In a controversial decision last week, the AMA (the American Medical Association, not the Amarillo International Airport, nor the Academy of Model Aeronautics, nor the text lingo for ‘Ask Me Anything’) declared obesity as a medical disease, making it kinda like cancer or HIV except that it’s not. Perhaps you are old enough to remember that the AMA was opposed to Medicare, then opposed to cuts in Medicare, then opposed to universal health care under Clinton, then opposed to opposition of universal health care under Obama.
In a related story, the AMA’s preferred footwear is flip-flops.
Perhaps what makes this decision controversial is that it is so stupid. Another reason might be that obesity is officially measured by BMI, which surprisingly has nothing to do with the size of one’s bowel movements as you might expect, but rather the Mass Index of one’s Body, which is basically a weight-to-height ratio. So for example, someone like John Goodman or Chris Christie is as equally obese—and thus ‘diseased’—as someone like Dwayne Johnson or myself.
A question I have is regarding people like child-rearing women or Dr. David Banner, who are only diseased part of the time. Or Kirstie Alley and Oprah who are diseased, then not diseased, then diseased, then not, then are, etc.
What is most overlooked however, are the linguistic factors of making obesity a disease: words like ‘infatuation’ will have to be switched to ‘indiseaseduation,’ “Teletubbies” will have to change its name to “Televictimsofdisease,” and women will have to make regular appointments to see their D.Z.’s/G.Y.N.
Economic factors will also be at the fore. Insurance companies will eventually be required to pay for such procedures as having a piece of plastic inserted into your tongue to make eating so unbearably painful that you can’t stand to do it. Ha Ha! Just kidding. But not really. This is an actual obesity treatment developed by a (where else?) Beverly Hills doctor for the purpose of making a ridiculous sum of money. The procedure costs roughly $2000 and has the added benefit of making you talk like Sylvester Stallone.
“I don’t have the willpower to go on a diet,” says one patient, “so this was the only way.” So right. It is either that or move to Somalia because not buying Twinkies just isn’t an option.
In case you’re considering getting this procedure, allow me to offer an alternative: for just $1499 (a savings of over $500!) you can hire me to follow you around and thwack you on the back of the head every time you pick up a RingDing. If you are skeptical as to the effectiveness of this method, be advised that I have a very large and expensive class ring.
Of course, foremost on everyone’s mind is the impact on the entire ‘yo mama’ joke industry. For example, “Yo mama so fat she uses yo daddy’s belts to hold up her socks” is way funnier than “Yo mama so diseased that when she talks to herself, it’s long distance.”
And so long, AFV. Fat people falling down? Funny. Diseased people falling down? Not so much.
Who obviously stands to benefit the most from this decision are the pharmaceutical companies. Few things say ‘ah-cha-ching!’ as much as an affluent pill-popping public who want to look and feel like the imaginary digitized beings they see on magazines, TV and radio. This is why we here at the Institute for the Nefarious Study of Absurdities Necessitating Expenditures (INSANE) have been rocking around the clock to make sure we get our piece of the highly-caloric monetary pie.
While I am not at liberty to offer specifics, I will say that in addition the class ring treatment described above, we at The Institute are working on diverting funds from things like leukemia and Parkinson’s in order to develop a vast amount of highly scientific and technical mumbo jumbo describing a number of specific medical treatments to combat this scourge of obesity and place the blame for our collective rotundity firmly on the shoulders of the medical community such that their failures can become our financial gain via malpractice litigation.
One of the more complex projects we have under development goes by the working name of “Salad.” This is only preliminary research mind you, but we think we can show that consuming a piece of celery is less likely to cause the disease of obesity than say, a bacon-wrapped Oreo. And if we call it “Medical Celery” we can charge upwards of a gazillion dollars. Another thing we’re working on is what we like to call “Walking Around the Block.” Without revealing too many secrets, it turns out that actually moving one’s limbs tends to burn the very calories one ingests.
Hardest hit, of course, are the children. The poor children. That is why we are looking to collect millions in donations and government crony grant money to develop something called an “X-Box Off Switch” so that the children, our future generations, the hope for this country and the entire world, can grow to raise their own progeny that will be healthy, active and devoid of the damaging stress of personal responsibility.
Won’t you help us?