Originally Posted by Meghan Leigh Ramos
This article is solely opinion, thank God, but I'm sure someone out there will use it as ammo.
To sum, Etzioni is saying that focusing our energy on trying to get adults to become healthier is pointless because "body mass is very resistant to change once it settles." Like "cement." And because the only way to get people healthy is to "spend good money, consume drinks and eat food that is artificially doctored, take medications that have side effects and engage in various fashionable diets that actually undermine their health."
So, we should essentially give up on everyone that's past childhood, let them go their merry, Twinkie-eating way, and attack the problem where it starts, in childhood.
Yes, but how do we do that? According to Etzioni it's....drumrollll....PUBLIC POLICY! Especially laudable is Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" program. Because you know, her agenda of eat fresh foods, low fat whole grains blah blah blah is completely groundbreaking and not at all what the government has been pushing for 30 years.
Sigh. I agree, kids need to hear this. But I really don't think public policy is the way to go. And I'm annoyed at his "just give up" attitude.
meghan, i think you're really overreacting.
i agree that the article is strange, because etzioni's expertise in public policy is far from the field of health. however, the article does NOT make the outrageous statements that you claim it does.
etzioni merely points out the *fact* that most adults fail to make, or maintain, significant improvements in body composition and health as they age. from a public policy standpoint, that's a considerable hurdle to overcome if you're trying to figure out a way to use government resources to improve public health.
far from making a statement about whether adults *ought* to make greater efforts to change their habits, or whether this or that program would work for adults, etzioni suggests that the government would get a greater return on its investment of public funds by focusing its efforts on children -- not only because habits are formed at a young age, but because the government wields tremendous influence over children through public schools, where it can affect children's eating habits and physical activity habits.
that may not be an exhaustive review of the public policy options for improving public health for all ages, but it is a reasonable point to make about one part of it.