the absurd observers

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The money making machine of obesity


CNN reports that a study in California finds that obese people are a drain on the economy:
The study estimates that overweight and inactive Californians cost $21.7 billion
a year in medical bills, injuries and lost productivity.

This is preposterous. Obesity is the modern-day gold rush of real and potential profits. Sure, people have more health problems because they get fat, and maybe they injure themselves, and can't go to work. However, these criticisms are the result of a narrow perspective on fatness.

First, Obesity might be a sign of an unhealthy individual, but it is also the sign of a healthy economy. Fat people are a symbol of prosperity and consumption.
  1. Eating three slices of pizza instead of one will make you fat. Drinking four beers instead of one will make you fat. The more you eat and drink, the bigger you will get. However, the more you eat and drink, the more you spend on food and beverage. Gluttons make this economy of ours run smoothly like a piece of butter sliding across a frying pan.
  2. Watching television all day will make you fat, or at least, it won't help you trim the waistline. The more people that watch television, the more advertising dollars spent to reach that lazy-audience.
  3. Surfing the internet incessantly is not as healthy as exercising. It's not that difficult of a concept to digest. However, the more people surfing the internet, the more advertising dollars spent to reach that large-bellied audience.

Second, obesity has created a market for eliminating obesity.

  1. Atkins, the Zone, Weight Watchers, and countless other dieteers depend on fat people and others that fear becoming fat. Any celebrity that loses weight writes a book about their diet or exercise regimen. A smart businessman would sell both fatty addictive candies and diet books. The two exist in a symbiotic relationship - one always tempting and destroying the work of the other, and thus renewing the need/desire for the other.
  2. Plastic surgeons make money off of fat people. This study was published in California? I would have thought the plastic surgeons would have put a stop to this. Without fat to vacuum out of people's bellies, they would be entirely dependent on breast and calf implants.

The point is: fat people are a sign that business is good and its only going to get better. When I go to a fast food place, I don't see fat people - I only see dollar signs.


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