We’ve pointed out before that once the food police successfully tax one kind of food or beverage in the name of “fighting obesity,” taxes and other heavy-handed government regulations can spread to other foods and drinks like wildfire. Today, Journal News columnist Phil Reisman writes that instead of simply taxing an arbitrary product—soft drinks, in this example—the government should hurry up and get to the point:

Here's an idea. Instead of arbitrarily levying a tax on fat-inducing stuff people ingest like soda pop, tax the actual results.

In other words, don't play around. Force individuals to directly take responsibility for their behavior by enacting a real "obesity tax." Base it on the BMI — or body mass index….

To carry out the plan, citizens would be required by law to report every year to community weigh stations established by a brand new Federal Bureau of Obesity. Considering that 26 percent of adults are clinically obese, the tax would initially raise many billions of dollars in revenue, not to mention do wonders for liposuctionists.

But don’t grab your pitchforks and torches just yet. Reisman notes his satire, and goes on to suggest a real solution to fighting the Battle of the Bulge: “Radically revamp physical fitness programs in the public schools.”

Schools in Ohio just might do exactly that, as Buckeye legislators consider a bill that would require 30 minutes of daily exercise in school. It’s certainly a needed change—kids are getting less and less exercise in schools each year. A 2009 studyin the journal Pediatrics discovered that nearly a third of schoolchildren get little or no daily recess. And it’s certainly a more appetizing solution than the alternative of slowly taxing everything that might make us fat—from foods and drinks to couches and video game systems.