News Item: Bloomberg To Legislate Body Type
Our height challenged l’il mayor has channeled his inner Joe Pesci and come up with a strange new approach to public health.
He’s trying to ban supersized sodas.
One can see his point, and yet disagree with the tactic. Remember the classic scene in Raging Bull, where brother Joey (Joe Pesci) rails at a porked out Jake La Motta (Bobby D) in his Bronx kitchen: “You’re killing yourself the way you eat. You fat fuck. Look at you!”
Mayor Bloomberg, really now. Is banning bathtub sized colas the way to help our flabby friends trim down?
I grew up in the Bronx and, back then, nobody was fat except the old grandmas. In the summertime, us kids left the house at 9 and didn’t come back until dinner. What did we do? Street games, baseball, hoops, bike riding — we played and played and played outside all day long. When school started again, we’d run home after classes were over, dump our books, and — what else? — went outside to play. Touch football between parked cars, hoops — no one stayed inside unless they had to.
Why? Because, when we were kids, being inside sucked. Today, it’s a new ballgame. Kids love to sit inside and go on the Internet, text their friends, play video games and sit on their lard butts watching TV.
Bloomie, the solution to the weight problem (and it’s a problem hardly limited to us Real New Yorkers) is to make playing — being physical and burning calories — more attractive than staying inside and vegetating. But with all the gaming platforms and appealing, bread-and-circus electronic devices, that’s not easy to do.
Naturally, I have a solution: Forget the adults. They’re too set in their ways and have any number of rationalizations for why they can’t lose weight. It’s my genes. Who has time to cook healthy? Veggies cost too much. Blah blah blah — we’ve heard it all.
No, I say concentrate on the kids. How? Mandatory after-school play/homework centers. No Internet access. Cell phones are checked at the door and powered off. You sit, finish your homework and, when it’s satisfactorily completed, you play games in the yard or inside in the gym. Run them ragged. They’ll go home, have their dinner, and fall asleep right quick from all the exercise.
The costs? Well, stack up the cost of the afterschool program vs. the costs over a lifetime to society in terms of strain on the healthcare system. Do a cost-benefit analysis, run the numbers and see if it would pay off. I bet it would.
Kids like to play. Make it easy for them to do so.
It’s worth a try. And, after all, you gotta admit, Pesci’s Joey La Motta was kinda right: “You’re killing yourself the way you eat. You fat fuck. Look at you!!!”