Featured image for article
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Parsing the Politics of Obesity

Tristan Justice of the Federalist notes the complicated politics surrounding obesity.

Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman was caught in controversy early this month after the salad executive linked the severity of the coronavirus pandemic with high levels of obesity.

“[Seventy-eight percent] of hospitalizations due to COVID are Obese and Overweight people,” Neman wrote in an Aug. 31 deleted LinkedIn post citing March data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Is there an underlying problem that perhaps we have not given enough attention to? Is there another way to think about how we tackle ‘healthcare’ by addressing the root cause?”

While the root cause Newman indicted as the underlying culprit in the COVID crisis was obesity, Newman’s own diagnosis of the problem is fertilized by the proliferation of a cultural movement to both normalize obesity and demonize its opposition as “fat-phobic.” Newman himself became the latest target of the left’s nefarious feel-good crusade for daring to raise alarm over the nation’s ballooning crisis, while obesity triples an individual’s risk to hospitalization with COVID-19. …

… Has the race-obsessed left considered that its pro-fat movement systemically promotes obesity to the very people it claims to champion? …

… A look at the CDC’s overall data on obesity reveals the highest prevalences of obesity are among minorities, as rates skyrocket on the heels of a pandemic that saw liberal elites shutting down gyms. …

… As a primary comorbidity to COVID and often a culprit condition to long-term illnesses such as heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, you’d think obesity would be the target of a leftist campaign under the moral righteousness of social justice. Michelle Obama tried. Instead, the feelings-based body positivity movement perpetuated by liberals has positioned the next generation to grow up in even worse shape than their parents, who’ve normalized a pandemic of obesity firmly rooted in the culture.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...