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Admit It; We’re Too Big

I think most of you has now heard of this new plan from New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.  You know this plan has stirred some feathers with the Big Gulp fans.

The newest plan that might take effect next year would limit the size of all sugary drinks in restaurants, movie theaters, food carts, and cafes.  The drink size limit would be 16oz.  And this rule would only affect places that get a letter grade from the health department.  Supermarkets and grocery stores would not be affected.  So why do I think this law will not help in the battle of the bulge?  Watch this video below and see the reactions from some New Yorkers.

If you are eating at a restaurant and you know they offer free refills.  There is going to be a huge line at the drink counter.  Plus if you get your food to go; a little 16oz drink is not going to satisfy me or anyone else.  And for movie theaters; they are not going to be affected.  Since diet drinks is not part of this rule they will now offer many more diet drinks that you can get in any size.  They might even just do away with the regular drinks.  Plus all of the food carts might only offer diet drinks as well.  So this plan is stupid and is not going to work.

Don’t get me wrong; New York City has done a few good things for people who like to be in good health.  One; all restaurants have to post the calorie count on their menu boards.  For someone like me who is trying to get in shape that is a good thing.  Also they have made it harder for smokers to smoke in public places.  I had to suffer from a parent who loved to smoke often in the car with only the window slightly cracked.  All of that nasty second-hand smoke was horrible to breathe in.  And I do not want to smell it from others who likes to smoke.

I also like seeing what the city is doing in schools to get kids to be healthier.  One; all soft drinks, sports drinks, and unhealthy foods have been banned from being sold.  And two; there is a movement for school lunches to be healthier with fresh fruits and veggies and salad bars.  Plus if I had kids I would not like seeing them eating chicken nuggets made from strange chicken parts or eating pink slime burgers.  Sounds appetizing doesn’t?  I would also like to see more recess and gym classes in schools so kids can stay active during school.  Not this keep them in the classroom so we can teach them to the test nightmare.  By the way here is a video about the effects of sugar on your body.

I also want to talk about the folks who say “the government needs to stay out of our lives” or “we need to quit being a nanny state.”  I applaud what the government is doing to get us healthier.  Obesity is costing us taxpayers billions of dollars each year and if nothing is done to stop this trend it might bankrupt the entire health care system.  And if that happens we are screwed!  Unfortunately seeing the huge number of people being too big is getting worse and worse.  And it shows that some of these people have no control and needs some help.

Now a lot of this is not their faults.  Many foods in the supermarket are loaded with calories and high fructose corn syrup.  And if you have a big family and are poor.  Which are you most likely to grab?  A pack of cookies for $1 or fresh fruit for $3?  I wish the government would force all big restaurant chains to post calorie counts on their menus.  And also require the food manufacturers to quit adding all of this extra sugar and calories to their foods.  I would also like to see a new farm bill which would subside family farming, fresh fruits and vegetables, and sustainable farming that would deliver to local farmer markets.  Instead of this factory farming, fast food farming, and corn syrup farming.

We need to move to new ways of growing crops and selling produce where you support local farms and buy local goods.  Instead of buying your stuff that was trucked in from California.  That is why I love the Freshfully model.  And once I find a job (unemployed 11 months now) I would love to support them.  Sure this does cost more; but the government needs to transform the food stamp program so you buy better foods instead of the junk some people buy now.  It’s very hard to buy healthy food for a large family if you are poor.

I’m not suggesting banning certain foods or limiting what you can buy because of your weight.  But some things needs to be done now to stop the exploding obesity crisis.  Yes the government needs to step in and help.  But also the people needs to learn self-control and personal responsibility.  Where is Richard Simmons when you need him?

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