The previous post mentioned how some patients will not take their prescribed medications even if the government gives them out for free, but that is not the manufacturers’ problem, as long as somewhere along the line, somebody pays.
Obviously, the profit motive is involved in a big way. If a company can amass fortunes by selling its customers something that will diminish their quality of life and possibly even kill them, why should the manufacturers care, any more than the leaders of an illegal drug cartel care if their heroin kills people? It’s just business.
But some extra-paranoid people suspect that something else comes into play. They relate it to, for instance, Orson Scott Card’s science fiction novel, Xenocide.
The colonizers of a planet introduced a genetic mutation that would cause some of their brilliant population to suffer from OCD. One character spent her day crawling around on the floor, tracing the patterns of woodgrain in the boards. Being so distracted, the natives would not have the time or energy to stand up for themselves politically, try to seize power, or engage in any other troublesome behavior. Because they were so wrapped up in counting and other obsessive-compulsive rituals, the thought of rebellion would not enter their heads.
Paranoia strikes deep
What if there were some gigantic evil plot by ill-intentioned people who wanted humanity to be so preoccupied with trying to shed pounds, they had no time to think about anything else? Or worse yet, what if the evil behind-the-scenes plotters want people to become so fat, they can’t even get out of their homes to vote, politically demonstrate, or do anything else that would disturb the status quo?
Speaking of political ramifications, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff says,
I’ve seen work on the diagnosis of obesity as a chronic disease where conferring a medical diagnosis and using terminology like chronic non-communicable disease actually decreases weight stigma among healthcare providers. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
Although he believes that obesity is correctly defined as a disease, he has a problem with the term “epidemic.” Sure, over the past six or seven decades, obesity has increased everywhere. Dr. Freedhoff writes,
There is literally not one country on the planet that hasn’t seen average weights rise in every single age category. From toddlers to people who are seniors, we are seeing weight rise.
This may be a pandemic, but epidemic “is a word that I think perhaps should be relegated to infectious diseases.” With COVID-19, for instance, it is pretty clear that the disease is caused by a particular virus, and that’s an epidemic. But with obesity, the old multi-factorialism comes into play. Many causes contribute.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “Obesity (with Dr. Yoni Freedhoff),” TabooScience.show, 12/03/20
Image by Jeff Djevdet/CC BY 2.0 DEED