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Soda's familiar tactic: Buy 'em off

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Melanie Warner writes today about a soda industry offer to give a Philadelphia-based charity $10 million if the city will vote down what was originally proposed as a two-cent-per ounce tax on sugary sodas.

What came to mind immediately for me was all those deals that bottlers made with school districts: Let us put vending machines in the schools and we'll pay for new sports uniforms, new scoreboards, whatever you want.

Out of the mouths of interns

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I'll start with the obligatory: I eat meat. Not as much as I used to, but I don't see myself going vegetarian any time soon.

Having said that, I love this, from Grist mag: "EPA intern offends sensitive meat-industry souls," by Tom Philpott.

The intern, Nicole Reising, wrote, in part, "Regulations can be made to help prevent the effects of meat production, but the easiest way to lessen the environmental impacts is to become a vegetarian or vegan."

The political question

I am astounded by how often, and intensely, political views enter the obesity debate. Conservatives rail against the "food police," and hammer on "personal responsibility" as the solution. (As a former 365-pounder with 20 years of diligence toward achieving and maintaining a normal-sized body, I know about personal responsibility, and agree that each of us needs to claim our own part.)

Fast food booted

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When I saw on Twitter that fast food outlets at big US bases in Afghanistan would be closed, I thought for a moment that it might be a military statement in favor of healthy eating.

Alas, Burger King, Orange Julius, Dairy Queen, and others are being escorted off base because "they take up valuable resources like water, power, flight and convoy space and that cutting back on non-essentials is key to running an efficient military operation," Reuters reported.


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