The new food warriors

An excellent article from the Hoover Institution of Stanford University highlights the big government thinking of the “self-appointed food police.” Obesity is a growing concern, but laying the blame at the feet of governments and big business is a knee-jerk nanny state reaction to a huge problem:

Anti-obesity crusaders like to deride as “junk food” whatever they’ve decided is “bad.” But when eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, there really is no such thing… [A]ny nutritionist worth his sodium chloride will confirm that your grandmother was wise in telling you just to do things in moderation. Yet “moderation,” “personal responsibility,” “parenting,” and even “exercise” are inconvenient concepts to uncompromising activists.

Many campaigners for more regulation have an annoying tendency to assume that we are all idiots. Like children, we have to be protected from ourselves and can’t be trusted to make a sensible decision:

[The] obesity epidemic [is due to] public health officials’ and lawmakers’ failure to “legislate change”—not enough statutes, regulations, public monies spent, or taxes on foods he thinks are bad…because industry is so good at doing its job—which is to “misinform consumers” in their quest to profit from selling as many cheap calories as possible—government needs to intervene.

Banning food will only make it more appealing. Instead, treat us like adults and trust we will reach for the beans instead of the brownies.


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