Monday, November 8, 2010

The Food Police are Back

The food police, those who believe that people shouldn't be allowed to control their own food intake, are out with a new study. Since it is more difficult to take away the personal freedom of adults to eat whatever food they choose, the food police have focused on using big government to attack manufacturers and retailers. Naturally, as with big government efforts in other areas, one of the main tactics involves using children.
Fast food restaurants are stepping up efforts to market themselves and unhealthy food products to children and toddlers with television ads, websites and even their own menus, researchers said Monday.

They said efforts by the industry to regulate itself have failed and urged government officials at all levels to declare children a protected group and stop marketing efforts that are fueling child obesity, a serious U.S. health problem.

The linked article, which is primarily from the food police viewpoint, makes a number of unfounded assumptions. First and foremost is that marketing fast food to children is somehow wrong. Despite the best efforts of the food police to pretend that fast food is somehow equivalent to drugs or cigarettes, the fact remains that fast food is merely a certain type of food. It is not inherently bad for children. It is only bad when consumed in unwise quantities or too frequently. Fast food involves legitimate food products, and there are no good reasons why the industry should avoid marketing to children.

Second, most children do not go out and buy their own food. Most do not have jobs, don't drive, and have limited amounts of money provided by their parents. All the marketing in the world to children has no effect whatsoever as long as parents make reasonable decisions about what their children eat. Just because some parents are irresponsible fools, who think it's ok to let their kids eat fast food seven days a week, doesn't mean that fast food producers are somehow engaged in an evil campaign to fatten up children.

Yale’s Kelly Brownell said state and local governments can rein in the marketing behavior of the restaurants, pointing to San Francisco’s law passed last week that cracks down on giving away free toys in children’s meals.
Is anyone surprised that these researchers endorse a ridiculous measure by one of the most radical local governments in the country?
Ms. Brownell hopes Monday’s report will do more.

“There will be a level of anger, even rage perhaps, that will set the stage for legislation and even regulatory action,”
Because we can't let people decide for themselves what their children should eat. People like Brownell think they should decide for us -- for our own good of course.

4 comments:

  1. http://richarddawkins.net/discussions/543672-inhertitance-of-acquired-behaviour-adaptions-and-brain-gene-expression-in-chickens


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  2. Yale's Ms. Brownell, it seems to me, is on a desperate quest to be relevant. Some academics are satistfied by writing journal articles and teaching classes. But some want more: "to make a difference." It's a kind of power trip.

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  3. Yes, it's the "do-gooder" mentality. Also, you have to question the validity of studies where the people conducting the study are activists themselves.

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