I switched on the news the other night and beheld a glimpse of our possible future, one right out of the film Escape from New York. Yes, I’m talking about a futuristic Orwellian state, in which someone else can tell you what to eat, for health’s sake. The future, apparently, is now.
New York City has imposed a dietary advisory health system that is designed to tell you when your blood sugar levels are unacceptably high. Under the program, labs must forward results of blood tests to a central database, where they are monitored. If your blood sugar levels get too high, the city will then label you a potential victim of diabetes, and advise you to improve your nutrition. Wow, it’s like the mayor calling me and telling me to lay off the sugar in my next cup of coffee.
Not that this is the first time NYC has played nursemaid with its citizens. It recently had every restaurant convert to Canola oil, which literally means Canadian oil (and which indeed sounds much better than rape seed oil), so that their citizens can lower their risks of heart attack and other maladies related to bad fat. This ultimately leads to lower health care costs and lower taxes (or more options on which to spend the existing taxes).
Tobacco, which has a bad rep as a cancer-causing substance and leads to an extremely high percentage of death-related illness, is now quickly being edged out by diabetes as the number-one cause of death. Why diabetes, which is triggered by obesity or high amounts of body fat? It all seems to me that the answer to the problem lies with prevention and education.
Who knew that sugar, which tastes so good, is bad for you when taken as part of your regular diet? Sugar, in the past, was a luxury item for us in the North, as nearly all sugar was converted from the sugar cane fields of the Caribbean and had to travel long distances before reaching the nearest teepee or igloo.
Today, sugar is added to just about every food today as a staple ingredient, so there is no escaping the ides of sugar unless you go completely protein with a mint for desert.
Watching popular television commercials these days, which I find are becoming more and more entertaining and even sometimes worthy of recording, I see that the peanut is now getting it’s gnarly little nose rubbed back into the dirt as something that most people cannot eat without an extreme allergic reaction, such as death.
So why can’t we see that type of hype for sugar and fat? Because we associate this sickness with someone else, until you get it and keep it quiet for fear of the stigma and judgment of our peers, that’s why. If the association of sugar were more a matter of an allergy at the television level, I’m pretty sure that sugar would become something to avoid at all costs.
One of the allergies is probably that sugar causes pimples. Anyways, since pimples aren’t life-threatening, they act as a draw for advertising dollars for the miracle zit creams we see on TV.
So how do we do it, stop ourselves from eating bad fat and using so much sugar and slowly killing ourselves through lack of exercise? How?