Over on NRO, I have some commentary on the latest Harvard study which advocates taking obese children out of their home and putting them in foster care. I’m only one of many critics of the authors and I’m glad they’re getting heat for this utterly stupid idea. But of course, there are a few defenders.
On the Huffington Post, Dr. David Katz takes on the critics saying:
Adults are criminally liable if they give cigarettes or alcohol or illicit drugs to a child. And they are criminally liable for starving a child as well — this constitutes abuse. But our society does not view giving a child a donut or fries or soda as abusive — even if it occurs day after day.
Is he serious? Is he actually suggesting we draw a parallel between a parent who puts vodka in a sippy cup and a parent who isn’t feeding their kids the most nutritious meals?
To further defend the Harvard researchers, Dr. Katz does what so many on the left do to prove their points…he provides a personal anecdote. On the way to Hawaii to give a speech at a conference (no doubt to an audience of aesthetically pleasing thin people!), Dr. Katz was seated on the plane next to an overweight women and her overweight sister. He describes these ladies as very nice and intelligent but also as a dangerous influence to the young child travelling with them:
…she was a very large woman. Her sister, just a couple of seats away, was at least as large.
At one point during the flight, my neighbor’s sister returned from the airplane lavatory and told her sister, with a chuckle in her voice, “If I get any bigger I’m not going to fit in there!” The two of them had a good laugh and exchanged quips about the need to “extend” those little toilets.
Blah blah blah. I’ll spare you Dr. Katz totally insulting memories of his plane adventure with the hefty sisters. He goes on to share his horror as these two ladies (who were on vacation) had the nerve to enjoy themselves in first class–drinking wine, eating the meals served to them as well as a little snack. This was done all in full view of (gasp) their two-year old travelling companion. Oh the horror…drinking wine, eating food, snacking IN FRONT OF A CHILD! I CAN’T STAND IT!
He then lumps these women in with drug addicts and child abusers, saying:
Imagine if two drug addicts joked in public about the health consequences of their drug use, even as they shared their drugs with a small child. Children are removed from their parents for less. Imagine if smokers joking about their worsening emphysema put their cigarettes into the mouths of their infants. Would anyone observing this feel inclined to mind their own business?
The demonization of the obese in this country is part of the same strategy employed by the anti-smoking crusaders. As we saw with the whole second-hand smoking campaign, it isn’t simply the product, it’s the user.