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While reading J. Eric Oliver’s “What is Fat?” last week, I was reminded about what I learned in a political science class I took my freshman year. It was a class on contemporary political debates and one aspect of the class focused on health care. Oliver brings about the importance of why it may not be extremely detrimental that our Government doesn’t have its weight standards exactly right.

One on hand, he mentions that it is a big deal for a number of consequences including what jobs one can get, whether one is considered a good, fit parent, and most importantly, whether certain drugs or medical procedures will first be needed, and second, if they will be paid for by insurance or tax money.

This stuck out to me because in my political science course I learned how important guidelines to health care and health insurance are to maintaining our federal budget allowance. My question is: if we become more flexible with what amount of fat is ok and healthy, will we see a decrease in the amount of medications and surgeries? And vise versa. If a little more fat becomes acceptable, will some doctors continue to advise medications and surgeries that would be covered through taxes? It interests me how some definitions such as “what is fat” impact much greater things such as what’s covered in our federal budget.

(Make up for class absence on 2/27)


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