Food Nannies

Sadly, I don’t believe I’m going to be embarrassed at having written last week that I think I have another infection in my calcaneus (heel bone). I don’t even know what kind of a bone scan I had last week, but yesterday’s was a tagged white cell scan. That’s where they take some blood, spin out the white cells, mix those cells with a radioactive substance, reinject them, and then scan to see where the cells have traveled. They traveled to the heel area on my left foot. Right where whatever was injected into me last week went.



Oh, well. Nothing to be done except deal with it. I’ve determined that I will be dealing with it with a new doctor.

Aside from my foot, I’ve been thinking about the food police. As people with diabetes, we all know what that is. I was talking to the assistant editor at the newspaper about Election Day and she said she’d ordered food for election night. (That’s when the powers-that-be feed you because you’re chained to your computer pumping out election coverage.)

Back in the day, we had pizza. Now, they have meat and cheese trays, boneless wings, a variety of salads, and who knows what else. I wonder if they need another hand in the newsroom election night.

On the other hand, I never was good at covering elections. The editor sent me out once to some Podunk town to cover the election there. By the time I finished writing down the results and turned around to interview the winners…everybody was gone.

And then there was the year I decided to add a little “color” to my reporting and began by telling about the candidates in their polyester suits, hanging around shuffling their feet and spitting. I was not welcome within those city limits for years afterwards. (It was — still is — a rough little place.)

The editors just kind of put their heads in their hands and decided I should take stuff from the people who knew what they were doing and write the overview.

Oh yeah. There was the sheriff’s candidate I pissed off. I asked him how to spell his name and he said, “It’s in the paper all the time.”

At which point I asked him if he could spell my name. When he answered in the negative, I snapped back, “It’s in the paper all the time.”

That was my ignominious career covering politics. I did OK with business, though.

Food. We were talking about food. I’ve forgotten most of what happened election night, but I’ll never forget what the city editor was always ragging me about: “Should you be eating that?” (Watch me.)

Seems we can’t eat pizza or a sweet treat without perfect strangers questioning if we should be eating that. What tickles me, however, is that they never say a word about that big plate of pasta, or the Chinese meal. Or Mexican.

But now, there’s to be a food stamp food police. At least in New York City, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ban the use of food stamps for buying sodas and other beverages with low nutritional value that contain more than 10 calories per 8-ounce serving.

I don’t know how I feel about that. To be sure, way too many sodas are consumed these days. When I was young, we got one bottle of soda per week. And this was before 20-ounce sodas. They were more like 8-ounce glass bottles. It was a treat, just like the rest of our once-weekly meal of hamburgers and chips, eaten in front of the television while the family watched The Ed Sullivan Show. It was also the one time we had the TV on during dinner and did not sit around the table.

But to single out a group of people just because they’re low-income is too much like singling out people with diabetes because we are pancreatically challenged. It’s not fair. Will people use their public assistance money to buy sodas if they can’t use food stamps? That would be taking away money that’s needed for rent, utilities, clothing, soap and the like.

Where does it end? We start with no sodas with food stamps and then what? Sara Smarty Pants says those of us with diabetes should probably have the word “defective” tattooed on our foreheads. Is that next, so the nannies will know who else to shake their fingers at? (Or make us sit in the naughty corner if we get out of line, foodwise?)

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I have the right to make an unhealthy food choice on occasion. I believe people on food stamps should have the same right.

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  • Christy

    I wish more things would be monitered when it comes to food stamps and other governmental help.

  • B Leeds

    yes, everyone has the right to make unhealthy food choices once in awhile,with their own money. Food stamps should be used to feed the family nutritios as possible meals. Not junk food frenzies. I would love soda and candy and chips whenever I please. But I know my money has to stretch from paycheck to paycheck, and I need to make good choices most of the time. I work in the retail industry and I’ve seen on too many occations, the same people repeatedly buying soda and such rather than using those food stamps to shop for the months groceries for their family.

  • Dena Toussaint

    One of the problems we have had the last 40+ years in our society, is that everyone “has a right to everything”, but no one “has a responsibility for anything”.
    Food stamps: You can eat and drink what you want…I just don’t want my tax dollars paying for it.
    Taxing sugar drinks: There are alot of things we eat that are not good for us that get taxed. I am diabetic and have spent much of my own money paying for health conditions. But what we need to look at is who is paying for all of the medical care needed for those who have medical problems, due to their own bad habits??? The only ones who are making big complaints are the manufacturers of these drinks…they have the most to lose. Having their products taxed may mean they are now contributing more to the health care of those who get sick because they use their products. Whether it’s obesity, diabetes, bad teeth, etc.- the results still needs to be paid for.
    Prevention is the key. Unfortunately, most companies (i.e. drug companies, processed food manufacturers, etc.) don’t make much money on
    prevention…and it’s not made to look and feel very “sexy”, so we keep throwing junk in our faces and hope the consequences won’t be so bad!!

  • lawdoc

    You wrote: “I’m pretty sure I have the right to make an unhealthy food choice on occasion. I believe people on food stamps should have the same right.”

    Perhaps you need to factor in the fiscal accountability and consequences in you assertion of rights. You pay for your health care premiums, co-payments and deductibles — either through a benefit of your employment for which you ultimately pay by accepting a lower salary, or allocated directly by you from your own income. Those who are recipients of food stamps, which are paid for by the tax paying public, are almost always also on other government supported or subsidized programs — welfare, Medicaid/MediCal, county hospital facilities, etc., all of which are paid for by the same tax paying public. It is the taxpayers who pay for the medical treatment of their diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and other consequences of poor nutrition in this group. Should those who pay, have a say?

  • Cathy

    Jan, Sweetie! Take a deep breath! It is a giant leap from limiting sodas on food stamps to the gov’t telling us we are defective because we are diabetics. I think it is a good thing to limit some of the unhealthy foods consumed with food stamps. Some good may come of it. Maybe its not the path you would have chosen to take but if it keeps one teenager or child from developing our wonderful disease I say its worth it. The people affected will be forced to make choices: do I want to spend my other funds on junk like sodas or do I want soap? Its ultimately their choice. How do you know they are not already spending some of their money on junk? The only way to tell would be closely monitoring them and then you really have food police. If the gov’t tries it and it doesn’t work they can always drop it later. (I know they never met a probram they didn’t like.) We will never find things that work if we don’t try new things. You of all people should know that. Love Ya! Cathy.

  • Gabby

    First of all are hysterical. I Love
    it!! Second I am a diabetic and understand totally about the “Nannies.” I hate it. I agree with you totally that we all, including those on food stamps, have a right to make an unhealthy food choice at random times.


    ok-beginning to think I should write a blog-but you dont get paid and my chronic pain makes it impossible to sit long enough to write one and not at least get money!

    anyway=enjoyed the maority of your article. whoppie goldberg also thought poor people were being discriminated here. you are both wrong!

    think of what NYC is doing like a survey or research group. first you need a chosen group, who you can track for whatever purpose, for a certain length of time. people who get govt help with food are ideal for this(hate the term food stamps because there is no longer such a thing-you have a Benefits card that is activated to allow you to get various things you qualify for and looks like a credit card.

    in the end we with diabetes might get help. evidently they now are looking at money given for food by govt agencies from the food aspect. when I first went on and got about $30 a month my endocronologist wrote a letter saying I needed to be able to get better food then this would allow-I was told food needs do not matter-what you get is based on the money you put out for medical needs. so healthier people or people who were given free meds and free treatment by their doctors as I was at the time get little! now maybe they will look more at health.

    I also have a question for you-people like me who get food benefits can not use it for getting things like a whole chicken that is roasted by the grocery(it is like going to a restaurant) but we CAN use it for candy, ice cream,gum, and o yes-getting candy to hand out for Halloween. Is this really ok with people whose taxes go to helping people who need nutritional help? Personally I think it should just go for nutritional needs and if that should include what is seen as junk food then you should need a doctor’s note!

    As for those who love and care for you being overly helpful, thank them but tell them it is within your nutritional limits this day-many people live alone with nobody to care enough to do that and would love it! We who have this “problem” are fortunate.

  • Peter

    I’m as liberal as they come. However, I do feel that if you are on public assistance, you need to make better choices. I’m all for the government not supporting unhealthy choices. That’s what your own money is for. My money is for fruits, veg, and proteins. They aren’t forbidding it, they just won’t pay for it. There’s a difference. The regulation is not removing the products from the market, it’s just not allowing the money to be used for unhealthy choices.

    Yes, people have the right to live unhealthy lives. I also have the right to not pay for that if I’m doing what is responsible, controlling my condition, watching my weight. I figure that is my part of the social contract. I have a responsibility to not become a burden to society. I owe it to the other tax payers to be as healthy as I can be when I hit Medicare.

  • Pat Knoll

    Food stamps should be used only for staple food that will keep a family fed. I see so many people with juice boxes snacks instead of good food that will last until their next stamps come. Is it any wonder people who work and buy good food to keep them alive are against junk food bought with food stamps. As for the other money gotten. It should be used to pay bills and not junk food. I guess my comment is, if you don;t have money of your own but only money from the government then good food should be the only thing that can be bought and your bills should be paid before you buy anything…How do you think the rest of us get by. We pay our bills then go shopping so we have food in the house that is good to eat and if we have a few extra bucks we buy ourselves a treat. If not then we don;t buy them

  • Michael

    I agree with others who think that the food stamp program is provided to supply families in need with food that can sustain them, not just a bunch of junk food. My concern would be that on occasion even I have to buy something with sugar when I have an hypoglycemic incident. What happens if a person has no money, just food stamps, & is told they can’t buy it because it’s not “good for them”. Should they just wait till they need to call an ambulance because of a new government regulation?

  • Lora

    I’m all in favor of restricting what can be purchased with food stamps, as I live in an area where many people are given access to public funds this way, and spend them on items that have little to no nutritional value. Not long ago, I was in Walmart, and ran into an old woman, with her 30 something daughter, and they had 2 carts full of sodas. We struck up a conversation, and it turned out the daughter had just gotten her SNAP card recharged, and she was getting her 2 week supply of soda, 2 Carts full. The mother told me that her daughter consumes 2 12 packs a day, and we are paying for it!

    I am against subsidizing a food program, that allows recipients to purchase this overpriced sugar water, when they should be purchasing staple foods that provide some nutrition for the families. It turned out the kids drink soda instead of water, and at under 10 years of age, they are already obese, like their mother.

  • Jackiesue

    My question is can we buy Diet Soda with food stamps? If so whose to say people won’t buy it and go to the service desk: Opps! I got the wrong thing and exchange it for the real thing.

    This is just as crazy as telling people on foo0d stamps what to buy. What we should be concentrating on is JOBS. If people were working they wouldn’t need food stamps!

  • JSoonerman

    Having lived with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome since late 1993 after an attack of acute pancreatitis, which took the doctor several days to diagnose with me in horrible pain in the hospital (wouldn’t give me anything to mask the symptoms until they could tell what the problem was), I can sympathize. It has been confusing, to say the least, over time to see how medical opinion changes, but even that is not a united front as some nurses are still providing admonitions like it was still the 1960s or 70s when they went through school… That being said, it should help to know that because even the medical community can’t find total agreement on this and general consensus has changed over time, (there’s potentially volumes to be written on this suject), there’s no wonder that ordinary people, you know, non-diabetics and non-medical (even spouses and family members), would provide what they perceive to be “helpful and caring” advice that may be wrong, somewhat off base, or just not very helpful at the time (maybe right, but after you flog yourself mentally enough, who needs more from others, right). There’s something to be said for walking in the shoes of the ‘afflicted’ person to whom you may be trying to show you ‘care.’

    However I’ve also found myself in the grocery market checkout line, with my carefully selected healthy items and following someone with multiple baskets loaded down with all sorts of the biggest of everything, healthy and NOT, just to find out when they check out that they pay for at least part of the tab with food stamps and other government doles. When you see folks like this taking a couple or three cases of beer and several cartons of cigarettes along with several packages of huge steaks and etc., you get the idea, it’s discouraging in so many ways…

    Yet I have learned that I, as a diabetic, have to do what works for me, and gradually and patiently working toward my overall goals, maybe with “a little singular side-step here and there,” allows me to live life without feeling too punished by my circumstance…maybe I’m just not devout enough, but I’ve found that I’ve not been able to ever maintain any ‘crusade’ I began. Yet I take pride in the fact that all my quarterly blood test readings and blood pressure are doing great and have been for a couple of years now. I’ve learned that I couldn’t do it all with just diet and medicines. So I have gradually gotten back to some of the exercise which was such a big part of my early life. Now if I can just get my weight to go down where I want it…

  • Judy Halcom

    I agree that people should be able to make their own choices of food or whatever else they choose in life. The important thing to remember however is, you should be free to make your own choices if you are using your money. If you are getting government help, then the government has a right to establish what can be purchased with the subsidy. As a health care professional who has worked with numerous people with diabetes and one who has seen the epidemic of obesity and diabetes and the complications resulting from them, we have got to do something. We all are looking for the silver bullet or easiest way out and we have all got to change our way of thinking. There is nothing free in this world, but yet we have convinced ourselves that there is!!!

  • Bev

    So, so sad. People, being given financial assistance to buy food because the majority of people in this country don’t want anyone to go hungry, whining because they might not be allowed to use it for non-nutritious and unhealthy junk food. Do I hear a chorus of thank you’s for this help?
    Michael, natural fruit juice will raise your blood sugar quite nicely. Even better are glucose tablets, which are not any more expensive than candy.
    One’s “rights” extend only as far as the responsibilities one is willing to accept.

  • Jonathan

    I support what NY is doing with their food stamp program. Yes, people have the right to make whatever choices they want. However, when it comes to doing what they want with taxpayer money is not right. More junk food should be banned from being purchased with food stamps. If the person absolutly wants to drink a soda, have chips, ect then let them do it on their own dime.

    I am unemployed, type 1 diabetic, NOT collecting unemployment or any other government funding. I can purchase what I want when I want. If I was on food stamps I would buy the essentials to keep me alive.

    America was founded on the belief of freedom of choice (religion, education) yet these freedoms end when you can not support yourself or your family. Go out and get a job!

  • Donna C

    I would like for the government to get out of the “food police” business. You can’t force people to make wise food decisions. You can only attempt to educate them on the consequences of making bad food decisions. Whatever happened to the concept of personal responsibility?
    And no, I don’t like paying for other people’s junk food.

  • Tia

    Jan, my big question to you is, why are perfect strangers in your business? How do these perfect strangers know you have diabetes? Maybe it’s because of your big mouth and telling anyone with ears. If you don’t want people in your business, don’t put your business out there.

    It must just be me.

  • StPaulMike

    The question of Mayor Bloomberg of
    New York City wanting to restrict the
    use of Food Stamps to the purchase of
    HEALTHY FOODS is an interesting one.
    But first one must ask if these foods a
    are available everywhere in NYC or
    are there ‘good food deserts’ in some
    neighborhoods. Without grocery stores
    located nearby so that people can walk
    to purchase healthy foods, those
    people will purchase what is available
    in the corner junk food emporium.
    Second, because of the nature of NYC, it
    it shouldn’t be used as a model for
    anywhere else.

    In general, I would say that if you
    receive food stamps you do not have
    the personal freedom (or liberty) to
    purchase whatever you want. When you
    accept them, you have also accepted
    an implicit contract that removes your
    freedom to act as you would like.
    (Libertarians would argue that by
    accepting food stamps you have
    consigned yourself as a slave to
    government regulations and whims. I
    don’t agree, but take it up with
    politicians like Ron Paul.) But I
    would argue that the government has
    no right to take away our dignity or
    humanity and become our food police.
    There have to be some limits.

  • Catherine

    I have type 2 diabetes, and I read labels. I’m shocked that the FDA isn’t regulating the amount of fructose and other sugars (and salt)in our drinks and food.
    Only when the sugar/salt content goes down, will we begin to restore our country to health.
    In the meantime, if taxpayers are supporting those in need, then taxpayers (the government) have the right to say what those $$$ can buy.
    I do believe that milk should have additional subsidize for those on food stamps so that a healthy choice is affordable !!

  • Samuel S

    Well, thank you for the post. I, who will support everyone’s right, to eat what they want how they want or shall I say, use to?

    With the advent of the new health care plan ready to kick in over the next few years, I think government, now, has the right to control obesity and all dis-eases associated with it! Since we have allowed them to make sure each of us has health insurance one way or another, then they can dictate what we put in our bodies.

    I do not like this onset of events, yet this is what the American public wants and viola, we now have it.

    What are the options? I Am all ears and health!

  • Jeana J

    OK, So if I buy a soda I’m a horrible person, but if I buy potatoes and other veggies and my sugar goes sky high from them its ok? Whole potatoes aren’t chips, and fruit juice or whole fruit isn’t soda, but it all makes your sugar go up, so maybe we should just die of starvation and make everyone happy. I don’t eat bread, pasta or rice, how many times have you heard if you only would cut out the bread, never ate it to start with. All veggies and fruits are carbs, so what is left???? I don’t need people telling me what to eat and what not to. You may eat the apple but don’t even look over at the bananas. There is nothing worse than having other people thinking they should be able to tell those that aren’t as perfect as they perceive themselves to be what they can and cannot do.

  • Don M

    …as long as my tax money isn’t ALSO paying to subsidize so-called giveaways of surplus junk that couldn’t be sold in the first place. Folks who are on food stamps already have it tough, and I imagine they’ll roll with it if they’re told it won’t pay for junk food. When I was in college I supported myself, but the money didn’t stretch that far and as a wretchedly poor adult with not much in the way of a job and a mountain of debt, I used food stamps. They were a @#&^( to actually GET, embarrassing to spend, and almost not worth the effort. I also got some of that free government food stuff, but it was awful, and NOT nutritious.

    There’s a lot of moving parts here, too much to post about, but I guess I’m OK with the food police and other assistance services refusing to pay for a six-pack of Jolt, a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 and / or some cheap ciggies. But if they exercise that kind of judgment, then why not make sure that money covers fish oil capsules and vitamin D3 supplements?

    It’s hard to know where to draw the line. If folks are doing the best they can, we should cut them some slack. If they’re not even trying, then we should cut them no slack.

  • Pat

    I have far fewer problems with NYC further restricting what can be purchased with food stamps (there already are restrictions such as limitations on purchasing prepared food) than I have with the Philadelphia plan (now abandoned) to tax soda at a special high rate that would have almost doubled the price. That would really have been the food police.

    The purpose of food stamps is to allow families on a severely restricted budget to stretch their food dollars to afford nutritious food. Soda is not nutritious under anyone’s definition.

    Treats are just that, and if you decide to treat yourself or your family, and can afford to do so, go right ahead. Most people desire splurges that are out of our budgets, so we save for them, or use birthday money, or keep them in the “someday” catagory. We don’t expect taxpayers to provide them.

  • Arthur Snyder

    I think that Mayor bloomberg was correct. People on food stamps have a responsbility to abide by the decision and needed food like bread, milk, food for infants. In other words the basic foods for consumption. Soda Pop is not a basic food. It is a choice. As a taxpayer I would like to see the responsility of food stamp receipients.

  • Doris Wilson

    Food stamps don’t pay for cigarrettes or chewing gum, or other non-nutritional grocery purchases. No doubt money “needed” for necessities goes to those sometimes.

    That still does not mean my tax dollars should have to subsidize such purchases. I am a strong supporter of food aid from the government for those who need it, but it needs to be for health building real foods, not empty calories that will end up costing us, as a nation, in healthcare costs.

    I support this effort 100%. In fact, I’d suggest covering toilet paper, and subtracting sodas.

  • Roger Stiefel

    You are all nuts! First of all, there is no such thing as an ‘unhealthy food’ There are unhealthy DIETS. We are all diabetics here… we are supposed to understand that it is all about finding the correct balance in our diet, not avoiding specific foods ALL the time. How many of you pompous self-righteous diabetics here saying that you should not be able to buy sugared soda if you are on public assistance have SUGARED SODA in your pantry to drink in case you have a LOW SUGAR event… hmm? Who do U think you are buying sugared soda… You have diabetes… what is wrong with you?

    It is all about balance. There is nothing in the world wrong with eating dessert as part of a normal healthy diet. We certainly consume too much sugar collectively as a society than is healthy, but sugar is not evil, and those who are on public assistance for whatever reason should be able to include sugar in their diets as well.

    Reading these comments it would appear that many of you need to ‘walk a mile in the moccasins’ of someone who is destitute enough to qualify for public assistance before you start judging them for buying a 12 pack of Coke on their grocery trip.

  • Adam

    This is only the begining, once the “National Health Care” program gets started there will be more do’s and don’t. Reguardless if you are on “Food Stamps” the tax payer is paying for it and the only way to control cost is to control behavior.
    All you have to do is look at smoking, we do not ban cigarettes (too much tax dollars here). Yet we have taken the rights of some of the hardest working Americans and force them to become second class citzens.
    If your betting I’m a smoker-you lose. As with the smoking police, the food police are coming
    and you voted for this. I’m not a diabetic yet! But there is history in my family and I already have a Cardiac condition. I don’t need or want the government telling me or anybody else how to eat because tax payers are now paying for the Health Care.
    So it begins!

  • Linda

    It is called a choice for a reason…I have been a diabetic for 26 yrs….If there is anything I hate more is someone telling me what I should and shouldn’t eat…My philosophy is I will eat what ever I want with in reason I do not eat anything low fat or sugar free I know my limits do I sometimes go beyond my limits you bet I do..It is my body and I will eat and do what I want to it.. I check my sugars 4-5 times a day and I keep and eye on my readings I don’t eat these foods all the time but when I want it I will eat it…Don’t tell me how to eat and live and I won’t tell you….

  • Lili

    For those who seem to be claiming that people on food stamps don’t have jobs, don’t pay taxes and never will, and are on other forms of assistance, please cite your sources. Please prove there are enough jobs out there right now for people that want to work.

    As for MY anecdata, I have been on food stamps, AND I used to buy soda with them because it was cheaper than buying food and I didn’t have time to eat. I had two jobs and worked 60-70 hours a week, but still couldn’t afford food or even medication. I remember the look of pure loathing the cashier gave me one day when I bought it. She muttered something about her “tax dollars.” All the cashiers at that store were college students that worked part-time and got health insurance. I’m pretty sure I was paying more taxes than she was.

  • Doris J Dickson

    Well, I start thinking of it this way.

    Should we pay for them to eat/drink stuff that clearly makes them fat?

    So that we can then pay for their insurance which they require even more to pay for all the complications they get because they are fat?

    Should we pay for their children and the genes they’ve then messed up because they are fat?

    Should we ALL pay higher taxes and/or higher insurance premiums for everyone on the the planet who chooses to be fat?

    If it is our money (i.e. taxpayer money) and people can’t make good choices most of the time, should everyone else pay the price?

    Why can’t we restrict “food stamps” (aka EBT cards) so they do not include sugar cereal, soda, etc. I understand (at least in Massachusetts) EBT recipients can’t buy precooked chickens. (I know someone who tried because she can’t cook.) They can’t buy paper goods. So the technology is clearly there.

    I’m feeling a little less empathetic about freedom of choice when it comes to taxpayer money buying garbage that then causes taxpayer money to buy excessive amounts of healthcare due to CONTINUOUS HORRENDOUS CHOICES! So, if they can’t make good choices; maybe we need to consider making them for them while they seek assistance.

  • Jackie Kelley

    Another way to go at this …
    Just imagine if Food Stamp VALUE was DOUBLED or TRIPLED if the purchaser’s choice was FRUITS, VEGGIES, LEAN MEATS, WHOLE GRAIN foods.
    I bet we could POSITIVELY influence people to buy better foods.

  • June Wilson

    I like Jackie’s post.
    It resonates with the study done by Lehigh University — people are more likely to eat healthy diets if the cost of the more nutritious foods are subsidized than if the cost of foods with empty calories is taxed.

  • Christine Richardson

    Sorry, but I vote with NYC. We don’t always get what we want in this life, soda included, especially when it’s free. The objective here is to provide decent food to families who need it. Certainly they should have choices – like between carrots and green beans, pasta or rice, apples or pears, Cheddar or Mozzarella. I would sure be in favor of nutrition education, though.

    And as for the Food Police, I have been trying for years to think up a snappy retort when they peer into my shopping cart or stare at my plate. Anyone out there have one???

  • jmcgraw

    You can’t buy prepared foods with foodstamps or energy drinks

  • s. rose

    To all the commentors – a question: Have you been on food stamps?
    That last bit from jmcgraw is true. You can only buy food you prepare on food stamps.
    for six months I was on food stamps. I bought mostly veggies and fruit, oatmeal and milk. I ate healthy on food stamps. Like anything elese, it’s a choice you make.

  • Fran

    Well, it is not just the weight, its the blood sugars. And weight gain is a complicated issue. Not all fat people are unhealthy. The regular soda thing is not a bad idea for lows, so is frosting. Frosting can work if a person, is not alone but can’t swallow.

    It seems we can only tolerate bad behavior when the damage caused can be paid for. Look at the bad behavior of some celebrities, that is not only tolerated, but celebrated.

    I agree. We need to create more jobs, so people can pay their own way. But in the interim, some people need a hand up.

  • sally

    This is a very difficult debate. On one hand you have big brother once again leaning over your shoulder putting yet more restrictions on your life and on the other hand your very life may be at stake depending on the choices you make. The simpler solution may be in that when a person is applying for food stamps that they are also given classes on nutrition and making healthy choices for a healthier life style. I am all for choices, but I have seen way too many abuses of this system. I see people purchasing foods that have little or no nutritional value and are so high in sodium and sugar that its a wonder they are still walking around. But the one thing I remain adamant about is that government should not restrict my choices any more than what they alreeady do. How about we tell the “fat cats” on Capital Hill to cut out one meal a day and to only have a glass of milk, or water with their remaining meals…no high calorie soda pops or worse mixed drinks (high in sugars).

  • Vicki

    Doris, “Should we pay for their children and the genes they’ve then messed up because they are fat?”

    Just a correction on a matter of fact: genes are not messed up by your behaviour – unless you mess around with radioactive substances.

    What makes a difference is

    [a] when you feed your children unhealthy food when they are young, they will acquire a body that believes it functions properly with that unhealthy food e.g. your stomach expands and feels half-empty on what would normally be a good meal and

    [b] the children simply believe that eating that sort of diet is “what people do.” It’s like the the children of smokers being more likely to smoke – kids copy their parents.

    As for how you get people to be healthy – I’m abstaining on that one for the moment, not least because I’m in no position to talk about being healthy to anyone. Except to say – please feed young children extra Vitamin D, we don’t get nearly enough of it in northerly latitudes and our bodes really need it.