The days’ news is abuzz with new numbers showing the rise of obesity in the US, which fits in nicely with Michelle Obama’s pet project for us. Much as we would like to please her, the average citizen, on a daily basis, becomes more and more confused on just how we are to accomplish the lofty goal of achieving the perfect weight.
A day in the life of fictional citizen “O. Beese”:
Our friend “O’ works in the office of a large school district. In a morning rush, she starts her day with a cup of coffee at the Starbucks drive thru.
ALARM: Caffeine and highly caloric Starbucks beverages? Major faux pas. She’s failed before she even gets to school. Maybe she’ll do better when she’s safe at the government school, where those awful vending machines have been banned and government dieticians rule the day.
“O” didn’t have time to grab a bite, but she is offered a donut when she arrives at school. Trying to watch her diet after reading Michelle Obama’s latest piece in her women’s magazine, she turns it down and heads to the cafeteria, where students are having one of those wonderful government approved breakfasts. She opts for a carton of milk and glazed pancakes.*
ALARM: Tragic fail. The milk may or may not be hormone free, and pancakes are definitely not on Washington’s list of favored foods. Again, her slide downhill continues before she even sits down at her desk.
Despite being a dietician-planned menu, “O” has her doubts about her breakfast choice and vows to do better when lunch time rolls around. No longer depending on the cafeteria to make the decision, she wisely opens up her own sack lunch, where she has packed a bag of organic carrot sticks and a container of dressing to dip.
ALARM: Clearly, she has not been educated about the organic farmer scare going on in their county. Not to mention the fact that her dressing has high fructose corn syrup in it and tons of preservatives. She may be beyond help at this point, but she struggles on.
On her drive home, “O” passes a bake sale outside of the school. The band kids are trying to raise money to go to state competition. “O” is starving by this time and justifies a purchase to “help the kids.” Just as she reaches out to claim her brownies, several men in lemon yellow jumpsuits jump out of a car and shut the entire operation down. No more bake sales for you, Ms. “O”! You dodged the bullet on this one, thanks to your local food police being on top of things. She wonders what they do with all the confiscated cupcakes, and why they are all so overweight themselevs?? Hmmm…
As “O” rounds the corner into her neighborhood, the cute little guy from around the corner has a little lemonade stand set up. Apparently, it has not yet been discovered by the food police, and “O” decides to grab a glass while it’s still available. After all, the little guy’s mom said they used a sugar free mix. How bad could it be?
ALARM: She’s done it again. The mix is full of that cancer causing saccharine, not to mention artificial colors and flavors. It’s a nightmare in a glass. But wait! “O” had forgotten that they ended up clearing saccharin of being a cancer causer (after financially destroying it). They are on to other sweeteners now. In fact, it might be the only thing she can have at this point.
When “O” gets home, she gives her friend Nancy a call. Nancy and her husband sell their own eggs on a small farm they own outside of town. “O” has been told that grocery eggs are bad for you, so she’s been buying fresh, free range eggs from Nancy. Sadly, new zoning restrictions were put in place, so Nancy can no longer sell the eggs. “O” is confused. Just what eggs is she supposed to eat? Or are the anti-cholesterol people still saying she should have none at all? Oh, wait, they changed that, too. Just cook them in the “right” kind of oil.
By this time, poor “O” is getting discouraged. She wants to be that healthy, svelte woman that Michelle Obama described in the magazine, but with all these mixed signals, it’s getting tough! She sighs, sits down and turns on the evening news. Suddenly, this picture flashes from the screen:
“O. Beese” has finally had it. In a rage, she lunges the nearest Twinkie at the TV screen and throws open the ‘frig, where a half of a big, juicy red steak and a leftover baked potato from last night are waiting for her. Red meat? I know what you’re thinking, but if I were you, I wouldn’t dare say a word to O. Beese about it. This is just not the right time.
How might society have better served our subject? Certainly, we’d all agree that her goal of a healthy weight is a good one, but it seemed like the media and government weren’t exactly helpful. Who gets to be the Food Czar, who will pick and choose what foods and serving portions are just right for us? What if it is someone who happens to have investments in certain food markets? What if it’s based on campaign contributors or faulty science?
Considering that the “facts” on what and how we eat seem to change on a whim, how about we just encourage good, old fashioned moderation? I know “moderation” is a foreign word to our elite radicals who prefer total control of all-things-human, but wouldn’t it be a novel approach? Moderation in the amount we eat, drink, work, shop, exercise and everything else. But that’s too simple, isn’t it?
*- Taken from actual school cafeteria menus.