David Frum

09.14.12

Fat Boys Can't Win Wars

It was obviously idiotic for Dr. Oz, in his interview of Michelle Obama on Wednesday, to describe obesity as America's "number one national security threat."

But obesity has become America's number one public health problem, and that's more than serious enough.

It would have been better had Mrs. Obama opened her answer with some language like, "I wouldn't put it that way," rather than "Absolutely." Otherwise, though, her answer was letter perfect. "I do a lot of work with military families, and spend a lot of time on military bases and the the number one thing that prevents young people from the ages of 17 to 24 qualifying for the military is obesity.”

I don't know why the First Lady's campaign to alleviate such an obvious, urgent, and seemingly non-controversial national problem should send so many into spasms, but it does, as Rod Dreher observes in his marvelously titled piece, "Porky Populism."

My advice: if you feel the spasms coming on, go for a nice, long walk instead. It'll do you good.