Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Hill Country Diet

Don’t read this web site, it’s bad for your health. That’s right, I’m a Homesick Texan who waxes nostalgic for Texan foods. And yet, it turns out that those foods are nonnutritious. I can’t believe that a huge slab of chicken fried steak drowning in gravy or a No. 3 Tex-Mex dinner oozing cheese juice and bacon grease isn’t part of a heart-healthy diet. I could have sworn I heard that Dr. Andrew Weil was going to narrate a Hill Country Diet documentary for PBS. I guess I confused Texas with Okinawa.

But seriously, yes, eating lots of fatty, fried food, and not getting enough exercise is going to affect your health. Which leads me to Travis County. If you haven’t already heard, Travis County is debating a plan to use taxpayers dollars to perform up to 15 gastric bypass surgeries a year for its employees. The reasoning is that the surgery will be cheaper than the long-term healthcare costs for an obese person. Recently there have been many government and corporate initiatives in the fight against obesity. I commend these efforts. Not one, however, pays for an individual’s gastric-bypass surgery. I think the taxpayer’s dollars should go toward something that benefits the majority not the minority, such as fitness education or giving breaks to stores that stock local, whole foods instead of corporate processed junk. I’m not against either the government or the private sector helping its employees lose weight and lead healthier lives. But paying for surgery? That seems a bit extreme.
What do you think?

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anythingwithcheese said...

Do I have to admit that I live in this county??

Yvo said...

Wow... how about free gym membership? I mean, that's so typical, fix things with surgery instead of addressing the larger issues...

Nicole said...

I definitely agree that the money would be better spent on health education programs, fitness programs, etc. I also think that helping out stores that stock local, whole foods is a wonderful idea!

County Clerk said...

The devil is always in the details. What Governmental Org or Pol or NGO is advocating government subsidized Gastric Bypass Surgery? Sounds crazy...

... but really, the idea doesn't sound HALF AS CRAZY (even 1% as expensive) as our US Corn subsidies. A big part of our national weight problem is that everything we eat is made with massive amounts of corn syrup. (We have to do SOMETHING with it.) We just keep growing corn, subsidize our farmers for doing it and then assure a profit. There are no market forces at work with corn. We just keep growing it. So now that we are backlogged with corn syrup, what to do? Ethanol! (Another half-baked poorly considered solution to nothing... which sounds good until one looks into it.) But no one can elected without the corn states and no one can win their convention without Iowa and some others... so it is corn.

I agree that government subsidy of gastric bypass surgery seems ridiculous but I'd like to know whos for it and why. I wouldn't be surprised if there was an argument that actually made financial sense. I mean... if the government will pay for hip replacement, highblood pressure, heart disease and all the other things that they ALREADY pay, maybe a Gastric Bypass 15 years in advance is actually cheaper? I don't know. This isn't really my area.

I'm never surprised by the hidden story of anything.

Hard to say.

I think the government should pay for some new sails for my boat. The theory being: If I had new sails, I'd get out more and be healthier and maybe even happier. In fact, i think the government should pay for a massage... every morning. YESSSSS.

(Actually, I'd just be happy if the farm road to my property was fixed.)


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