My group’s topic is adult obesity, concentrating on government responsibility and intervention. I grow up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, making it more difficult to identify with the magnitude of the situation. I recognize that it is a widely discussed national problem with concerning a growing number of Americans; however, Colorado is one of the most fit states in the US, so I haven’t seen as much of the dilemma first-hand.
I believe that it is the responsibility of the individual first, before any other party intervenes. Yes, there are genetic conditions that result in obesity but that does not excuse the individual’s obligation to at least be part of the solution. Although it is necessary for effort and will to be evident in the obese persons, I understand that some degree of outside help must be provided. This extends beyond simple diet and exercise programs, as the problem extends farther than personal laziness. A healthy diet (natural foods, low fat, low sugar, etc.) is more expensive and takes more time to maintain than a faster, unhealthy diet of canned goods, frozen dinners, and fast food. Thus, many economically disadvantaged individuals cannot afford to eat better or sacrifice the time to work-out.
I have read several articles on poverty and homelessness, such as “Million Dollar Murray” that have shaped much of my opinion on the topic. I have participated in several discussions on the matter with others, which has helped me define the problem better and hear a variety of views.
I have a bias to not include companies as a part of the main solution. While I am open to government regulation, I believe that holding firms responsible in lawsuits is a waste of courtroom time, unproductive, a horrible precedent for common law, and benefits few.