Published On: Mon, Mar 11th, 2013

Michael Bloomberg says government ‘probably’ should not force exercise on its citizens

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has not been shy about using the force of government to promote his public health initiatives when it comes to banning sodas that he feels are too big, smoking, fatty foods, bottle feeding infants, guns, Styrofoam or even loud music.

 Asked whether government should also force people to exercise, even the Mayor with says it’s a bad idea.

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Ban sodas, trans fat, but force everyone to exercise? Even Mayor Bloomberg says ‘probably not’ a good idea.

“Well, you have to be practical about what legally you can do and what people will do,” Bloomberg said during a radio appearance.

“The nice thing about the soda thing is it’s really just a suggestion. So, if you want to buy 32 ounces, you just have to carry it back to your seat in two cups. And maybe that would convince you to only take one, but if you want two you can do it. I think government’s job… is to give you advice, not to force you do things.”

Bloomberg did go on to note that he does support government force being applied to encourage certain behaviors.

“Although there are some things we try and force you to do. If there’s asbestos in the classroom or your office building, we force you out. If you want to drink and drive, we try and stop you — although sometimes not as successfully as you’d like.”

“I think some of these other things — calorie counts we’ve done in chain restaurants so you can see what you’re eating — [are OK]. But when it comes to forcing you, the only thing the government can do practically — and I think should do — is education. Exercise is great for you, but how do you convince people to do it? And should you force them to do it? Probably not.”




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