Bike Helmets & Fat People

by K

Somewhere along the line, it was decided that adults would be required to wear bike helmets. I think the reasoning had something to do with bike helmets preventing head injuries… and head injuries are very expensive for our publicly funded health care system to treat. So because it might cost the government a couple million dollars a year to treat patients with BICYCLE related head injuries, everyone must wear a helmet. I read somewhere (don’t remember where) that the per-capita head injury rate is the same in places where there are no helmet laws (Europe, for example) as it is here. Funny, since there are WAY more people riding bicycles over there.

On the topic of costing the health-care system money… Obesity is definitely tops. We all know that obesity is linked to just about every chronic disease out there: diabetes, heart disease, cancer… And these diseases cost the health care system BILLIONS of dollars a year. So how come we (as in society or the government) don’t fine people for being fat? If we can fine them for the risky behaviour of not wearing a helmet while riding a bike, then why not fine them for the risky behaviour of being fat? Oh yeah. A little something called *political correctness*. It might offend someone if we commented on their weight. It might hurt their self-esteem. Boo-Hoo. It’s just the truth.

Can we get a little consistency here? Either we ban ALL risky behaviour because it might cost the health care system money… or we give people back their personal freedom. Let them choose for themselves.

And let them experience the consequences.