The most confounding factor of the public-health push to slim down the nation is that everyone knows weight control is a matter of calories-in versus calories-out, yet no one seems to care. Scammy nutritionists and agenda-laden diet books try to camouflage that fact, but at the end of the day, many people just aren’t taking the necessary steps to eat less and move more. The Chicago Tribune today tries to get to the heart of the matter, and what really needs to be done for slim-down success.

The editorial board writes:

Health advocates, accept the bitter truth: Americans — people — like to eat tasty stuff that is not good for them. The prospect of living longer in the future can't compete with the prospect of creamy Key lime pie right now.

Preaching abstinence won't work. Nor will posting calorie counts on menus, handy as those are. 

The editorial goes on to reference the flashy $25 million ad campaign that debuted last year to promote baby carrots as a tasty alternative snack. “Eat ‘em like junk food” was the campaign’s slogan. Instead of focusing on the healthy angle, carrot pushers hoped to make their product “cool.” And it worked impressively well. According to the company that masterminded the campaign, sales of baby carrots rose 10 to 13 percent in test markets in the final months of 2010 compared to the year before.

Instead of demonizing other food manufacturers and trying to regulate the country into healthy habits, that’s exactly what more obesity activists should be doing to entice consumers to buy more healthy foods. If carrots can be cool, why not green beans or sweet potatoes?