Updated Jun 30, 2012 - 5:25 pm
Americans true colors show when it comes to obesity
There is no doubt that we are too fat as a nation.
We eat too much, drink too many sugary beverages and consume foods that are definitely bad for one's health -- fats, beef, fried everything, high carbohydrates, pesticides, contaminants, antibiotic-filled, etc. This leads to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, birth defects, high costs of health care, premature deaths and so much suffering.
Let's not minimize the issue. Mayor Bloomberg, trim and apparently fit, sees this oh so well and his answer is to begin to control what individually we cannot control: our appetite for soda, which by some accounts, is responsible for 7 percent of the obesity in the U.S. (Whether this is an accurate number or how that number has been reached, I have not a clue!) He, using his power over restaurants, fast food outlets, et cetera that are licensed by the city of New York, has proposed to ban 16 oz. and up sodas from being sold in these facilities. His supposition (supported by some studies) is that people drink and eat as long as there is food available and if the amount of soda is limited, then it is a form of forced portion control (at least for single cups of soda in licensed food retail shops and restaurants).
The first problem, voiced by many already, is that what will actually be the net effect of this "portion control" since folks can order two 8 oz. cups, drink many other sweetened beverages and consume gobs of other crappy foods at the same "food emporiums." So, if you do not drink a Big Gulp at a Diamondbacks game, do you think that will have any overall impact on your obesity as you consume a vanilla Frapuccino, a Hebrew National hot dog covered in mustard, ketchup, sauerkraut and accompanied by a nice giant-sized portion of chili cheese fries? No?
I think that is what Bloomberg and his team are thinking as well. Dr. Bruce Vladeck, a member of New York City's Board of Health Board, opined that "Popcorn isn't a whole lot better from the nutritional point of view than soda is, and may have even more calories."
The implication being that this is another food product that should be banned
"I just want to second the concerns about excluding juice, even 100 percent juice, and milk-containing beverages...that have monstrous amounts of calories in them," said Dr. Joel Forman another board member.
In other words, as you might have feared, this is possibly the first step in controlling what goes into your mouth. This is the slippery slope! The New York City Board of Health and, it appears Mayor Bloomberg, (a Republican) know what is good for you (I agree that not eating these foods would be a good thing, but that's all I agree with) and they will legislate the controls needed to decide how you eat.
You should eat breakfast, because it cuts down on snacking during the rest of the day. I propose that should be next. You must eat breakfast and it must be healthy; no Pop Tarts! No chocolate milk; just skimmed organic.
First, the law will apply to breakfasts in public facilities, but, then as New Yorkers get used to food controls for their own good, we should take it the next step: to their homes. I am thinking monitors in each breakfast nook across New York. First, New York, next Arizona and tomorrow the world!
Remind you of anyone? Bloomberg and the New York City Board of Health uber alles!
The cause of obesity now spreading throughout the industrialized world might be psychological, maybe the result of the availability of fast and lousy foods, perhaps the result of economies that do not encourage families and cooked meals at home and that discourage exercise, but more likely are related to all of the above, mediated by a concept called epigenetics that I have written about previously. For now, suffice it to say that a poor hand was dealt us what with the Great Depression and then sudden wealth and food, which may have had an effect of considerable transcendence on our genes!
Not only does Bloomberg and his Department of Health show their true colors with a leftist/fascist approach to "fix" society by legislating what goes into your mouth, they show their simplistic ignorance of what could be the biologic imperative encoded in many of us to eat fat!
Even if he and his health storm troopers are right, you can't control evolution and society by legislation. It creates ungovernable mayhem sort of like what happened to John Hammond (Mayor Bloomberg?) when he started messing around with the natural progression of things in Jurassic Park? Remember?
Oh, one other thing, some of you are worried about your freedoms with Obamacare? Friends, that is chump change compared to what Bloomberg and his health shirts are doing. Should we call them Green Shirts?.
Totalitarianism is often borne of a belief of doing good and of "protecting us from ourselves." The mayor of New York is showing his true colors. I am thankful that he is already considering more controlling steps because it shows us that this is a real danger, a threat to liberty and threat to our biology. I seem to remember another society that wanted to manipulate biology.
I do not know you Mr. Mayor, but, you scare me! You are not challenging soda consumption. You are challenging our constitution and our genetics.
Dr. Sam Benjamin, M.D. - Integrative Medicine, weekend show host