Do you want the government to regulate choices that impact health?

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • I was just reviewing the results of a The Harris Poll. The Harris Poll is administered by Harris Interactive. Harris Interactive is a leading custom market research firm that works with a variety of industries, including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, and telecommunications.


    The poll I reviewed is focused on how American's feel about legislation to regulate healthy living, such as taxes of sugar-sweetened beverages or the banning of smoking in restaurants.


    This particular Harris Poll included 2,211 United States adults over the age of 18-years-old. The poll was conducted between February 27-29, 2012.

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    I'm curious to know if you agree with the majority. Here are some of the findings:


    • 91% support a ban on texting while driving (strongly supported by 74%)
    • 70% support a ban of talking on the cellphone while driving (strongly supported by 43&)
    • 78% support the requirement of eating establishments to reveal nutritional information on menus (strongly supported by 34%)
    • 86% support standard round of childhood vaccinations being required (strongly supported by 55%)
    • 80% support smoking bans in restaurants and public places (strongly supported by 58%)
    • 76% against employers citing obesity as a reason for not hiring (strongly opposed by 43%)
    • 65% against employers not hiring due to being a smoker (strongly opposed by 34%)
    • 62% against the tax of sugar-sweetened soft drinks (strongly opposed by 37%)
    • For the most part I agree with the majority on these issues. However, this enters sticky area in regards to government policy and our individual freedoms. Do we want regulations that keep the majority in a safe and healthy environment?

    I'm not sure what is the right answer. I don't want someone to smoke inside or near my daughter's school, but I also want the freedom to choose which vaccinations are right for her or not. This is fine line. What do you think?


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Published On: March 20, 2012