We thought we’d seen it all. Apologists for the dubious concept of a global “obesity epidemic” have already gone on the offensive with fast-food lawsuits, demands for complicated labels on restaurant menus, taxpayer-funded campaigns designed to denigrate specific foods and beverages, proposed
school-lunch bans of harmless foods like peanut butter and graham crackers, declarations of “statewide emergencies,” and laughable claims of heroin-like “food addiction.” They’ve even fudged public-health numbers to make their point. But the nannies in New Zealand have just vaulted themselves over (or should we say down under?) everything we’ve seen here in the United States.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has published a document suggesting that there should be a minimum legal age for buying or eating so-called “junk food.” Under the Ministry’s broad definition, this plan would outlaw the sale of hamburgers, soda, pies, candy, and chocolate to anyone without the proper ID. One Kiwi activist from a group calling itself “Fight the Obesity Epidemic” (appropriately abbreviated FOE) told The New Zealand Herald that he also wants government controls on all foods sold within a kilometer of any school.
The rhetoric in New Zealand has escalated to levels that would make the Center for Science in the Public Interest proud. The president of the Society for the Study of Diabetes told the Herald: “We want to regulate the school environment so these things are not able to be sold in schools any more than we would be able to sell alcohol or cigarettes.”
Can “Just say no to cheeseburgers” or “Don’t drink milkshakes and drive” be far behind? Don’t say we didn’t warn you.