Dear Congress: Lose some weight before you lecture us on health. Love, America

Long hours and high stress only help already hefty members pack on more pounds. During heated negotiations over the climate and energy bill last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wheeled carts of Dove ice-cream bars into meetings to win support through members’ stomachs. And late-night votes last week required clerks to bring piles of pizzas into the Senate cloakroom.

Members of the Senate Finance Committee like to snack on Doritos, potato chips and beef jerky — among other things — while considering the future of health care, and on Wednesday they thoughtfully arranged for at least six dozen doughnuts to feed reporters covering the deliberations…

One way to avoid the whole complicated personal responsibility thing would be to adapt a variation of the old pro-gun motto: People don’t make people fat; junk food does. But that runs into another problem: the food and beverage industry.

Some of the most radical proposals for combating obesity — like raising taxes on sugary drinks — have been all but dismissed as political impossibilities. No surprise why: The food and beverage lobby spent more than $20 million in Washington lobbying in 2008 and contributed more than $15 million to political campaigns in the 2008 cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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