retail news in context, analysis with attitude

National Public Radio (NPR) has a piece about a new study about how "Americans are all for government efforts to get them to eat more healthfully, as long as they don't feel like they're being bullied into it."

The survey, by Harvard's School of Public Health, found that "less than one-third of people said students should be punished for having soda or other junk foods at school. A proposal to charge a $50 insurance surcharge for obese people was also a nonstarter. People were worried about how these sorts of programs would affect their liberty and privacy, with objections such as 'government should stay out of matters like what people eat'."

That said, respondents "backed efforts to get kids exercising more, with 88 percent saying public school kids should be required to have 45 minutes of physical activity each day. Making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable, and requiring restaurants to post calorie counts, also won a big majority of votes.

"Three-quarters of people said food manufacturers and chain restaurants should be told to cut the salt content of their foods. And 76 percent of those surveyed said banning the use of food stamps to buy soda and other sugary beverages was good policy."

And here's an Eye-Opener:

"Younger people and women said they were more comfortable with the government telling them how to eat than were older white men. But perhaps the biggest surprise was the strong support for government intervention from African-American and Hispanic respondents.

"African-Americans were two to four times more likely to support government action than whites, especially when it came to helping people control diabetes, and preventing childhood obesity. And Hispanics were more likely than whites to support programs to prevent diabetes and heart disease."
KC's View:
To me, the real focus should always be on providing information to adults so they can make intelligent, informed decisions. There's room for tougher rules in schools and public assistance, because I see no reason for tax dollars to be funding the obesity crisis.