I have taken so much flack for agreeing with Mayor Bloomberg for his stance on ridding NYC of soft drinks at restaurants that are more than 16 ounces. It’s as if I publicly announced I was going to stop watching reality TV – someone has got to watch that stuff and I am proud to say that it is me. I mean JWoww and Snooki in a bachelorette pad while she’s pregnant – this I have to see.
Many of my detractors are discussing how a nanny state shouldn’t be in place because we “have to eat.” Yes, but we don’t have to eat enormous amounts of sugar. Others have said its all about education and that people aren’t educated about the dangers of sugar. While I agree with that, people were educated about the dangers of cigarette smoking but it wasn’t until we regulated it and taxed it so much that there was a decrease in the number of people who smoked – it just became too much of a nuisance and too expensive for people to continue. That was regulated from above – what’s wrong with that?
Sometime we can’t leave things up to the individual. Sometimes individuals need to be coaxed into doing the right thing – it’s why we have a legal system in the first place or our nation wouldn’t exist and we’d live in a state of anarchy. Was it wrong to legislate in favor of integration? The legalization of interracial marriage? And now same-sex marriage. Absolutely not. The courts are there to protect the rights of the minorities from the majority who would like to see their rights either taken away or never granted. That is one of the many things that separate our nation from many others.
Sorry, I wasn’t meaning to get political but the obesity epidemic has become political. I am all for educating people about the dangers of sugar and how to eat healthy but we don’t live in a world where that is easy or cheap and most of the powers that be can’t decide what is healthy and what isn’t. Their decision to educate the public that they should be eating grains and cutting down on red meat consumption and fat was the ruination of America– it began the obesity epidemic.
So, how do we educate and what do we teach? It was crystal clear with alcohol, illicit drugs and cigarettes but it’s not so clear with food education. Education is key but so is leading by example. In Manhattan, below 96th street, we have an 8% obesity rate – dramatically lower than the rest of the nation. Granted, those of us who live below 96th street are probably some of the most ego-maniacal, body dysmorphic, competitive people on the planet. We gain an ounce and the world stops spinning.
Yes, I am being dramatic but not as dramatic as Heather on the Real Housewives of New York City. I have only watched one episode but I am hooked already. Those three new housewives are interesting people and aren’t about to take any flak from Ramona –Praise the Lord! Anyway, Ramona told Heather that she was on the cover of The Learning Annex magazine. Heather turned to camera and said, “If I were on the cover of a magazine that was next to every trash can in NYC, I would be questioning my career, not excited about it.”
Then of course, I would get the example of, “guns don’t’ kill people, people…..” Really, that old line. Most likely a gun will not go off by itself and kill you – but, if you have access to a gun and it was cheap and you liked how it made you feel and abused it – then it could kill you or someone else. That is sugar. We have cheap access; we like how it makes us feel and we are killing ourselves with it. So, if guns can be controlled why can’t sugar.
Most people need help in making the right decisions. Why can’t NYC lead by example in restaurants – you can still go to the corner bodega and buy all the soda in as large a size as they make. But we have to start somewhere.
Sugar is killing us but so did Chelsea Handler the other night on Kathy. Whitney Cummings was on with them and was talking about how she likes colonics because there is 25 pounds of s*** in you at any given time according to her colon therapist. Chelsea turns to her and says, if you had 25 pounds less on you, you would look Ethiopian – yes, wrong on many levels but oh so funny. Not so funny as Tanisha Gets Married but a different funny.
To sum it all up, I couldn’t agree with more education starting from the top down. However, that is going to take a village and while we should get started now, any changes that may occur from this education movement is going to take at least a generation and we don’t have another one to lose. So, I am sticking by my opinion that we need to regulate how people eat – we do it anyway through government grants and subsidies, so let’s just be open about it and stop bankrupting the health care system because of obesity and how many people it kills each year.
Or, I guess instead of food trucks someone can invent the drive by lap band. Lap Bands while you wait – yes, it’s a brave new world
Oh, was it just me or was Jennifer Aniston drunk or probably more likely stoned (allegedly) at the MTV Movie Awards?
Until next time…..