1. Italian Town to Pay Residents to Lose Weight. Men get 50 euros for losing 9 lbs., women for losing 7. You get another 200 euros for keeping it off for 5 months.
I have to say, that’s a … creative approach. And at least it’s using the carrot (so to speak) instead of the stick. I must admit there’s even a part of me going, “Shit, I could lose 7 lbs. and keep it off for 5 months for $350.” The question is, what’s the fucking point? A) 7 lbs. isn’t going to make a damn bit of difference to my health — it’d barely make a difference to my pants size — and B) just like everyone who diets for any reason, I would most likely be even fatter in five years. Seriously, this town doesn’t have anything better to spend money on? Send it over here, y’all. The CTA could really use it.
2. The Institute for European Environmental Policy is calling for ‘car exclusion zones’ around schools, to force parents and children to get some walking in. I’m all for more walking (even though I think it’s complete horseshit that this could “counteract a weight gain of up to two stone over a decade”), but has it occurred to people that maybe the reason more kids aren’t walking to school is that there are no fucking sidewalks? I lived less than two miles from my elementary school, but that was in deepest suburbia, where the only route between my house and the school was on highways. (I walked home from high school once, because I’d missed the bus and couldn’t get a ride, and it was friggin’ terrifying. Crossing a 4-lane highway without a crosswalk or lights timed for pedestrians is not so fun.) Then we have the fact that we’re constantly told there are pedophiles lurking behind every tree, just waiting to snatch up our! children! if we let them go anywhere alone. And the fact that, for some reason that completely escapes me, people seem to think it’s child abuse to put their kids on a friggin’ schoolbus these days.
But no, people drive their kids to school because they’re lazy. Just like they let them play video games all day (which, btw, actually has zero correlation with obesity, according to Gard and Wright) because they’re indulgent and neglectful, not because Oprah told them their kids could be taken at any minute from their own front yard! And, uh, forcing everyone to park off school grounds and walk their kids in is totally not going to create traffic problems or anything. Awesome idea, guys.
3. On a less headshaking note, the government of Ontario deserves kudos for putting money toward improving health care for fat people — including making sure that hospitals have everything from large blood pressure cuffs on hand to doorways big enough to accomodate gurneys made for big people. The Toronto Star even deserves a small nod for acknowledging that this is an issue of dignity and human rights, not just of, “OMG, THE FATTIES ARE COSTING US MONEY!” There’s a lot of the latter shit at the beginning of the article, but then you have this:
“This is a very sensitive population, they’ve been marginalized forever and you have to provide the kind of medical and psychological care in an environment that really meets their needs,” [Arya] Sharma [scientific director for the Canadian Obesity Network] said.
“The program is based on the idea that obese patients deserve help for their medical condition just like patients who have any other kind of medical problem.”
Zany concept, huh? (I won’t even quibble about the “obesity as freestanding medical condition” issue. Focus on the “obese patients deserve help” part. We don’t hear enough of that.)
Readers, what else have you read today? Discuss.