Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Some people need to get a hobby...
Written by: Beck

Big Brother (perhaps a better analogy would be Big Mother), cares about what you eat. It's no longer sufficient that you're bombarded day-in and day-out with the latest health fad buzz. In the brief time I've been on this earth, I can recall many: calorie counting, low fat/no fat diets, fiber, oat bran (whatever happened to oat bran? That was huge for a solid two or three years), the cholesterol watching fad, low carb diets (fat is ok again!), and the newest craze, watching out for trans-fatty acids. I always figured that the simple fact of the matter was that espousing, "Eat less, better food, and get more exercise," just didn't generate enough money for the self-improvement service industry, so they felt the need to shake up the program every couple of years. But that's no longer the case. It used to be simple enough that marketing firms would shame you into buying their products and plans. Now a healthy lifestyle will be forced on you by the government. And Big Mother is not going to let you go out and play until you've eaten all of your broccoli.

I've been reading more and more on this over the past few months. At first, I paid it no heed. It was ludicrous enough that New York wanted to sue gun companies in a tobacco-esque class action law suit (makes perfect sense--gun companies make a product which, when used properly, kill people, and market it accordingly. The more properly guns are used, the more effective they are at the killing. Time to sue the gun companies for making the product which they're legally allowed to make! OK, so I'm kicking a dead horse, I'll move on.) How much more ludicrous, then, that people would want to sue fast food restaurants and the makers of junk food. Still, the juggernaut of state intervention in the daily activities of our lives moves inexorably forward.

The Center for Disease Control, in its great wisdom (its wisdom must be greater than mine, since this makes no frigging sense to me), has declared that being a lazy bastard is a Chronic Disease (cue the ominous music). The Europeans are on board this train too. It's already having an impact. McDonald's has announced that they will begin phasing out their ultra-mega-uber sized serving portions of soft-drinks and fries. What the hell is going on! I like those! If I'm willing to pay for an ultra-mega-uber sized thing of french fries, and I'm willing to pay for it, how is it exactly that it's in the nation's best interest that I not?

I'll be honest with you folks. I'm having a hard time coming up with clever ways to point out why it's absurd and wrong for the government to try to dictate what kind of food people eat and how much exercise they get. I'm having a hard time because the answers all seem self evident. That two parallel lines shall never intersect is a self-evident axiom (I'd give you a link, but Euclid doesn't seem to have a web page), but you'd have a harder time than you might imagine explaining why to a child who, upon hearing that axiom, asked, "Why not?" In the same way, I have a hard time explaining how this and this and this and this could even appear in the press, let alone get taken seriously. The list goes on.

Read it. Try not to weep.
As a result, a cadre of the nation's top doctors and nutrition researchers agree that ground zero of the obesity crisis is this: America has no idea how to eat normally. [Are you #&*@(!^ kidding me?]

"Super-sizing is a public health issue of the highest priority," said Harvard University's Dr. George Blackburn, a professor of nutrition and surgery, in testimony at a recent hearing of the Food and Drug Administration's obesity working group, whose recommendations are due out this month.

Super-sizing has become so controversial that McDonald's, the corporation that popularized the concept, last week announced it was discontinuing its 42-ounce super-size soda and its 7-ounce super-size order of fries at its 13,000 U.S. stores as part of a "healthy lifestyle initiative."

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John Beck

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