Avoiding the Fat Tax

I rode my bicycle to the grocery store yesterday afternoon. It’s been more than two years since I last drove a car to the store, and I do the majority of the family food shopping. Here’s what I saw upon returning to my bicycle parked in the rack the store provides.

That’s five adult bicycles in that rack. Five! That’s huge!

OK, by Dutch standards five bicycles in one rack outside a single grocery is just laughable. But in the context of American transportation in the southwest corner of Missouri, trust me, this is huge. This is progress.

And it’s progress we must sustain, especially because of the coming “fat tax.”

I have zero confidence we will actually reform our health care system. I think it is far more likely that we will make necessary changes only after the current system has imploded to the extent that the middle class can no longer afford care (we’re almost there).

So as I said before, we are on our own. The best way to avoid the collapse is to take personal responsibility for your health. That means, in part, eating fewer calories and burning more calories. There is a really easy way to do that — as easy as riding a bicycle.

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Comments 3

  1. Bob wrote:

    I geeked up the Trek with new grocery panniers this year, and I’ve been able to handle almost all my daytime trips within five miles of my home by bicycle since early spring (we’ll see how I behave in winter’s cold).

    But I’m discouraged by the claims of this John Cloud piece that appeared in Time (Aug 9, 2009): http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1914857,00.html

    The physics of weight control–calories consumed, calories burned–are fairly straightforward; the psychology of compensation and reward might be less straightforward, alas.

    Nonetheless, there are rewards beyond the caloric benefit that I enjoy because of the the one-mile solution (or in my case, the five-mile solution): improved aerobic fitness (which Cloud acknowledges), the release of good pheromones, and a different sense of neighborhoods and my town that I get from a ride. Any one of those improvements is worthwhile, as I see it.

    Posted 16 Aug 2009 at 10:00 am
  2. A.J. wrote:

    I try to practice everything in moderation (especially moderation). Those were some interesting links.

    Is it cold and/or too Spock like to think those who demand more healthcare should in fact pay a higher rate? I’m not sure exactly why healthcare would be immune to the laws of economics. And that gives me more incentive to ride my bike to the Dillon’s salad bar.

    Here’s another good link from my iGoogle homepage.

    Posted 17 Aug 2009 at 11:03 am
  3. Dolphin Blue, Inc. wrote:

    I live in downtown Dallas and I’ve noticed quite a few more people walking everywhere now. Even in this heinous heat!

    It’s so great to see people actually helping their bodies and the Earth by walking and cycling. I hope it continues to grow!

    Posted 17 Aug 2009 at 6:13 pm