Some bad ideas never go away. Take portion control. The idea that the government should regulate the size of our dinners keeps dying due to lack of public support, but like some bad horror movie series, the monster keeps getting brought back to life by some food activists and scientists in defiance of the gods of common sense.
As director of the Mount Sinai Cardiovascular Institute in New York, Dr. Valentin Fuster apparently believes himself qualified to make prescriptions not only for the pharmacist but also for Congress. While in Barcelona for a cardiology conference, United Press International (UPI) reported, Dr. Fuster said: “Heart-healthy eating is not just about diet. We also have to teach people to eat less. People won’t do it by themselves. It has to be regulated.“
In case that’s not clear enough, UPI reported that Dr. Fuster would actually stipulate “how large a food portion could be in a restaurant.” He continued:
If you give a bunch of people automobiles they will go faster and faster. We created red lights and green lights to regulate traffic because it is natural for a person to go ahead with what he wants if it is not regulated. The same thing applies to food.
Lying just below the surface of Dr. Fuster’s parable of the traffic lights is the assumption that personal behavior must be controlled from the outside. But there’s another way. Personal responsibility can’t completely protect you from others driving into your car (which is why traffic lights are such great inventions), but it certainly can keep excess food from going into your mouth.