Watch Your Weight by Joe Giordano

Skyrocketing numbers of obese Americans have triggered an epidemic of type-2 diabetes leading to deteriorating health for millions, so I’m supporting the legislative proposal to make wearing the newest Apple Watch obligatory. With bouquet-recognition and hand-motion monitoring, the timepiece’s diet mode automatically senses what you’re eating and the mouthfuls you’ve taken, alerting you when your permissible calorie threshold is approaching. Should you exceed your limit or, God forbid, someone tempts you by placing a crème brûlée within sniffing distance, the stage-one feedback response zaps your wrist with an electric shock. Continue eating and the stage-two response intensifies the voltage while also emitting a high-pitched series of sonic pulses painful enough to make your eyes water. Gorging to stage-three initiates the “doomsday punishment,” and the phone app dials 911 requesting an ambulance to your location.  The legislation points out that any spike in costs for increased Emergency Room visits will be more than defrayed by better health outcomes for a broad spectrum of Americans. Caloric intake can’t be offset by vomiting, eliminating a binge-purge strategy for gluttons and curbing the unfortunate bulimia tendency in young women, another plus. You’ll be able to sleep and shower with your new Apple Watch. Like a tattoo, the Never-Off locking mechanism on the band ensures that once the watch is put on your wrist at the Apple Store, you can’t cheat on your diet.

The rationale for the Apple Watch legislative solution for obesity is both robust and reasonable. Unlike taxes on sugary drinks, the poor won’t be disproportionally penalized. The “nudging” approach to divert people away from unhealthy habits suffered from spotty outcomes, while the proposed obligatory path to healthy eating will undoubtedly improve lives. People too often opt for short-term gratification sacrificing longer term consequence. Many don’t understand the risks of over indulging and even when they do, the nauseating stream of commercials for Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and the plethora of other weight-loss programs testify to the weakness in American self-control required to maintain a healthy body mass index.

Resistance to the legislation comes from so-called liberty preservers, but that’s a cover for subverting the greater good. With single payer, universal health care on the horizon, poor eating habits can no longer be tolerated. Americans can’t afford to permit the system to be flooded with the myriad of expensive health problems typical for type-2 diabetes sufferers,  burdening the healthy-living parts of society for their actions. We are our brother’s keeper, a position both morally and financially appropriate for a modern, progressive society. Up until now, all we’ve lacked is the technical solution. The legislation subsidizes the purchase of Apple Watches for middle income families, and the poor will receive their timepieces gratis, albeit with limited color options.

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Joe Giordano

Joe’s stories have appeared in more than one hundred magazines including The Saturday Evening Post, and Shenandoah. His novels, Birds of Passage, An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story (2015), and Appointment with ISIL, an Anthony Provati Thriller (2017) were published by Harvard Square Editions. Rogue Phoenix Press published Drone Strike in 2019 and will publish his short story collection, Stories and Places I Remember, in 2020.

Joe was among one hundred Italian American authors honored by Barnes & Noble to march in Manhattan’s 2017 Columbus Day Parade. Read the first chapter of Joe’s novels and sign up for his blog at