A healthier America begins with our government


CC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diet_and_cancer

Americans today are the biggest direct threat to themselves. The epidemic of unhealthy eating and obesity has taken over this country labeling us as the fattest nation in the world. We are living in a country of let’s-do-it-tomorrow and resolutions that we swear we are going to keep this year. We all have good intentions but it is just so much easier to sit at home watching The Bachelor and eating our organic chips coated in salt instead of going to the gym. However, to every problem there is a solution. As a result of increasingly bad health results there have been many successful government programs that have helped Americans who may not necessarily have the proper self control to regulate their own diet and exercise. It is for these reasons and many more that I believe the government should have a say in our diets.

To start, it is absolutely necessary to look at the cold hard facts about obesity and the amount of heath complications as a result in America. Some of the scariest statistics are that one in every third child is considered to be obese as a result of excess body fat and the percentage of adolescents with obesity has quadrupled from 5% in 1980 to 21% in 2012 (CDC). This is beginning to affect children on a new level, and that alone should be alarming to everyone and be grounds for government intervention in American diets, but let’s not jump to conclusions too soon. Studies have shown that there is a trend of children who were obese as children will be obese as adults and two in every three adult Americans are considered to be overweight or obese (CDC). Some of the health complications that could follow as a result of obesity include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke (NIDDKD). There are lists of statistics that would not only fill this paper twice, but would also blow minds. Obesity is a real problem for Americans and nothing will change unless the government uses intervention to create a healthier America.

Secondly, there are already so many government programs that have been successful in decreasing some of the obesity problems facing Americans. Straight from the White House, Michelle Obama created her own “Let’s Move” Campaign. The goal of this movement is to end childhood obesity within a generation and some of the steps it is taking to achieve this huge goal are parent support in this process, healthier school lunches, increased physical activities and even access to healthy food within the community (Let’s Move). “Let’s Move” has successfully implemented well rounded and healthy choices in cafeterias around the country, influenced the Department of Defense into taking action and providing healthier food for the troops and their families, and even Disney is catching on by having their nutritional guidelines align with the federal governments. Other programs include New York City’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, created a ban on sugary drinks being sold over 16 ounces which will significantly decrease the amount of soda being consumed by youth (Health Affairs). There are also many other ideas that could be put into action at all levels such as a “Fat Tax”, this would tax fatty foods making them more expensive thus allowing the healthier foods to become more affordable, or providing more access to the healthier foods and fresh water especially to poorer communities around the United States. There are already so many government programs helping people get healthier in America, which is another reason why I believe the government should have a say in our diets.

Americans today are the unhealthiest they have ever been and this is a problem that will continue to advance if no action is taken to combat the obesity. The statistics alone are alarming and there are already many government programs that are slowly beginning to make a change to a healthier society. So once again I believe with more government intervention in American diets we will be one step closer to a healthier America. It’s time to put down the “organic” chips and pick up the organic fruit.