By: J. Justin Wilson
Newspaper: The News Tribune

The causes of obesity are far more complex than the occasional soft drink. Obesity is caused by an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories burned, not a particular food or beverage item.

That equation can be put out of and back into balance by changes on either side. Consider that a University of Illinois researcher found strong correlations between total miles driven and obesity rates. Another study from Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis found that kids who lived near soccer fields and tennis courts had lower body mass indexes.

The increased prevalence of desk jobs and labor-saving devices is a much more appropriate place to begin than concentrating only on single food items. We need a holistic approach that empowers personal responsibility, not ham-fisted government compulsion.