Government or Not

January 16, 2014
Is it the government’s job to try and keep people healthy? According to John Stossel’s Fox News hour, “Myths, Lies, and Complete Stupidity,” it is not. I agree with Stossel and believe it isn’t the government’s job to keep people healthy. It is the people’s job to keep themselves healthy.

In many ways, the government has tried to inform people to be healthier such as posting calories, the candy tax in Illinois, the New York Mayer banning extra large cups, Felix Ortiz’s ban of salt, and Michelle Obama’s campaign for a healthier lifestyle. The problem is that none of these have significantly worked. The calorie posting only increased the amount of food customers consume. Banning large cups only caused people to buy two small cups. Felix Ortiz’s ban of salt wasn’t a healthy decision itself because certain people need salt in order to stay healthy. It isn’t wrong for the government to inform people about being healthy, but in order to decrease the overwhelming amount of obesity; it is our own job to do so.

I believe it is our own responsibility to keep ourselves healthy. Why rely on the government to do it for us? The United States of America is a free country for us make our own decisions, so why are we turning to the government for all the answers?

In Denmark, the fat tax on food only made things worse as they would go to other places to get the food they want. Using this as an example, the government should realize that it isn’t their job to make people healthier.

In my opinion, the main problems are time, stress, parenting, and amount of food intake. School is only increasing in difficulty, which increases the stress of children. Stress then causes people to “eat their emotions.” As for parents, their work could become more stressful as well. When parents come home from a long day of work, they may want to pick up some quick pre-made cheap food for the family instead of making a meal. Then, this pattern rubs off on their children’s eating habits. Also, studies have shown that parents are decreasing in discipline towards their children; likewise, children are less obedient towards their parents. So when a child wants an unhealthy food, a parent will more likely give the child the food they want instead of teaching them the healthy way to eat. Lastly, amount of food intake is much larger than most countries. A regular sized piece of pizza may be twice the size of a regular piece of pizza in another country.

The donut taste test performed by Stossel indicates how most would prefer the fat tasty donut rather than the healthy bland donut. This demonstrates how people would prefer the good food, even when knowing it is fat. This, I think, is the problem. Most people know what is healthy and what is not, but prefer the unhealthy food. Food is supposed to be enjoyed, but it is the amount of intake we have that is unhealthy.

Listening to my grandparents talk, they would say, “Oh I remember taking my ten cents and getting a piece of candy once a month as a special treat.” Today we see kids buying a candy bar a day at a time, with no parent telling them to stop.
It isn’t the government’s job to keep people healthy, it is our own. Government can inform us of what is healthy and what is not, but when it breaks down to each family individually, it is their own job to inform their children and create a healthy lifestyle at home.

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