Friday, May 28, 2010

Do We Need Tighter Rules (and Belts) for Fat Cops?

We’ve discussed the idea of the government playing an increased role in regulating what we eat, whether it be through tighter reins on school lunches or a tax on soda and junk food.

Some believe that personal responsibility should be relied on to make better eating decisions. But if our default choices (have you been in a supermarket or school lunchroom lately?) are so terrible and the food companies can’t be trusted, shouldn’t the government step in? Both sides of the argument have merit.

But what happens when bad eating habits and the poor health that inevitably follows affect society in a more on-the-street-for-everyone-to-see manner? Not that diet-related illnesses (and the billions of dollars we spend on them) aren’t visible, but what happens when government employees who are charged with ensuring public safety can’t effectively do their jobs because they are, well, really fat?

I don’t shoplift, but if I did, I’m pretty confident that I could outrun some New York City police officers, even with a 42-inch flat screen television on my back.

Seriously, while the outright public banning of soda will never happen, shouldn’t there be some structure behind cops’ stature?

For more on the weight issue of New York City cops, click here for a story that appeared earlier this week in amNewYork.

For an article about the situation in Mexico City, click here for a story from today’s New York Times.

No comments: