Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Modest Proposal from the Health and Environment team

Satire is a great tool to effect change in society. We tried it at Frisch, and Ronit came up with this modest proposal to combat obesity in America. RS's Health and Environment team wanted to share the proposal with you:

Supermarket Shopper by Duane Hanson, made in 1970
Hanson seems to have predicted the current obesity problem

A Modest Proposal
by Ronit L.

       There's no doubt to anyone with eyes that there is clearly a problem with the people around us. They are all fat. But the solution is in sight. After years of research and collaborations among food corporations and engineers from all around the world, the MTMFP (Movement to Move Fat People) has found the answer: robots. 
      When our researchers sat down to find the source of American obesity, the problem all stemmed from one thing: laziness. People take in so many calories, but they are too lazy to get moving and burn them off, so we have found a way to get those bodies in motion. Researchers have found that if people can not get to food, they can not eat it. Therefore, starting this summer, we will change the way you shop for food. While all the clothing stores will be preparing their stores for the fall, we will be remodeling supermarkets to get ready for MTMFP. 
      Billions of dollars will be going into completely redesigning supermarkets everywhere. We will replace all the shelves with our newly-designed “Run-it Rover” © system.
The “Run-it Rover” or RIR for short is a shelf on wheels. It has internal sensors that allow it to sense when a person is coming towards it. When the RIR finds someone, it takes off in the other direction. The RIR is programmed to run away from you until you have burned the number of calories in the food product the RIR is shelving. 
      The bio-engineers here are MTMFP know that not all bodies are created equal. In order to accommodate people of all shapes and sizes, all the tiles in food establishments will be replaced by scales. Additionally, laser scanners will line the walls to gauge people’s height. This way when a person steps close to a RIR, the RIR receives a message from the scale and the lasers, telling it how much the person weighs and their BMI. This will allow the RIR to know how far it has to run. If a person is underweight, the RIR will remain still and allow them to take their food with almost no calorie loss. But if the RIR see the person is severely overweight, the RIR will make them run extra hard. 
      With this new technology comes the need for space. With everyone running to get their groceries, there will be a need to expand the aisles to reduce collisions. This space will be provided by converting hospital buildings into supermarkets. Doing so will be safe because once people are no longer fat, obesity-related illnesses will decrease dramatically, thereby eliminating the need for an abundance of hospitals. 
      For all you mothers out there who are thinking, How will I get food for my children? Don’t worry, we have the answer. When a child is born, he or she will receive a food card. This food card has a unique bar code, specialized to that child. The food card will be programmed by your doctor. The doctor will give the child a certain calorie count for the day, and when you are shopping, you will be able to flash the food card at the RIR, and the RIR will deliver the food to you, for no calories!
      The MTMFP has already built prototypes of this model in cities in the midwest and the results have been phenomenal. One woman reported that she lost fifty pounds within a month of the RIR’s being in her store. She commented,“This system works great. If you do not work, you do not eat.” She noted that when she first encountered the RIR, it was difficult and time- consuming to work out to get her food, but now the RIR barely has to run from her. “It was a great self-confidence booster knowing that the RIR stopped running,” said her husband in agreement. Pediatric offices are also ecstatic about the program. Dr. Mark Smith, an expert in child obesity in Des Moines, Iowa, said, “Not only is the RIR great at keeping kids eating the rights amounts of foods, so they avoid running into problems later in life, it also ensures that the children are always coming in for appointments to change their calorie count. I’m now able to closely monitor all my patients’ weights.”
      So, shoppers, get ready for a whole new kind of shopping experience. We, as Americans, will no longer stand by as our countrymen get fat. Instead, we will lead them on a bright path to a better future where everyone can be healthy and thin.

*This ad is sponsored by the World Hunger movement. Donate today and be part of the movement that will end hunger across the globe.