Recently I spent six weeks touring all over the United States of America and I was struck by the incredible problem of obesity. It almost seems that you either have to look like a Hollywood film star or else you have to resemble Michelin Man!
In such a supposed developed country it was amazing to see people eating meals that had the size and calorific content that were originally designed for farm labourers and cowboys that worked long hours doing hard physical work rather than sitting at laptop!
The Western World seems to have forgotten the basic principles of queuing theory. While they continue to shovel calories in at one end, they then concentrate their innovative efforts on making sure that the queue builds up around the waistline rather than using the calories up.
There are a plethora of drive-in facilities from pharmacies to banks and from fast food restaurants to cinemas. And even a trip to the restroom has the ability to remove all necessary calorie burning activities. From electronic flushing to automatic taps, soap dispensing and towel unrolling, everything is done for you.
And as the waistline increases the innovative solution is the mobility scooter. One could almost believe that instead of rescuing the car industry the President should have put his resources into mobility scooters. If you are at home you have your own, if you travel then you can hire one at your destination.
Why do the Americans encourage people not to move themselves but to drive around on a powered pedestrian clearer! Is it because it gets you to the front of the queue rather than paying for a front-of-line pass? Every airline I travelled on had a queue of mobility scooters and wheelchairs waiting to board first as well as every attraction.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my stay in the States. However, when the skills that gave the world so many good innovations concentrates on trivia to stop people moving their limbs and then rewards obesity with priority everywhere I cannot help but wonder if the Western World are exhausting the pool of really good ideas.