Everywhere one goes these days, it seems the human landscape in America gets fatter and fatter. Not only adults, but sadly, growing legions of teens and younger with fat, flabby bodies. I don’t say this to be mean or cruel. Maintaining your weight, unless you’re a marathon runner, is very difficult. Losing weight, especially a lot of it, is difficult. The older we get the harder it gets, but that does not excuse what we’re seeing today.

As someone who turned 56 last June and weighs only seven pounds more than I did the day I graduated from high school, I know how difficult it is to stay in good health and maintain your weight. But, staying healthy is your personal responsibility and I see virtually none by fat people across this country.

Earlier this month, Dr. Terry Bennett, a New Hampshire doctor, actually had a complaint filed against him by an obese patient for telling her the raw truth about her gluttony. Dr. Bennett apparently had discussed this woman’s obesity with her before, but she continued to pack on the fat, becoming diabetic with gastroesophageal reflux and chest pains.

As her physician, it is Dr. Bennett’s responsibility to give her the truth about the consequences of her gluttony. If this weren’t such a serious subject, this episode in America’s madness would be laughable. But, there’s nothing funny about a fat America and the refusal by Americans to assume the responsibility for taking care of their health and their children’s.

The issue of tens of millions of people getting fatter and fatter isn’t just about how unsightly they look, which by the way, also causes fat people to be self-conscious and depressed about their weight. Hospital emergency rooms are full of the byproducts of gluttony. Doctors offices are full of individuals who refuse to be responsible for their own health. But guess who pays for all this? Those of us who feel it’s our own personal responsibility to stay as healthy as we can and not become a burden to others. Yes, we do pay for millions of Americans who refuse to be responsible through taxes for Medicare, Medi-Cal and “free medical” within the states of the Union under welfare programs.

My husband and I pay through the nose for our health-care premiums because it is our responsibility, not yours. But, those health-care premiums continue to go up because the number of irresponsible Americans who don’t take care of their bodies continues to rise. I see people driving down the road in their minivans stuffing down burgers, fries or ice cream, and they’re so huge, you can see their swollen hands and arms through the window. Their faces are so fat, they sag to their shoulder area. Then, when their excesses from a lifetime of piggish eating destroy their bodies, off they go to the ER.

The cost of health care is astronomical for many reasons including the unconstitutional participation by the federal government and footing the bill for criminals (illegal aliens), but America’s gluttony is the No. 1 factor feeding the system.

If that sounds harsh, I think it’s long past time for a wake-up call to Americans who refuse to take care of themselves – and drag their children with them on the road to obesity and a lifetime of health problems. There is no reason for most people to become fat except through their poor eating habits and excess. More than 100,000 people die in the United States every year from obesity-related illnesses at a whopping estimated cost of $120 billion in health care. More than half our nation’s population are well over their recommended weight. Sadly, almost 20 percent of teenagers and children are overweight and rising – up from 5 percent in the ’70s.

Roughly 22 million Americans now have diabetes, a very serious disease which can damage the eyes, nerves, kidneys and cardiovascular system. About 90 percent of people living with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes, a weight-related, devastating disease with potentially life-threatening complications. It doesn’t stop there. Further complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, strokes, blindness, nerve damage, skin disorders and foot problems can also plague a person with diabetes.

Health care is not a right except in socialist and communist countries. Medicare is unconstitutional. LBJ’s “great society” of welfare programs – such as Medicare – has done nothing but encourage people to stop being responsible for themselves. Are fat people selfish? Without a doubt, I believe they are because they abuse their bodies with all the wrong foods in gigantic amounts and then expect someone else to pay for their medical treatment. They become a burden to themselves, their family and society, and, shame on them for allowing their children to become fat or obese by the time they’re teens.

Americans need to begin taking responsibility for their own health and get rid of the weight. This does take commitment and discipline. It also takes learning how to eat properly every day for the rest of your life. Do you really want to be a burden to yourself and your family? Do you really want to spend your “golden years” in emergency rooms, plagued with constant health problems, popping prescription pills every day in an effort to buffer some of the pain and misery caused from a life time of gluttony? Think about it.

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