If you follow me on Twitter at all (@sweetestthingdc), you may or may not have seen part of my political views being tweeted after the Health Care Reform bill was passed. As a summary, I do believe that healthcare in this country needs reform, but I don’t believe this bill completely got to the root of the problem including malpractice, the food system and preventative care. Also, I’m wary about how it is written only because since there is a Democratic majority, this bill should have been a piece of cake to pass, but there were still problems. I think it was pushed through too quickly if there was that much unease and maybe politicians should have thought more about the people rather than their reelection.
Yes, I’m a more conservative girl in D.C.; however, that’s my opinion. Whether you agree or disagree with me, I hope to respect it and I’m completely open to a constructive debate.
On the other hand, there is one thing that I do not like with this bill that had nothing to do with my political party and that’s calorie counts (from the NYTimes). Yup, that’s right, under this legislation, national chain restaurants will be required to display calorie information for standard menu items as well as calories for each serving of food at a salad bar or a buffet line within the next year. This was formed from the model in states like New York, California and Oregon that have already enacted information like this.
And while some people like this change like Kelly Brownell, the director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obseity at Yale University…
“I think it is an historic development.” Consumers spend more than half their food dollars outside of the home, he said, “and when people eat away from home they eat more and they eat worse. And part of the reason may be because they don’t know what’s in fast foods, and they’re often shocked to find out.”
“The broader issue is that this firmly establishes the government’s role in improving the nation’s nutrition,”
others are not so keen on it like Sam Kazman of the general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute…
“Frankly, it seems to me that whether I’m buying an apple or a Big Mac from McDonald’s, if they want to sell it to me without any information, I have a perfect right to buy it. This simply is not a federal issue.”
Now I’m sure you’ve already assumed that I’m not for major governmental legislation. I feel like our country was built on the idea of choice and I don’t need the government to tell me what I can or cannot do in my life. That also moves towards the food industry. I’m not an advocate for governmental subsidies and who’s running the FDA, but without going off on a political tantrum, I also don’t like this part of the bill from a young woman’s point of view.
There’s such a huge focus right now on obesity. On educating people on the dangers of the food the eat and the sedentary lives they lead and while I do think health is important, they consistently miss the other half of the equation. The mental and emotional side of health and those who suffer from eating disorders. No, eating disorders may not have the cost implications of the obese or overweight in regards to illnesses like diabetes and so forth, but instead they also provide the #1 cause of death for any other mental illness.
Don’t get me wrong though, for some people this might help them actually understand what’s going into their mouth. I know my ideas come from my past and you can’t blame me, but do you want to know the calorie counts of everything at a chain restaurant? If you really do want to know, you can find that information online beforehand, but as my friend Steph said to me, I can’t eat intuitively or give my body what it needs with numbers staring at me.
What do you think of this part of the new legislation? Do you like or dislike it? Be honest too! I promise I wont bite 😉