When the fat hits the fan

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposed a ban on the selling of soda in sizes over 16 ounces, or 473 ml. A can of soda is 330 ml to give you a picture of the size limit. If you visit the cinema to see the latest block buster good luck finding a drink smaller than 16 ounces. The reason is the try to cut down on the obesity rate affecting more than a 3rd of the population. The questions that have to be asked are:

  • If the normal person is considered obese, shouldn’t that be the average then?
  • Is it a good idea for governments and councils to limit the size of soda and therefore exercise control on your dietary intake?
  • Does the population deserve the right to eat and drink what they want or have they proven too stupid to be trusted?
  • Tobacco has already been hit with several measures to discourage smokers, will we see the same style of measures for unhealthy foods?
  • If governments and councils are allowed to do this, where would it stop?

One of the most common ways to find out if you are considered obese is to use the Body Mass Index (or BMI). It takes your weight and your height and calculates where you should be on a chart with your BMI number. Depending on your BMI number you will fall in the following categories.

Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

Here is a quick and easy BMI calculator if you are wondering what your number is. http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

It should be noted that the only information used to calculate your BMI is your weight and height. This is a major flaw if you consider the BMI for the following sports stars (and yours truly)

Yours Truly             – 6ft 3     – 227 pounds –    BMI 28.4
Terrell Owens         – 6ft 3     – 224 pounds –    BMI 28.0
Sidney Crosby         – 5ft 11     – 200 pounds –    BMI 27.9
Tim Tebow             – 6ft 3     – 245 pounds –    BMI 30.6
Chuck Liddell         – 6ft 2     – 205 pounds –    BMI 26.3
Lebron James         – 6ft 8     – 250 pounds –    BMI 27.5
Alexander Ovechkin     – 6ft 3     – 230 pounds –    BMI 28.7

All of the above are considered overweight with the exception of Tim Tebow who apparently is a far bastard who is obese!?! If Tim Tebow is obese, what hope is there for the rest of us?

The elected governments and councils are supposed to look after the interests of their constituencies, be is small town, big city or country. The common man should be protected from dangers but does that include dangers from themselves? It can be incredibly hard to avoid junk food, it is everywhere and comes in so many different forms.

We have speed limits on roads to stop us from driving too fast and dangerously. We have multiple restrictions on buying tobacco. Providers of alcohol, be it bar staff or LCBO staff can refuse to sell if you appear to be intoxicated. If we accept all of these measures, shouldn’t we be OK with controlled size of sodas?

It is important to realise that part of the issue with this has been caused by uncontrolled consumption. It is hard to argue that anyone doesn’t realise that a bucket of KFC isn’t healthy, we simply choose flavour over fitness. We understand what we are doing, we simply choose to avoid doing the right thing. Does this mean we should no longer have a choice?

Will we one day purchase a soda that has an image of an obese person plastered on the side? Perhaps we will have to request a soda which is hidden from view so not to tempt children? Maybe we will have to provide identity before we can buy a pop?

So what will happen if we allow control of soda? Would that be the last step in the war against obesity? Of course not, and once soda has come under control you can be sure that other foods will also fall under the spot light, foods such as fast food, anything full of fat, and of course bacon.

Are we truly that far off from what future historians will refer to as the great bacon war?

You can take our freedom but you canna take our bacon!

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  1. ah the BMI scale is crap and does not accurately determine health or any accurate health concerns and it is severely outdated and should not be used by any health professional at all.