To devout progressives, health is of paramount importance because it is all that protects one from nonexistence.
Concern about health is, well, healthy. But the degree of concern over health and fitness has, not coincidentally, tracked the growth of progressive society. Commercialized physical-culture made an exponential leap starting in the late 1970s.* The “Me Decade” strikes again.
The concern over fitness and physical attractiveness tends to trump traditional moral concerns in the personal lives of modern Americans. In one survey sample, 90% of American women counted a previous rape conviction in a potential partner as being less unappealing than obesity.**
Progressive concern for health is tantamount to concern over one’s soul in traditional American society. It’s logical: because newthinkers don’t generally believe in an immortal soul, their bodies are all that bind them to existence. No wonder health concerns are predominant among newthinkers – good health is the dike that holds back nonexistence.
* Dorothy Porter, “The Healthy Body,” Companion Encyclopedia of Medicine in the Twentieth Century, Editors (Cooter and Pickstone, 2003), p. 211.
** Ibid., p. 215.