Yes, the government should step in and try to help the growing obesity problem here in the United States, since this problem is getting out of hand. Any help will go a long way, but in all honesty is comes down to the individual having the will power to control themselves.
The obesity among young people is alarming. The government, while not controlling what we put into our mouths, could do much to encourage a healthy diet. How so? First of all in public schools young ones should be taught about nutrition and the dangers of obesity. Why not teach children about the harmful affects of drinking soda and eating junk food?. More emphasis should be put on physical education programs that encourage young ones to be active. The government could run ad campaigns that remind parents about the importance of a balanced meal. Employers could be encouraged by means of tax breaks to offer longer lunch breaks what would allow workers to eat a healthy meal,instead of having to resort to fast food.
The US government is in a unique position to encourage and discourage certain behaviors via it's power to tax. Many people complain that tax law is complicated and does not make sense, and in truth it is, but it can be an important tool when attempting to shape the American landscape. Right now there is a unique opportunity for the government to get involved since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Additional provisions could be passed to provide tax credits for employers that provide on-site gym facilities or pay for access to a facility near by. In addition, the government could provide tax credits for employers that chose health care plans that cover weight loss reduction surgeries and/or visits to a nutritionist. The government could also provide tax credits and deductions to self-employed individuals or those not covered by employee health insurance plans that visit doctors specializing in weight loss. While I believe that encouraging certain behaviors is better than discouraging behaviors through the form of penalties they are also an option. Employers who operate an inherently sedentary environment could face additional payroll tax penalties because they are likely degrading the health of their workers which all American taxpayers will ultimately end up paying for anyway.
As long as the government is charged with the healthcare of those on Medicare and Medicaid, it only follows that it should have a say in the health of those individuals. It is a demonstrated fact that obesity contributes to a variety of chronic illnesses and is the leading cause of type 2 diabetes. Now that the government has become involved in Obamacare, millions more people come under the government healthcare umbrella. Obesity is an epidemic on the increase and affects the well being of our society. Government can make a difference by intervening.
It does not violate anyone's rights to eat pizza. It does not violate anyone's rights to eat two pizzas. It does not violate anyone's rights to eat ten pizzas. It does violate people's rights to try to prevent them from eating pizzas. Everyone eats some unhealthy things now and then, it is the choice of individuals to choose how much health they want to trade for the enjoyment of eating. Some people choose to trade very little, others choose to trade a lot, which is a personal choice that is neither immoral, unjust, nor irresponsible.
The government should end policies like corn subsides which increase obesity, but it should not interfere with the private lives of persons in an attempt to manipulate those persons into making "better" eating choices.
People being obese has nothing to do with the government.It was that persons choice to be obese not the governments so why would they interfere with that? There are bigger issues right now to be worried about than obesity. The government does not control how people eat, and they shouldnt.
The government can do many things to improve the health of the citizens. But to"be in control" of the obesity problem is not feasible.
The government should not subsidize crop overproduction. The government should not allow untested GMOs. The government should not allow unhealthy additives in food. The government should require healthy foods at public schools. The government should ban excessive hormone use in animal livestock. The government should ban agricultural monopolies like Monsanto. All these things taken together would certainly improve the Obesity problem in the US. But livestock and agriculture in the US are treated like every other free-market business: short term profit driven. The current health state is a failure of our uncontrolled laissez-faire free market.
What does the government have to do with this? One of our county's biggest problems is that when we have a problem, we immediately look to the government to solve the problem. There are better ways to solve the problem, and the government, especially the federal government, cannot efficiently help problems like this. Also, obesity is caused by a lifestyle choice, so why does the government need to fix it? Should the government spend everyone's money helping the people who made a bad decision with their lifestyle? No, that's silly and outrageously stupid. People can be really fat if they want, and the government shouldn't have to do anything about it. If you want to help combat this problem, instead of looking to the government for help, go raise awareness, spread information to people about how to solve the problem, and try to get people to work together and solve it. We don't need to push the issue through politics to get our nation to work together and fix it.
Bottom line, obesity is a social issue and not a government issue. If government takes control of the situation, it is implied that regulations will follow suit, thereby hindering the right of each human to choose. What would the world look like if we were being told exactly what to eat each day, and what to do each day, all in the name of obesity prevention? Obesity may be distasteful to some, but at the end of the day, it is the right of the person effected to choose whether or not to eat that quarter pounder burger at the fast food joint, or to eat an extra slice of pie at a local bakery. It is unjust for the government - for anyone - to force their values onto someone else in such a situation. It is good to promote health and weight loss - I would agree with that wholeheartedly - but to control obesity problems, through regulation and/or legislation, is simply not a justifiable way to tackle the issue. The government should be focused on more important issues, such as crime and social justice, rather than imposing themselves upon society by indirectly controlling people's choices, all on account of the life values which someone 'up top' believes in. Let people be themselves.
The obesity problem in the United States is a social concern that the government would be best to stay out of. It is not the government's job to tell people how to live their lives, though it is the government's job to allow people to have the choice to live their lives however they want. Go for the Twinkies.