Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Eat Therefore I Am

Great to see Superior rising to the occasion to defend hapless parenting and obesity amongst our youth. Superior councilors rejected a ban on fast food toys. They felt this was too much government interference in "parental matters."

Greg Mertzig, one of the councilors proposed the ban, "To get rid of the rewards of eating unhealthy foods as many youngsters struggle with being overweight." Seems logical enough, but no. This would have been yet another example of our Muslim leader(s) establishing Sharia law and turning our nation communist.

Yes, being an American is about being able to stuff your face, no matter the health consequences to yourself or society. Health care costs in the U.S. are twice as much as the next advanced country. These costs are primarily driving the deficit our country faces. And, although we spend double what other countries do, our health care outcomes are much worse. Is there a chance some of our health care costs and outcomes might correlate with our horrendous food options and gluttonous consumption habits?

For the Pollyannas among us, citizens are making great choices and the government should sit idly by as obesity affects more of the population, health care costs continue to rise, and we, as a nation, all suffer the consequences of poor dietary practices and standards.


My stating that the government should be able to set healthy dietary standards in our society, and be able (even within communities) to ban rewarding unhealthy behavior, is not comparable to a beautiful versus ugly battle as a commenter opined. Nor was it meant to be a statement on some sort of societal beauty standard. It's a health care issue: efficient delivery (living a healthier life) and cost containment (spending less per capita on health care).

My apologies if I was unclear in my earlier posting. Health care costs are driving our deficits. Supposedly Tea Baggers, Republicans, Democrats, nearly everyone seems (suddenly) to be crying about getting spending/debt under control. Our poor eating habits and our generally unnatural, sugar-filled, sodium-laced food are a huge reason for our chronic illnesses and high health care costs. By eating better, being healthier, we save ourselves health care dollars and enjoy a higher quality of life.

My position isn't that everyone must look like a Hollywood star. My concern isn't for beauty and vanity. I'm not asking for some government-mandated mold everyone must fit into. [Although, insurance companies "discriminate" against smokers, I imagine overweight persons - as measured by something like the BMI - will be next.] But, whatever we, as government, can do to dissuade and nudge people away from making bad health choices, we must do that.

One can be skinny and still, relatively speaking, ugly (which is more than a superficial quality). Obesity has costs for the obese person and on society. I'm glad to allow people to pursue their own happiness, until it infringes upon mine and others. Obesity has societal costs beyond the obese person. And, hence, government rightly should step in to discourage such.

Are we really going to argue that we don't want people to be healthier? We don't want to decrease the amount we spend on health care? Is being overweight and unhealthy really pursuing personal happiness?

Aside: eating habits and income can go hand-in-hand. In general, the poorer you are, the worse food (nutritionally speaking) you eat. We not only have to help people make better eating choices, but we need to create good jobs. The loss of the middle-class in the U.S. has closely tracked with increasing obesity. There seems to be an inverse relationship between our earnings and our waist size.

For Further Reading:

1 comment:

ReasonableCitizen said...

Perhaps soon, I hear, the government will only allow pulchritudinous bloggers to express themselves. Ugly people will be forced to seek cosmetic surgery to ensure they are acceptable in modern society if they wish to blog. After all there is a link between the beauty of a person and their health as well as a link between beauty and wealth. The costs upon society are just too great if ugly people have children,too, so measures must be taken to ensure that a beauty standard is upheld before procreation can occur.

I have no idea what you look like but my statement seems an apt comparison to your comments in this post.

Let people pursue their own happiness and stop trying to make everyone fit into a mold that you approve of.