Do we put a fence around the pool to prevent drowning, or do we teach how to swim? When it comes to the new, pending, and purposed laws regarding food labeling, ingredients, and marketing, several states are at odds as to how best handle these issues.
Many new food related laws are being passed, such as the ban on toys in kid’s fast food meals in several cities or the requirement for nutrition information to be on the menu at any restaurant that has more than twenty chains that will be enforced by 2013. There is also the new federal law that will be setting new standards for the food sold and provided in schools. These and other new requirements are getting lots of attention.
The advocacy groups that are out to fight obesity are in favor of many of these laws, saying they could lead to a healthier country and reduce many of the ailments our children and adults are facing today.
Business owners and some legislators are seeing the other side of the coin, though. All these enforced requirements could make running a profitable business more difficult. The legislators who are supporting these thoughts are saying that it’s an issue of one’s rights and that simply it’s not the government’s job to tell people how to eat.
The laws are not unified from city to city or from state to state, which makes things even more confusing, especially for chains who have multiple stores all over the country. These are more reasons for the people bringing their complaints and concerns to legislators.
Each side of this debate has valid points. Every law possible could be enforced regarding the content of a cheeseburger in attempt to make it as healthy, whole, and light as possible, but will that stop someone from ordering three?
I love that the schools are being required to provide better food, but I know the other half of the kids that bring their lunches will still come with Oreo cookies and fruit snacks, so does the law really fight childhood obesity?
These laws may benefit some, and if that’s the case, then I think they’re a good thing. However, I think they are just another way for the American people not to take ownership in their own choices. All the information is available. There’s really no need for laws to be in place for you to be healthy. It’s not the lack of legislation making us fat.
I would rather know how to swim than be treated like a child who surely couldn’t handle themselves around a pool, or a restaurant menu, if you will.
July 9th, 2011