Patterico's Pontifications

5/18/2010

Eating What’s Good For You

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 6:21 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

San Antonio is predominantly Hispanic and obesity is especially high among Hispanics. On the other hand, San Antonio’s City Manager is into fitness and doesn’t like high-calorie soft drinks and candies, so she ordered the removal of those items from city-run vending machines:

“City Manager Sheryl Sculley has declared war on sugar.

Well, at least when it comes packaged in cans and candy bars. Sugary sodas no longer have a home in the city’s 250 beverage vending machines and unhealthy foods in the 75 snack machines in city facilities are next.

“I asked the staff to remove the high-calorie soda drinks from our vending machines,” Sculley said. “I’m a fitness person, and I care about our employees, and I want them to be healthy. And I think this is a very small gesture.”
***
The beverage machines now contain water, juices and diet drinks.

Sculley said the policy aligns with the city’s wellness program, instituted three years ago.

“We know that statistically that people who are overweight or obese have greater health problems than those who do not,” she said. “We’re about educating community and we think we can lead by example.”

Restricting choices = Education? Sculley missed her calling in public school administration, and this education professor seems to approve:

“To help instill better habits, setting a policy can help, said Lisako McKyer, a professor in Texas A&M University’s College of Education and Human Development.

She expects some resistance, but said such regulations can help the health and safety of society. She points to seat belt laws, restricted alcohol sales, smoking bans and sidewalk installations that all have shown to decrease injuries and deaths.

“Any time you want to institute a behavior change, policy changes are really quite effective,” she said.”

The article says the policy “doesn’t ban employees from consuming fatty foods and drinks at work.” At least, not for now.

– DRJ

9 Responses to “Eating What’s Good For You”

  1. Never has a gesture been so small…

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  2. Bite me, lady. (Not you, DRJ, the other lady.)

    nk (db4a41)

  3. what happens when some diabetic goes into insulin shock I wonder.

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  4. The comments at MySanAntonio (San Antonio Express News) are pretty good. I’m paraphrasing but they range from “If taxpayers have to pay for everyone’s health care, then everyone needs to eat healthier foods” to “Who made her the food/drink Nazi?” Overall, not many are pleased.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  5. Get on with it an just buy everyone extra skinny chairs… if your butt won’t fit… the job you must quit.

    Reminds me of when I was young (15) and worked for an older Texan who got all pissed off at a guy who was sitting on the tractor instead of getting out of the seat and helping wrestle a stump into the bucket (which is union protocol now btw) but so this Texan starts growling, cussing and going on about everything going to hell in a handbasket… gist of it all was that Americans were going so bleeping soft that pretty soon at every bleeping job there’d be a seat for every… bleep… bleeping… fat ass.
    Awesome.
    Smoking while chewing tobacco and cussing.
    Something I am sure is nothing for most Texans… but for those who were Texan, and WWII Pacific Theater Marines? Second nature.

    I still get misty eyed about that guy… seriously. That old guy liked me and I learned to like him.
    When I heard he’d died I played Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Desperados Waiting for a Train” for weeks and cried into a beer.
    Never even learned his last name….

    SteveG (7d4c78)

  6. “He who pays the piper may call the tune.”

    As long these are city-operated/leased vending machines, the city-government is within its rights to decide on their contents on any basis whatsoever. If they were someone else’s machines however …

    Of course, the voters may decide they want a change of policy. That’s legitimate, too.

    And if government is “paying” for health care, then it’s legitimate to try and improve the general level of health, to reduce costs. Don’t like (and I don’t), vote against government health care (and I will).

    LarryD (feb78b)

  7. Government wanks are getting too uppity about what they think is they’re right to dictate, whether for the good of others or not. If she wants to dictate something it should be that healthy items are included along with the regular soft drinks and candy. It’s been my experience that, almost always, when I want something from a machine my only choices are the sugary variety.

    Michigan Freedom (a92e00)

  8. Hey, the food whackos are even striking out in Iowa. PETA is trying to lease the “Field of Dreams” for a protest event.

    http://www.thonline.com/article.cfm?id=283173

    PCD (1d8b6d)


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