“White House Adviser Rahm’s Older Brother: ‘Heavier People’ Bad for Economy”:
While the White House is making its last pushes for health care reform to be passed in Congress – a campaign against the so-called obesity epidemic has been ramped up in political circles. The media have played along, of course. First Lady Michelle Obama recently made an unusual appearance on the Fox News Channel about this issue.
But in all the obesity hand wringing some bizarre remarks from an important person were overlooked. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a White House adviser and the older brother to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, told the New York Times “Freakonomics Radio” recently that this condition has a broader impact on our lives, specifically the economy.
“I mean, we’re all focused on health care, diabetes and heart disease,” Emanuel said on Feb. 25. “But, there’s all sorts of things like the simple that, you know – heavier people – transportation is more, so there’s more spent on gasoline, more on jet fuel.”
Emanuel, a bioethicist at the American National Institutes of Health, explained that it’s not just energy costs, but also infrastructure.
“People have had to change, ah you know, the size of doorways, the size of chairs on airplanes and at sports stadiums,” Emanuel said. “So there’s a lot of hidden costs as well to the increasing girth of Americans.”
Or to put it another way, “gemeinnutz geht vor eigennutz.”