Gina Loudon, Ph.D., is host of "Smart Life with Dr. Gina" on Money Biz Life Network. She has appeared or been cited by the BBC, ABC, Vanity Fair, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, CNN, New York Times, Time magazine, Fox News, Fox Business, The Hill, "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart and many others. Loudon's new book, "What Women REALLY Want," co-authored with her fellow Politichicks anchors, will be released later this year.More ↓Less ↑
WND has reported extensively on the failed efforts of U.S. first lady Michelle Obama to impose her brand of healthy eating on American school children. Even her own daughters, Sasha and Malia, opted out of healthy eating for Asian cuisine, and one school boycotted her food regimen. It isn’t working, but that isn’t what matters to Michelle Obama. Based on her actions, what matters to her is that those who are useful to her keep believing that she means well.
The Obama administration has blamed the “obesity epidemic” on poor access to nutritious food because of the limited resources in blighted areas across the country. But east of the U.S., other countries are finding that obesity comes from an overabundance of options and poor eating choices.
The prosperous emirate of Dubai has become known for its lavish lifestyle, high-end shopping and fat-cat real estate brokerages. But Dubai officials apparently think the indulgence has gone too far.
There are things working against the gold-plated Emirati city in their effort to stay healthy and fit, such as their comfortable lifestyles, their lack of incentive to exercise, their hot climate (too hot to spend a lot of time outdoors) and the Western invasion of fast food that has become a regular part of the culture. Their free-market economy has taken off like a rocket ship, and instead of telling its citizens what to eat or what not to, the government has decided to use its wealth to incentivize the health of their citizenry.
Seeking solutions to their problem of obesity, the government has issued a challenge: For every two pounds citizens lose within the allotted period of time, they will get around $40 in gold. Real gold.
The program is being dubbed “Your Weight in Gold” and not many are complaining. The only catch: Each “winner” must lose at least 4.5 pounds to win any gold at all. The challenge will run for 30 days.
Some doubt the program will work, since the U.S. has offered incentives that have failed, such as insurance cost savings and even employer bonus incentives. Though some employers and insurance companies have seen long-term benefits to participants in those programs, most agree they have been only anecdotally successful.
First lady Michelle Obama has been harshly criticized for her failed efforts to force better diets on school-aged children. Many supported her “Let’s Move!” program for obese school children when it started, but it isn’t working, and children are suffering with problems they never had before, instead of the weight loss they had hoped for, as the Los Angeles Times reports:
“There’s just one problem: Many of the meals are being rejected en masse. Participation in the school lunch program has dropped by thousands of students. Principals report massive waste, with unopened milk cartons and uneaten entrees being thrown away. Students are ditching lunch, and some say they’re suffering from headaches, stomach pains and even anemia. At many campuses, an underground market for chips, candy, fast-food burgers and other taboo fare is thriving.”
Some might think that because of the massive failure of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program, combined with the marginal success (when measured against cost) of corporate/insurance incentives in the U.S., the program in Dubai will likely fail. Time will tell, but our anti-obesity programs here in America definitely aren’t the answer.
In a nation that has a love-hate relationship with capitalism, gold just might be the ticket here in the U.S. But don’t hold your breath for common-sense answers from an administration that doesn’t want to create “do-ers.” That might confuse the “take-ers.”
At first glance, Dubai’s government payout to weight losers may seem similar to something President Obama or his wife would propose. We’ve rarely seen government spending the president doesn’t like, but paying people to work isn’t Obama’s style. It would be far-fetched to imagine Obama proposing a shift in funding away from the SNAP (food stamp) program to a weight-loss program like Dubai’s.
Here’s a tip to future Republican presidential candidates: Paying people to lose weight instead of paying them to buy junk food would be a great first step in moving people from food-stamp dependents to tax-base contributors. Propose cutting food stamps in favor of a weight-loss incentive, and the attention (and votes) of the American people would be captured.
Another lesson the president could learn from Dubai is the way the emirate has encouraged the creation of manufacturing jobs. Low-tax zones have been set up to incentivize businesses to set up shop there. Imagine if, instead of a bailout to the auto industry, tax breaks were given to businesses in Detroit. Low tax or tax free zones set up to bring business to the area would have brought an influx of taxpayers and home buyers. Dubai created a million jobs a year. Not jobs saved or created – real jobs. Dubai’s 13 percent increase in manufacturing growth last year is the shining example of what Obama could have done. That could have been Detroit.
The Obama administration repeatedly says one thing and creates policy that does another.
It says say it wants to have an honest conversation about race, but will never talk about black-on-black crime. It says it wants to create jobs, then it perpetuates the longest down economy (64 months) since the Great Depression with Obamacare, bailouts and increased social programs. It says it wants to help the middle class, but it works overtime to destroy it. It says it cares about the future while it has gutted the economic hope for young people today. It says it wants to fight childhood obesity, but it will never look at a model like Dubai, because it is far too commonsense and capitalistic.
Despite Obama’s previous pronouncement that he has saved Detroit, his policies, and those of his statist cohorts at every level of government, have bankrupted the city and cost families dearly. The Obama administration’s refusal to discuss real racial issues, coupled with its new press to eliminate “Stand Your Ground” laws, will cost black lives disproportionately. Its patent endorsement of the eugenic Planned Parenthood has facilitated a black holocaust under its watch.
Its refusal to look at real answers for obesity and unemployment is further evidence of its disdain for the poor minorities it claims to help, while it uses them for votes.
Dubai-style tax breaks for business could have saved Detroit, but it may be too late. Our entire country will become Detroit-like unless we convince government dependents to become productive citizens. Let’s use the “Dubai model” of tax breaks for business and gold for weight loss and get America booming again. Then again, that’s not really Obama’s style.