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Anti-obesity, Soda Regs May Be Fattening; Won't Help Agriculture

‘Soda size’ regulations and USDA's nutritional education rules won't cut America’s flab or help agriculture.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems to think that Americans can be regulated into slimming down their diets by reducing soda sugar intake. Problem is, he has a lot of company. And that attitude won't help anybody, let alone American agriculture.

USDA and nutrition educators, for instance, swarm like ants to sugar pie over encouraging school food lunch programs to use more fresh fruits and vegetables. That can be a good thing.

But they’re still not targeting the brain-to-belly connection. They haven’t learned you can’t beat a horse over the head to make him move faster. And it’s always the skinniest people who rail hardest for the must-skinny-down cause.

My credentials as an unexpert

Before laying out the solution, let me quickly establish my expertise. I’m a reforming sweet-lover and a tasty food advocate. I’m not fat. I’m just short for my weight – designed by my Creator to turn sharp corners at high speeds.

I love cheese, unlean hamburger and Frostys (not the beer or rootbeer, although I like them too). As a voice for moderation, I also love raw fruit and vegetables – as the weeds and critters in my garden will testify.

My pounds of rock-solid muscle are slowly transitioning into a less-solid energy reserve. They’re slowly shifting lower in anticipation that I’ll need to be able to turn sharper corners at higher speeds as I age, and to be able to stay warm at colder winter-time home temperatures.

But I don’t want Uncle Sam to be making decisions about my diet, my health care or my thermostat setting because he’s no shining example himself. In fact, he’s morbidly obese, growing fatter by the day and a gross example of inefficiency.

A successful skinny-down plan

Academic educators who are short of funding are drooling over prospects of fresh federal monies to be waved in front of them like carrots dangling on a stick. Far too many are far from being experts in “really good eats.”

Some actually believe that what’s good for you shouldn’t taste good. That’s why I never buy anything at a bake sale made by a vegan.

It’s time to break out of USDA's old, stodgy food pyramid and the equally stodgy My Plate thinking. First, realize that we can’t teach people who have no interest in learning or changing. That means we may have to “write off” most porky old people (45 years old and above).

Second, younger people must be targeted where they’re at – on the Web, Facebook, Twitter and etc., along with what drives their self-perception. Oh, and you have maybe 10 seconds to zing a message to their brains. USDA has never operated at that speed.

Finally, media messages must tell the time-lapse truth: This is what happens to your brain and body on sugar, carbos and calories. It isn’t pretty. And once flab happens, it’s tough to “sweat off” with exercise.

So, Mayor Bloomberg, FDA and USDA, you need professional help. Turn this task over to private industry professional communicators and boost employment. Maybe even hire Steven Spielburg. That's if you really want to cut the flab, help America and help agriculture.

Okay, it’s time to get this blog posted. My cheese sticks and fresh carrot/celery/broccoli lunch is calling. Cheers!

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