Few of us would be surprised to learn that the top New Year’s resolution is to “lose weight.” But many find it jarring that politicians have begun legislating that resolution for us. From San Francisco’s newly suggested soda tax to New York City’s notorious menu-labeling campaign, evidence of bureaucrats butting into our diets is increasingly apparent. And recent news suggests that food fascism is an international problem too.
In response to new UK plans to refuse health care to citizens based on their weight, columnist Daniel Hannan spoke out against pending Big Brother policies in the London Telegraph:
All I’m saying is that it ought not to be the state’s responsibility to keep us in shape … The trouble is that governments do things badly. There is no reason to expect the state to be any better at making us thin than it was at installing telephones, building cars or running airlines. As a rule, bureaucracies become self-sustaining.
Canada’s widely-circulated National Post editorialized against the Calgary Health Region’s push to ban trans fats from restaurants and grocery stores:
Should Calgary’s food police inspect each shopper’s basket before the checkout or approve all the menu items restaurants in the city offer? Perhaps a body fat analysis to determine if a person should be allowed to buy that coconut cream pie?
Government bureaucracies should not decide what people eat … The CHR has no business in the restaurant booths or the shopping baskets of the nation.
We’re less than 48 hours into 2008. It’s not too late to make one more New Year’s resolution: Cut the excess fat from our legislatures, instead of our diets.