Rich Galen

* A study in the UK has absolved individuals for being fat by concluding, "in the largest ever UK study into obesity, backed by government and compiled by 250 experts, said excess weight was now the norm in our 'obesogenic' society."

* The study also said that "dramatic and comprehensive action was required to stop the majority of [UK citizens] becoming obese by 2050."

* Assuming people in the United Kingdom are not any more prone to obesity nor any less capable of controlling their eating habits than the rest of us, I do believe I see a big fat path to my own Al-Gore-Style Nobel Prize.

* First we have to get the popular press to buy into the notion that being chubby is not any individual person's fault - it is the fault of society.

* If we get that done, then it will be a simple step to get the French and the United Nations to blame the United States for contributing much more adipose to the world's supply than our population numbers would suggest we should.

* Next we should convene an international conference - say in Lodz, Poland - to hammer out a treaty in which each country would sign up for a set number of kilograms per capita to be lost over the next 175 years.

* Poles, generally, are known for their high regard for the trim torso, and Lodz - which, if we pronounce it "loads" actually makes some sense.

* India and China would, of course, be exempt because  I forget why, but they're exempted from all the other bad behavior in the world - nuclear proliferation, smog, basic human rights (especially among women), currency manipulation - so we should exempt them from this as well.

* Oh. A color. We'll need a stout color. Green is, of course, already taken by the environmentalistas so we need something else. What color screams "THIN!?"

* Can't be white or black. "Let's all try to be more white (or black) has certain heavy overtones which should be fairly obvious to all.

* Stripes. Vertical stripes. You can have any combination of colors you like so long as they are combined into vertical stripes.

* "Let's all try to be more striped" is a big idea.

* We'll need a weighty slide show. I know how to use Powerpoint up to a point but we need a thick stack of those babies to bore the oversized pants off audiences.

* We'll need all sorts of charts and graphs which prove that the girth of the human population is growing to gut-busting proportions.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at

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