The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has been throwing a hissy fit for a solid week now over a new breakfast offering from a fast food chain. CSPI’s tone-deaf PR point woman has taken to calling the offending entrée — an admittedly massive breakfast burrito chock full of fixings — a "country breakfast bomb," while not-so-subtly implying that regulators should force the restaurant company to take it off the menu.
As always, the question remains: Why does CSPI’s personal disapproval of a meal give it the right to prevent other people from eating it? The editors of the Salem News (MA) asked as much today:
Consuming a burrito … first thing in the morning doesn’t hold much appeal for us; not to mention the mess it’s bound to make …
But how far are we willing to allow government to intrude in our lives? …
Let’s hope that’s not followed by a requirement we weigh in each day at the front door.
That last thought was echoed in this trenchant post on so-called “fat taxes” by a blogger for The Economist:
Why specifically a tax on junk food? Yes, one of the causes of obesity is "the consumption of too many calories." Another is the failure to burn the calories one consumes. So why not levy huge fines on people for not showing up at "voluntary" government-funded yogalates classes? Or if people are consuming too many calories, then just put a tax on calories. Why tax some calories but not others? You can get fat eating steak, too. Maybe a national "cap and trade" system of calorie credits would do the trick. Hey, do you know who’s healthy? Mormons are. Maybe the government should provide giant tax credits for being Mormon.