Monday, December 06, 2010
Overheard on CNN.com: Battle of the Bulge

 

First Lady Michelle Obama has made combatting obesity her pet cause

 

COMMENT OF THE DAY: “Forget WikiLeaks. Forget the war on drugs or terrorism ... the real battle is the bulge!”--baggypants

 

CNN contributor David Frum's claim that obesity could be a national security threat struck a chord with readers, who used the story as an opportunity to discuss the American obesity epidemic. Frum pointed out that amid the argument over "don't ask, don't tell," people were ignoring the fact that many soldiers are discharged because they don't meet military weight requirements. Here’s what others thought about obesity and the rest of the day’s top stories:

 

Why obesity is a national security threat

 

Most readers thought that Americans needed to take responsibility for their own weight issues rather than relying on government intervention. lass21hb said, "The fact that obesity is negatively impacting the military and defense, is just another excuse to get the government involved. This needs to be a wake-up call to Americans that we need to start making some hard changes as Americans and consumers, without government involvement. Otherwise we are going to continue to lose our freedoms as our government passes legislation to "protect us from ourselves."

 

hippediva called Americans’ on-the-go lifestyles the reason so many are overweight. “As long as our national 'lifestyle' is to rush out of the house to work, grabbing a toaster strudel or Starbucks latte; eating McDonalds in 5 minutes for lunch and coming home at 8 pm with a bucket of KFC, we're bound to get fat.

 

byrond said that other factors, including socioeconomic status, can play a large part. “I have a Master of Science in Nutrition unlike Michelle Obama and the author of this column Mr. Frum. It's primarily America's poor that are Obese. And, believe it or not Mr. Frum, obese people are not just lazy people who eat too much and watch TV. They are often FOOD INSECURE so are forced to pig out on cheap sources of fat and sugar while they have the chance to eat.”

 

ukanduet shared his own military experiences. “In my day, when you went to boot camp they got rid of the excess weight in short order. They didn't coddle new recruits. You had to go through hell, and they didn't care too much what it did to your fragile mental state. They built fighting machines, anyway they had to do it.”

 

One reader saw a potential silver lining in the debate over what to do about obesity. “A positive side to obesity? Consider that if we are too fat to fight we will be forced to stop invading foreign countries in the name of spreading freedom or fighting terrorism or whatever the current war cry might be. I like it,” said Vonzo1974.

 

Motorists could see $3 gas at pumps by Christmas

 

A story on climbing gas prices had many readers pointing out that gas is already upwards of $3 a gallon where they live and bemoaning that prices always seem to go up toward the end of the year.

stan777 said, “What are they talking about? Its been $3.00 a gallon here in NE PA for at least 2 weeks. I payed $3.09 the other day. Why is it around the holidays the gas goes up? Talk about price gouging. The oil companys are manking billions of dollars in profit, so your telling me that they cant charge $2.00 a ... more What are they talking about? It’s been $3 a gallon here in NE PA for at least 2 weeks. I payed $3.09 the other day. Why is it around the holidays the gas goes up? Talk about price gouging.”

 

DrBillToth1 blamed the oil companies, saying they “continue to rake in BILLIONS of dollars of profit every quarter because we let them,” but tehFonzY countered by saying that people who decide to drive can’t complain about high prices. “They have a product we choose to buy. It's the same reason we allow any company to make any sort of profit.”

 

For some, rising gas prices were an opportunity to point out that the U.S. should become less dependent on fossil fuels. gr8fuldude said,I think this is very good news. I think we should pay far more, as we need to learn how to conserve. And for the record, I drive a Prius and use mass transit when I do go to the office.”

 

 

For LGBT teens, acceptance is critical

 

Several interesting discussions -- with topics including religion, equal rights and the law -- cropped up in the comments section of a story on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens facing discrimination in high school.

 

sm753 said, “LGBT people think they’re so special and require special attention. Guess what ...you're just like everyone else. johnwithanh countered with, “How does fairness and equality mean "special attention"? Was Rosa Parks asking for special attention on the bus? No! She just wanted to have the same opportunity as everyone else. That's all we're asking for -- nothing special.”

 

dnyce13 doesn’t approve of others using religion as motivation for condemning others but also doesn’t approve of religion-bashing. “Homosexuality is such a sensitive subject but I find it disheartening how every time it's mentioned people always cry out and bash religion. I'm a Christian myself and the main focus of the Bible is love. It is THE greatest commandment. Although I personally do not believe homosexuality is in acc... more Homosexuality is such a sensitive subject but I find it disheartening how every time it's mentioned people always cry out and bash religion. I'm a Christian myself and the main focus of the Bible is love. It is THE greatest commandment. Although I personally do not believe homosexuality is in accordance with natural law … I have gay friends and I do not hold anything against them. We are all sinners. Love each other guys, it's not easy especially when personal opinions are so contrasting but it's what we should be doing.

 

artistlimite thanked dnyce13 for her comment, despite having different beliefs. “Although I am a critic of Christianity often, it is good to know that there are some Christians who still attempt to love those despite their differences.”

 

Your turn: Now that  you've read what other people are saying, do you find that your views  align with theirs? Give us your two cents. Post a comment below or sound off on video.

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