Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bloomberg’s Large Soda Ban

Mayor Bloomberg of New York is trying to ban large sodas in an attempt to rein in the obesity epidemic being experienced by the city and the rest of the country.

Reading the New York Times article about the initiative is utterly surreal.

The poorest city borough, the Bronx, has a whopping 70% of its residents listed as obese or overweight and it was from the Bronx that the Times got its quotes.

The argument is whether community programs and education should be the weapons against obesity rather than attempting to legislate what people can and cannot access to eat and drink. Simple logic says that, based upon the quotes, voluntary stuff isn’t going to work.

I realize that it’s unfashionable to make fun of people who demonstrate their stupidity, but there comes a time when it almost becomes necessary.

Let’s start with the lady that claims to never have heard of previous anti-obesity efforts. She’s 5’2” and weighs 200 lbs. That’s a BMI of 36.6 which is obese class II.

Then there’s the guy, at 5’9” and 210 lbs. for a BMI of 31.0, and his wife, who’s also obese, who claim that nothing has worked. He swears that they have sworn off fried foods, attended health fairs, used coupons for a farmers markets and walked in a park for exercise in the past year but he didn’t lose any weight and she gained 20 lbs.

After that we get the lady that says she’s “trying to lose 40 pounds,” but said a ban would no more help her stick to her diet than the calorie counts posted on menus, another anti-obesity measure that city leaders hoped would lead consumers to make healthier decisions. She still orders her Big Macs.

Here’s a suggestion for you, stop ordering Big Macs. As a matter of fact, skip Mickey D’s altogether for a while.

But my favorite was the woman that said “If I eat cheeseburgers and fries, I’m going to get dehydrated and that little cup is not enough.”

How about, don’t eat cheeseburgers and fries?

Look, I’m not a health nut, and I do realize it can be hard to stay in shape, but it’s hard to pay income tax as well. These people are clearly incapable of getting their weight under control without help and that has a negative impact on all of us. Obesity causes preventable illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure that tax an already overburdened health care system.

You can’t legislate their menu or activities but you can make unhealthy options less available and healthy ones more available. I agree with Bloomberg’s initiative.

By the way, if you’re wondering, I’m 6’1” and I weigh 190 lbs. for a BMI of 25.1, so I’m on the border of normal vs. overweight.

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