The Blame Game

Comedian Flip Wilson’s feminine alter-ego, Geraldine, used to excuse her moral lapses by declaring “the devil made me do it!” Wilson was just trying to get a laugh, but many today are adopting the philosophy and it’s no joke.

Last weekend, the infamous Huffington Post ran a piece by Dr. Mark Hyman entitled “Obesity in America: Are Factory Farms, Big Pharma and Big Food to Blame?” Clearly, the good doctor thinks they are;

The default condition of a human being in the 21st century is to be obese. Nearly 75 percent of Americans are overweight. This is not an accident. Specific, traceable forms of structural violence promoted by Big Food, Big Farming, Big Pharma [which he refers to pejoratively as “the Toxic Triad”] and government polices is leading to the global spread of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.”

So if you’re overweight and sick, it’s not your fault. You’re a victim of these unconscionable profiteers who have addicted you to fat, sugar and salt. All you have to do is buy Dr. Mark’s groundbreaking weight-loss books and you’ll be right as rain in no time!

After reading the article, Lynne Jenkins Finnerty, one of my Facebook friends, remarked “There are so many inaccuracies in that story I almost don’t know where to begin.” A little like listening to Suzanne Somers, isn’t it Lynne?

But wait, there’s more!

After the release of the USDA’s new Dietary Guidelines, Time magazine proclaimed “New Dietary Guidelines Show Politics Still Trumps Science.”

Abandoning any notion of balance, Time turned to nutritionist, blogger and “Food Politics” author Marion Nestle as their only interview for the article. According to Time, Nestle claims “the DGA puts the onus of good nutrition on individuals instead of the food industry:”

This is all about personal responsibility. What about the “toxic” food environment? Shouldn’t these guidelines be directed at the food and restaurant industries?”

Hold it – you mean it SHOULDN’T be about personal responsibility? Then, I guess Geraldine’s right – “the devil made me do it!” Of course, the devil in these cases are government and private business. Pretty easy targets.

There you have it, folks. Watching your diet and exercising shouldn’t be your responsibility. As far as that goes, it’s apparently not your responsibility to encourage healthy behavior in your kids, either. Just ask the San Francisco city councilman who tried to outlaw Happy Meals.


About raybowman

church of Christ elder, farmer, grandad, agriculture writer and broadcaster

Posted on January 31, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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