RUSH: Now, from the dietitians at the op-ed page of the New York Times: "How Government Will Control Our Diet," and this was published yesterday. Now, I want you to listen to me on this. "Big Food vs. Big Insurance," New York Times op-ed column here: "To listen to President Obama's speech on Wednesday night, or to just about anyone else in the health care debate, you would think that the biggest problem with health care in America is the system itself -- perverse incentives, inefficiencies, unnecessary tests and procedures, lack of competition, and greed. No one disputes that the $2.3 trillion we devote to the health care industry is often spent unwisely, but the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person as most European countries on health care can be substantially explained, as a study released last month says, by our being fatter. Even the most efficient health care system that the administration could hope to devise would still confront a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet. That's why our success in bringing health care costs under control ultimately depends on whether Washington can summon the political will to take on and reform a second, even more powerful industry: the food industry." The political will to take on the food industry? What the hell do they think has been happening? New York City trans fats, now they're going to have a tax on soda?
"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three-quarters of health care spending now goes to treat 'preventable chronic diseases.' Not all of these diseases are linked to diet -- there's smoking, for instance -- but many, if not most, of them are. We're spending $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions more to treat cardiovascular disease." I found a website the other day, I should have printed it out, maybe I can find it in my website history. Two guys independently of each other, two doctors dealing with diabetes back in 1961 both came to the same conclusion to control type two diabetics, an all-meat diet. Now, this was before all the warnings about cholesterol and high fat and all of the animal rights people had come along, and they just said all-meat diet, nothing but meat, long before the nation ever heard of Robert Atkins.
An all-meat diet lowered cholesterol, lowered blood sugar, people lost weight. You could no more recommend that today and stay credible in your field than anything else you could do, and this is 1961. There might have been five years separation between these two guys, but they never knew, and they were researching other things. They were not studying how to lower diabetes, erectile dysfunction, they were studying high blood pressure, and they found out that all the test subjects were having this weird thing happen to them. It was a total accident. The same thing with these two guys, were studying something else entirely, and they found that with an all-meat diet, diabetes lowered, blood sugar lowered, weight lowered, cholesterol, all these things. And so here come these clowns -- this is Michael Pollan, by the way, writing this, basically this piece is, "We gotta control the food industry. We gotta get Washington to control the food industry." Yeah, community service. Picket Big Food, picket Big Retail food, picket grocery stores, pick the slaughter houses, picket manufacturers.
The American way of eating has become the elephant in the room in the debate over health care. The president has made a few notable allusions to it, and, by planting her vegetable garden on the South Lawn, Michelle Obama has tried to focus our attention on it." Make me gag! "Just last month, Mr. Obama talked about putting a farmers' market in front of the White House, and building new distribution networks to connect local farmers to public schools so that student lunches might offer more fresh produce and fewer Tater Tots. He's even floated the idea of taxing soda. … To put it more bluntly, the government is putting itself in the uncomfortable position of subsidizing both the costs of treating Type 2 diabetes and the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup. Why the disconnect? Probably because reforming the food system is politically even more difficult than reforming the health care system." Now, the people that read the New York Times end up buying the stuff just like these skulls full of mush at these Ivy League schools.
So now Big Food is the reason the health care costs are so high. Big Food! And we need Washington to control it. Reforming the food system? It goes on and on and on. Michael Pollan, by the way, is a contributing writer for the Times magazine, a professor of journalism at the University of California Berkeley. "All of which suggests that passing a health care reform bill, no matter how ambitious, is only the first step in solving our health care crisis. To keep from bankrupting ourselves, we will then have to get to work on improving our health -- which means going to work on the American way of eating." Mr. Pollan, it's none of your business. It's none of Obama's business how anybody eats. It's not my business when he grabs a quick trip to some burger joint. I don't know what he eats in the White House. Well, I do know, he's eating $100-a-pound Kobe beef.
But then there's a companion story here from Newsweek called: "The Real Cause of Obesity. It's not gluttony. It's genetics. Why our moralizing misses the point. Despite receiving a MacArthur genius award for her work in Alabama 'forging an inspiring model of compassionate and effective medical care in one of the most underserved regions of the United States,' Regina Benjamin's qualifications to be surgeon general have been questioned. Why? She is overweight. 'It tends to undermine her credibility,' Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, said in an interview with ABC News. 'I do think at a time when a lot of public-health concern is about the national epidemic of obesity, having a surgeon general who is noticeably overweight raises questions in people's minds.' It is not enough, it seems, that the obese must suffer the medical consequences of their weight, consequences that include diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and that cause nearly 300,000 deaths in the United States each year."
Do you realize -- this is another thing, what is our goal here? Have zero deaths a year? You know, life happens. Life happens. People live their lives, they have free will. They live their lives. But, no, no, no, we're not going to be doing that anymore, we're going to be living ordered lives. "In our society perhaps no group is more stigmatized than the obese." Well, I don't know. You ought to try being a fat conservative if you want to find out what being stigmatized is, but nevertheless. "Genetic studies have shown that the particular set of weight-regulating genes that a person has is by far the most important factor in determining how much that person will weigh. The heritability of obesity -- a measure of how much obesity is due to genes versus other factors -- is about the same as the heritability of height. It's even greater than that for many conditions that people accept as having a genetic basis, including heart disease, breast cancer, and schizophrenia. As nutrition has improved over the past 200 years --" Wait a minute. The New York Times just said it's gone to hell and we need to have Washington to control it. "-- Americans have gotten much taller on average, but it is still the genes that determine who is tall or short today. The same is true for weight. Although our high-calorie, sedentary lifestyle contributes to the approximately 10-pound average weight gain of Americans compared to the recent past, some people are more severely affected by this lifestyle than others. That's because they have inherited genes that increase their predisposition for accumulating body fat."
Now, this could all be BS, a piece written just to give cover to the obese surgeon general, who knows with this State-Controlled Media these days. But the bottom line, he concludes, obesity is not a personal choice. The obese are so primarily as a result of their genes. Never mind. We have to have food control. We have to have Washington control and reform the food industry, agribusiness. And this is not new. The left has been trying to get rid of the meat industry for who knows how long.
By the way, is this the economy Obama says he saved? "The US poverty rate hit its highest level in 11 years in 2008." That doesn't even include the last nine months, then. We got the highest level of poverty in 11 years in 2008 and that doesn't even factor this disastrous administration. "The government defines poverty as an annual income of $22,025 for a family of four, $17,163 for a family of three and $14,051 for a family of two." US poverty rate hits 11-year high as recession bites. CNNmoney.com: "'Word on the Street: No Job Prospects' -- The economic picture has started to improve, but those out of work see no recovery in sight." Next story, Geithner, town hall meeting on CNBC said unemployment will absolutely be lower one year from today, even though the word on the street from CNN is that there's no way. There's no sign that the employment picture will improve any time soon.
RUSH: I just got an e-mail from a friend who's reading Michael Pollan's book. He's the guy who wrote the op-ed in the New York Times that I just shared with you about reforming the food industry, and the name of his book is In Defense of Food. And my friend who's reading the book tells me that Pollan makes, in the book, a very, very strong case that the reason the food system is so bad is because of government and that there's a food movement out there called "nutritionism," which he says is not about nutrition but is an ideology. And he says that anthropologists have, over hundreds of years, found that an extraordinary range of diets are adaptable to humans: Meat, veggies, rice, lots of grain, no grain. All humans could adapt to these diets but he says in this book only the Western diet causes all the illnesses. Even in other countries our diet has ill effects. And he says that this is all due to processed food and the food is processed mostly due to government intervention and laws. Now, I don't know. That's a brief summary of what he's saying in the book. When I read his piece in the New York Times, I did not pick up any of that, but regardless. Just to be fair.