Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fat Chance

Did you happen to listen to talk radio this past Saturday morning, where the topic was: the growing threat of significantly increased government control over our food?

Maybe you've read recent articles in city newspapers titled something like: "Government Needs to Regulate the Poison we Call Fast Food."

Perhaps you've seen headlines like this one over the last two years or more: Childhood Obesity Report Calls For Government Regulations to Limit Access to ‘Unhealthy’ Restaurant Chains.

Are they kidding?  Are they kidding even more to suggest that Americans are IN FAVOR of such government regulation?  We should puke right now, and not from the thought of McDonald's or Taco Bell in our neighborhoods, but from the idea that the GOVERNMENT would be involved in OUR decision about what to eat.  That's right - it is a DECISION every time we eat or drink.

"A newly released report by the Institute for Medicine and the National Research Council details strategies for local governments to combat what it calls an "epidemic of childhood obesity," including enacting zoning and land-use regulations that would restrict fast food establishments near school grounds and public playgrounds . . ."

Are they still kidding?  Why don't we just take away a little MORE of our own personal accountability?  I'm not a parent so I guess I was not aware that kids make their own money and are able to access fast food restaurants, unsupervised.    

Please please do not say that it is too hard to say no to them and those who don't have children don't understand. 

So, if a guy was selling crack on the corner outside Burger King and a kid told her mom that she just had to have the crack, that it tasted soooo good that one time, that all the other kids were having crack, that she saw it on a TV commercial and it had gotten even bigger and you get a toy with it now . . . parents would get them crack too? 

That's illegal - so I guess its different.  Maybe only illegal things are bad for us and our children. Well, McDonald's might soon be illegal too, so I guess that will settle that.

Yes, it is very challenging to make healthy CHOICES in a culture where delicious, relatively cheap food is so easily accessible.  For most of it - you don't even have to get out of your car.  It is not easy to resist this for so many reasons that to list them would be an entirely separate post - so let us just say that, like almost EVERYTHING else we do:  WHAT WE EAT IS A CHOICE! 

That's right, we have the choice of sitting in our cars every weekday morning and having a chocolate cream donut handed through the window at 7 a.m for about $3.75 a week or - getting a box of low sugar oatmeal that will last two work weeks and cost just $2.00.  For another 25 cents a day you can even put a banana in it, so there goes the idea that it is also too expensive to eat right! 

. . . and PS: just like McDonald's, gyms are on every corner as well and we don't have the "Overly Fit" epidemic do we?  No, because like eating - being active is a choice too.

Look - Uncle Sam is already in our wallets, our doctors' offices, our schools and so many more places where he probably does not belong.  We cannot be bothered having him in our kitchens too.  The food we put into our bodies and into those of our children needs to be determined by US - that's you and me - not the U.S.  Obesity is not the fault of fast food restaurants or candy bars at the checkout or lives that are too fast paced for healthy meals and regular exercise.  Obesity, with few exceptions, is our own damn fault and our government has no business fixing what we have the power to fix ourselves.  Lets not even get started on what a waste of our tax dollars that would be too.   Our money and other resources are already being spent in a lot of areas that set aside personal responsibility and we do not need to support that trend by offering up our food as well.  

If your weekly diet includes lunches of cheese burgers and milk shakes (so good) and dinners of chicken nuggets with fries (delicious), well then - own it!  


  1. oh jenny, you have made my night!

  2. Here is a comment posted to my facebook page that I must say I mostly agree with, even while I still support my own words above titled: "Fat Chance!" This is not a simple issue by any means:

    "I can see both sides, Jeannette. Theoretically I'm with you. People should know the difference between good choices & bad ones. In our society though the average American is overweight, and the government (with our tax dollars!) is paying an exorbitant amount via Medicare/Medicaid for the ensuing healthcare costs, and genuinely can't afford continuing to foot the bill. Regulation doesn't mean that you can't make a bad choice if you want to- just makes it a little bit tougher. Just like high taxes & regulation make smoking less affordable, and therefore hopefully serves as a deterent. . . . I've been hearing controversy down here (DC) that b/c of regulations, food stamps may no longer cover sugary soft drinks, chips, or candy- but if my tax dollars are paying for "your" food, why should I pay for food that will end up having me pay even more for "your" healthcare down the line- especially if it bankrupts the system so I can't get care when I'm old? I think as long as the gov't is paying for the impact, the key is careful consideration as to what and how it is implemented." - Courtney T.