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Supersize this!

New York mayor, Mr. Bloomberg, is proposing a ban on 16 ounce sodas for his fine city; an infringement on our freedoms or good common sense?

I’m not a fan of bans. People who ban things never seem to know where to stop. One day you’re banning 16 ounce sodas, the next you’re banning cheesecake, potato chips or books. I say ban the ban!

Not that we shouldn’t be held accountable for our obesity status. I am guilty of being overweight but it’s hard for me to justify the numbers that are spit out by the American Health Association which tell me what I should be weighing for my height.

According to them, I should be 50 pounds lighter than I am. Really? Fifty pounds? That’s two 25 pound bags of cat sand (sorry, but cat owners always seem to equivocate weight with cat sand, I’m not sure why). I beg to differ. I am a 58 year old woman and do not need to weigh what I did when I was 16.

I am truly in agreement that I need to lose weight, and I’m forever working on it. However, a 25 pound weight loss would work wonders for me. I’m half way there.

I understand how much obesity is costing our system of government. But banning things that are bad for us is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Any moron can tell you (unless they work for the government) that nothing prevents anyone from getting refills for their 8 ounce sodas at any fast food joint. Now that I think about it, fast food joints are probably on the growing list of things to be banned.

Super size drinks aren’t the problem. Fat is. It’s costing our nation plenty. So here’s my proposal (because I know you’re dying to know). Instead of trying to control what company’s manufacture and sell, and what we, as American consumers are allowed to buy, let’s just get to the gut of the problem (pun intended).

Since we are really talking about the cost of healthcare, let’s deal with it in a financial way. Because it costs so much more to care for people who are overweight, why not tax them according to their BMI (Body Mass Index)? I can hear many of you gasping and covering your mouth in shock, but hear me out.

I am one of the guilty parties and I can tell you that I am concerned about how my tax dollars are going towards the care of people who continually make bad decisions for a good part of their life. I don’t appreciate paying for anyone else’s mistakes.

It’s not just about fat; its’ about smoking, liquor, drugs, etc. If you choose to eat yourself into an unhealthy state, or smoke yourself into emphysema, well, you should be putting more in the coffer to take care of yourself down the line.

If that were the law, I think many of us would be finding our way to the gym more often and taking the consequences of our actions a lot more seriously. Nothing talks like money.

I understand that a lot of the problems with cigarettes and booze involve addiction. I was actually for the ban of smoking in public, but only because it took away my freedom of living and eating in a clean and healthy air environment. I also, however, defend your right to smoke yourself to death in your own home if that’s what you chose to do. Just don’t expect me or the government to pay for it. Same goes for obesity.

I have huge respect for those who try to improve their health through education, exercise and sometimes surgery. It’s a long haul to get to where you need or want to be and the road is a lonely one. Kudos!

Helping our fellow man is always a priority to the human race. I’m proud of that and am always ready to extend a helping hand. But I’d appreciate it if we helped ourselves as well. I’m all for clinics that help us get healthy, for programs that teach us how to better judge what is good for us, for support systems that will help us stay on the straight and narrow. I’m a huge fan of preventative measures. The earlier we start off on the right track, the more likely we are to stay there.

I have been warned by my fellow bloggers that opening up this discussion is the kiss of death as it will offend my readers. I hope not. I’d like to think this is a safe place to air our differences and like opinions. But if that’s true, you have just been kissed on the lips.

I have to wonder that if the government is so anxious to ban stuff, I don’t know why they haven’t gone after loud base-thumping music from cars, pants that hang down below the butt, chewing with your mouth open, finger lickers, and tele-marketers? Now that’s some legislation I could get behind.

Are you listening, Mayor Bloomberg?

 

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mel - interesting point of view, but how are you going to get people to fork over the money? Will paying for care actually make people lose weight? I doubt it.
Some things, perhaps, should be banned, like smoking or excessive alcohol, but human nature being what it is, people will always do what’s bad for them

Suerae Stein - I love your idea! I think it’s so true that people would try harder to take care of themselves if it cost them financially not to… brilliant! And doctors should be paid more for people they help prevent from getting ill. We should get tax deductions every time we walk through a gym entrance. And I would love to put every McDonald’s out of business somehow, so I think we could work out some kind of bonus points for every month we don’t visit a fast food place. Let’s face it, it’s more effort to make food from scratch, but I bet more would be willing to take the time if given the right incentives. It’s just too bad that our health doesn’t seem to be the right incentive. Great post!

Malissa - Hi Tammy,
Yes I have been over weight since I was a senior granted it was only 5 lbs then, but it’s been a life time of diets and packing it on over the yrs . I would be right in there for paying more .
I think maybe if the food manufactures could also try reducing the fat that they put in there foods,and additives like MSG that makes you want more ,which makes you eat more and makes us gain . I don’t know the answer , but banning is a waste of our tax dollars.
Are you free for lunch? Maybe bk and super size me! LoL
Just kidding.

Rick Gualtieri - Interesting how he would ban 16 ounce sodas, but I bet there would be hell to pay if he banned six packs of beer. I’m not a prude by any sense of the imagination, but if we’re going to go on a mad banning spree perhaps we should actually figure out which beverages are actually the most harmful overall.

Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - Tammy: I actually did lose 50 pounds this past year, and I’m here to say the rewards are many more than I ever expected. The best one is the certainty that I now control myself and not the other way around! I don’t see how we will change other people’s behavior moment to moment without their STRONG desire to look and feel different.
Now I say, I may have to get old, but I don’t have to get fat! LOL!!! – Laura Lee

Joan Cooper - Well, what comes to mind is “licensing”. If you had to have a license to buy cigarettes etc, they could keep track of you and bill you accordingly. A lot of things need to be licensed that aren’t.

The marriage myth for instance. Isn’t parenting the more important action? Why is parenting taken for granted and marriage has so much hullabaloo. Then there is the way horses are treated. If you weighed more than 1,000 pounds, could you endure living in a 6′ X 7′ square? Oh yeah, they let you out sometimes for an hour or so. With all the animal lovers on the planet, no one ever seems to organize to help the magnificient horse. Well, a few do – Madeleine Pickens for instance, by steadily nudging the Bureau of Land Use, she is suceeding in getting acres and acres of Nevada land for a wild horse refuge. She is trying to stop the practice of chasing wild horses with a helicopter until they are exhausted and then shooting them dead. Yup – that is our civilization.

But it takes more. As a well known author and former triathlete says – we do not have a health system – we have a disease system where doctors treat the disease – they do not treat people to be healthy.

I say license every cigarette buyer if you are going to ban things. License every parent to be trained and accountable. License every horse barn on the planet. License a lot of things instead of banning. Think of the money that would bring in. The US might be solvent again.

Joan Cooper

Tammy - Hi Mel, we would collect the money by taxing them at a different rate. By “them” I include myself 🙁 Tax people for being overweight and provide tax incentives for being healthy. I love the concept…vote for me for President! Okay, got a little carried away there, but you get the jest. I agree with you, when something is banned it simply offers a springboard for black market. How can we forget prohibition? Further proof that banning something will surely not make it disappear. By the way, don’t you just love how he proposed the ban on Tuesday and on Wednesday he was handing out Krispy Kreme donuts to help celebrate Donut Week! Gotta love the irony! Thanks for reading, and even more thanks for posting.

Maureen - I’ve lost at least 20 lbs at least 5 times…and I drink way too much diet soda. But I don’t think we need any more stupid, unenforceable and expensive laws. And why is it that the ‘solution’ is always a negative – a ban – rather than a positive, like education. The ban can’t be easier or more cost effective…..
As always – a good, thought provoking piece – Thanks Tammy!

Tammy - Hi Suerae, you, my dear, are brilliant. I LOVE your idea of giving incentives for going to the gym. Hey, money talks both ways! We could have a Debit/Credit fat system. Points for veggies and exercise and debits for cake and too much couch/TV time. We could turn McDonald’s into McStein’s where we could buy fresh sliced melons, berries and wonderfully cooked asparagus in garlic. Oh my, I’m hungry! American’s are goal oriented people. We like to achieve, we like to win. So, if a carrot is placed in front of us offering incentives to become and stay healthy, they’d bite (no pun intended). You’re right, it is a shame that good health doesn’t seem to be enough. Thanks for sharing your brilliance here.

Tammy - Hi Malissa, I’ve been battling the weight wars since I had my daughter at 32, which makes it almost 29 years. Oy! You have hit a huge point with regards to the food manufacturers. One of our problems is that we really have no clue what is in our food. In the food days of old (when we pulled it out of the ground or from a cow) we knew exactly what we were getting. Now, with injected hormones, additives, colors, preservatives, and God only knows what, we not only are clueless as to what we are eating, we don’t know what it is doing to us. Not awesome, and a huge disadvantage. And you are right … banning is NOT the answer. Maybe we should join up for a protest lunch at BK but I’d rather use my protest calories at Tommy’s Burgers. Do they have them where you live? Maybe a special FedEx package is in your future? Thanks for the read and the post. Appreciate you being here.

Tammy - Hi Rick, well, now, that’s an interesting take on things. I wonder what kind of uproar would occur if he tried to ban beer; probably political suicide. I think it’s less about the beverage and more about the people. Many peeps receive free healthcare and many are approaching Medicare age. There seems to be a logic that they can live their life on their terms but don’t have to pay for the consequences, monetarily speaking, of course. Not an awesome outcome and banning will certainly not help. Pass the beer. Thanks, Rick, for the read and even more so for the post. You’re awesome!

Tammy - Hi Laura Lee, what a walking success story you are! Changing people’s behavior is not easy. But you know that it can be done with the right incentive. If good health isn’t enough, I’m betting tax breaks and taxation for fat would be. I think I will run against Mit and Obama on this platform. What do you think my chances are? Yeah, I don’t think much of them either. I’ll get old along side of you…only I’ll be the fluffy one. Thanks for posting!

Ande Lyons - Tammy!

Good for you for stepping up and sharing a hot topic with your community.

It’s a slippery slope when one is dealing with addictions… and SUGAR is a MAJOR drug of choice for many people… especially food addicts. It is the cause of so much disease in this country… which is why I understand Mayor Bloomberg’s position.

You see, it really isn’t fat causing many of the illnesses in our country… it’s eating dead food comprised primarily of sugar, high fructose corn syrup (poison), starch potatoes, and white flour, which quickly turns to sugar. (How high fructose got into the American diet is a fascinating story all by itself.)

Have you ever tried to go off sugar before? It’s ugly… and very hard to do. Our kids are being raised on sugar and white flour… which is why many of us will outlive our kids.

You are right – it’s not about how much you weigh, it’s about how healthy you are… and you can be a healthy, thriving adult and be 25 pounds over weight. 😀

OK, jumping off my bedazzled and bejeweled soap box!

Always LOVE how you express your passion… MUAH! Ande

Tammy - Hi Joan, OMG, you bring so much to the table I hardly know where to begin. My take? Marriage is a given but parenting should be licensed and testing should occur before it’s allowed. The people who fly those helicopters shooting horses should be strung up and neutered with a large dull knife, as should the political talking heads that made this action legal. Sickening that this is our tax dollars at work. Preventative health care is worth its weight in gold. I absolutely embrace your theory of licensing and taxing, the revenue would certainly come in handy, wouldn’t it? Your common sense astounds. So does your good heart. Thanks for being here; we are all better for it.

Tammy - Hi Ande, that’s me all right, Miss Hot Topics Tammy. I’m holding my breath for the hate post. I’ve just purchased a book entitled “Wheat Belly”. It promises to open my eyes, enlighten my mind and slim my body. I’ll let you know. I understand where Mr. Bloomberg is coming from, I just don’t respect the way he is trying to tackle the problem. The elephant in the room is America’s bad eating habits and large soda’s are but a grain of sand on the beach of indifference. Right idea, wrong direction. I’ve read so much about the dangers and hazards of sugar. Amazing stuff to know. Scary too. I hate that we are raising our kids on this stuff. Don’t you ever jump off your bejeweled soap box, we need to hear it! But you must tell me where you bought it; my rickety little box could use a little sprucing up. For the record, I love chocolate devils food donuts, chips and onion dip and fettuccine, but I rarely partake in their pleasures. I guess I finally understand the hazards, and I’d like to live long enough to boss everyone else around. Thanks for your kind words and thanks for sharing your brilliant point of view. The pleasure was mine.

Tammy - Hi Maureen, I can top those numbers and add ten years, but why quibble. Drop that diet soda now, Missy! Pure poison. (Did that sound authoritative?) You, my dear, have hit the nail on the head … why is the solution always negative instead of incentive based? Right on, Maureen!! Give American’s reasons: money, tax benefits, insurance reductions, doctor visits to help us help the government and get us healthy in the process. I’d pay a fat tax and I’d work to not have to. Love your way of thinking. Thanks for putting in your two cents … they were worth a whole lot more than that!

Ande Lyons - Thanks Hot Topic Tammy! LOL!

It’s a challenge to give up any of our self-medicating foods. Now I reach for a bowl of brown rice pasta when I need my ‘carb’ fix… *sigh* … RIP Kraft macaroni & cheese… sniff!

My dear pal Rosie Battista is a wealth of fun, keeping it real info… check her out at http://www.sleepingnakedafter40.com... she’s about being the best you want for you… love her!! She has quickie videos with great tips and easy real food recipes that are actually delicious… not pretending here… and help fight food cravings.

Love sharing the airwaves with you Tammy!
Ande

Shirlene - I figured it out……………….Let them ban 16 oz drinks…. We will just buy 32 ouncers instead…… Shallow answer, but it made me chuckle.

Malissa - No we don’t have Tommy’y here, burger king, mcDs, Wendy’s, Burgerville , and others. Well if your ever in Portland Oregon, or sw Washington we’ll have to do lunch. I almost wish I had a farm so I could eat the old fashion way! Slopping hogs , feeding chickens and milking cows. Who knows with all that work I would loss some weight. THATS it we all need farms ,fat farms lol. I’m game! Ok over and out?

Marcia - Hooray for you, Laura Lee! I, too, have been on a weight loss journey this past year, and I’ve lost almost 50 lbs. myself! When I started the journey, I really had no idea how much I had to lose because it had been so long since I was a healthy weight. Nothing and nobody could have convinced me to do it. I could not agree with you more. I had to do it for myself because I wanted to. I am at my goal weight, and am at a healthy weight for my height and my age. I have learned to eat healthier, and have learned how to make wiser choices. Losing weight is no different than smoking…you have to really really really want to do it to be successful. I don’t think a higher tax on junk foods or higher insurance rates will do it. Hey, I know! Let’s keep the government out of it! 🙂
Love you, Miss Tammy! 🙂

Tammy - Hi Miss Marcia, so glad you chimed in!! You’ve lost 50 lbs.?? Oh my stars!!! How so VERY wonderful for you! Congrats to your accomplishment. Clearly losing weight is one of life’s more difficult things to do. I know it’s tough for me. I still say hit them (me) where it hurts, but also offer me good reasons to work with my health. Ridiculous that good health isn’t enough. I do agree with you completely … keep the government out of it! Fat chance of that (pun intended). So happy to have you here and to hear from you. Thanks for that, you saucy minx you!

Tammy - Hi Shirleen, made me chuckle too. When you decide to do standup, let me know. I’ll buy a ticket. Great hearing from you, thanks!

Tammy - Malissa, You’re missing out big time without a Tommy’s. I love the Oregon area, my grandmother was buried in Roseburg and my grandfather in Depoe Bay. I spent a little time in Corvallis – undoubtedly the rainiest city in the world. I overheard a conversation between two women at a coffee shop; one was complaining about having to take sleeping drugs to sleep. Her friend told her that in the “farm days” people never had that problem because they were just too dog tired form working the land. Something to be said for that. I too am over and out.

Tammy - Ande, love sharing the airwaves with you too. I will surely check Rosie out. A recommendation from you goes a long way. By the way … there is no way on God’s green earth that brown rice pasta could ever take the place of Mac & Cheese. I admire your sacrifice. You are my hero.

Kellie - Oh so glad u opened up this can of worms. I am in agreement the Mayor of NYC needs to get a grip! Really is that what you concentrate on all day Bloomberg …seriously. Now if you want to try to figure out tax incentives for people being healthy, I am on board. I am not a “Nanny State” scenario, people can be fat and huge if they want to and eat all the bad food they want to without government telling them what they should or should not be eating. I agree that our nation does not eat well balanced meals all the time. However, I don’t want ANYMORE suggestions from these “bright” politicians we are currently stuck with in the U.S.A. My suggestion to all these politicians is try being more productive with your time while you are still in office. While Mrs. Obama spends precious TV air time pushing her organic garden in the white house, she might try keeping an eye on her own hubby and what he shoves down his throat on the campaign road. THEN maybe she will have more influence on me and perhaps others. While I agree kids perhaps are not eating the most nutritional meals at school. It is a parents choice what to feed their child … not the government. Geez I told you don’t get me started! 🙂

Malissa - I know all those places, lol I’m out and over. Night!

cheryl - What is happening to individual responsibilty and freedom, the cornerstone of our republic——–we all pick our own poison!!!! And the unintended consequences———-now Bloomberg wants to lessen the penalties for pot smoking in NY??????????? GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tammy - Hi Cheryl, I think we can both agree that individual responsibility does not exist in everyone. There are a considerable amount of people who are happy to rely on government subsidies and handouts. Welfare is a good example; it was meant to be a helping hand not a hand out. I believe in the former, not the latter. We live in an age where a woman sues and wins for spilling hot coffee on herself and where healthcare is the hot button of the decade. Something needs to be done to help the situation, as it is in dire need, but agree with you that the buck stops with each of us. I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy about the positive outcome but will do my part. Thanks for posting!

Tammy - Hi Kellie, well, I most certainly DID get you started. Politicians most certainly don’t enjoy the best of reputations, however, well earned. Since I never watch Mrs. Obama, I can’t comment, but practicing what we preach is essential in getting your message across. Everyone needs to assume responsibility for themselves, as well as the consequences for their actions and decisions. I’m against bans in general, but if the common good for all is affected negatively, then I think our society needs to take a look at things and offer positive incentives and alternatives. This is truly a hot topic that needs more of a band-aid fix of banning 16 oz. soft drinks. Please! Thanks for sharing and posting, so happy to have you here!

Betsy - Oh, Tammy, you certainly hit the nail on the head with this blog!! Big Brother is at it again!! Of course, we mere mortals aren’t smart enough to take responsibility for ourselves. Of course, there are those who abuse themselves in the way of excesses of all kinds, but that is their choice (or should be). My motto is as long as it does not do harm to anyone else, it is their decision to make. Of course, I agree that there are things that need to be mandated…no cell phone use and texting while driving, for example, as that could definitely cause harm to others as well as themselves. But when the Mayor limits the amount of soda one can order, but then goes out and celebrates Donut Day, he for sure has a problem!! Maybe someone should remind him of …”we the people”!! My husband thinks that it won’t be too long before the light bulb police will be knocking on our door to check out the candescent light bulbs we have in our sockets (of which we have many!!). Wonder what the fine for that will be? There are many things that we all can do to improve ourselves, our community and our country…if only the government would let us do it!! I enjoy reading your blog, Tammy, and the comments that you receive as responses. Keep up the good work!!

Tammy - Hi Betsy, so happy to have you here! Re this issue, there is a part of me that wants to yell to our legislatures “Get out of my life!” Then there is the part of me that understands that healthcare of the obese is costing all of us billions. So … I’m torn. I see that something has to be done but I value my liberties and don’t want they swatted away. So in my mind (which is often feeble) I’m thinking we should lay the financial brunt on the offenders. The light bulbs are a great example of lost liberty! I hate the candescent ones with a passion but am unable to even find the old fashion kind. Pisses me off, frankly. I’m told that it’s all about energy savings, to which I reply “follow the money”. No one seems to be concerned about the mercury levels in the new bulbs and our landfills being filled with them. Oh dear, I’m babbling. I’m so very happy you enjoy the blog … spread the word! Yes, my readers always offer some pretty spectacular comments. They, and you, are awesome!

Betsy - Ooops…will have to find a new typist…we have many incandescent (you know, the old fashion kind) in our house. We’ve been hording them for years….do not like the new ones at all. Besides, how do you dispose of these new funny looking squiggly flourescent bulbs with the mercury inside?? Yes, you are right…they probably do end up in our landfills since we don’t know where else to dispose of them. Now I’m the one who is babbling….sorry!!

Nancy Wurtzel - Mayor Bloomberg are you listening to what people are saying?? Mainly, I agree that bans go too far…”Ban the Ban” is absolutely right about the soda ban! If cheesecake is next, there will be riots in the streets. Keep ’em coming, Tammy!

Bernetta Fornea - Great write-up, you could have created lots of great items, I likewise imagine this is a incredibly fantastic website.

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