Friday, February 6, 2009

HFCS and the Angry Blogger

After reading parts 1-4 of Julie's posts about obesity and HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup), I was all prepared to tell you how awesome they were, how you should read them because it was stuff every parent needs to know. You still should because it is still good stuff, but I feel the need to comment.

In her conclusion she says some stuff that while I can see the point of, I think is personally pretty hateful, and more than little misguided. In fact my first response was to say "f@#$ you". So, read her stuff, it is good, but read this too when you're done. Now is fine.

OK, done?

First, after getting angry, I realized that I have something in common with how she feels, but it is about smoking. I am extremely frustrated about having to pay for the health care (both through tax dollars and group health plans) for people who willingly continue to pollute their bodies by smoking. We're not that different, but I still think she's missing something when it comes to her frustrations about universal health coverage.

Here is what I think she is missing. What I feel is short sighted and elitist (and well, Republican) on her part. Yes, paying for health care for all in the short term means paying for conditions that are preventable and caused by the owner of said condition. BUT the long term benefits of preventative care should reduce those costs over the long term. Parents of the children suffering from these conditions often times are under educated and sub-litterate themselves. Getting them in front of a doctor regularly can often times put a stop to some of those behaviors through education.

The other less tangible issue is that when a population has for generations had the powers that be not have their best interest at heart, there can be a deep seated mistrust in the helpful information provided. Believe me, that is very real. You can not simplify it as an issue of people not taking care of themselves, when they may not know or trust the information that you have available to you. I don't know how that get resolved, but getting people health care certainly won't hurt.

I think her information, and the conclusions that she comes to are good, but before she starts hating fat people, maybe she should be doing something. Something that gets to the people who really need it. People that wouldn't have access to or interest in her blog. What about starting with day cares? Day cares serving low income families have the option of participating in the USDA food program. This program does not restrict known harmful ingredients such as trans fat and HFCS and those things, along with a host of other less than favorable substances, are ripe in the food purchased with those dollars. Starting the cycle young, and government funded no less. Those same issues continue into school food programs and free and reduced lunch programs. The only way those things change is if we get involved. Taking care of your kids is great, throwing out the Hershey's is good (though I'm torn about wasting chocolate in any form), but if she is that upset, what action is she taking to help everyone?

I am by no means getting a high horse about this. I'm not perfect, but what she said makes me mad. I have risks in my family tree for Type 2 diabetes that existed before the advent of HFCS so I know how serious it is. I'm taking steps to change them for me and my family, but I'm also working to make sure that I'm helping my neighborhood too. Advocating with day cares and pushing the issue while using the dollars that I spend as leverage. I can do more though, and I'm making the commitment to. Right here, right now. Certainly a better use of my energy than anger.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Can I say that I agree with you completely? I do. I absolutely do. You are right on.