Of course it will, Mark. However, here’s another piece, of which I am quite sure you are aware. While I am not much of a conspiracy theorist, this I know: well people don’t need pills, doctors or procedures. Big Pharma and Big Medicine have everything to gain the sicker and fatter we get. I struggle to understand what motivation any Big Industry has when all are driven by profits. Each industry fights to maintain and expand its profit share. An empty hospital bed doesn’t pay profits. Hospitals and fat farms chock-full of sick folk (read: now and in the far far far future) is a greedy capitalist’s dream of Utopia.
We are a very ill country, and of course food is a major part of that. We abuse our bodies through poor diet, but I might posit that one hell of a lot of those who do also know better. That’s a choice. Are we all well-informed? Of course not. But we do make poor choices even when we do have good information. You and I shouldn’t have to foot the bill when folks choose a Moon Pie and an RC cola for dinner. That said, food deserts exist, which is in part why doctors are now prescribing fruits, vegies, yogurt, etc. That trend will continue. And it serves farmers who grow these things just as it serves the health of those who eat better.
On one hand, and again you know this as well as anyone, Mark, as a journalist who blogs on fitness and as an athlete in my late 60s, the way I see it’s my responsibility to exercise my God-given intelligence to first: challenge the government and corporate bullshit, and second: do the hard, lifetime work to find out what works for my unique body, my unique metabolism, and then act accordingly. Of course that’s hard work. And of course it’s not easy. But we can’t force folks to eat responsibly.
While I agree, as a mostly Liberal-to-a-Point thinker, that the gov has a role in helping determine dietary guidelines, it is up to each of us as individuals to learn our bodies, be responsible for them and for the proper nutritional and dietary programs which best fit our needs.
If we are really that dumb to think that the (now defunct) Hostess products, with a chemical shelf life in centuries, are food, then we deserve what we get. That’s a Darwinian theory. We are not responsible for ensuring that every American or anyone else gets good food. We are responsible for informing, and that means good information (which the Bigs really do not want us to have for good reason), and then it’s up to you and me. If I choose to drink Coke, which I dumped out of my diet two decades ago, and I am surprised by tooth decay and obesity, then shame on me. Eating food because it tastes good and I am swayed by ads is my problem. There is plenty of information which is available to all of us assuming we can find a library about Blue Zones. If we want to, we can educate ourselves. After that it’s choice, although again I am well aware that for many in the city, this is a deeply difficult issue. However, the arument that it’s too expensive to eat well doesn’t hold water. Nobody says you have to shop at organic food stores, which to my mind is a ripoff. Many of us can eat very well,
I travel all over the world, and I see what indigenous folks eat.Where American shit food has made inroads, you can see how those good-tasting, nutritionally-appalling foods have affected folks’ bodies, lifestyles and health. But you’re not going to get Yum to take its KFCs out of China and all of Asia, replacing the excellent vegetable, noodle, rice, fish, broth and other good-tasting and nutritionally-rich foods that they traditionally eat.
There are close to eight billion souls on earth, and each of us has a unique metabolic footprint. Each decade those needs shift and change with age and activity levels. This body is ours to manage. To my mind, thinking as what I hope is as a responsible adult, it’s my job to study it, test it, try new things, give up the foods that no longer work (donuts might be one of them) and ensure that as I age and continue to evolve, I am fueling my body with what it can best use. A government that teaches those principles lets down Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Corporate interests. Lobbyists lose their jobs. People get healthy. Congress serves the people rather than fat cat corporations.
Not an American outcome, is it?
If you’ll excuse me I have to hit the weights. I have a full life to live, while ignoring the forces that would vastly prefer that I take fifteen prescriptions, be crippled by 70, and spend the last three decades of my life full of tubes while paying some institution eight grand a month to keep me bedridden, but a paying customer. Call me a cynic, but there are good reasons for it. Far too much money to be made off our misery. Thanks for your piece.