The Problem of Public Policy and Bills on Obesity
The American Diabetes Association has been pushing efforts to combat diabetes through their comprehensive Diabetes Prevention Program. The DPP was conducted over several medical centers, involving participants who volunteered to have their eating and activity habits monitored and to follow dietary and exercise recommendations. Among the astounding findings of the said program is the correlation between the causes and prevention of diabetes with that of obesity. Even so, health programs such as the DPP could not account and counter the entire problem with weight-gain alone. People of power have to do something because they can.
Regrettably, public policy and bills on obesity have not been eagerly pushed through enough against one of the gravest threats to long-term health. Legislators are only as eager to listen on the chitchat-debates rather than to act (immediately) on the required public policy and bills on obesity.
Particular groups and districts though are positively assertive. Some state-lawmakers are forwarding bills requiring fast food and chain restaurants to post nutrition information such as caloric, fat and sugar content on menus to standardize public awareness on obesity. Other states are considering public policies restricting the sale of soda, candy, and other junk-foods in schools under jurisdiction, while others are appointing commissions for research or imposing physical education standards in schools. Others still propose public policy and bills on obesity imposing tax not only on fatty-foods, but also on sedentary models like movie-tickets, video-games and DVD-rentals, to be used as fund for nutrition and exercise programs.
Physicians, diet gurus, women’s magazines and concerned units have long been devoting to the problem of obesity. It may be time though for the government to muster extra interest on the issue. Obesity could be looked at as a matter of personal choice yet it is also a serious societal toll worthy to be considered as government problem. Policy-makers may be torn between the pro and anti obesity bills, yet they could not neglect the matter altogether.
The need for adequate public policy and bills on obesity is just as crucial and potential as the fight of the anti-smoking campaigns of the 90’s. It could not be denied that obesity has become an epidemic affecting over 60M of the population, and a most notable cause of preventable deaths.
And not only does obesity pose serious health-risks to the majority of the population, but it also escalates the government’s total spending on the disease. Hundred billions are spent annually on obesity, directly and indirectly, making it a major cause of concern for families, insurance corporations, and the government. If these two reasons are not enough to call for more public policy and bills on obesity, then the government itself is in grave threat. It turns out that obesity is not just a health concern but a political issue as well.