Obese: to Be or Not to Be

June 15th, 2012
in Op Ed

by Frank Li

fat-boy-ice-creamSMALLAmericans are fat (Statistics – Obesity in America). People are rightfully concerned about it (How Obesity Threatens America’s Future). But what is the real solution (Why God Wants You to Be Thin)?

Here is the latest solution from New York City: New York City poised to Limit Size of Sugary Drinks. Do you like it? I don’t. Here is why:

  1. Obesity is a “traditional” sign of prosperity.
  2. Obesity is a “modern” life style of choice.
  3. There should be no law against that choice!

Follow up:

1. Obesity is a “traditional” sign of prosperity

bhuda-goldenIn Buddhism, being fat is glorified, as it represents prosperity.

Can you easily spot fat people in Africa? No!

America is obviously the most obese country in the world. Coincidentally, it happens to be most prosperous too. It’s known as a country of “plenty”, including (junk) food and obesity!

chinese-fat-babyI grew up in China, where everything was rationed, especially during the Cultural Revolution. We had ration stamps for everything (e.g. rice, meat, sugar, cooking oil, and even tofu). Malnutrition was the norm and obesity unheard of.

As China becomes more prosperous, so does obesity. Today, there are no more ration stamps in China, but a lot of McD’s and KFC’s instead! Oh, computer games are adding to obesity too, as people become less mobile and lazier!

I lived in Brussels from 1988 to 1991, and noticed that the Europeans were, and still are, much thinner than Americans. You may have your own explanation for this. But to me, it is simple: food in Europe is at least twice as expensive as that in America!


Personally, I lost 20 pounds three months after I moved to Brussels (from America) in 1988, but gained 20 pounds three months after I moved back to America in 1991!

2. Obesity is a “modern” life style of choice

I am six feet tall. For the past decade, my “stable” weight has been 220 pounds, which is about 30 pounds over my ideal weight. I knew all long that diet (i.e. eating right and eating less) was really the only way to go, but I just could not do it. Instead, I tried all kinds of “easier” ways, including working out every day for the past decade, without success. Yes, I am fit, but over-weight!

My dad passed away about two months ago (My Father Li Dexin), in the same way as several relatives on that side of the family (i.e. stroke as a result of high blood pressure). That finally got me serious about losing weight: I started eating right and eating less, in earnest. As a result, I lost 15 pounds already! 15 more to go and keep it down!

3. No law against the choice of obesity!

Americans love freedoms, including the freedom of being fat!

The government should stay out of our lives! When you start limiting the size of sugary drinks, what’s next? Where is the end? So do not even start!

Now, what about the medical insurance for all kinds of problems caused by obesity? An insurance program, be it privately-run or government-run, should be allowed to charge more premiums for the obese people. The same applies to airline seating: If you overflow from your seat, pay for two (or even three)! It’s simple economics, not discrimination!

4. Closing

What happened to Michael Bloomberg? Compare two pictures below …



Related Articles

Previous articles by Frank Li

Analysis and Opinion articles about obesity by Elliott Morss

GEI News articles about obesity


About the Author

Frank LiFrank Li is the Founder and President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company. Frank received his B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering. He worked for several companies until 2004, when he founded his own company W.E.I. Today, W.E.I. is a leader in the weighing industry not only in products & services, but also in thought and action.

Dr. Li writes extensively and uniquely on politics, for which he has been called "a modern-day Thomas Jefferson" (see page 31).


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