In today's NY Sun Alicia Colon criticizes Councilman Joel Rivera's call for the use of zoning to restrict the number of fast food outlets in a neighborhood. At the same time, however, she lauds the lawmaker for his backing of the expansion of the Health Corps.
Colon clearly believes that educating and motivating young people is the best way to tackle the obesity epidemic. As she opines, "Despite Mr. Rivera's wrongheaded gesture regarding fast food businesses, he was wise to grant $250,000 to a Health Corps program that targets the root of the problem of obesity through education." Her enthusiasm for the HC effort is no doubt aided by the fact that one of the pilot schools, Cathedral High School, is Colon's alma mater.
We're happy that Colon has praised the HC approach, but we do feel that the fast food industry has a role to play and that "personal responsibility" is not the only answer to the obesity problem. When an industry spends $4 billion a year on its own "education" effort that it is easy to see that peoples' "choices" aren't so easy and clear-cut.