The mighty journalistic flagship USA Today carries a story about yet another preposterous effort by medical experts to pretend that the people who run the United States are going to consider making the nation’s built environment friendly to exercise. The delusional proposal in question is, in the credulous description of USA Today, a “comprehensive, wide-ranging strategies outlined in the new U.S. National Physical Activity Plan, which is being released today by an expert panel representing influential health organizations. Among groups involved are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.”
The “comprehensive” plan is, as always, a melange of quarter-measures and rote incantations, none of which, puny as they are, stands a ghost of a chance of getting funded:
• Make sure roadway spending includes money for “complete streets,” accommodating cars, bikes and pedestrians.
• Have doctors assess patients’ physical activity levels at appointments and discuss ways they can meet the activity guidelines.
• Encourage early childhood education programs to have little ones as physically active as possible.
• Provide access to and opportunities for physical activity before and after school.
• Encourage school officials to find ways for children to walk and bike safely to school.
• Provide tax breaks for building owners or employers who provide amenities in workplaces that support active commuting, such as showers in buildings, secure bicycle parking, free bicycles or transit subsidies.
• Increase funding and resources for parks, recreation, fitness and sports programs and facilities in areas of high need.
Of course, for “balance” in its reporting on this piece of hopeless liberal special pleading, USA Today must turn to “conservatives,” who, of course, refuse to admit that any environmental discouragement of health exists in corporate capitalist America.
Cue the blithering clowns of the unintentionally hilarious Cato Institute:
“Most people are overweight not because there isn’t a sidewalk in their neighborhood but because we like to eat and we don’t like to exercise,” says David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C.
And the price of the changes could be high. “Everything costs something,” Boaz says. “Every action has a cost, and when it’s government-involved, whether it’s federal or local, they are generally less efficient with money. This is the elite planning for how the masses should live.”
Only in America, folks, only in America: Choices exist independently of environments. Government is always less efficient than mega-corporations, no evidence mentioned or required. And, despite the fact that big business marketing is the largest and most sophisticated program of behavioral control in human history and something that receives twice as much funding as all forms and levels of schooling combined, “elite planning for how the masses should live” can only come from the government or their evil dupes and shills, worried public health researchers.