re not a terrible parent–asks if dragons are real, there is only one reasonable answer: “I don’t know.” You say this because (1) you don’t want to stomp on the joys of a creative childhood imagination, and because (2) you don’t have any proof one way or another. “I’ve never seen a dragon, but I’ve never seen a T-Rex or a soft-spoken feminist, either, and most people are pretty confident that at least one of those species existed.”
The same goes for fat kids hoping to lose weight without relying on pharmaceutical poison. They theoretically can do it, but there are better odds that dragons are real. (In fact, the mythology of dragons sprung up around the same time among disparate cultures that had no record of communicating. As a flying species which we thus assume were hollow-boned, the lack of a fossil record makes sense. Which is to say, the existence of dragons may be more realistic than solving epigenetically-influenced childhood obesity with diet and exercise.)
The use of anti-depressants has continued to climb over the years. Ever since life in America got so easy that people who previously toiled 15 hours a day just to eat suddenly had enough leisure time to ponder why they weren’t rich celebrities with a pool, depression has skyrocketed. Nearly one in five women are currently on happy pills, yet depression rates continue to rise. If given the choice between a vaccine (with no evidence of preventing viral transmission) and exercise, a high-quality ancestral diet, and going outside every day to breath fresh air and get natural Vitamin D, most Americans chose the vaccine. Even after contracting the virus, millions went back for a second dose. The cognitively dissonant took a third. The suicidally insane went in for a fourth.
Which is why, if you’re a betting man, put your money (and your kid) on PfatQid, because the future, like the present and most of the past, is drugs–efficacy be damned.
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