Should the Government Tell You How to Eat?
Since obesity has run rampant and personal responsibility almost doesn’t exist, the government is getting involved.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the proposed New York City soda ban. The mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg, proposed a ban of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, arenas, theaters and street carts.
This is a tough one. I see both sides of it.
On the one hand I see the mayor’s point. People obviously have shown that they can’t protect themselves so the law needs to protect them. And since we all end up paying for obesity (even though we might be fit) through increased health and insurance costs, this law might help all of us.
On the other hand, we all know soda is garbage for your body, but is it the responsibility of the government to tell us what to eat? If someone wants to become obese, they will. They’ll just buy four sodas.
Soda is a major culprit in developing obesity, but there are other factors, namely eating mostly huge portions of garbage foods and never exercising. Why isn’t the government proposing to ban McDonald’s and other sewage?
It’s a complex problem with no easy solutions solved by only by legislation. The only real – and of course simple – solution is for people need to move their bodies and eat good foods.
This is especially true for kids who aren’t responsible enough to make these kinds of decisions for themselves. Plus they haven’t developed the years of negative programming that makes them susceptible to obesity. This is the time they can learn good habits.
Perhaps governments can punish irresponsible companies with fines or taxes. I know that cost would be passed on to the consumer but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
I remember when the cigarette tax shot through the roof years ago. Critics said it was unfair to the poor because they wouldn’t be able to buy their cigs. Well, good. Why would you want the poor to get cancer? They have enough problems. Let them spend their money on something else and not get cancer (which the public would end up paying for anyway).
Or the government could give tax breaks to responsible companies. Companies like Disney who are doing the right thing. I’ve got to give major kudos to them for deciding to ban junk food ads on their TV programs. That’s at least a gazillion dollars of revenue gone. We’ll see if they’ll make it up with other advertisers. I always like it when big corps do the right thing because it’s so few and far.
Reducing temptation for crap as much as possible like Disney is doing will help a bit. Of course it’ll remain in the hands of the parents – and to some degree the schools – whether little Johnny or Susie actually eat crap. It still comes down to personal responsibility, but this is a step in the right direction.
In my Wild Animal Fitness for Kids program, your kids will get the fitness habit while having fun. They won’t even realize they’re exercising.
Set them up for the rest of his life with the habit of movement.
All the best,
P.S. Want to know the best foods for your child? Each Wild Animal Fitness for Kids program comes with a Healthy Eating for Healthy Kids where I interview one of the country’s top dietitians on how and what children should eat.