This suggests that although people are aware of the dangers posed by tobacco and high fat food types and beverages, they are continuing to use and consume them as staple factors in their chosen lifestyle. In an age where the freedom of researched and detailed information is prevalent, it is reasonable to surmise that the issue lies with each individuals perception and understanding of the published data. This may be the case, but there is also an argument that the vast and diverse nature of the information is causing its message to be undermined.
For example, the increasing influence of the internet as a resource is encouraging more and more media outlets and experts to post their collection facts and opinions online. In addition to this, there are an burgeoning number of independent research groups who are commissioned to conduct tests on the same health related issues, and the combination of these factors creates a surfeit of information on a single topic which often offer contradictory points and areas for concern.
This is independent thinking but at its most destructive, as it is based on a selective rather than objective interpretation of accepted information. It also highlights an example of how the internet can both educate and spoil conceptual or behavioral trends within its many pages, as it is largely without moderation and provides such a myriad of diametrically opposed viewpoints that is impossible to discern any semblance of true validity. In effect, it is the vast number of sites that look to inform that actually devalue a health related message or warning.
Diminishing Freedom to Protect Society?While the US must never undertake any process that negates its democratic values, they must surely be allowed to implement law to protect the health of its citizens. Society may have the right to smoke and eat exactly what they wish, but there are increasing calls for the government to take a portion of control and be a little more dictatorial to battle the associated of induced lung cancer and obesity. It is a wonderful ideal to allow people the freedom to live as they wish to, but this is a privilege that can be abused if not regulated.
With various states such as New York already moving to ban smoking in public arena’s such as sidewalks and parks, the portents are that the US government will be encouraged to pass more stringent laws on social practices that endanger individual and collective health. While this may be seen as an affront to human rights or entirely undemocratic by some, it may be argued that it is in fact reflective of officials who look to be decisive and make decisions for the greater good of their subjects.