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TW: eating disorders

In 2057 in America, with the introduction of “Diet Rite,” obesity was proclaimed illegal for anyone over 18. Anyone deemed obese under current guidelines was arrested, convicted, and placed in jail until they were starved, force fed “Diet Rite,” or a version of the two. 

Because obesity and the associated health care risks became a huge burden on the healthcare system, Congress voted to make obesity a crime. It wasn’t lost on the American people that many members of Congress held a stake in the Diet Rite stock company, but since 2040, Congress had been given more and more power so that many times the laws that passed reflected their own self interests. 

Diet Rite was a pill that exceptionally boosted metabolism to turn you into a thinner version of yourself - even if you ate two to three times your daily calories. Each pill was guaranteed to burn an additional 500 calories, but you weren’t supposed to exceed 6 doses in one day due to possible liver problems. Although expensive, people made sure to stock up on the pills, oftentimes hoarding the “magic drug” to make sure they never ran out as they finally reached their goal weight - and could practically eat whatever they want. 

Jails became even more overcrowded with poor people who could not afford the pills and could not always find time to exercise as they worked two or three jobs. Most often, they were arrested, sent to jail, and starved, then released back onto the streets, where they had to work multiple jobs again and survive on cheap fast food, only to end up right back in jail for obesity. 

All parties entering the United States had to return immediately to their country if deemed obese or quarantine at the customs picked hotel with Diet Rite pills - on their expense of course- until the weight was lost. 

Pregnant women were given a reprieve for as long as they were pregnant. Those who became obese while pregnant had two months to return to their pre-obese weight by any means necessary or they would be arrested, convicted, and taken to jail until they lost the weight. 

The obese police, with a plethora of authority, knocked on doors with tips that an obese person might be hiding or bedridden inside or stopped people out on the streets, forcing them to step on one of their lightweight foldable scales they kept in backpacks so that they could weigh anyone up to 300 pounds. Anyone more than 300 pounds was automatically arrested and sent to jail. Anyone refusing to step on a scale at the request of the obese police was automatically arrested, convicted, and taken to jail. 

“You’re under arrest! You weigh 200 pounds and you’re only 5’6!” They would yell to a mother in a crowd, pleading to say goodbye to her kids and that she could not afford the Diet Rite pills and that she was really was trying. There was even a special tip line that allowed people to anonymously call in their friends and neighbors and a small monetary award if that friend or neighbor was arrested, convicted, and sent to jail. 

Fast food places and restaurants exploded when the pills went on the market. No longer having to actively watch their weights, restaurants were jammed pack with people ordering steaks, hamburgers, ice cream sundaes, rib eyes, french fries, and all the delicious fattening goodies they could get their mouths on in excessive quantities. Of course, if they really overdid it, there wasn’t any “harm” in popping another Diet Rite pill or exceeding the 6 limit amount per day on the bottle. 

The only exception granted were athletes in sports including football, weight lifting, body building competitions, and more, of which a percentage met the obese category for their height, but were solidly built or had lots of muscle. These athletes had to pay a small fee in order to compete and as long as they completed under the Diet Rite company brand and maintained the Diet Rite moral standards, they could weigh whatever they wanted. However, if and when they were kicked out of sponsorship from the company, they were subjected to the same laws as everyone else, stripped of their Diet Rite athletic titles, arrested, convicted, and sent to jail. 

Anti-Diet Rite protestors often led marches condemning the pills as unnatural and refusing to put the “fake snake pills” into their bodies. Oftentimes they were arrested for disruptive marches and for disturbing the peace, and neighbors and friends could report them for a small fee for any private, unlawful gatherings that could lead to another agitating march. 

People with anorexia and other eating disorders often overdid it on the pills, not eating, overdoing exercise, and ended up in the hospital. Rumors started and confirmed that a young woman subsisted on nothing but apples and Diet Rite Pills for two months. At 5’8 and 19 years old, she went into kidney failure and died at 68 pounds. 

By 2060, hospitals became overwhelmed under the number of sick people, directly or indirectly related to Diet Rite. Heart attacks and heart disease started occurring in people as young as 40 as they ate bacon, steaks, and hamburgers every day, disregarding the impact on their bodies as long as they were thin. If they survived, the doctors would urge them to maintain a low fat diet, to eat more leafy greens and fruits, to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, but they stubbornly refused as Diet Rite pills was their way of life now and they weren’t going back. Diabetes started being diagnosed for those as young as 30 as they turned to sugar and fat for comfort and stopped exercising because as long as they had Diet Rite pills, why would they need to? And for those who were in their 20s, with the amount of Diet Rite pills they took and the amount of binge drinking they did, their livers started failing. An unprecedented number of those needing liver transplants were placed on the transplant list, but most died because there was not enough people willing to donate to meet demand. Besides, those people who took Diet Rite pills didn’t qualify because of their already enlarged, fatty livers. 

Somehow, the health care crisis was even worse than before. 

Remarkably, protests emerged in striking numbers all over the country until Congress ultimately felt pressure to reconvene and take another look at the law. 

Finally, in 2061, the company Diet Rite was dissolved, all known pills destroyed, and obesity was no longer declared illegal. Anyone found consuming or selling any of the leftover pills from their personal stash was arrested, convicted, and sent to jail.

August 08, 2022 16:58

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