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There's no legislating healthy lifestyles
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Len Shepherd, never one to be bashful to express his opinion, spoke out Monday against the City Council embarking on a commitment to help its citizenry prevent obesity.

The League of California Cities adopted a resolution at its annual conference to encourage cities to embrace policies that facilitate activities to promote healthier lifestyles and communities, including healthy diet and nutrition and adoption of city design and planning principles that enable citizens of all ages and abilities to undertake exercise.

Mr. Shepherd stated that he was 129 pounds in high school and is now at 250 pounds, adding "It's nobody's business but mine what I eat, how I eat it, where I eat it." He added, "It just grates on me to have any kind of a government intervention into people's lives."

He was, of course, talking about a number of big city liberals trying to legislate and dictate food standards to people living in a so-called free country. That would include New York City Mayor Bloomberg trying to dictate food standards, Michele Obama trying to regulate school cafeteria food and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors dictating Happy Meal content at McDonald's.

Councilman Eric Ingwerson said there is no desire to dictate menus in Ceres but promote active living and help educate the public. To explain to just "eat well." (Members of the council might take the lead and trim down and quit smoking too).

Our schools routinely tell kids of healthy lifestyles. The media continues to convey what's healthy to eat and what's not. We are aware that Ho-Hos and ice cream are fattening. We know a Big Mac is worse than a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread. We already know that it's better to run or walk miles rather than watch a 30-minute sit com.

Why don't we practice what we know? Because it takes effort. It's too easy to not change a lifestyle and eating habits. Our country is, well - forgive my bluntness - collectively fat and lazy. We're lazy about working out and being disciplined in eating foods that are good for us.

It would be fine if cities built neighborhoods with more green space and trails for bicycling and running. If that's the end result of the city's new push, great. But honestly the government can't legislate a change of heart or give people a desire to fight obesity. It must come from within and, sadly, often it comes when a heart attack or other body failure comes visiting.

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