In 1991, a young professor started his career at Yale. Many pants sizes, several awful proposals to regulate what everybody can eat and drink, and 22 years later, Kelly “Twinkie Tax” Brownell is moving on from Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, where the now-very-portly professor condemns cereal, soft drinks, and restaurant foods. He will take the reins of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy effective July 1.
We hope this doesn’t portend a change in Duke’s approach to weight control. The Duke Diet and Fitness Center, affiliated with Duke University Medical Center, runs an intensive weight-loss program which has a 40-year record of satisfied clients, based on the principle “You can change your life” (emphasis in original). The program develops individualized exercise plans, offers counseling on nutrition, and provides cooking classes for its patients, with continuing guidance available after leaving the program. The Duke Fitness plan restores personal responsibility and points patients in the right direction.
On the other hand, Brownell’s views that people are hopeless victims of a “toxic food environment” and the ludicrous notion of drug-like “food addiction” suggest that “You can’t change your life.” Since he apparently can’t, Brownell has spent most of his Yale years demanding extra “sin” taxes on everything from soft drinks to bubblegum on the off-chance Big Brother can.