It seems that for every problem in the United States, the progressive left has the same answer: regulate it. The latest serious issue which needs regulation is obesity. According to the US News columnist Leslie Marshall, she suggests taxing and spending as the answer.
According to Marshall, taxing sugary drinks would raise the price and people wouldn't pay the higher price. Of course this hasn't worked with cigarettes or alcohol but what's another tax among friends? She also says new sidewalks and recreational trails should be built and schools should have at least one hour per day of physical exercise fit into their schedules. With most cities and towns are having problems funding required programs already, this will add even more taxes to over-burdened budgets. And then she recommends not allowing food courts in malls.
Would any of these suggestions fix the problem? Probably not since none of them go to the root of the problem, lack of personal responsibility in the case of adults, and parental guidance and responsibility in the case of children. No one is forcing people to eat fatty, sugary foods. No one is forcing Americans to sit in front of the television or computer screen all day. No one is forcing people to patronize the fast food restaurants in malls. This is the choice of the people. Punishing those who are not obese by regulating and taxing them is not the answer.
Is there a cost to the public because of obesity? Yes, but if there was no socialized medicine like Obamacare, only those who are obese would have to pay for it. It is interesting how the left wants to regulate what people eat, yet there is almost no government regulation on smoking which is far more costly. Try to stop someone on public assistance from buying cigarettes and wait for the outrage.
Children live what they learn. It is not up to the government to teach children healthy eating and exercise habits, it is the parents' responsibility.