It seems that the recent foray of Mayor Bloomberg into determining what one may and may not consume based on calorie count, was just the appetizer, so to say. As some may recall, back in March we wrote that based on OECD predictions, up to 75% of the US nation will be overweight or obese. Now, none other than Uncle Sam has gotten wind that his population will soon be primarily made up of fat people. So he has a solution, which is in the vein of all other solutions where Uncle Sam is concerned: regulate, regulate, regulate.
From Bloomberg: "Governments should regulate food companies on unhealthy ingredients in products that contribute to obesity, an epidemic that now affects 1-in-3 Americans and costs the U.S. $150 billion a year, said New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley. More than education and voluntary action by companies is needed, Farley said. New York’s limit on sugary soft drink sales is one example of the steps governments must take to stop the rise of obesity, he said today at a press conference on the topic held by the Journal of the American Medical Association." Punchline #1: "Publicly traded food companies, charged with making a profit for their shareholders, can’t be relied upon to make their foods more nutritious, Farley said." In other words, Uncle Sam knows what is best for you, always. Punchline #2: "There is a clear role for government in the solution,” Farley said. “Obesity rates have been rising considerably for the last 30 to 40 years. If we don’t do anything, I think it is a fair prediction that they will continue to rise." Surely, when it comes to things that are soaring which will not stop soaring unless something is done, the US government knows best: after all just look at Exhibit A: the US Debt, which sadly the US government has been "regulating" pretty much since the beginning.
About 60 percent of adults in New York City are overweight or obese and 1-in-8 have diabetes, which is often caused by obesity, Farley said. A person with a body mass index of at least 30 is considered obese, according to the National Institutes of Health. The BMI is calculated using height and weight. A man who is 6 feet tall and weighed more than 220 pounds would be considered obese using the formula.
The size of a soda has increased from about 6.5 ounces in the 1960s to 20 ounces today, according to Farley. He said surveys have found that Americans eat 200 to 600 more calories a day than they did in the 1970s and that sugary drinks are playing a role in that added calorie consumption.
The city’s soda size rule is not government restriction on choice, adding that people can consume as much as they want at restaurants as long as it isn’t with a cup larger than 16 ounces, Farley said.
And just in case there was any confusion where this is going...
“While the idea of government regulation on portion size is new, we think it makes all the sense in the world,” Farley said.
Our advice: eat up America. Very soon you will need permission from your friendly local government constable to not only chew, but swallow.