I Wish, I Wish, I Wish ....

>> Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I've been reading a lot of diatribes about health care recently. No, don't worry, I won't be touching on that very sensitive subject in this blog. The subject is so close and personal to our recent lives that I don't think even I could manage to crack a joke about it. In the process of reading a lot of these impassioned opinions, though, I came across a bit of a sidebar that raised my eyebrow ... and a raised eyebrow on me means you said something I plan to write about.

The tone of this article is that the food industry is the root of all our health problems. If we could only manage our food better, we would all be healthier. People who eat better have fewer chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart problems, cholesterol problems, and a host of other problems. (If this is news to anyone, then you are living in a cave, and you are probably one of those people who buys each new diet pill advertised on late night TV as the one to solve all your problems, and you probably say to yourself, "I'm sure this one is safe and won't end up in litigation for life-threatening complications.")

So, we eat better, we feel better, we use fewer health care dollars. Okay ... I understand that eating poorly and sitting on the couch is a recipe for disaster. I really don't feel enlightened when someone chooses to point out this fact to me. I understand that french fries and potato chips have little nutritional value, and that vegetables are the natural staple of humanity's diet. Where is the revelation in that?

Here is the catch. The idea behind this article is that we need to regulate the food industry so that they aren't allowed to sell us the bad stuff, or at least it has to be taxed very high. In other words, if we don't exercise self control over choices we know are stupid, then this guy wants the choice taken out of our hands. This guy wants to regulate stupidity. Wow. Talk about a slippery slope! If we regulate against every stupid decision, some of us wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning. The majority of our government would have to be sent home, and I'm not sure we could find enough competent people to replace them.

Let's go with this idea for a few moments and see where it takes us, though, because I'm having a little trouble figuring it out. It isn't like you can just ban ground beef, because there is nothing inherently bad about beef. The problem is how you prepare it and what you add to it. (Why do I suddenly feel like I'm justifying the Second Amendment?) So, how do you regulate it? If we want a Big Mac with the special sauce, are we going to have to sign a public register to keep track of how many Big Macs we eat in a given month, like with the whole pseudophedrine thing? Are we going to have an outright prohibition on mayonnaise? (Yikes, I'll need stilts for the speakeasy door! Hey, do you think I could make a legacy family fortune bootlegging mayonnaise like the Kennedys did bootlegging liquor?)

What I think I need is some sort of scientific breakthrough that makes me not want to eat potato chips so I don't have to rely on my will power (which is often at war with my sense of "I deserve it.") So for all of you presumably well-meaning people that want to offer your diet to me as the cure for all my problems, tell me this. Does your diet make me like vegetables and hate potato chips? If not, I'll stick with Weight Watchers, thanks.

2 comments:

Niff and Andy September 29, 2009 at 9:48 AM  

:oD

Karin October 19, 2009 at 4:50 PM  

Niff and Andy, it gets even harder when the docs tell you to let your kid eat as many french fries as she wants, and you think, "But I want some!"

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