Government and Health

no_fastfoodIf you haven’t heard, soon the FDA is going to place a ban on trans-fat in food products.  My husband and I were talking about this over dinner the other night and it led to an interesting question.  What role should the government play in our health?

At first I thought I had a fairly straight forward answer, but the more I thought about it I realized it was a little trickier.  My first reaction was that the government shouldn’t necessarily tell me what I could and could not eat.  I wasn’t a huge fan of Mayor Bloomberg and his attempt to ban soda in NYC.  As an adult and an American I’m lucky enough to have the choice to decide what and how much I want to eat.  I understand that there is an obesity and health epidemic and I understand that Bloomberg and others are not trying to maniacally control the population by banning certain foods.  They genuinely want to fight a major problem in the United States.  I just believe that the choice of what to put into my body should be mine and mine alone.

Then I started thinking more about the approaching ban on trans fat.  I realized I was more supportive of that, but how is it really any different than the soda ban?  Yes, trans fats are not healthy.  In no way do they improve your quality of health or nourish your body, but neither does soda.  If I believe that people should have the right to choose to eat or drink whatever they want, but also choose to support the trans fat ban, I would contradicting myself.  I tried to figure out a legitimate reason that I was fine with the trans fat ban but not the soda ban, and I really couldn’t come up with a strong argument.

What I did figure out was that I fully support the government educating people about better health and nutrition.  I truly believe that the more we can get the message out about better health practices and learning how to properly feed ourselves, the better off (and healthier) the American population will be.  Let’s teach people how to shop in grocery stores, how to cook in their own kitchens, how to prepare healthy meals. and how to move more and sit less.  Let’s make it easier for people to get access to good information and good food.  That is an initiative the government can take that I can fully get behind.

While I might not have a solid stance on how much meddling the government should have with what we eat, I am glad that they are trying to figure out how to improve the health of the nation.  Any little step forward is one step closer to everyone being able to live the healthiest life possible!

What role do you think the government should play in our health?  I would love to hear your opinions! Have a great week everyone!