This past weekend I’ve been more focused on health than I have been in some time. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but just something that seems to have happened.
There’s been a lot of media on health of late. For one, there’s the New York and the attempt to ban of soda over 16 ounces. I find it interesting. On one hand, I get what people are saying about personal freedoms. On the other hand, I see the point about the government intervening for the welfare of the nation. I heard somewhere that it is the government’s job to solve problems that we can’t solve individually. After watching the fantastic documentary, The Weight of a Nation, on HBO, I have to say that obesity seems to qualify. I highly recommend watching the documentary. You don’t need an HBO subscription, it seems that HBO made it available on YouTube. Here’s part one.
One of the episodes had a great focus on sugary drinks. While it’s easy to put soda under the microscope, the episode pointed out that juices are potentially equally as bad. In fact, they made the point that the juice was nature’s way of getting us to eat the good stuff in the fruit itself. This is a huge blow for MonaVie, a juice that I’ve written about before. They claimed that their $45 juice was healthy, but it is clear that government agencies are suggesting that they are selling only the worthless part of the juice. While on the topic of MonaVie, this past weekend the post had its 6,000th comment. That’s a lot of discussion.
Before I get to the personal finance links, I had one more health exposure. I bought a Fitbit Ultra, which is essentially a glorified pedometer. It is the size of a thumb drive and you wear on belt or put in your pocket and just live your day. At the end, you find out how many calories roughly you burned. You get metrics like how many steps you took. You can earn badges for climbing lots or stairs or taking a lot of steps. It’s very motivating to try to beat your previous day’s totals. Anything that ties health and motivation in a good way gets me excited. In fact, I’m going to end this now and go out for a quick run…
I’m glad you point out that soda is not the only culprit. Juices have so much sugar in them that they can be just as bad as soda.
Moderation is key. But it’s not just the juices and soda that have grams and grams of sugar. You’ve got yogurt where some have about 20 grams of sugar in one small container. Eating too much bread or snacking or the wrong type of snacks. And, of course, fast food.
I can’t get behind the soda move. It is short sighted insofar as anyone can just ask for a refill…all while impeding on my liberty to decide if I want to kill myself with soda. I don’t see Bloomberg trying to limit the amount of Cigs in a pack? Or what about the 4200 calories I can get from a supersized french fry?
Just seems like it was done to make a bunch of clucking hens shut the hell up.
Lazy Man says
For me it seems like every soda I get is 90% ice anyway, so a 16 ounce soda is really about 8 ounce glass bottle that they’d give you in days of yore.
You are right that it seems to be too targeted to one food.
I’d love to see food get some kind of health score and then have foods with low health score taxed more than ones with high health scores. This would help make the salad option cheaper than the double Royale with Cheese at McDonalds.
Tim Richmond says
I hope that no matter what happens with this soda debate that it actually gets people to have a conversation about the things we’re putting into our bodies and why we do it. That would be the real victory.