One of my sons and his wife just returned from a two week trip to Europe. One thing that surprised them was that although they certainly ate well while they were away, they both lost weight. They are sure that it was because they did so much walking.
And suddenly this got me to thinking about how much corporate business success has resulted in increasing public bad health.
TVs, for instance. TVs first came on the market right after WWII. My husband was against them, did not think they belonged in a household with growing children, and so we were just about the only family around which didn't get one. Even my parents finally did, and I have to say honestly that one of the joys of visiting Grandma and Grandpa was that my children could watch TV. My children were thoroughly rationed with their TV and it really shocked me to see how many hours their friends began to spend in front of it. And today's children are even more sedentary in their habits...
And how about cars. The tremendous success of the auto companies in marketing the personal auto to us has resulted in our abandoning walking. We jump into our cars to do errands only a short walking distance away. Walking has become one of the conscious forms of exercise and not the normal way of getting from one place to another.
But most shocking to me is the ease with which we have given our children over to the marketing efforts of corporate business. Go down your super market aisles and count the number of sweetened cereals on the shelves. And the snack beverages, the fruit juices and fruit flavored juices and the sodas with their high carbohydrate content. The snack foods loaded with both high carbohydrates and fats.
And we are surprised that we have an epidemic of childhood obesity, not to mention so many heart attacks and increasing diabetes among us elders.
We talk about the need for a public health system, and then worry about how we can pay for it. Shouldn't all these corporations which make so much profit from tempting us away from good health habits help pay for their bad effects? And I am not exempting individuals from their personal responsibility in consuming these snacks. A health tax should be levied on all of them, say 10%, to begin to pay for the health problems which will follow/