December 22, 2003

Obesity and Laws. Again.

Today at Yahoo!, we learn that there are already some state-level laws in place.

Yeah, okay. I like the latter half of the article.
    "There's a lot of fear and hysteria," said Mike Burita at the Center for Consumer Freedom, an advocacy group for the restaurant and food industry. "We're allowing government and these public health groups to dictate our food choices to us."

    Among his top targets is the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group that produces a steady flow of warnings about unhealthy food, from movie popcorn to Chinese takeout.

    "It's OK to have a cheeseburger and fries, but it shouldn't be a mainstay of your diet," Burita said. Exercise and education are the solutions, he said. "Kids went from playing dodge ball to playing computer games."

    The skeptics are being heard. A Texas proposal to limit school children's access to snack and soda vending machines died after the state soft drink association complained. Most of the 80 or so obesity-related bills around the country also failed to pass.

    "It's difficult to want to tackle something like this, something as huge as this," said Weiner, the Nevada lawmaker. She plans to bring together people from the food industry and the public health community to work with lawmakers.
If people want to be fat, let them be fat. The only thing I've advocated so far is more detailed labelling. I'd be pretty obnoxiously vocal if somehow my favorite junk food were no longer available at my local grocery store, and that's where this may head someday if it goes out of control.

And can't you see it? A butter ration. "Mrs. Noggle, I'm sorry. You've purchased five tubs of butter in this last week. You can't have any more." Nevermind I just finished making 60 dozen cookies to give away (if you gain weight over the holidays, make sure everyone around you gains more!).

In my recent travels, I did notice that people seemed less overweight everywhere I went. In St. Louis, here, it's quite prevalent. But in San Francisco and around Massachusetts....naaa. Someone might carry an extra 10 or 20, but nothing that would cause the health uproar and nothing that couldn't be removed with some extra sweat and nutrition caution.

So there's the blog entry for the evening. I'm off to volleyball.


Posted by hln at December 22, 2003 06:21 PM | Health | TrackBack

I am here as an accident of fate, linked from allah- it's pretty simple folks if you take in more calories than you burn you will gain weight;
if you take in less calories than you burn off you will lose weight. Do as you please. I will go away now............

Posted by: eieio at December 22, 2003 08:13 PM

I'm off to volleyball.

Sigh. Our season ended a couple weeks ago. No more v-ball until January...

Posted by: NTodd at December 22, 2003 08:40 PM

I've been reading (in my "spare" time) the transcripts from the FDA obesity task force meetings. Personally I'm hoping the trend goes towards economic incentive to be healthy instead of banning unhealthy things. I want to deduct my gym dues!

Posted by: Nic at December 23, 2003 07:30 AM

So how was volleyball?

Posted by: Victor at December 23, 2003 07:32 AM

Volleyball was cathartic. I'm afraid my arms are still red (next day). That's a sign of receiving some spikes (mostly well, I might add).

Nic, my company used to have a "wellness" program where it would pay for things like volleyball or part of a gym membership - I think up to $200 a year. That went the wayside because of the economy. But, yeah, I'd like to deduct my gym membership, too. And my cycling gear. And my ice skate sharpening, etc. :)



Posted by: hln at December 23, 2003 07:35 AM

I always love it when people think they can legislate health - or at least that's what they want you to think. What they really want is more money or money to begin a program. Ah do-gooder government in action.

Posted by: Teresa at December 23, 2003 09:10 AM

Oooh, cycling gear! (Homer Simpson drooling voice)

There was an article in the paper this morning about local schools teaching "lifetime" activities in gym to try to get the kids off their increasingly fat butts.

I feel a blog post of my own coming on... ;-)

(I must say, though...I've been working in public health for most of the last 15 years, with government agencies, and I have met a lot of people at FDA, various institutes at NIH, etc. who truly do care about peoples' health, for health's sake and for the productivity/economy of the country.)

Posted by: nic at December 23, 2003 10:26 AM

What I find wrong--always--is the height-to-weight ratio being the Golden Rule in deciding how obese a person is. By that rule, Cal Ripken Jr. is obese!

I've seen him in action--I can safely testify an obese man cannot move like that.

OK, that's the extent of my knowledge of obesity. Useless--sorry to take up your space, Heather. :)

Posted by: Victor at December 23, 2003 12:51 PM

Check this out...

I know what you're doing, and I'm going to TURN YOU IN!!! (turn your speakers on)

Posted by: Sgt. Belcher at May 21, 2005 10:53 AM