Obesity As a Science Fiction Plot

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FAQs and Media Requests: Click here…

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Obesity top bottom

The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources