And they have.
Through Less Cancer social networks, we have been effective in reaching communities around the globe regarding better choices.
We have worked tirelessly to help educate and inform lawmakers and believe we have been instrumental in helping to raise awareness for policies that involve healthier choices benefiting human health and the environment.
Free societies have always been dependent on the individual being responsible for their own choices- pilots of their own lives- right?
Today in Salon we learn that earlier this week a judge nixed NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s regulation on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. Bloomberg is arguably the most influential advocate for public health in the country.
The idea of regulating the size of a sugary soda drink is contrary to what many Americans believe at their core. If people are going to make choices that include a 64-ounce soda, so be it, the consequences are theirs to own.
Unfortunately, we as a society end up paying for the consequences of their perceived unalienable right to consume a 64-ounce drink.
How free is that?
Who pays for your neighbor’s obesity, diabetes or even cancer with these choices?
Who wins when you buy a 64-ounce Pepsi at Kentucky Fried Chicken? Pepsi and Kentucky Fried Chicken win that’s who. And as I recently blogged on the Beyonce -Pepsi Cola deal; 64-ounces equals 780 calories, and 217 grams of sugar. That’s 54 teaspoons of sugar.
Childhood obesity in the United States has more than tripled from the 1970′s through 2004.
And no surprise, the Department of Health and Human Services report that food and beverage advertisers collectively spend $10 to $12 billion annually to reach children and youth: more than $1 billion is spent on media advertising to children (primarily on television); more than $4.5 billion is spent on youth-targeted public relations; and $3 billion is spent on packaging design.
Is that something we really want to do ? We have unprecedented incidences of obesity in children. Do we want to foster a next generation of sick adults with the hopes they will learn to make healthier choices? Some of those choices are not being made with the wave of marketing to children and other at risk demographics.
So in the spirit of free enterprise -is it really “free”? Or actually is our definition of “free” enterprise -not “free” at all but actually unaffordable.
The definition of free enterprise must shift to include responsible enterprise; prioritizing human health and the environment.