April 4, 2007

NY Times asks: Should government regulate your eating habits?

Do you think government should play a role in trying to change people’s eating habits? That's what the NY Times asked today.

And the thoughtful responses are on the side of regulating people's eating habits.

On the other side are the typical arguments that basically government has no right to regulate anything.

Here are some samples:

Public health issues are a huge expense to the community from provision of services to lost productivity.

Yes Government has a right to “dictate” policy on this just as it has a right to dictate policy on drugs, alcohol, road-rules, safety and other health issues.

USA has a high proportion of unhealthy people due to poor diet and exercise. Time to fix it.

— Posted by Dean

It is not necessary to dictate how we eat, but gov’t could require that restaurants display information, like labels on packages.

— Posted by Realist

As the mother of an overweight child, I believe that her problems began in school. There is no mandatory Physical Education program in Florida. The cafeteria’s menu is appalling; soda and junk food snack machines everywhere; candy as reward for work well done. Something needs to be done. If the government would mandate meaningful P.E. programs from elementary thru high school. Make cafeteria food healthy. Ban soda and junk food machines.

— Posted by Debra

I don’t see why not. Someone’s got to tell us what to do in this area since we Americans have shown ourselves unable to 1)make the right choices; 2) get off our very large lazy asses and make a proper dinner with nutritious meats and vegetables and 3)critically think about the “food” products that are being pushed on us by large manufacturers.

As a world traveler, I’m constantly amazed that the quality of food eaten by the majority of the people in many developing countries is much higher quality than here in the richest country in the world. We are pathetic.

— Posted by Gail Porter

If people want to kill themselves through a lifetime of gorging on fat and fast food, that’s fine with me, as long as I don’t have to pay for or subsidize their health care–but we all know that’s not going to happen. I don’t think the government is dictating anything. It’s a public policy issue. The Mayor has every right and, some would say, responsibilitiy, to set this policy. It’s really no different than the smoking ban. In fact, some would argue that poor diet (coupled with decreasing levels of exercise) cause more health-related problems that tobacco smoking. Personally, I say cheers! to the man for calling it as he see’s it.

— Posted by Doctor D

1 comment:

Uta said...

Well written article.