Thursday, August 16, 2012

Man with a Ban: How One Mayor is Ambitiously Fighting Obesity
   by Bob Wells, CPT, PES

Our landscape is dotted with decisions, that although wildly unpopular at the time turned out to be great in retrospect. For example, Will Smith turned down a chance to attend M.I.T to focus on his music, becoming a millionaire before his 19th birthday.

In 1997, C.E.O Gil Amelio was fired, paving the way for Steve Jobs to return to Apple. Not surprisingly, Jobs was unceremoniously booed at a speech he gave in Boston's Park Plaza Castle as Apple’s newly minted chief executive.

However, by 2011, boos were replaced by praise for a man who had brought Apple’s annual sales well north of $100 billion, and introduced such revolutionary products as the I-pod, I-Phone, and I-Pad.

Courtesy: Oral Health Matters
Other unpopular decisions may not net their makers fame and fortune. They can, however, change society for the better. For example, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, right, recently proposed a soda ban. He did so with an aim toward curbing drastically rising obesity rates and their deleterious effects.

Not surprisingly, many New Yorkers and industry people criticized the proposal, blasting Bloomberg for taking away “their right to choose”. The beverage industry has repeatedly clashed with the city’s health department, claiming that it has unfairly singled out soda.

“The New York City health department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top,” the industry spokesman, Stefan Friedman, said. “It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity. These zealous proposals just distract from the hard work that needs to be done on this front.”

But according to the journal Pediatrics, the soda ban does work. The New York Times reports that the study “…found a strong association between healthier weight and tough state laws regulating food in vending machines, snack bars and other venues...”

Courtesy : CNN
Since junk food and sugary drinks have little nutritional value and are calorically dense, leading to obesity and a host of medical problems. It makes sense that removal of them from your diet would result in healthier weights for you and your loved ones.

Clearly, Mayor Bloomberg is onto something with his soda ban proposal. Still, people argue about protecting their right to choose what they want to eat and drink and serve to their unsuspecting children. They argue that they should be allowed to choose foods that not only make them fatter, but also pose tremendous health risks that affect us all. According to them, choice should reign supreme.

However, when deprived of these “choices”, people’s weights are at healthier levels. Sugary drinks and junk food have very little nutritional value and are calorically dense, therefore it makes sense that removal of them from your diet would result in healthier weight.

Healthy weight reduces rates of diabetes and heart disease. This increases longevity AND improves the  quality of life, for you and your loved ones.

Who can argue that this isn’t a good thing?


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