New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently decided to ban super-sized sugary sodas. A decision that has left a lot of people angry. Personally I think his heart is in the right place, but the idea is absurd. Banning a certain size of just ONE of the many culprits in America’s race to an obesity induced heart attack is akin to banning lighters and keeping cigarettes. It’s just silly. Why attack sodas? Why not attack Doritos or french fries or mayonnaise? Or better yet…
Why not go to the source – High fructose Corn syrup. We need to treat HFC like we treat tobacco and tobacco products. Tax the shit of them and raise prices. People sometimes need a little help chosing things that are good for them – obviously. I’m not saying take away the choice to be a sick looking fat ass who eats in their car and serves food “nuggets” to their kids. Nope, not saying that at all. I am saying make the choice to be healthy and active more cost-effective than not.
For years the HFC people have had their money-grubbing paws in every aisle of the store – from sodas to chips to juice – you will find it in everything. It’s cheap and it keeps prices low for foods that use it. And foods that use it are inherently unhealthy. So why not turn the tables? Why not start paying MORE for the crap and less for the good stuff?
If Bloomberg wanted to really make a difference he would find a way to subsidise Farmer’s Markets or lower the cost of bottled water. He would start going in to public schools and removing the vending machines that sell crap and replace them with food that is good for you. Higher prices reduce consumption, so government wisely taxes products it disfavors, such as tobacco. Anyone who watches Mad Men knows that tobacco wasn’t always the bad guy. But as America grew wiser public opinion changed.
We can make HFC the new tobacco. We can choose not to buy products that use it. We can choose to stop eating fast, fatty foods and replace them with healthy, fresh fruits and veggies. I stopped buying soda and went to flavored water. From there I went to fizzy water with lime. Now soda is a treat for me when I go out to eat. and don’t feel like drinking. Heck, I don’t really drink alcohol any more.
So let’s make a deal America – let’s chose to eat only foods that are HFC free and see how awesome we feel. Let’s choose to be active for at least 30 minutes every day rather than watch T.V. Let’s make people who drink those disgusting, huge sodas feel like assholes – you know, the way America ganged up on smokers once smoking became uncool. I know we can do it America! I have faith in you.