Removing products such as soda from people's diets may look like an easy fix but it is not a solution to our nation's growing obesity epidemic ("Bloomberg ratchets up war on obesity: Proposes ban on soda," Web, June 2). As a dietitian who works first-hand with diabetic and obese patients, I know elimination approaches are neither realistic nor sustainable.
Obesity is complex, so targeting one factor is unlikely to make a significant impact on health. Lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, genetics, socioeconomic status and the physical environment (such as access to healthy, affordable food) all play a role in overall health. Did Mr. Bloomberg consider this?
Too often the public is quick to point at a particular item or habit as a unique culprit for our nation's health concerns. Instead, teaching nutrition education and encouraging healthier foods, sensible portions and more physical activity are more effective ways to improve health. Oversimplifying the issue by telling the public they can't buy a big soda won't help. After all, what's stopping people from buying two sodas?
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By Andrew P. Napolitano
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