SC

Walk, Fatties!

As part of the state of South Carolina’s recently unveiled “war on fat,” a pair of state agencies are collaborating with physicians to issue what are being called “Prescriptions for Parks.” How does the program work? Easy: Doctors would give overweight or obese patients “prescriptions” – or passes good for…

As part of the state of South Carolina’s recently unveiled “war on fat,” a pair of state agencies are collaborating with physicians to issue what are being called “Prescriptions for Parks.”

How does the program work? Easy: Doctors would give overweight or obese patients “prescriptions” – or passes good for free admission to one of the state’s thirty-plus state parks. Once there, the theory goes, these fatties would hike, bike or work out on one of the park’s exercise trails.

The program – featured in this month’s editions of Governing magazine – is being touted as a way to change behavior without forcing it (or spending taxpayer money).

Really?

Last time we checked South Carolina’s state parks system was receiving millions of dollars each year to compete against private sector tourism attractions. Of course the private sector tourism economy is also heavily subsidized in South Carolina, too, so taxpayers are getting stuck paying for non-core functions either way.

And that’s before they cough up even more on an admittance fee …

Also, how much does it cost to promote this little “Rx for Parks” program? Because our guess is the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) – which are collaborating on the program – have spent at least some taxpayer money pimping it out.

Look, we get there is an obesity epidemic in America. It’s out of control – especially in a state as dumb, poor and lazy as South Carolina. But to assume free admission to a state park is going to motivate a bunch of clearly unmotivated people to get off of their ever-expanding posteriors is ridiculous. Even if they go – what are the odds they even get out of the car? Let alone break a sweat?

The bureaucrats’ answer to all that?

“But we’ve got to do something!”

Which of course is the root of all government evil …

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18 comments

Jackie Chiles July 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I believe the state park system only recieves around $4 million per year from the state for its budget. I’m guessing that a lot more money goes into supporting private parks through tax incentives and the like throughout the state.

That said, this is a stupid idea. There are a million places to walk other than parks. If a fat person is too lazy to walk down their own street, why would they suddenly want to get into their car and drive to a state park to walk?

Reply
Finius Nullis July 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Better views, change of scenery, meet up with friends, less boring — just to name a few.

Reply
Smirks July 31, 2013 at 3:24 pm

If you’re talking about someone who has gained a significant amount of weight, likely through a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet, it doesn’t really come across as giving them some incredibly awesome gift that they can’t wait to use. Those might be legitimate reasons to jog at a park, but not everyone is interested in doing it.

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Smirks July 31, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I agree, the idea is quite dumb. Giving someone free entry really doesn’t save them much of anything, and assuming that will make them run when they could have just as easily gone to a free park to run, or just run around their neighborhood (assuming it is safe to do so) is ridiculous.

You can’t make people live healthy. You can’t force them to change their habits.

Reply
Jackie Chiles July 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I believe the state park system only recieves around $4 million per year from the state for its budget. I’m guessing that a lot more money goes into supporting private parks through tax incentives and the like throughout the state.

That said, this is a stupid idea. There are a million places to walk other than parks. If a fat person is too lazy to walk down their own street, why would they suddenly want to get into their car and drive to a state park to walk?

Reply
Finius Nullis July 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Better views, change of scenery, meet up with friends, less boring — just to name a few.

Reply
Smirks July 31, 2013 at 3:24 pm

If you’re talking about someone who has gained a significant amount of weight, likely through a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet, it doesn’t really come across as giving them some incredibly awesome gift that they can’t wait to use. Those might be legitimate reasons to jog at a park, but not everyone is interested in doing it.

Reply
Smirks July 31, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I agree, the idea is quite dumb. Giving someone free entry really doesn’t save them much of anything, and assuming that will make them run when they could have just as easily gone to a free park to run, or just run around their neighborhood (assuming it is safe to do so) is ridiculous.

You can’t make people live healthy. You can’t force them to change their habits.

Reply
Fatties Revolt! July 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I can imagine a doctor handing one of these slips to some fat guy who already has a host of problems and the fat guy taking the piece of paper and forcing it down the doctors throat.

Nice program, I wouldn’t want to be the doctor handing out the slips though.

Reply
Fatties Revolt! July 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I can imagine a doctor handing one of these slips to some fat guy who already has a host of problems and the fat guy taking the piece of paper and forcing it down the doctors throat.

Nice program, I wouldn’t want to be the doctor handing out the slips though.

Reply
Stymie Yelodog July 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Looks like the state is looking for a way to raise concession sales at state parks.

Reply
Smirks July 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Sodas, ice cream, candy. It’ll be like lunch at the fair, ultimately you get in free to spend money on junk food.

Reply
Stymie Yelodog July 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Looks like the state is looking for a way to raise concession sales at state parks.

Reply
Smirks July 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Sodas, ice cream, candy. It’ll be like lunch at the fair, ultimately you get in free to spend money on junk food.

Reply
The Truth is not found here! July 30, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Bunch of Fits crazies, once again posting inaccurate facts.

“Last time we checked South Carolina’s state parks system was receiving millions of dollars each year to compete against private sector tourism attractions.”

Shows how often you’ve “checked” (never??). Look up their budget, they get almost nothing and if you look back through previous years, they have never gotten much. Do some research. Oh nevermind, I guess most people are looking for something condeming government, no matter how untrue it may be…

Reply
The Truth is not found here! July 30, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Bunch of Fits crazies, once again posting inaccurate facts.

“Last time we checked South Carolina’s state parks system was receiving millions of dollars each year to compete against private sector tourism attractions.”

Shows how often you’ve “checked” (never??). Look up their budget, they get almost nothing and if you look back through previous years, they have never gotten much. Do some research. Oh nevermind, I guess most people are looking for something condeming government, no matter how untrue it may be…

Reply
Smirks July 31, 2013 at 3:18 pm

“…to compete against private sector tourism attractions.”

It’s one thing if you want to claim state parks that offer camping or golfing compete with private businesses, but this sounds like a program that pays for people to go to something like Sesquicentennial or Saluda Shoals. Sorry, but parks like those make little economic sense for a private entity to operate ($5 admission wouldn’t be near enough to cover the various things at a park, and fucking nobody is going to pay $25 to walk a trail or have a picnic).

How many parks are managed by SC? I would think that the small amount of money we spend on them is one of the more efficiently spent items on the budget, and that a ton of citizens enjoy the products of this “non-core function.”

Reply
Smirks July 31, 2013 at 3:18 pm

“…to compete against private sector tourism attractions.”

It’s one thing if you want to claim state parks that offer camping or golfing compete with private businesses, but this sounds like a program that pays for people to go to something like Sesquicentennial or Saluda Shoals. Sorry, but parks like those make little economic sense for a private entity to operate ($5 admission wouldn’t be near enough to cover the various things at a park, and fucking nobody is going to pay $25 to walk a trail or have a picnic).

How many parks are managed by SC? I would think that the small amount of money we spend on them is one of the more efficiently spent items on the budget, and that a ton of citizens enjoy the products of this “non-core function.”

Reply

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