Editorial: The Obesity Argument - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Editorial: The Obesity Argument

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Cleveland, OH (WOIO) - Doctor Toby Cosgrove the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic opened a juicy can of worms recently by telling the New York Times that he would not hire obese people if he could legally get away with it.

The Clinic already has a policy preventing the hiring of smokers and Cosgrove was putting obese people in the same category of serious health risks.  

Well predictably his comments were met with howls of protest by social workers and liberal pundits like Plain Dealer Columnist Connie Schultz. Schultz blames the obesity epidemic on the lack of an Obama-style government health care program and Dr. Cosgrove, she implied, was demonizing the obese.  

It may not be a popular position in today's politically-correct world but Dr. Cosgrove has a valid point when he calls obesity as much a national health risk as smoking. Obesity now accounts for over nine percent of health care costs in this nation and more people are getting sick and dying these days from weight-related causes than they are from puffing on cigarettes. For some reason, though, it's ok to castigate smokers as anti-social outcasts whose nasty behavior ought to be outlawed. But, meanwhile, overeating to the point of obesity is somehow viewed as an illness or as a social condition over which the poor unfortunate overweight person has no control.  

What Dr. Cosgrove is saying is that we may have to change how we view obese people if we are to have any chance of fixing the obesity problem. And he may be right.  

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