Tax Relief, Not Arugula, Will Fix Obesity

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A recent op-ed in the New York Times by columnist Maureen Dowd entitled “Hold the Fries” suggests President Obama is sending mixed signals on nutrition. Proclaiming that the president is eating out of both sides of his mouth by preaching arugula while enjoying hamburgers with Vice President Biden misses the point. There is too much debate about what we eat rather than the amount we consume.

This “good food/bad food” characterization only perpetuates America’s # 1 health crisis: obesity. It presupposes that if we all converted to more natural, organic and plant foods, all health issues will dissipate. Does anyone know that the high antioxidant pomegranate juice delivers 50% more calories than a Coke?

Excess calories from any source are the problem as recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Rather than vilifying trivial behaviors, we should focus on engaging the food industry to step up and reduce the calories it sells by offering tax incentives. Maybe then the problem will finally get solved. 

Please pass the ketchup.

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