Magazine article The New American

Global Food Cops

Magazine article The New American

Global Food Cops

Article excerpt

ITEM: In a June 7 special issue, "Overcoming Obesity in America," Time magazine asked: "How would the Federal Government fund a national campaign for healthier eating? Once again, the obesity warriors want to steal a leaf from the tobacco wars: if you want people to use less of something, put a tax on it...."

"A tax on junk foods? A bah on advertising to tots? A national nutrition campaign advising us all to eat less? Could any of this actually happen?" Certainly, answered Time, citing "obesity warriors" such as health economist Kenneth Warner, director of the University of Michigan Tobacco Research Network. Warner remembers when the world thought it was everyone's personal responsibility to cut down on smoking and when the government had little to say on the matter In many ways, he says, where we are in fighting obesity today is similar to where we were with cigarettes in the early '60s...."

BETWEEN THE LINES: We are being forcefed this campaign on many fronts. Consider Supersize Me, a well-publicized film by a man who ate only McDonald's food for a month and gained 25 pounds. The film garnered the best-documentary-director prize at the Sundance Film Festival. The meaning of the movie, says director Morgan Spurlock, is that "fast food is as addictive as any drug." (There was much less publicity when Soso Whaley of the Competitive Enterprise Institute ate at McDonald's for a month, losing 10 pounds and lowering her cholesterol 40 points. She also made a documentary--and wiser food choices.)

As usual, the urgency is overblown. …

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