Originally Posted by Sam Ser
meghan, i think you're really overreacting.
i agree that the article is strange, because etzioni's expertise in public policy is far from the field of health. however, the article does NOT make the outrageous statements that you claim it does.
etzioni merely points out the *fact* that most adults fail to make, or maintain, significant improvements in body composition and health as they age. from a public policy standpoint, that's a considerable hurdle to overcome if you're trying to figure out a way to use government resources to improve public health.
far from making a statement about whether adults *ought* to make greater efforts to change their habits, or whether this or that program would work for adults, etzioni suggests that the government would get a greater return on its investment of public funds by focusing its efforts on children -- not only because habits are formed at a young age, but because the government wields tremendous influence over children through public schools, where it can affect children's eating habits and physical activity habits.
that may not be an exhaustive review of the public policy options for improving public health for all ages, but it is a reasonable point to make about one part of it.
I don't think it's overreacting that I'm insulted that the author has essentially written off the 2/3 of Americans that are medically obese.
Also, my frustration was that the government HAS been aiming their programs and directives at the population as a whole for years and years and it. hasn't. worked.
The author is essentially removing personal responsibility from the equation - "you're already fat, and it's really hard to get healthy, so let's not even bother trying to make you get healthy any more, we'll just shift our focus elsewhere." Only, if we give up on the parents, do we really think we're going to have any kind of positive effect on the kids?
You can teach kids til you're blue in the face about healthy eating (which has been done in schools for years, at least since I was a little kid), but if they don't go home to healthy parents with healthy habits, it won't matter.