Who pays for wrecking our health?

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Indeed, we should all have the “right to destroy our bodies” if we want, as a form of personal freedom, right?  But then the rest of us who mind their health and what we eat get to pay higher healthcare premiums and the emergency room visits of folks who are trashing their bodies with reckless dietary choices, and even more so in a fully socialized healthcare system, such as Canada or most countries in the EU.  There is both a personal cost and a societal cost to pulling up in the drive-thru window of a McDonald’s.

I would like to make a point about warning labels.  If cigarettes are required to have a warning sticker on them, why not junk food?  And why is McDonald’s and Burger King not required to post in their window the health dangers of eating at their establishment? Sure, one could easily argue that people who eat at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s already know that it’s harmful to their health, but do they really know how harmful? Even in “moderation”?  The infamous movie “Supersize Me” of course highlighted this point.  I think that if someone is fully acquainted with the potential consequences of their actions and does them anyway, so be it!  But then this inevitably falls back on the issue of whether we as a society are willing to take on the financial burden of being collectively responsible for individuals’ poor lifestyle choices?  And I haven’t even touched upon the separate salient point of how much responsibility that we, as individuals, are empowered with to sustain our health for the sake of our families who love us and want us to be around for them, our children who rely on us to guide them through life, our friends and colleagues who genuinely care about us.  Or is it simply that the enjoyment of food trumps all other considerations?  Do you live to eat or eat to live? The decision is yours to make!

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