Personal Responsibility And Obesity: A Constructive Approach To A Controversial Issue, Health Affairs, March 2010
"The concept of personal responsibility has been central to social, legal, and political approaches to obesity.Maybe it's my years of public health training that make me defend this position - that environment plays a larger role in our chronic disease crisis.
[The concept of personal responsibility] evokes language of blame, weakness, and vice and is a leading basis for inadequate government efforts, given the importance of environmental conditions in
explaining high rates of obesity.
These environmental conditions can override individual physical and psychological regulatory systems that might otherwise stand in the way of weight gain and obesity, hence undermining personal responsibility, narrowing choices, and eroding personal freedoms."
If I lived in, say, an Arctic village where there was one store and it sold only fruits and vegetables, that's what I would eat. Maybe a few fish. If it sold double cheeseburgers, sweetened breakfast cereals, oreos, ice cream sandwiches, soda, and chips, that's what I would eat. Maybe a few fish.
By the way, this paper advocates taxing food as a way to reduce obesity. I think reducing the cost of, and increasing the accessibility to fresh foods is a better idea. I don't know how ... maybe tax breaks for farmers who grow market produce or for retailers who stock produce in food deserts.