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David Satcher, National Food Critic

By Phillip J. Hubbell
web posted December 24, 2001

Self-appointed national food critic and U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher has declared war on the fat people of America. He likens the "epidemic" of obesity to the official scourge of tobacco related illnesses. General Satcher is demanding policy changes for schools and industry in order to force a slimming down of Americans before we all balloon up and die. I await the national hysteria surrounding proper nutrition not unlike the current hysteria that surrounds the issue of tobacco use. Will fat people be made to stand outside in the rain eating their Twinkies? Will there be fat free zones in restaurants so that "good people" won't be tempted to eat "bad people" food? How about public service commercials showing "normal" sized people struggling to carry huge caskets to awaiting flatbed trucks?

Surgeon General David Satcher holds up his report on America's obesity epidemic at a news conference held at the Department of Health and Human Services on December 13
Surgeon General David Satcher holds up his report on America's obesity epidemic at a news conference held at the Department of Health and Human Services on December 13

Since meals prepared at schools are government controlled, they will be the easiest to force into the correct diet. Soon, the government will subsidize soy and tax sugar, imposing economic incentives to produce the correct kinds of food for a grateful consumer. If you are skinny, with a high metabolic rate, someone who can eat anything and not gain weight, your M&Ms will be sacrificed for the sake of the thinning collective.

No doubt about it, Americans are getting fat. I'm getting fat myself. I can no longer eat three cheeseburgers and fries without paying a price. I agree that the government has every right to point out that I should eat less and better. Then, after I've been properly warned, I should be allowed to decide whether or not to have that extra piece of pie. If I want to hire Omar the Tentmaker to sew my shirts then that's my business. Where the government and me are going to part ways is when they pass laws to change behavior and use force to see to it that I eat what is officially condoned by the food Nazis. That's when the bunt cake hits the pan.

To see if you're officially obese, multiply your weight by 703 and divide that number by your height in inches squared. If your number is more than 30, then you are officially a pig and a potential enemy of the state. Mine came out 36.6. Time to start stockpiling cupcakes and carbines. They will get my snacks and my gun when they wade through the candy wrappers and pry my cold dead yet sticky finger off the trigger.

I want to go on record as being opposed to Doctor Satcher's war on fat and fat people. If it turns out anything like the war on drugs, we can count on an increase in anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and black market Frito pies. Airplanes will swarm across our border smuggling tacos from the south, or cheese and beer from the north. How long before General Satcher makes the connection among beer, sports and caloric intake? The television remote control will be officially labeled an enabling device and confiscated. Civil War can't be far behind.

One of the big plans is to increase Physical Education in schools. When I was in school my obesity index number wasn't 36.6 ... it was 19. I spent 2 years suffering through marching band so I could give PE a miss during my Junior and Senior years. When I was 6' 6" and weighed 165 lbs. the last thing I needed was a low fat diet and exercise. It took Doctor Satcher about 20 seconds to make this a race issue claiming that fast food corporations are targeting the inner city. He sounds like a Democrat. The NRA -- the National Restaurant Association -- has gone on record opposing Doctor Satcher's demands and denied they were purposely targeting the minority community for fast-food restaurants. They support equal opportunity gorging.

It seems to me that the government exceeds its constitutional authority when it seeks to control what people eat. What will be the overall result? People will live longer. Hey that sounds good doesn't it? Living longer and feeling better? More and more people. What happens when 90 percent of the people live into their 90s? The first thing that will happen is that Social Security will collapse and people will begin to outlive their private retirement savings. Think about octogenarians panhandling on the street corners. Granny and Gramps holding up their signs: "Will reminisce for Depends."

Phillip J Hubbell is the author of Write Winger: Solutions for the Politically Oblique! Available at

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