Sweatin’ to the Totalitarian Oldies: Olympian/MP candidate lauds 2 national anti-obesity paragons

**Written by Doug Powers

Here’s an athlete and possible British politician with a “glass is half full” attitude. The downsides to living under a totalitarian regime — forced labor camps, brutal oppression, scarcity, unannounced visits from Sean Penn — are obvious, but the visionary can spot and appreciate an upside: You lose a few pounds:

Olympic champion James Cracknell has fired the starting gun on his bid to become an MP – but his race has started shakily after he praised North Korea’s approach to tackling obesity.

A UN report released last month revealed damning statistics showing nearly half its population is going hungry due to food shortages.

But, appearing on Sky News, the two-time rowing gold medallist – who wants to run for Parliament to get Britain fitter – listed North Korea and Cuba as the only two countries in the world to have a ‘handle on obesity.’

‘If you think of the two countries that have a handle on obesity, what do you think they are?

Anchor Sarah-Jane Mee replied: ‘Do you know what? I’m stumped there, I don’t know.’

‘North Korea and Cuba,’ Cracknell replies. ‘They’re quite controlling on behavioural trends. It’ll have to be worked and you’ll have to get people to buy into it

Regular people don’t really “buy into” communism — well, not many anyway:

When you look at Kim Jong-un the first thing you think is “anti-obesity fitness guru.” As for Cuba, the only thing Cracknell’s opinion is missing for full ironic effect is a big thumbs-up from Castro brothers superfan Michael Moore.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe