Life in the Fat Lane
In July 2010 Michelle Obama gave a speech at the 101st annual NAACP national convention. In the speech Obama went over her plan to end the “childhood obesity epidemic.” She encourages children to walk or ride a bike to school. She also talked about the proposal to spend $400 million a year on her “Healthy Food Financing Initiative”, which would encourage grocery stores to open stores in food deserts. I agree with Michelle Obama that we need to do something about America’s unhealthy eating, but unlike Obama, I do not think the answer is government intervention. Instead, I suggest that the government’s only role in solving America’s obesity problem should be informing its people. We need to take our own health as a personal responsibility. Ultimately our diets should not be a public concern.
In order of people to eat healthy people must know what is healthy and what is not. This should be the government’s only role in nutrition. Easy to understand labeling in grocery stores, fast food menus, and restaurants is a good start on tackling the obesity problem. There is still more the government can do. As writer for the New York Times David Zinczenko reminds us, “[Food] Advertisements don't carry warning labels the way tobacco ads do.” With the FDA’s new warning labels on cigarettes that graphically depict the harms of smoking right on the package coming in September, it seems like the right time for the FDA to do the same with junk food. I would image people would be less inclined to eat a burger if the clam shell it is served in has a picture of cholesterol build up in arteries on it. Even with proper labeling and warning sit is still the decision of the individual to decide what to eat. Labeling will help inform people, but is not the solution.
Many people feel that informing on the part of the government isn’t enough, because fast food makes unhealthy eating too convenient. Arguing we need some form of regulation controlling...