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But the food made me eat it! Really!

So we sat and watched Dateline NBC's little show on fast food, and how the evil empire is making us fat and lazy and apparently, stupid.

My my, for a society made up of people who demand to use their free will and rights fairly frequently, it seems that eating doesn't fall under thos ecategories, but instead is controlled by evil marketing representatives chuckling behind shelves, waiting for your children.

What a bunch of crap.

Now, I've had the fat tax argument before, and had not a few people start yelling "what would the poor people eat?" Which to me, is rather insulting to people who don't have a lot of money. It was like saying "gee, they don't know any better, and it's all they can afford..."

Since apparently, a pot of spaghetti and sauce is super pricey these days. Last time I ate at McDick's, it wasn't much under 20.00 for me and my two kids, who don't even eat that much. So I find the entire "poor people only eat junk food argument" a non-issue. I've known people with not a ton of money, and they NEVER ate out. They couldn't afford it.

BUT, in the interests of not having that argument again, let me just say that I ALSO firmly believe that governments should help subsidize REAL food in order to level the playing field, and make this food more attractive. Mandatory classes on nutrition and cooking in school. No advertising for crap food, period, unless after hours. No more cartoon characters for the under 5 set on anything that doesn't remember where it came from.

But I digress. Let's just say that I believe I SHOULD be taxed on food or drink or smoke that is bad for me, period. I can eat it all I want, just like I can smoke. BUT, I pay for that priviledge.

What really got my goat with this show, as I felt superior eating my chicken breast and salad, was watching obese teenagers talk about how it really wasn't their fault, and they don't know what their parents are to do.

Hmmmm, let's think about that, shall we?

Perhaps turn off the freaking TV, kick your lard ass outside, and stop buying so much crap. And stop giving you money to eat McDonalds twice a day each school day (my gods the thought of that is making my colon twitch) Oh, the kids have jobs? Then hopefully you raised them to view this crap as a treat.

I'm in the process of remaking my own eating habits, which went to shit after my mother died. McDonalds was a RARE treat, in fact, ANY eating out was a treat. My mother didn't really believe in it, and I don't think we could afford it. I'm slowly purging all the crap food from my life, and my body. For me, and to set the proper example for my kids. Because I can't sit there saying "it's bad for you" while I eat it.

So it REALLY bothers me to see kids and PARENTS sitting there shrugging and saying 'what to do?" and blaming fast food for making it easy.

Two words people:

"Personal. Responsibility."

Now, I know that's a scary term nowadays, and it's easier to blame someone else, but let's think about this. I'm super freaking busy myself, and don't have tons of time, but I don't eat shit everyday. Because I've made that committment to me and my kids. I have decided that we will have this as a treat, and I will spend the time to make sure what we eat is at least moderately healthy. I will not sit and blame Wendy's for having that delicious french fry smell and making me fat. Because at the end of the day I am the one deciding to walk in there and eat, not the company. Heroin can be pretty tempting as well, but I don't shoot up. Beer, now THERE is temptation, but I generally abstain.

Why is it suddenly ok to blame manufacturers for everything? Sure, I agree there is too much, and it's too easy to get. And advertising, don't get me started. But you know what works? Turn off the TV. Remove the print media. Jesus, at least mute the commercials if you can't stop your kids from watching.

Our kids, well Vivian, watches Treehouse a lot. NO commercials. BUT, she also watched PBS, which has brief commercials for Mc Dicks and a few others on it, so I've limited this consumption, and illustrated to my husband why. I personally hate that she watches any TV, and I'm currently wagin my personal "let's cut the cable war". I don't want her to think crap is desireable, so I also take every chance to expound on the joys of blueberries, while making fun of crappy mcNuggets.

We aren't perfect, but I'm NOT going to blame someone else for my own problems, or how I raise my children. It was, frankly, disgusting to watch. Obesity is NOT a problem solely in the hands of those making bad food. SOMEONE raises the food to their mouths.

I wonder who what is...

CA has no sales tax on food for home use except for restaurant take-out. That's taxed. So I guess we have a "sin" tax of sorts. (It doesn't apply to take and bake pizza joints though. That's exempt.

We'll tie ourselves in knots trying to tax unhealthy food down here. We used to have a 10% federal luxury (excise) tax. So what's a luxury? A yacht certainly but a Timex watch? Both were taxed. (The watch was consideed jewelry).

The same thing would happen with a food tax. Tax Burger King? Then what about the fancier restaurant that sells basically the same fattening burger and a much larger order of fries.

And we'd have BK computing the tax on each order. Plain salad, no tax. With dressing? Tax of course.

I know my country. We're nuts and we're enamored of complication.

Education will help of course. I would also help to have super markets in the inner city. Here, most of them are on the outskirts of town. Many cities are even worse. Transportation for most of the poor is a cheap double stroller. So their meals come from the mom and pop store or the bodega. The smarter ones try to buy food for the month with one trip to the super as I do. They have to buy their meat almost daily though - no freezer. And they've never figured out how the $ menu at the fast food places adds up. If I take the girls and we order from there it's $12. plus tax minimum. I can do a lot of cooking for $12. They don't know how.

This is getting too long.

I've never blocked commercials. I use them for teaching. The girls learned very early it does no good to whine for what they see on t.v.

We can't afford it is a familiar refrain around here. And they've learned that the infomercials usually involve junk. Now they skip through most of the commercials themselves .

Anyhow, I don't disagree. But until this country does something about the conditions the poor face, all the nutrition classes won't help. They won't be able to buy the materials.

I agree about personal responsibility. I do. But I think there is plenty to blame that needs to rest squarely on the shoulders of "the man."

We are bombarded daily by food commercials and images of food that stimulate a response in our brains telling us to eat, even if we're not hungry. Fast food is only part of the problem. Portion sizes have gotten out of control. Completely out of control. I'm a big eater and if I'm taking home more than half my meal, you know something isn't right.

We may be leading the way to obesity in the US, but I can tell you that it is becoming a problem even in Asia where the people tend to be much more slender. The young children here are fat. Hell, the adults here are getting fatter.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The key here is education. And THAT is everyone's problem.

Interesting post. Being a lifelong fatty myself, I'm fascinated by this topic.

I'm in no way saying that the sellers and makers of this crap don't have SOME element of fault here-they do.

But as consumers, we bear the brunt of responsibility, because at the end of the day, WE decide what we buy and WE decide what we eat. It was disturbing to see how easily ADULTS blamed these companies.

I'm a fatty myself, and I can blame all kinds of things, but it comes down to ME eating badly and not exercising. Yes, our world has changed, which means we CANNOT continue to eat as we have been. But unless consumers just STOP buying the shit, guess what! They'll keep on making it.

Granny-I always try to remember those who live in inner cities, and my experience is somewhat "clouded" by the area I lived in in Toronto. We had lots of small bodega type stores with fresh produce/meats. BUT, the poorer areas, it was tougher. SO I know that taxes et al are not the only answer.

In terms of taxes, make it like we have it here, but higher-when you go shopping "necessities" like fruit and milk are not taxed-oreos are, regardless of where you buy it. I'd like to see certain 'classes" of food taxed thusly, but higher.

Of course, no one has yet to explain to me why toilet paper IS taxed, but I digress.

Something has to give-and like both of you pointed out, EDUCATION is VERY important.

I just like to get the dialogue going without all the superiority that ends up on BB. I find this subject fascinating like a car wreck myself...

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