4.09.2010

At what point does government start to insult our intelligence?

I'm all for healthy eating and being in shape. I'll never be an Olympic athlete, but I do want to be healthy. I even worry about kids not getting enough exercise or not eating anything besides fast food for dinner.

That does not mean I think it's the government's job to save us from ourselves. The latest news out of HHS is that the FDA is "developing a new regulation  that would require food manufacturers to display nutritional information on the front of packages." Got that? The front of packages because it's too much work to pick up the box of cereal or the frozen pizza and turn the stupid thing around. Because anyone who has ever been shopping has never seen anyone pick up something off the shelf and read the nutritional information or the ingredients.

Nope. We must be saved from ourselves and our own stupidity.

A corollary to this buffoonery is AB 664, currently sitting in the state Assembly, that would require all chain restaurants  to post nutritional information on their menus. Right. Because anyone ordering a Big Mac, a triple Whopper, or a double-bacon Thickburger is under the impression that it's the same caloric value as a spinach salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. No one is that stupid. No one believes that the menu at a fast food joint is healthy for you or that it will help them get that beach body they've always dreamed of. People buy fast food because it's cheap, easy and tastes okay.

Plus, I doubt that someone will be dissuaded from buying that Double-Quarter Pounder with cheese if they know it's 2500 calories with the large fries. People who care about those things know it's not good for them, but they might feel like splurging that day. People who don't necessarily care or think about calories aren't going to care. No matter what. You could put a sign up that says: "Hey! If you eat this burger, there are so many calories in it you might as well call 911 now for the heart attack or stroke you are giving yourself." And you know what? People would still buy them!

At a certain point, we need to realize that the government cannot save us from ourselves. They are insulting our intelligence that we can't pick up a package of food at the supermarket and look at the nutritional information, or that gosh, McDonald's and Burger King aren't health foods.

You have to ask yourself, where does it end?

H/T Charlie Sykes