Fear of fat is more funny than frightening

People better not stop for a cheeseburger on the way home today. It could ruin the world’s health care systems.

Just ask the experts who gathered Sunday for the International Conference on Obesity. According to them, obesity is the next big threat to the world. Philip James, the British chairman of the International Obesity Task Force, said, “We’re dealing with an enormous economic problem that … is going to overwhelm every medical system in the world.”

Paul Zimmet, chairman of the International Obesity Conference, said, “This insidious, creeping pandemic of obesity is now engulfing the entire world.”

Zimmet also said overweight people now outnumber the 600 million worldwide who do not get enough to eat.

Of course, the word “pandemic” relates to diseases – not factors that affect the risks of diseases. Obesity itself is not a disease. Maybe the International Conference on Obesity decided that “pandemic” just sounded better.

It’s not over yet – the horrible, life-threatening problem of obesity is increasing.

According to an article from ABC News, “The World Health Organization says more than 1 billion adults are overweight and 300 million of them are obese,” putting them at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other health problems. As might be expected, the wealthiest countries lead the pack in overeating, sedentary lifestyle. But people in impoverished nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are also reportedly engaging in the bad habits that lead to obesity.

The next time the G8 Conference meets to send millions of dollars in aid to starving countries, maybe they should think twice. Maybe the G8 nations should send Zimbabwe some low-fat selections.

Or maybe, since the world’s health care systems are at risk, laziness should be made illegal. Americans could wake up every day, put on matching sweats issued by the government and do jumping jacks for the greater good. The government could even decide what we eat and when. Would it really be such a bad alternative to a “pandemic” that’s “going to engulf the entire world?”

Of course, that wouldn’t stop heart disease, diabetes and every other disease linked to obesity from occurring, since everyone is susceptible to those diseases, regardless of weight. But it would not be wise to take a chance. After all, obesity is as big of a threat as bird flu and global warming, according to Zimmet.

You’ll forgive this editorial board for trembling in its boots.