Written by Jonathan Aluzas

The Los Angeles Unified School District sucks.? It just plain does.? The dropout rates are ridiculous,


the quality of education is minimal, the bureaucracy is corrupt and incompetent and, in short, our kids are not receiving a decent education.? I apologize to the teachers for voicing this out loud, I’m not saying that you suck and I’m certain many of you are terrific (although it’s unconscionable that you allow your union to protect inept teachers from being fired), but the statistics and results (or lack thereof) don’t lie; the Board of Education is failing!? To blame are our state and local legislators, unions, administrators and, ultimately, the public for allowing this unacceptable situation to exist.? Our schools, in addition to being mismanaged, don’t receive adequate funding to build a top-notch educational system.? Nor are our law enforcement agencies properly funded.? Nor are our public services properly funded.? NOTHING is properly funded.? We have a $28 billion dollar budget shortfall this year, which leads into my point for writing this.

I heard on the radio today that obesity is costing the state of California $41 billion per year!? That’s $41 BILLION!! This is enough money to cover this year’s budget shortfall and half of what will inevitably be next year’s!? These are our tax dollars being spent on what I hold to be an entirely preventable condition.

Obesity Tax?
Obesity Tax?

I know that it is an unpopular position, probably not a politically correct one, but I believe obesity to be a man-made condition.? It is a behavioral issue resulting from lack of activity and overabundant and unhealthy eating.? When we label it a “disease” we remove human accountability from it and render it a condition forced upon people by nature, which simply isn’t the case.? I had a client who was a retired endocrinologist, a doctor who specialized in hormonal issues for 50 years.? The bulk of his time was spent dealing with overweight and obese people.? When I asked him what percentage of people had a legitimate hormonal condition which caused obesity his response was “None.”? His words, not mine, though I think in fairness frustration was causing him to overstate the issue.? He said in almost every case the condition resulted from too much food and too little activity, but that people were unwilling to accept that reality.? If we can re-context our position on obesity to place responsibility on the individual we give that person a chance to correct the issue!

Why am I paying an obesity tax?? Why are our kids and cops and street cleaners suffering from inefficient funding when the money is there?? This isn’t about beating up on obese people, this is my cry for us to do something about this issue!? Maybe we can:

  1. Use that money to implement state funded programs to educate people properly about obesity prevention and set up programs in which people can receive nutritional guidance and exercise supervision.
  2. Create tax write-offs for those people who spend money on exercise and/or nutrition programs so that they’re not footing the bill for those who aren’t.
  3. Pressure health insurance companies to reward people who demonstrate actions that promote health and cut back on treatment for obesity related ailments.? Why don’t they subsidize exercise and nutrition programs?? It would SAVE them a ton of money.

I don’t know, I’m not a policy maker.? But the public needs help with obesity, not enabling.? By footing the bill for obesity we are continuing to promote the condition.

When we created public schooling we did so with the implicit promise to properly and adequately fund and support them.? When we suffer from crime we condemn the police but fail to provide them with resources necessary for them to assist in preventing the crime committed upon us in the first place.

It’s time for us to stop paying Obesity Tax and start providing a solution that will not only demonstrate our concern for the obese, but for the rest of us left out in the cold as a result of continuing to fund it.

For more info, check this out: https://tinyurl.com/myzh7x

Jonathan Aluzas is the owner of Arena Fitness in Encino, California.

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