Out of Control Policy Blog

Like Cancer?

It's troubling how quick public figures are to expand the definition of "disease."

We've heard that obesity is a disease for a while. Here's the latest declaration:

    Obesity, which already affects more than 300 million people and an alarming number of children, must be recognized and treated as a disease with deadly complications, a leading expert said on Wednesday ...

    "Obesity is not an aesthetic problem. It is a very complex problem tightly connected to diabetes, atherosclerosis (blocked arteries) and other major health problems and causes of death," Professor Constantine Tsigos, chairman of the 14th European Congress on Obesity, told Reuters ahead of the meeting ...

    "The emphasis has been put on the complications to increase the awareness of obesity as a disease and a serious condition with many risks associated with it," said Tsigos.

And now the seat belt isn't just a strip of fabric, it's a "vaccine" that protects you from the "disease" of highway death:

    Transportation Secretary Mineta Calls Highway Fatalities an Epidemic, Nation Should Prevent Traffic Deaths Like Any Other Disease U.S.

    Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today called the problem of highway traffic deaths a "national epidemic" and encouraged Americans to view wearing safety belts as a form of preventative medicine ...

    "We are in the midst of a national epidemic", said Secretary Mineta. "If this many people were to die from any one disease in a single year, Americans would demand a vaccine. The irony is we already have the best vaccine available to reduce the death toll on our highways – safety belts".

For a different view of disease, check out the Szasz Blog.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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