The Fascist Approach to Diet

This is certainly a unique take on dieting. Blackmail yourself. “Dear self, if I don’t lose weight, I will donate money to the American Nazi Party or my car to Ku Klux Klan.” You’ve go see it, to believe it. Bill Toland of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more:
Dr. Bear wrote the farcical "Blackmail Diet" more than two decades ago -- if you want to shed those stubborn pounds, sign a legally binding contract mandating a certain weight loss. And if you don't satisfy the contract's requirements, you must fork over, say, $5,000 to the American Nazi Party, which happens to be the precise deal Dr. Bear struck with himself.


Wouldn't ya know it? Those 70 pounds melted right off. (Although one poor reader, having failed to lose the weight, reported that he'd be donating his car to the Ku Klux Klan.)

"We have known this since the earliest times," he said when contacted in his California home. "The bigger the incentive, either positive or negative, the more likely it is to work." Behavioral scientists know it. Prophets in the Bible knew it -- screw up, and you'll go to hell. The penalties don't get much bigger than that.

Dr. Bear's creepy vision has arrived, and not just in the form of "The Biggest Loser," NBC's grotesque of a hit, featuring obese men and women trying to get in shape for a cash prize. Clinical studies and economists are more or less on his side. In recent months, health insurers, city mayors, British politicians and university professors have all come up with their own versions of plans that dangle dollar bills in front of clients and customers, hoping the carrot -- or a stiff penalty -- will be enough incentive to shape up.
I don’t like this one bit. Here’s why. Just look at all the dollars Americans spend on weight-loss, I don’t want either one of these despicable “organizations” getting a single dime. From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:
In spite of the more than $110 million consumers spend every day on diets and “reducing” programs (more than $40 billion per year), Americans are the most obese people in history. To be considered obese, more than one-third of a person’s body must be made up of fat. A whopping 34 percent of all Americans are obese, and the problem is getting worse, not better.
Here’s an idea, don’t blackmail yourself—love yourself! In my opinion—and mind you, I’m just a smart-aleck—I think this is a disgusting premise.
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