I guess that everything is better wherever you are

The war on fat has just crossed a major red line. The Los Angeles City Council has passed an ordinance prohibiting construction of new fast-food restaurants in a 32-square-mile area inhabited by 500,000 low-income people.

We’re not talking anymore about preaching diet and exercise, disclosing calorie counts, or restricting sodas in schools. We’re talking about banning the sale of food to adults. Treating French fries like cigarettes or liquor. I didn’t think this would happen in the United States anytime soon. I was wrong.

The mayor hasn’t yet signed the ordinance, but he probably will, since it passed unanimously. It doesn’t affect existing restaurants, and initially it will impose only a one-year moratorium. But that period is likely to be extended to two years or more, and the prohibition’s sponsor hopes to make it permanent.

Slate, July 31 2008

Tell me I’m being an extremist. Tell me I’m fighting a futile battle. Tell me I’m missing some finer point that justifies banning this harmless life choice but not your pet cause. I’ve heard it before.

Just please stop telling me that I’m fucking crazy.

perich.livejournal.com, Feb 1 2008

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2 Responses

  1. Not that I approve of either, but why is regulating the sale of unhealthy food different from regulating cigarettes? It this regulation actually less justifiable or have we just not acclimated to it yet? It makes me sort of wish that I could stockpile french fries…

  2. Putting on my Libertarian hat: it’s not!

    Putting on my rationalizing economist hat: cigarettes have more demonstrable harms than unhealthy food. Cigarettes contain actual poisons. Cheeseburgers contain proportions of fat far in excess of what the average chair-bound human needs to survive. But humans actually need some fat; no human actually needs ammonia.

    Or: human beings can survive on a sensible diet of cheeseburgers.

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