Fat, Sick, and Waiting for the government to save us

Obesity Campaign Poster

(Photo credit: Pressbound)

Have you ever pulled into a strip mall for lunch, and sat in the car for a minute surveying the options? McDonald’s golden arches are calling your name, but you know that’s a bad habit you want to kick. Subway is a solid choice, and there’s also that new organic place with the great salads. Maybe your kids are in the backseat. They are shouting for the chicken nuggets and french fries, but you’re the parent, and it’s up to you to decide. Or so you think…

The way Reuter’s new special report portrays the battle between the federal government and the food industry, your “choice” is determined by actions miles away in the nation’s capital.  It’s Big Government vs. Big Food, and all your Big Gut can do is sit back, watch, and hope the good guys win:

(Reuters) – In the political arena, one side is winning the war on child obesity.

The side with the fattest wallets.

After aggressive lobbying, Congress declared pizza a vegetable to protect it from a nutritional overhaul of the school lunch program this year. The White House kept silent last year as Congress killed a plan by four federal agencies to reduce sugar, salt and fat in food marketed to children.

And during the past two years, each of the 24 states and five cities that considered “soda taxes” to discourage consumption of sugary drinks has seen the efforts dropped or defeated.

It’s debatable whether the food industry or Congress has the “fattest wallet”, and probably comes down to how many maxed-out credit cards Congress is carrying at the moment. Regardless, the framing of this story from the outset is that the battle for our national health comes down to money, as if our collective waistline expands or contracts based on whether legislators accept Big Food’s bribes or remain steadfast in their principles. Big money lobbyists can certainly have a corrupting influence on government, but the common liberal trope that the masses are pawns at the mercy of corporate advertising campaigns is an enfeebling one. It’s also not true. We are still a free people with considerable means and a plethora of information available on what constitutes healthy food choices. The responsibility to make the right ones falls on us.

Reuters continues:  Continue reading