A prominent bioethicist, Daniel Callahan, says that because overweight people absorb nearly $150 billion in health care costs, they should be shamed and stigmatized into changing their behavior.
Gee, didn't our moms tell us not to make fun of fat people?
So, what's changed? The government's growing role in health care, that's what. More than 30 years ago, a US Senator said that America would go bankrupt if we allowed people to violate basic nutritional guidelines, then offered a health care program to pay for it.
And that's where we're headed, because the more of your health care costs that are paid by the government, the more justified they feel in making value judgments about how you live. First came harsh criticism for smoking and smokers. Now that same campaign is being prepared for the overweight. Unless we reverse the course we're on, and have people shop for their own health insurance, the list of government disapproved lifestyles is only going to grow.