The city that banned plastic grocery bags and styrofoam take-out
containers has found a new cause: your favorite soft drink. San
Francisco may impose a new fee on those big retail stores that sell
them. The purpose is to curb the obesity problem among kids and adults.
Such fee or tax would be the first in the nation.
San Francisco says the obesity problem is costing the city too
much money in health care costs. Studies have linked obesity to
diabetes and heart disease.
"One third of all of our new
on-set diabetics are type 2 because of obesity and this is in children
now," says Robert Lustig, M.D., Endocrinologist, UCSF.
It is perhaps appropriate, given the polls in Iowa, that Mike Huckabee precipitated one of the earliest posts in this series:
Mike Huckabee, the Governor of Arkansas, now
requires annual fat reports. These are sent to the parents of every
single child aged between 5 and 17; a response, he says, to "an
absolutely epidemic issue that we could not ignore" in the 1,139
schools for which he is responsible.
just cannot craft any reasonable theory of government where this is the
state's job. The "obesity" crisis in this country just amazes me.
"Experts" every few years broaden the definition of who is overweight
or obese, and suddenly (surprise!) there are more people defined as
overweight. Even presuming it is the state's job to optimize our body
weights, is it really the right approach to tell everyone they are too
fat? Having known several people who were anorexic, including at least
one young woman who died of its complications, is it really a net
benefit to get young people more obsessed with looks and body style?
And what about the kids that are genetically programmed to be
overweight? Does this mean that years of taunting and bullying by
their peers is not enough, that the state's governor wants to pile on
It is interesting to note that governor Huckabee apparently started
this initiative after his own personal battle with weight loss:
[Huckabee] lost 110lb after being warned that his
weight, more than 280lb after a life of southern fried food, was a
death sentence. A chair even collapsed under him as he was about to
preside over a meeting of state officials in Little Rock.
all have friends who have lost weight or gotten into homeopathy or
became a vegan and simply cannot stop trying to convert their friends
now that they see the light. Now we have the spectacle of elected
officials doing the same thing, but on a broader scale and with the
force of law, rather than just mere irritation, on their side. One
can only imagine what report cards kids would be carrying home if
Huckabee had instead had a successful experience with penis
enlargement. What's next, negative reports for kids with bad acne?
For women whose breasts are too small? For kids who are unattractive?
Update: I see Q&O posts on the same issue