Dr. Farley, the city’s health commissioner, exercises seven days a week, loves his vegetables and has never smoked a cigarette. He has barely a ripple of fat and has run 15 marathons over the past 34 years,
He has urged what he calls curve shifting, an overhaul of human behavior toward healthier living. But to do this, he says, the entire cultural landscape must be changed to make bad choices harder and good ones easier, even if it has to be engineered by the government.
The commissioner wants New Yorkers to quit smoking in parks and beaches, take the stairs, cut the salt, lose weight, swear off sugary drinks, have safe sex and drink less alcohol; and he advocates legislation, taxes and industry regulation to help them do it.
What we actually want of course is Ken Clarke as the health supremo. A puff and a pint helps you relax, nothing wrong with a few middle aged pounds, is it one or two sugars in your tea?
Of course, these things can be overdone but moderation, not fanaticism, is what allows a 70 year old like Ken to still have the energy for Cabinet….