Bloomberg and a healthy America
Armstrong Williams | 3/28/2013, 11:59 a.m.
So it is in the government's and its citizens' best interest for food producers to provide healthier alternatives and consumers to buy them. The largest impediment is the current high cost of organic food and healthier options. A family living on minimum wage isn't going to go to Whole Foods and buy organic when it costs four times less at the local Safeway.
Here is where the true battle between progressives and conservatives in this arena should be fought: the government's ability to allow equal access to markets. I do not believe the government should enact subsidies or price supports to make fresh, healthy ingredients more readily available. Rather, we need to look at ways to make it a positive incentive, say, through tax deductions and incentives.
There is also a less controversial way for the government to be involved, and that is by addressing deficiencies in our children's education. We need to bring back health courses in elementary and high school; these courses have been cut over the past 20 years. Reintroducing these classes can help kids learn to make better diet and lifestyle choices. Also, gym class and recesses have been all but eliminated. Physical stimulation in growing children is just as important as mental nourishment; it has not only been shown to help socialization, but also to actually help children in their studies.
In the end, it comes down to letting people decide how best to live their lives. Banning Big Gulps isn't the answer; empowerment is. Arming the people with the best information and access has always been the foundation of a fit and strong America.