A recent Associated Press article talks about a poll on government limits being placed on certain junk foods. Although there is much concern about the negative health consequences for consuming these foods, no one wants government intervention. People don’t want the government to play the role of food police. They don’t mind more physical activity being required in schools or that nutritional guidelines be provided by the government (80% in favor). People like that the government is going to start requiring the calorie counts be posted on menus in restaurants (70% in favor).
60% of people oppose the so-called “Soda Tax” or “Fat Tax” on unhealthy foods. The city of New York tried to ban “supersized” sodas in restaurants and 75% of the voters said absolutely not. We agree with the article that laws against foods are not a good idea. For example, if people want a certain amount of soda, they will just buy a second one if a larger size is not available. They are only victimized by the additional cost. Most people want to leave food choices completely up to the individual. Only 33% consider government involvement in food choices acceptable. Twelve percent thought both the individual and government should be involved (if that makes sense).
A staggering 66% of adults in the US are overweight or obese and one third of the children are. The cause is simply that there are more fast food restaurants and portions are larger. Interestingly, they also blamed “electronic distractions” for obesity. We take that to mean sitting around using smart phones, video games, tablets and laptop computers. Your body must be in motion if you want to be healthy. Exercise is half the quotient to obesity and weight loss.
New environments must be created where healthy food choices are easily available and discerned so people can make the right choices. We take that to mean that sometimes healthy food is not available and people are forced to eat what is – junk food.
Woman (50%) more than men (37%) believe the cost of eating healthy is the driver of poor diet. They also fault the food industry for the overabundance of cheap and unhealthy fast foods. Women are more likely to believe that the food industry should be held accountable and responsible for solutions to the “fat food’ plague.
Americans ride and don’t walk. A lack of exercise is the other half of this problem. Most people in the US do not exercise. People need to start walking to the store and not riding in a car.
Our take on this? It’s simple – no government is going to be able to keep you skinny. There are multitudes of bad choices out there, and the government can’t address all of them for you without limiting access to certain foods by people who are not overweight or obese. You can’t limit liberty. You have a personal responsibility to become educated about your own health. People must make their own choices because there is always going to be a way to eat bad foods even if you do take a bunch of them off the market. The United States is about freedom – freedom of choice. We can’t erode that at a such a primary level such as food choice. Americans simply must wake up. You can easily see who is dying young and understand why. Americans must be smart enough to see the consequences of bad dietary choices. The proof is in the media every day and US citizens hear it all the time. It’s clear that too much sugar, simple carbs and bad fats will kill you. You need to know that.
NEERGAARD, LAURAN, and JENNIFER AGIESTA. “Poll: Fight obesity crisis but keep the junk food.” Yahoo News. Associated Press, 04 2013. Web. 9 Jan 2013