A doctor named Robert Lustig has written a book called Fat Chance, on the (undeniable) epidemic of obesity in the US. He points to the consumption of refined sugars as the culprit, and Dalrymple agrees.
But then he suggests that those who consume large quantities of it are helpless addicts, deer in the headlights of malicious corporate designs and governmental policy. And you know what Dalrymple will make of that.
What is interesting in Dr Lustig’s subsequent ensuing chapter is that neither the words ‘ignorance’ nor ‘foolishness,’ let alone ‘stupidity,’ appear. Dr Lustig is committed to the idea that people such as [his patient] Juan’s mother can do no wrong because they are the mere playthings of governments and large corporations. Four legs good, two legs bad. For Dr Lustig, Juan’s mother is not a full human being like you and me; she is a mere vector of forces acting upon her. But if giving a gallon of orange juice a day to a six year-old child does not qualify a person as stupid, then the word has no application.
I tend to agree with the good doctor : persona responsibility is key. Take a horse to water etc…but then I am a former anorectic so my views are somewhat tainted.
Dr. Lustig seems to be regurgitating the 12 step programme of Overeaters Anonymous. Suffice to say there is nothing very new in what he is saying.
When I participated in Usenet (The ED forum) there were plenty of members from the US with a diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder for which they seemed to be receiving medicaid, SSRI. Section Eight Housing and food stamps. Back then BED wasn’t an official eating disorder.
It had no place in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (written and manufactured by US psychiatrists).
It does now.
Is this progress? You decide.