Hermione Luck – Obesity

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist


April 10, 2020


The Covid crisis has certainly put us back on our heels. Coming into Fall when we’ll begin the migration indoors, we look straight ahead at the specter of winter. The people in the know tell us that this will result in a surge of Covid cases.

We’re being told, by the end of the year, more than 100,000,000 people will have been infected worldwide, and that this almost inconceivable toll most likely will be under-estimated. Of those infected, more than 2,000,000 people will have died, and they say that a quarter of that total will be Americans. It just keeps on coming, doesn’t it? American exceptionalism – We’re Number One!

And just to cheer us up, these same experts tell us that all those horrific statistics could eventually triple before we get a handle on this thing. Meanwhile, back at the White House, our president questions if we can shoot sunlight into our veins to arrest the disease. You can’t make this stuff up.

There are rumors of vaccines of course, but none in sight. There are also conspiracy theories that Covid is a hoax, sort of like the school massacres at Sandy Hook and Parkland. Interesting how the concept of evil finds its comfort zone on both sides of the coin.

In its wake, conspiracists believing they are defending themselves from evil, determined not to wear masks, essentially asking the rest of the world to bend over so they can wave the flag before shoving the flagpole up our behinds.

We have to take this pandemic seriously right now if we are to prevent a worst-case scenario. But what about a year from now in 2021? What about after the vaccine has been discovered?

What about when everyone returns to their jobs, or at least locates the jobs that are left over? What will we do to prevent another pandemic in the future? Can we learn from our mistakes, or are we destined to repeat them?


I have an idea … let’s take a deep dive into one especially vulnerable group of people who die from Covid. I’m talking about rampant obesity and its role in the death totals of the pandemic. There are no official figures yet, but so far it looks like once you factor out the senior citizens, and then the people with underlying diseases, you come to obesity as a primary Covid vulnerability.

  • And who is most likely to be obese? The poor.
  • And why are they likely to be obese?
  • It’s not that they have sh*t for brains,
  • it’s that they eat sh*t for food.
  • What can we do about it?
  • Let’s start with the history of SNAP,
  • the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • In the 1940’s, the first legacy food policies were directed at the problem that 40% of military recruits were malnourished and underweight.

Government subsidies addressed this incidence of malnourishment with a sense of purpose and self-preservation by creating The National School Lunch Program and general assistance programs such as food stamps. Unfortunately, this well-meaning effort gave birth to the mass production of highly processed, carbohydrate-oriented convenient food products bringing with it the American birth of caloric obesity.

The American diet thus began its pendulum swing, flipping from undernourished to overfed, from labor-intensive whole foods to hollow food products that needed little preparation or cooking time. And here we are – out of shape, stomachs bulging, behinds taking up two parking spaces, huffing and puffing running after a bag of Cheetos.

Military America is now in a worse recruit situation than in the 40’s. In 2018, a council of retired admirals and generals discovered that 71% of young people between the ages of 17 and 24 did not qualify for military service, and obesity was a primary cause.

You ask what can we do – subsidize food stamps so the poor can shop at Whole Foods? Educate the young as to how a dead-end mortality rate occupies the dark side of obesity? Stop dropping bombs on the rest of the world using the money to drop healthy recipes on the rest of America?

Sure, there a lot of ha-ha’s making the rounds, but one thing is clear – America is eating itself into oblivion. The question is, do we really care?    

                                      Eat what makes you healthy