The report about obesity policy released by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) dismisses health measures that focus on personal responsibility or exercise (“Fast-food sources may be hazardous to health,” June 2). Boiled down, the group’s message reads: “Americans simply can’t be trusted with the complex task of feeding themselves.”
While this kind of rhetoric seems outrageous to most of us, it’s becoming increasingly common among activist groups like CCPHA. The “policy recommendations” section of its report included almost a half-dozen new regulations including fast-food zoning restrictions and menu-labeling mandates. These are consistent with other measures that aim to give bureaucrats control of everything we eat. Think about recent lawsuits against parents of obese children, “sin” taxes on tasty foods, and Girl Scout cookie boycotts.
CCPHA’s president even suggested that the Environmental Protection Agency should define some restaurants as “environmental toxins.” But the real toxic element here is an unhealthy activist-driven public obsession with “junk” food, which redirects energies away from programs that encourage exercise — and toward ineffective government control of our food choices.
Senior Research Analyst
Center for Consumer Freedom