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drig's Journal: Legislating Health?

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Sometimes I'm embarrased to call myself a liberal. The latest scheme is to solve the country's obesity problems by forcing restaurants to put calorie counts on the menu. Even ignoring the cost, the loss of esthetics of the menu, and the fact that calorie counts are only a small part of the equation, this is a stupid idea.

It used to be that school kids played outside a lot. That was all good excercise. People now point to video games, TV and computers as the cause of couch potato syndrom. I disagree. I think that we have stopped emphasizing how much fun it is to play outside. When I was a kid (I was born in 1972), I played outside a lot. I was part of the cub scouts, and later the boy scouts. I rode my bike. I went hiking, camping and boating.

I was not into sports. My folks signed me up for little league baseball and football. I quit it as soon as they gave me the choice. But, I still found plenty of outside activities.

None of these activities are available to kids today. Parents don't let their kids outside alone, due to fear of abduction or other crime. Parents don't have the time to spend outside with their kids. So, kids are forced to sit inside all day. At that point, what do they have but video games and TV?

So, you can't excercise, you can't watch TV, you have to watch your calories so you can't eat tasty food. This is nuts. Kids have no outlet for fun excercise, and then can't eat the foods kids love. It is the worst of all possible options.

My proposal is to fund, via our taxes, outside programs, guards for the schools and parks, afterschool programs, and yes, even a boy scouts kind of organization (not actually the boy scouts, though). Let kids run around and play. If they do that enough, they will be able to eat anything they want without getting fat.

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Legislating Health?

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