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Welcome to The INCESSANT RANT. On our worst day this site will embody .00000001% of the world’s opinion. Considering the world population increases by three every second, I'm going to have to persuade just under 260,000 people to agree with me daily if only to break even. I'm screwed...

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Location: Connecticut, United States

I'm a Conservative Troglodyte who puts more emphasis on common sense rather than political parties.

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Saturday, December 04, 2004

"The Deep Breath before the Plunge"

I eat “crap.”

I drink beer, soda, and various forms of colored water invaded by a wealth of sugar. I prefer breakfast cereal that advances the reputation of cartoon characters and soak it in whole milk as opposed to that “chalk water 2% stuff.” I think chocolate deserves its own food group. I like my fast food greasy, my pizza cheesy, all the while washed down with adult libations that only consider the “tastes great” and not the “less filling” twaddle.

I am “The Big Bopper” of my own domain because, “Oh baby, that’s what I like.”

I, also, eat red meat at least once every day. I slam poultry and pork in the other slots. I have no fear of vegetables in any color scheme. I’ve have an orange juice habit that is up to one quart a day. My coffee addiction would put me on par with the same fluid turnover of Bernini’s Barcaccia, of Trinità dei Monti in Piazza di Spagna.

You would think I would be the size of a house. I’m not. I tend to hover over what some pencil neck believes to be my ideal weight. I am labeled a mesomorph by those that think it is important to categorize others.

My 6’6” frame helps in that regard. However, I, also, run three miles a day, teach tennis as a hobby, usually park in the lot so I have to walk a bit to my destination. I take the stairs more than the elevator. If walking is an option, I take it. If driving is a necessity I don’t give it much thought at all.

After admitting all my culinary vices I freely advise that I have never required a prescription medication, hospitalization, corrective lenses, or dentures. I’ve never read the label on back of a food package. My last life insurance physical revealed nothing of consequence.

Congratulations…what’s the damn point?

My point is that I don’t require protection from the evil manufacturers and enablers of gastronomic “vices.” McDonalds and Hershey don’t need to be taught a lesson for making these societal pleasures available to me. Coca-Cola and Carlsberg don’t have to consider my personal lifestyle or habits along with their monthly balance sheets. No one needs to lobby on behalf of my eating choices. My body; my appetite; my choices; my repercussions related to those choices.

They’re doing it anyway. And, they’re doing it not for my benefit. The motivation is money. Obesity is the new “tobacco.” Trial lawyers are anticipating their next windfall. State Governments are licking their chops over the potential of another deluge of cash to invoke into their bloated projects. Grant seekers are giddy over the new Federal funds that will be shaken from the Washington money tree to study something we have always known. Your eating habits applied to your metabolism are directly proportional to your ability to enter doorways straight-on or sideways. It is the “deep breath before the plunge.”

Look around you. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a March study co-authored by its director, Dr. Julie Gerberding, that poor diet and physical inactivity were responsible for 400,000 deaths in 2000, a 33 percent jump from 1990.”The only problem is that the numbers were bogus. They overstated the results by nearly 20%. Weight loss mills are promoting questionable studies of obesity in children and concluding “Obesity is a serious disease whose treatment typically requires a variety of weight-related strategies, including diet & exercise therapy, weight loss medications and sometimes gastrointestinal weight loss surgery.”

Obesity is not a disease. It is a simple concept of chemistry. How much you eat, what you eat and how often you eat is offset by how much of what you eat is burned off. There are many factors which can be addressed individually or in group by the subject that would change the result. Leprosy is a disease. Obesity is a reaction to personal choice.

The Government is in on this victimization malarkey as well. The US Department of Agriculture produced a report that recommends levying an excise tax on all snack foods. Of course, one would have to question the motives of such a suggestion. While the statistics cited refer to obesity in Americans let’s not forget who the Department of Agriculture answers to eventually. They answer to the producers of fresh vegetables, fruits and meats. So, is the motivation for the report the well being of the consumer or the is it something else? Some government entities have already taken a bite at the excise tax approach. For example, 17 states and the District of Columbia levy taxes on soft drinks, candy and other foods of low nutritional value. Got that? Your eating habits and behavioral choices are being taxed. Do you really think that the motivation for this levy is your health? Or, do you think, just maybe, it is an effort to secure more funds? The usual mantra is that these funds are necessary to combat the rising health costs due to obesity. Well, perhaps that’s because some other pencil neck somehow got obesity classified as a disease in the first place. It is not.

To initiate this latest project of the Trial Lawyers, they have to convince the public that the opportunity exists to turn their personal responsibility over to the eateries. That’s where we are now. All over the spectrum, organizations, drug retailers, law offices, and government entities are laying the ground work. You can’t swing a bucket of chicken without tripping over some new study implying that Americans are falling victim to fatty food houses. From the CDC right down to some genius who decided to binge at McDonalds for one month straight, the writing is on the wall. The case is being constructed covertly. Again, it is the “deep breath before the plunge.”

Most people are familiar with some of the efforts by the bar to get these cases rolling. For example there is the NY case involving the lawsuit by Ashley Pelman and Jazlyn Bradley, two New York girls who say that McDonald's is to blame for their obesity and health problems. Let’s be frank on this. The girls are way too fat for their age group. Actually, they are way too fat for any age group. Whose fault is that? Well, they are responsible for their own actions. And, the fact that they are minors places some of the responsibility on their parents. However, this is a New York case that doesn’t allow the defendant (McDonalds) to add the parents as a third party defendant. Therefore, the restaurant is on its own in defending the case. The parents can’t be encouraged to drop the case on behalf of their daughters by means of growing defense fees on their own behalf. Simply put, the parents are insulated from repercussions of their idiocy and shirking parental obligations. In fact, they are encouraging the suit. The Judge is encouraging the suit as well. Despite throwing out the case twice, Judge Sweet has always left wiggle room for refiling. That, of course, will occur. The case is a work in progress that will show the Plaintiff Bar what they have to apply to gain credence.

The costs of defense, costs of jury awards, costs of increased insurance premiums, and costs to revamp menus, and public relations are beginning to climb based on this latest generated litigation endeavor. Those costs; all of them; will be coming out of the public’s pocket eventually, so get ready.

Not too long from now the term “you are what you eat” will lose all relevant significance. Get ready for “you are what the manufacturer makes you swallow.” I’ll always be a “you are what you eat” kind of guy. In my opinion, the enablers out there have been consuming a lot of rump roast.

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