Thursday, April 17, 2008

Please help us, we're stupid

In another example of government believing we're dumb animals who need watching over, beginning Monday in New York City, some chain restaurants will be forced to post calorie counts alongside their menu offerings. City health officials, according to the Associated Press, contend that providing calorie information will save 150,000 New Yorkers from obesity and will prevent another 30,000 from getting diabetes and other ailments over a five-year period. I'm really skeptical of those figures. They sound made up. And the rule doesn't even apply to most upscale restaurants or the many Mom-and-Pop delis and pizza shops all over the city. It's just places such as McDonald's and Burger King that have at least 15 restaurants nationwide. Do the health nannies believe people are going to be shocked that some foods are better for them than others? I really don't need a government agency to provide me with the stunning news that a side salad with diet dressing is much healthier for me than a Double Whopper with Cheese.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an easy target. First they warn us about cigarettes and alcohol, now it's about fat. What's next? Stickers on SUVs? WARNING: THIS CAR USES A WHOLE STINKIN' LOT O' GAS! How about stickers on guns? WARNING: POINT BARREL AWAY FROM YOU! Or on people? WARNING: IF YOU MARRY THIS GUY, YOU WILL BE SORRY!

April 17, 2008 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

It's all about a lack of personal responsibility and the almighty lawsuit. Remember that 400+ lb. kid from New York who was for a brief period the poster, boy...for this anti-obese movement? The zealots urging reform made it sound like this poor unsuspecting fellow had a couple of meals at McDonald's and ballooned to gargantuan proportions. Sorry. It doesn't work that way. If anyone should have been punished, punitively or otherwise, it should have been his mother. She let him eat like that until his weight was so out of control, the only solution other than a healthy diet and exercise was to sue someone. That story died a pretty quick death, I think largely due to the mother's ridiculous claims that it was somehow someone else's fault.

Many years ago, when the first tobacco settlement was handed down, I thought that it wouldn't be long before all sorts of things whose abuse is hinged solely on personal responsibility (like cigarettes) would become targets of these insane lawsuits. I thought it wouldn't be long before alcohol, fatty foods, deep-fried foods, cookies and so on would be under attack.

People claim that they are too busy to cook anymore. The opt for restaurants rather than trying to put something on their tables at home. It never occurrs to them that there's a reason a restaurant's food is worthy of charging money's goooood! But goooood comes with the knowledge that there is something in there (fat, cream, butter) that makes it that way. You can buy pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches now. What person is so busy they can't make their kid a PBJ??? And by making it themselves, they control the ingredients. Then they transfer the guilt they feel onto something or someone else. They're not too busy. They just don't want to do it.

I remember when cigarette commercials were taken off the air in the late 60s, or it might have been very early 1970. The point is that I remember seeing cigarette labels pointing out the dangers of smoking from 1966 or so. It seems to me that anyone who was old enough at the time to understand the warnings and decided to start smoking, he or she did so with the knowledge that those things just aren't good for you. (I smoked for 27 years, so I know of what I speak.) They made a conscious choice to consume a product that could kill them.

It's no different with beer, bourbon, snuff, and yes, those dreaded trans-fats. I don't need the government or anyone else telling me that fast food is bad for me. By the same token, by choosing to consume said fatty products, I also believe that I should waive the right to seek financial renumeration from the very company which provided me with such delights.

People want to do whatever they feel like without anyone stepping on their toes. Until something bad happens, and then they feel as if they are owed something from the company because of profits or whatever.

Though I quit smoking almost 8 years ago, if I should get cancer at some point in my life, I will assume that it was from the pack or more I smoked every day since I was 17 years old. Who is responsible? Me, of course. Philip Morris, the Marlboro Man, Joe Camel...none of them ever lit a cigarette for me. I lit them all. And I loved every one I smoked, but I don't want to die of cancer or emphysema so I quit. Now, I wonder who I can sue to compensate me for the 30 pounds I gained since I quit.

April 19, 2008 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Harry Funk said...

I haven't eaten at McDonalds, et al, since 1993, and I'm proud of it!

However, that hasn't seemed to help my midsection, which continues to put a strain on my belt.

I know what I should or shouldn't eat. I don't need the government guiding my way. They don't have a good track record on that in other areas ...

April 23, 2008 at 8:11 AM  

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