The “Last Call” column in this month’s issue of The American Spectator describes a frightening vision of the near-future, where the Center for Science in the Public Interest and “Calorie Czar Kelly Brownell” have been placed in charge of our diets. “People used to call them the ‘food police’ — back before there actually were Food Police,” writes David Martosko, the Center for Consumer Freedom’s director of research. A few highlights from the article:
New York lawmaker Felix Ortiz and California state Senator Deborah Ortiz began showing up on movie screens between the Coming Attractions. “Team Ortiz” had pioneered fat-taxes and soft drink bans in their home states back in 2003. “We Want You,” they would say, “to eat rice cakes and drink organic bottled water.” Felix would warn that the price of movie nachos was about to go up (again), and Deborah would remind kids attending Harry Potter and the Order of Celery Sticks that Milk Duds were now rated “R” …
“Dad,” my three munchkins would ask, “why do we have to share one order of French fries?” “Because it costs ten dollars,” I’d whisper. “Now sit still while I pour you each a thimble of Diet Sprite.” I never understood why a fat-free, calorie-free drink needed extra taxes, but I suppose we can’t make exceptions for innocent-looking sodas. Carbonation equals obesity. That’s what Kelly Brownell always said.
Brownell has spent the last five years promoting “Twinkie taxes” and other intrusive methods of controlling our dinner plates. He regularly dismisses the idea that obesity is a matter of personal responsibility (you can find examples here, here, and here), arguing that humans have barely more control over their eating habits than animals in a cage.
So what’s he doing giving a speech at a sports club convention? Exercising at a gym is a matter of personal responsibility, as even Brownell (who could stand to lose a few pounds himself) surely knows. He admitted to an Associated Press reporter that writing his new book attacking food companies kept him too busy to watch his own weight.