Steve K. Galson is the type of guy who’d leave Santa carrot juice and tofu strips.
Galson served as Surgeon General for a two-year stint starting in October of 2007.
The rear admiral during his tenure blasted Santa as a bad role model.
He told reporters Santa was bad for kids because, “It is really important that the people who kids look up to as role models are in good shape, eating well and getting exercise.”
Besides asking whether anyone drug tests surgeon general candidates since Santa isn’t exactly a real person, why do politically correct health nuts use Christmas as a time to tee off on those who are overweight?
I get it. It isn’t wise to carry around more than a few pounds. Nor is it good to have kids emulate bad habits. But Santa — or more precisely the ones who portray him — aren’t exactly appearing around stores to compete in binge eating contests.
No matter what Santa does he gets blasted. At one time Coca-Cola ushered in the holidays by having the jolly old guy hoisting a Coke while standing with a twinkle in his eye next to a Christmas tree and roaring fireplace. Now he dare not even hold a glass of milk unless it is skim or soy bean based.
Perhaps folks like Galson would be happy if Santa led kids in a Pilates class instead of helping feed their imaginations.
Of course, one can’t feed a kid’s imagination unless you hammer into them overweight folks are the equivalent of Grinches that never reform. In other words, if you don’t conform to the surgeon general’s height-weight and body fat ratio charts you deserved to be as beloved as Scrooge and get a lump of roasted seaweed in your stocking.
There’s no other health condition — if you want to call it that — where people think it is OK to villainize those who “suffer” from it.
We already have schools sending home letters to parents to point out the obvious that their kids are “chunky.”
It is not too unthinkable to expect that one day the government will send agents into first grade classrooms across the country and seize overweight kids for mandatory re-education at fat farms.
The theory behind all this nagging is that people are supposedly educating others to do the right thing. Education is one thing, but the verbal assault on everyone and every creation of the imagination that is overweight is badgering. When totalitarian regimes resort to such strategies under the benevolent sounding moniker of reeducation we call it sinister. But when our government applies the same techniques they just have our best interests in mind. It creates a fine line behind free will and coercion.
It should not be OK to ostracize and slam any grouping of people just because the majority or the gurus in charge have decreed their behavior, habits, beliefs or appearance to be unhealthy, unacceptable, or deviates from what their perception of what a perfect individual would do or be.
And no group of people comes under a more aggressive and wide range attack today than anyone who exceeds acceptable numbers on body fat ratio charts.
Yes, you can fill a Chuck E. Cheese from floor to ceiling with all of the studies that say being overweight significantly can be tied to various diseases and health conditions. But to use them as reason to justify creating cookie cutter rules of acceptance for society is Orwellian at best and totalitarian at worst.
Galson’s own words added to the super storm of rhetoric that led the military this year to further clamp down on those failing the tape test to determine who is overweight and either needs to cut pounds or kiss the military good-bye.
The problem is the tape test is wildly inaccurate.
The NavyTimes in May did a study that showed the tape test was wrong nine out of 10 times when the same person is measured for body fat by the medical field’s gold standard for such testing — the hydrostatic dunk tank. The tape put the military personnel’s body fat numbers at a higher level than they actually were. In one instance it was off 66 percent.
That’s because the tape test — like many other standards and charts — doesn’t really effectively measure the entire person. A number of those in the NavyTimes study had significantly more muscle than others.
Besides that, if a person can bench press a Mini Cooper and outrun someone who fits perfectly into the perimeters used for tape measurements and such what’s wrong with that?
Yes, being overweight can be a factor in a lot of ailments and illnesses but it isn’t an absolute.
Nor is having your weight fall within government parameters is a guarantee you are healthy, not be a long shot.
But that won’t stop the all out attack on Santa for being too fat.
So since we are slamming an imaginary being by the standards society has created for him such as his being excessively overweight, how do the Galsons of the word explain the other part of the myth when it comes to Santa’s ability to shimmy down tight chimneys as well as having the stamina to cover the entire world in one night?
I’d like to see Galson, who I assume fits the government body ratio charts nicely, do that.