Is Obesity a Disease or a Moral Failing?

According to Dalrymple in Pajamas Media:

To this no final answer can be returned, for it lies not in the realm of physic but of metaphysic. One answers as much according to one’s philosophical predilections and presuppositions as to empirical evidence.

But he notes that doctors and the broader intelligentsia increasingly blame environmental forces, rather than individual choice. And yet at the same time…

…there have of late been increasing attempts by doctors and public health authorities to pay, or to bribe, the poor into behaving healthily, for example by giving up smoking. There have even been experiments to get drug addicts to give up by means of payment, either in cash or in kind. A certain success has been claimed for these methods; and thus, as the British Medical Journal put it in the same week as the NEJM editorial, “Using cash incentives to encourage healthy behaviour among poor communities is being hailed as a new silver bullet in global health.”

But cash payments can work only if people are capable of making choices.

A contradiction, no?

2 thoughts on “Is Obesity a Disease or a Moral Failing?

  1. john

    A necessary contradiction nonetheless. Those earning their living working for the nanny state, both those in academia guiding the ideology, and those on the coalface implementing it, must deny personal responsibility to justify their existences. However, they are forced to acknowledge the reality of personal accountability in their day to day activities otherwise they could never achieve their aims in the real world.

    Cognitive dissonance is all part of a days work for these people.


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