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Should the Government Ban McDonald’s?

Yesterday (July 22), the Wall Street Journal published an article about how Jan Perry, a city-council member of Los Angeles, is spearheading legislation to ban new fast-food restaurants from opening in a 32-square-mile area of the city, including her own district.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen similar legislation passed in various cities.  New York City passed a law requiring fast-food restaurants to post calorie counts on the main menu right above the counter. San Francisco plans to follow suit later this year.  And even more prominent is the growing ban on artificial trans fats, or fats with added hydrogen, in cities across the country, including: New York City, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia. While California legislators are attempting to remove transfats from restaurants and bakeries statewide.

All of this legislation begs the question, is the health and nutrition of our country the government’s responsibility?  Unfortunately, with the growing epidemic of obesity across our nation, it is hard to debate government officials’ attempts to affect positive change on the health of our population.  Some statistics worth noting:

  • 66% of American adults are considered either overweight or obese
  • In 2007, the United States saw a 25.6% obesity rate…up from 23.9% in 2005 (Center for Disease Control)
  • According to the 4th annual report prepared by the research group Trust for America’s Health released last year, adult obesity rates rose in 31 states in 2006, 22 states experienced an increase for the second year in a row, and no state had a rate decrease
  • A related public opinion survey found that 85 percent of Americans now believe that obesity is an epidemic

It is obvious the US has a problem.  Our country is in desperate need of help.  As we continue to try to create a health care system that is economical and effective, how can we possibly find solutions that work when our population continues to become unhealthier?  Is the governments’ involvement a desperate attempt at ‘fixing’ our nation?  Or is it long overdue?

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Nutrition Tagged with: , , , , ,