It’s amusing to see food cops suddenly aghast when their own arguments are taken to their logical conclusion. Earlier this week, notorious food cop Michael Jacobson—known for bragging that his organization “could envision taxes on butter, potato chips, whole milk, cheeses, [and] meat”—came out in opposition to San Francisco’s proposed soda tax and Mississippi’s proposed ban on restaurant service to obese customers.
Jacobson told USA TODAY the Mississippi legislators sponsoring the bill “should be ashamed of themselves.” And his group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, dismissed the notion that drinks with high fructose corn syrup affected the body any differently than sugar as nothing more than an “urban myth.”
Ironically, these policies follow the very same government-knows-best mentality that CSPI and other radical activists have been promoting for decades.
CSPI continues to push taxes on soft drinks and other treats, despite the fact that research shows “Twinkie” taxes wouldn’t work. One 2005 study calculated that even a 20 percent tax on potato chips would result in a weight loss of only one quarter of a pound over a whole year for a potato-chip eater. And the UDSA reported in 2007 that “Such research shows that simply manipulating food prices is not likely to induce significant improvements in American consumers’ diets.”
You don’t need a Ph.D in economics to know that 0.25 pounds is not a lot of fat. On the other hand, physical activity is not only more effective, it’s free and doesn’t come with a government mandate. By vacuuming for a mere five minutes each day, an individual could lose almost 3 pounds annually.