Should Obesity be prosecuted?
The legalization of marijuana in many US states has been welcomed by many and has been rejected by many others. Many objectors find marihuana a drug people get addicted to and should therefore be banned, some four decades ago this particular topic was hot news in the Netherlands, same objections, same arguments.
Smoking marihuana does not make you more dependent than smoking cigarettes. Contrary, the use of hard drugs increases every year with dire social consequences. A statement understood by the government in the Netherlands, when they decided in the 1970s (40 years ago mind you) to condone and tolerate controlled sales and personal use of soft drugs at registered locations.
The objective was to separate the sales of soft drugs from the sales of hard drugs. This allowed law enforcement to shift their focus.
Those days the medical benefits were not well known but today it is widely agreed that marihuana has beneficial medical applications.
The drugs policy in the Netherlands comes under regular scrutiny by neighboring countries, but the sales and use of cannabis is stable and under control and the death rate from the use of hard drugs is now the lowest in Europe.
The introduction of this article may sound a bit odd for an episode of CHEFTALK but allow me to explain why I picked the marijuana topic as intro to talk about the difference between legal and illegal addiction.
What is Legalized Addiction?
Obesity is a legally approved addiction. Sufferers are in most cases absolutely addicted to food that cause obesity. You are absolutely free to get addicted to obesity, you are free to stay addicted to obesity and you do not get arrested with a box full of doughnuts.
A little marihuana in your possession may lead to a conviction with dire consequences.
What is the difference? Let’s look at some figures.
More than 1/3 of US adults (34.9%) are obese.
The estimated medical cost of obesity in the US was USD 147 billion in 2008.
The medical costs for people who are obese were $ 1,429 higher than for people with normal weight.
Obesity related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
(Source: Center for disease control and prevention)
|Healthy Grilled Vegetable Salad
A survey conducted among 70.000 people 12 years and above shows that in 2012, 7.3% or 7.6 million American adults use marihuana and heroin. Up from 5.8% in 2007.
The use of marihuana alone, decreased for the 12 to 17 year age group from 7.9% in 2011 to 7.2% 2012.
Imprisonment of marijuana users cost an estimated USD 1 billion per year. This excludes loss of income and other social related cost.
Marihuana use has been linked to reduced brain development especially for people in the 12 to 18 year age group. A report that has been challenged in 2013 by the center for economic research in Oslo, stating that socioeconomic issues may have cost the drop in IQ as much as marihuana use.
(Source: Alternet, University of Washington State, CBS news)
What should be Prosecuted?
Increase of marihuana arrests does not achieve the stated goals of marihuana prohibition. In fact the price of marihuana has dropped despite recent increases in arrests.
Controlled Marihuana use is fairly inexpensive and it helps relief people with certain illnesses yet using the substance is subject to prosecution.
Obesity in contrast is exactly the opposite, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is America the fattest country in the world and is only getting fatter.
It is estimated that three out of four people in the US will be obese within the next ten years, before 1980 that was one out of every ten citizens.
A sedentary lifestyle combined with a frightening diet are the culprits and largely to blame for this scary prospect awaiting us.
Main excuse seems to be that when we hit the grocery store, white bread, ground chuck and potato chips are less expensive than products from the organic aisle.
For a struggling family of four having the idea of feeding a family of four with 9 servings a day, the choice is no choice anymore. In addition fast food offers 99 cent meals and the whole thing of choosing the wrong (obesity causing) products becomes something like unavoidable or a ‘what do you want me to do’ issue.
|Healthy and Hearty
Now here is my point, I reject to believe that you have no choice or that your only choice is a 99 cents fast food meal because the organic aisle is too expensive. To me that is just a cheap excuse.
You have many options to cook inexpensive meals that are healthy, hearty and keep you away from the ‘big size clothing stores and the doctor’s waiting room.
I cook everyday very ordinary simple home cooked food, simply because I believe in it and I am convinced that it is a better choice than 99 cent meals.
If you cannot produce a healthy meal for 99 cent, you certainly cannot buy one.
I lace this articles with some pictures of my home cooked daily meals, not to show you how good a chef I am but to underline my believe in healthy, home cooked food.
The Netherlands has presently one of the healthiest eating populations in the world.
In my next article I like to have a l
ook at money saving cooking, so stay tuned!
By: Marinus Hoogendoorn