Opinion: Food and Freedom

16 oz

Governor Bloomberg does not want non-diet soda to be sold in containers larger than 16 ounces in New York City. (Courtesy of Emily Hirshorn ’15 of the King Street Chronicle)

To eat or not to eat, that is not the question. The question is what to eat, and how much. Since 2010, obesity has been a major concern in the United States. For better or for worse, government officials are now trying to resolve this issue. They are editing school lunch menus and requiring restaurants to list calorie content. Michelle Obama, our First Lady, is even launching a “Let’s Move” campaign to encourage healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.

But are these government actions really going to make a difference? According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), by 2020, more than two out of every three people will be overweight or obese. Even if the government passes a law that bans a certain food or drink, will this prevent individuals from becoming overweight?

In New York, there has been much debate about Governor Bloomberg’s soda ban. He decided that non-diet soda cannot be sold in containers larger than 16 ounces in New York City. However, this ban does not guarantee that the consumer will stop drinking once they reach this limit. If you wanted more soda, couldn’t you just order two of them? In reality, a top-down initiative will not make a difference in the overall health of the consumer.

So how can obesity be combated? Well, it all starts with the individual. There must be personal drive to eat healthier, or the effort of the government is not worth it . For instance, if you play a sport and your coach tells you to train on your own over the weekend, it is up to you to make this happen. If you lack the motivation to get it done, you will not see the results.

A large part of being human is having the ability to make our own choices. At Convent of the Sacred Heart, we highly value goal five: personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom. If we learn to make good choices on our own, this will benefit us in the long run. So, how about we, and not the government, take the initiative in making decisions about our health.

— Emily Hirshorn and Jessica Johnson, Co-Opinions Editors

Posted by on November 13, 2013. Filed under FSPA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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