Patrick Luciani certainly got one thing right: obesity is a very complex issue.
That’s why Ontario’s doctors have proposed a multi-pronged approach to fighting this epidemic — an approach that includes tax incentives and warning labels on junk food, but also calorie counts on menus, mandatory physical education in schools, and a host of other educational initiatives.
To suggest it’s “too simplistic” to blame junk food and sugary drinks for the rise in obesity is wrong. Junk food and sugary drinks are loaded with calories. Consuming too many calories on a daily basis leads to being overweight and obese. This is a medical fact. What’s really unfortunate is Mr. Luciani didn’t put forward even a single idea of his own for fighting the rise of this devastating epidemic.
True, we would like to try something new: applying the successes of the anti-tobacco campaigns to obesity, a condition that leads to heart disease, diabetes and premature death. Because it’s never been done before, this is an unproven tactic. But graphic images on cigarette packs were also unproven when they were introduced in the 1990s.
Considering that no state, province or jurisdiction has yet discovered a way to turn around the rising rates of obesity, we believe new thinking is needed.