NYC Escalates War Against Childhood Obesity

New York City’s Department of Health & Human Services has escalated their war against childhood obesity with their latest  ad campaign urging New Yorkers to be more aware of portion sizes – and how they have increased – when choosing what to eat or drink.

Their concern is that the quantity of food served in a “medium” or “large” order is significantly greater today than in previous years.

In the last 50 years, for example, the serving sizes of sugary drinks quadrupled and french fries nearly tripled. With a few casual selections, a single meal could balloon to contain many more calories than the amount an adult needs for an entire day.

And based on the “growth” of our kids over the past few decades, I would have to agree

For more info, check out their Portion Size Fact Sheet, or check out a whole pile of awesome Health Habits articles on childhood obesity.

California Soda Tax will raise $1.7 Billion

California Assemblyman Bill Monning, has proposed a state-wide bill – AB 669 – that would levy a 1 cent per fluid ounce tax on any beverage with added caloric sweeteners, such as soda pop, sweet teas and sports drinks.

Preliminary estimates figure that Bill AB-669 would raise $1.7 billion annually in California, with most of that revenue going towards health related programs for children.

Initially, all funds raised by the new soda tax will be deposited in the newly created Children’s Health Promotion Fund.

From there, they would be allocated to the State Department of Public Health for the purposes of statewide child obesity prevention activities and programs.

  • 20% will be used to coordinate statewide childhood obesity prevention activities and to fund state-levels childhood obesity prevention and children’s dental programs.
  • 35% for community-based childhood obesity prevention programs.
  • 10% to evidence-based prevention, early recognition, monitoring and weight management intervention activities in the medical setting.
  • 35% to elementary and secondary schools for educational, environmental, policy and other public health approaches that promote nutrition and physical activity.

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How much do you want to bet that there will be a flood of other state legislatures following California’s lead in the coming months?

Here come the fat taxes…ready or not.

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Clear On Calories is proof that Coca-Cola is afraid of YOU

About a year ago, I wrote the article – Coca-Cola & McDonalds Are Afraid of You.

In that article, I made the argument that America’s fast food producers were concerned that America’s parents were becoming a little too health conscious & were starting to abandon their McFood.

So, like any 21st century mega corp, they rallied the troops and prepared to fight back with lower calorie products and an advertising blitz designed to silence their critics.

Since writing that article, America has gotten fatter & more diabetic….but at the same time, America’s fast food companies have been under constant attack from citizens groups and politicians eager to make points with America’s Moms.

One result of those attacks is the decision of soft drink manufacturers to print calorie count labels on the front of all containers.

And just in case America’s Moms are unaware of the new labels, the American Beverage Association (aka America’s soda lobby) is running this commercial on every network numerous times per day.

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Because they are scared to death of your purchasing power.

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Remember that the next time you go shopping.

If you don’t want your kids to grow up obese & diabetic, don’t buy food that will make them obese & diabetic.

  • Junk food producers only produce junk food because we eat junk food.
  • If you buy real food, they will produce real food.

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<end of rant>

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New York’s OBESITY TAX…social engineering or prudent fiscal policy?

New York state Governor David Paterson is introducing a new 15%  “Obesity Tax” on high-calorie soft drinks. Milk, fruit juices, bottled water and “diet” soft drinks will be exempt from the new tax.

When reached for comment, executives from Coca Cola and Pepsi were quoted as saying:

“that son of a bi#ch Paterson! Who the fu*k does he think he is? Does he really want to go to war with us? If he thought The Sopranos were tough, wait until I get my hands on him, I’ll rip him a new as#h@le! bleep… bleep…bleep

They went on like that for about 20 minutes. Eventually, I just gave up on the interview. And they weren’t the only ones losing it:

  • Noted Fat Acceptance guru Kate Harding had a few choice words on her blog.
  • Right wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh claimed to have predicted this 14 years ago. Must have been when he was hooked on the Oxycontin.
  • Kevin Keane, senior VP-public affairs at the American Beverage Association, said the organization has reached out to New York Gov. David Patterson’s office regarding the proposed tax on full-calorie sodas. “It looks like a money grab. [Mr. Patterson] is trying to grab money anywhere he can find it,” Mr. Keane said. “This is a time when the government, just like families, needs to tighten its belt.” Mr. Keane went on to question the validity of an ‘obesity tax‘ on full-calorie soda, given data that show that obesity rates are rising even as soft-drink sales are flat. He also said the soft-drink industry provides the state with plenty of jobs, including union jobs. PepsiCo is based in Purchase, N.Y., and major bottlers are also based in New York.blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah……

Let’s Recap

  • New York state is having trouble balancing it’s budget. No big surprise. Apparently the U.S. has been in recession for a full year now.
  • Governments raise taxes to increase their revenues.
  • Fat people are an easy target…no pun intended
  • New York city and other various levels of government have already enacted legislation in order to curb obesity.
  • Slapping a tax on a product linked to obesity is a no-brainer in the current political, economic and social environment.

But will it work?

  • cornSoft drink companies are heavily subsidized through their use of HFCS as their main ingredient. So what we have here is one level of government taxing a product and another level of government subsidizing it….SMART
  • Soft drinks are cheap!    If a 2 liter bottle of Coke costs $2.00, the new “fat tax” will add 30 cents to the bill. 30 cents!!! Who can’t come up with another 30 cents? Do they really think that this extra expense is going to cause obese New Yorkers to forgo their purchase of a vanilla Coke?   Hmmm, let’s see, buy that bottle of Pepsi or pay the rent. What to do, what to do…

My Conclusion

This tax is designed to bring more money into the state’s near empty coffers. Period.

It is not going to entice anyone to drink less pop.

It will however, make it easier to add new taxes or even slap bans on other forms of junk food. And won’t that really tick off the fat Acceptance crowd.