May 12 2012
An Institute of Medicine report was released last week at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Weight of the Nation conference in Washington, D.C., and the findings are concerning. The report projects that by the year 2030 an estimated 42 percent of Americans will be obese – 11 percent severely obese.
What is the solution? Expand government control in our lives, of course.
The Big Government chorus is calling for to further regulate the nutritional values in school meals, expanding the availability of breakfasts and after-school snacks, and monitoring packed lunches. Government should tax sugar, salt, soda, and fat. Government should plan (and fund!) walking communities, complete with bike paths, sidewalks, and public parks.
Let’s just stop the soda tax debate once and for all. A must-read Wall Street Journal editorial notes, “A 2007 paper out of Yale found that each 1% increase on soft drink prices could reduce body mass indexes by 0.0115% on average. Playing off that finding, George Mason economists calculate the price of a can of soda would need to rise 1,200%—to $9.75—to have an effect on obesity trends.”
An almost laughable recommendation in the report is the suggested expansion of farm subsidies to include fruits and vegetables. Why not eliminate corn subsidies instead? Corn subsidies artificially lower the cost of corn – the same corn that eventually yields high fructose corn syrups and refined starches. In effect, agricultural subsidies are leading causes of obesity and weight gain. We should have fewer of them, not more.
For more ideas on how the government could save our waste lines, give Leslie Marshall’s editorial in US News and World Report a read. Caution: your blood pressure might be at risk after reading it. Ms. Marshall even suggests we don’t need a food court in every mall.
With all due respect, Ms. Marshall, I can assure you that I do need a food court in every mall. A slice of Double Doozie Cookie Cake goes perfectly with a new pair of shoes.