Bob Franken


October 23, 2007
A Weighty Idea (Bob Franken)
@ 11:21 am

It is so easy to be negative. So easy to make fun of Hillary Clinton’s proposal to get the government involved in fighting obesity with “—incentives and penalties.” Instead of taking that easy path, we really need to open our minds a little and consider the possibilities, dare I say a veritable FEAST of possibilities.

For example, maybe we could nationalize the Jenny Craig plan and have Hillary take it over. I can see the TV ads now: “Hi, I’m Bill Clinton. I lost 37 pounds on the Hillary Diet.” The Bureau of Statistics could publish an official Glycemic Index. By the way, does anyone have any idea what a Glycemic Index is? In any case the monthly release would quickly become known as the “G. I. Report.”

Instead of a weekly radio address each Saturday President Clinton could have a regular program on the Food Channel or PBS: “Cooking With Hillary.” It would feature nothing but nutritious, low-fat preparations. She could even supplement the show with a book of recipes. How about as a working title, “It Takes a Cabbage.”

While others advocate a flat tax, this president would impose a fat tax. French fries and soft drinks would be treated just like cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. The extra revenue would pay for publicly funded weight-reduction spas as well as the new enforcement department we’d need, the Fat Prevention Institution. Obviously we would require thousands of FPI agents, Obese Police, to make sure everyone complies with the new diet laws.

So you can ridicule if you want. But as candidate Clinton points out, obesity has become a national problem that requires the kind of creativity we can only find in the bureaucracy. She says it will take “—some carrots and maybe a few sticks.” That’s a beginning. Both are very high in fiber.

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