Nanny State

MeMe Responds


MeMe Roth has responded via email to my post last week . She says she stands by her comments "100 percent." I, likewise, stand 100 percent behind my opinion of MeMe Roth. I'm on vacation this week, so I really don't have time to give her ridiculous email the thrashing it deserves. But I thought y'all would get a kick out of it.

Jacob Sullum's reason cover story on the obesity panic here. My own work on obesity here and here. Here's MeMe's email:

Hello Radley, I'd like you and your Reason Hit & Run readers to know
that I 100% stand behind the statements I have made. One problem in
this country when it comes to obesity is we're too p.c. to say
overweight is overweight. Sure, it's the majority…Sure, it's the
statistical norm, but that doesn't make being overweight normal. It
becomes an issue of national security when two-thirds of our nation
have inflicted illness onto themselves…not to mention their
children. What portion of your finances have you set aside to pay for
the $100 Billion annual healthcare price tag that comes with
America's obesity crisis? U.S. Comptroller General David Walker says
our healthcare costs have us on course to bankrupt the country by 2040.

Truman said it. "No nation is more prosperous than the health of its
children…" Our children are not healthy.

For the record… I was invited onto news shows to discuss child
obesity and the American Idol show. I have only ever used the words
"tragedy" or "nightmare" to describe America's child obesity
epidemic, not a person, and not a performer on American Idol. Nor
have I used the word "obese" to describe Jordin Sparks. Nor have I
said her size should prevent her from winning. I stand 100% behind
only the statements I made, nothing scripted to introduce any interview.

National Action Against Obesity's mandate is to 1) Rid schools of
Junk Food; 2) Eliminate "Fake Food" from the food supply that
contributes to obesity and disease; 3) Eradicate Secondhand Obesity–
obesity handed down from one generation to the next…or across the
culture; Plus) Promote exercise across all ages.

I have said and will continue to say that Jordin Sparks is an amazing
talent and effervescent personality. Her extra weight is a reflection
of today's society and a culture where many of our children have
compromised health due to unhealthful food choices and inactivity.
What seems in comparison to morbid obesity to be "just a little extra
weight" does indeed increase our children's odds significantly for
diabetes, heart disease, etc…and even more so if someone is Latino,
African American, Asian or Native American. We now are seeing high
blood pressure, high cholesterol, and of course, type II diabetes, in
our children at rates like never before.

The context of the comment about Jordin's imminent weight loss was
aimed at unhealthful Hollywood handlers.