Friday, September 14, 2007

Obesity Houses

Since I constantly hear politicians and public health officials calling for action regarding the "obesity crisis" in the USA this was probably on my mind when I read this headline in my local newspaper yesterday -- "City Restricting Sober Houses"

The issue here is that the City of St. Paul (Minnesota) approved a resolution that would prohibit "sober houses" in the city unless approved by the city council. Sober houses are a form of group living environment "set up for people recovering from alcohol or chemical dependence." (Source: Pioneer Press) Some sober houses kick out residents who relapse according to this article.

As an outside observer of these houses I can see the value of addicts supporting each other to stay clean on their road to recovery. Given the fact that our legal drinking age is 21 and there is no "eating age" (yet!!) access to food is obviously greater than access to alcoholic beverages thus creating greater potential for obesity the public health community would probably argue.

By no means am I an advocate of the following concept -- I simply want to highlight it so once a politician or public health health Nazi advocates it then my readers won't be so surprised -- the concept of course is:


Yes sober houses for obese people! If you are trying to lose weight why not live with a group of obese people in a sober house support environment?

There is one challenge that the location of sober houses has that obesity houses might not have -- city councils/sober house neighbors have major concerns about parking problems caused by sober houses since usually 6 to 15 people live in such a house. Assuming these people have drinking problems they are likely to have suspended licenses don't you think? But parking shouldn't be a problem at obesity houses since the residents shouldn't even bother owning automobiles -- opting instead to walk or ride a bicycle to help them on their road to recovery.

If I have overlooked something or if these obesity houses exist already today I would love to hear from my readers.

Off to my gym now,


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