June 14 2012
Last week, I wrote an op-ed on the massive Institute of Medicine report on obesity which declared dramatically that we’re all getting fatter and fatter. In other totally boring news, the earth remains round.
The IoM provided some pretty hilarious recommendations on how to stem the rise of this epidemic: carrot sticks served at sports arenas (because raw veggies go great with beer), healthy food at malls (because they seem to have missed the multiple salads and grilled sandwiches already offered at most mall food courts), and soda taxes and outright bans (because the fact these measures have failed for a decade to bring people’s weights down doesn’t apparently matter). In short, more of the same predictable, useless, food nanny suggestions.
I didn’t cover all of the report’s recommendations but more deserved mention than I was able to fit into my piece. For instance, the report’s authors recommend that governments provide potable water in public areas, work sites, and recreational areas. Ummmm…has potable water availability suddenly become a problem in this country? Is there some sort of under-reported epidemic of kids drinking swamp water? Is there a dearth of water fountains or convenience stores that provide bottled water? Do the report’s authors understand we live in the United States, not central Africa?
The report’s beverage obsession continues with the totally unnecessary recommendation that restaurants expand the number of healthy and competitively priced drink options for parents to choose from. Uh, ok, maybe the folks writing this report don't get out in public much and therefore don’t realize that it’s customary for restaurants to offer complimentary water as soon as you sit down. Is "free" competitively priced enough for these IoM bozos?
Lastly, the report suggests the beverage industry develop more low and no-calorie beverages. Okey dokey…that’s a super awesome recommendation…except that it’s already been done. Just consider this fact: In 2011, Coca-Cola introduced 20 new low-calorie and no-calorie beverages, bringing the total of its diet beverage product total to 150 separate drinks. Seems like a pretty good number to me.
The IoM's accomplished one thing with this report: they've demostrated how completely out of touch they are with reality. If you need a good laugh...or cry (or if you want to know what it's like to live in a hole), read the whole report here.