WASHINGTON, D.C. - Americans are suddenly getting fitter than ever as town hall debates over health care energize people to get off their fat asses and be heard, according to a recent study.
Add to that the fact that many Americans are simply too upset about health care reform to eat, and it just could mean a slimmer, trimmer, fitter America.
Take Democratic Rep. David Scott, who arrived at his district office in Smyrna, Ga., Tuesday morning to find Nazi graffiti spray-painted on a sign bearing his name; nutritionists indicate the vandalism likely burned more than 350 calories, and perhaps considerably more depending on how far the vandal traveled to perform it.
Not only that, say experts: The act of vandalism occurred roughly one week after the contentious community meeting that sparked it, indicating some Americans may be sticking to their regimen.
Another man was arrested (430 calories) after he ripped a sign emplazoned with the image of Rosa Parks away from a woman (165 calories).
"If they don't let us vent our frustrations out, they will have a revolution," said Mary Ann Fieser at a town hall in Hillsboro, Missouri, still feeling the burn from thirty minutes of vigourous picketing.
Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., encouraged the sickly crowd of nearly 1,500 as they paced and picketed, hurling insults and Nazi references at those who opposed them.
"I don't understand this rudeness," she said, addressing the fomenting crowd. "I honestly don't get it. But I must admit, the pounds seem to be melting away, so have at it."
The bitter sessions underscored the creativity needed by the Obama administration as it tries to find ways to get an increasingly obese public to take care of themselves so the government won't have to.
Desperate to spur American activity levels, the White House created a Web site to counter conservative smears and set up a Democratic health care "war room" out of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's office, all of which should help get fat, lazy Democrats on the other side of the debate similarly motivated.
President Obama urged Americans to "pay close attention" to those who try to "scare and mislead the American people," telling the audience, "Hey, whatever it takes to get your asses up off the couch."
At a crowded community college in Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, D-Pa., watched with amusement as agitated citizens skipped dinner to trample actively back and forth, getting all worked up about their constitutional rights, the federal deficit, and government bureaucrats, not once mentioning exercise or dieting, but suddenly doing both.
In Pennsylvania, one frustrated, overweight man shouted at Specter, "You'll be gone, by God the bureaucrats will still be here!" as he gestured wildly at the Senator, using a full range of cardiovascular motion.
Specter credited conservative talk radio in particular for the burst of activity among many Americans, giving special credit to political comedians like Rush Limbaugh, whose daily workout recommendations on his show have helped motivate typically sedentary Americans.
Specter said in his long political career, he hadn't seen anything like what he witnessed Tuesday and at a town hall meeting last weekend that had people shedding pounds like nobody's business.
"There is more fat in America today than at any time I can remember," Specter said, "so this health care debate regimen couldn't have come at a better time."