Tuesday, August 9, 2011

We all live in a nanny submarine

Healthy Yuma 2011 is a community effort to help those opting for healthier lifestyle choices. This raises some concerns.

Is this a “nanny state” effort? Is this a misguided project trying to exert excessive control over people’s lives? Shouldn’t we let everyone come to their own conclusions? After all, don’t people already know what foods are healthy?

Unfortunately we already live in a “nanny” state. Government strongly influences what we eat through billions of dollars of direct and indirect agriculture subsidies. Less than 5% of that money goes to the most healthy, highly nutritious foods, while the rest goes to less healthy food or pure junk.

You can see the result of this subsidy imbalance everywhere. Our employee break rooms are toxic food dumps while our celebrations are sugar on top of sugar. Our daily food routines overcome our natural tendency to be fit and healthy, leaving us fighting those extra pounds of fat.

So our current governmental nanny is alive and well, supporting a food
environment where our kids are addicted to soda and salty snacks even before they are out of diapers. Our nanny has revolutionized our children’s diseases as well. Thirty years ago hypertension and high cholesterol was rare. Doctors even needed to rename adult onset diabetes as Type II diabetes because it is now a disease of kids, too.

The Beatle’s Yellow Submarine artfully sketches the benefits when we are in balance with our priorities:

As we live a life of ease,
Every one of us has all we need,
Sky of blue, and sea of green,
In our yellow submarine.

Societies are so immersed in their culture that it is easy to forget its profound
influence. It is time to reconsider ours.

As we live a life diseased,
Every one of us consumed in need,
Feeling blue, and feeling green,
In our nanny submarine.

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