I’m willing to bet the time will come when I won’t be able to order a 16-ounce soda at a local fast-food restaurant. By now everyone has heard about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban serving a 16-ounce or larger soft drink.
Bloomberg’s proposal has received a lot of negative attention but I believe he is aiming to circumvent a dire situation - which I’ve seen first hand - in a children’s movie. WALL-E is a wonderful story about a little robot (WALL-E) that is given the task to clean up a post-apocalyptic, trash covered earth. WALL-E is the planet’s lone occupant because humans were forced to evacuate and live in a spaceship as a result of their irresponsible decisions.
The underlying theme not only focuses on wastefulness but also on obesity associated with a lazy society. Life on board the spaceship is easy - so easy that men, women and children float around in recliners, everything they need to function at their fingertips, all while sipping supersized drinks. I won’t give away the ending but things eventually change for the better, which predictably, involves the humans who stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) and took responsibility for their actions.
When government begins to dictate what we eat, in my opinion it is a wayward effort to force us to be responsible. Excuse me, but I have a brain and I know what is good for me and what is not. On the other hand, it seems there are millions of people who do not and that is a frightening thought.
This presents a conundrum: Who made us fat?
Well, we could blame the government. With the Great Depression, the welfare program, as we know it (though its roots can be traced to colonial times) was established to assist the unemployed, underemployed, and the poor. However, it also propagated a dependency on the program instead of allowing for one to become self-sufficient.
If it’s not the welfare system then could it be a result of our own devices? Do we dare face the person in the mirror and demand that enough is enough? Maybe it is time to take responsibility for our own actions. When are we going to admit that the government is not our babysitter? Michael Bloomberg may be criticized for his tactics, but I believe he is on the right track. If things continue as they are, the prophetic implications pointed out in WALL-E may be closer than we think.