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  • No Dessert for Jay Leno?

    Should the government regulate sugar so that Americans consume less of it? Does Jay Leno need to eat more fruits and vegetables? According to the calorie nannies, both are good ideas – regardless of whether or not we the people – or Leno – want the government dictating our diet.

    Let’s start with sugar. Laura Schmidt, a coauthor of a “groundbreaking” discovery that too much sugar is bad for the body, yesterday posted an opinion piece on CNN.com advocating for a government crackdown on nature’s sweetener, informing consumers of its harm, regulating it just like alcohol, and using taxes and age limits to regulate behavior:

    [W]e need to take what we know about protecting societies from the health harms of alcohol and apply it to sugar.

    What doesn’t work is all-out prohibition — that’s very old-school and often creates more problems than it solves.

    What does work are gentle “supply side” controls, such as taxing products, setting age limits and promoting healthier versions of the product — like making it cheaper for a person to drink light beer rather than schnapps.

    Of course, there is no shortage of information on the health effects of sugar. A simple Google search on the topic will yield over 5.2 million results. Yet Schmidt is calling for the government to “educate” people on what foods and drinks people should be eating. She fails to mention that the government has been publishing dietary guidelines for 20 years now, but according the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity has been on the rise the entire time. Now “nanny staters” like Schmidt are calling for more government action, including, taxing soda and punishing companies like McDonald’s for marketing to the youth.

    But to Schmidt’s point, will higher-priced sugar lead to less consumption? If this logic held, America would already be healthier. Here’s why: The price of sugar is artificially high thanks to federal sugar subsidies and other regulations that, yet Americans still have a sweet tooth. That’s because people like to eat candy and cupcakes – and drinking Coca-Cola and Pepsi, too – and they should be free to do so.

    So where does Jay Leno fit in? This week, First Lady Michelle Obama appeared on The Tonight Show lecturing the comedian about not getting the fruits and vegetables he needs. And while there’s no harm in calling attention to the importance of eating healthy, there’s a big difference between educating and regulating. And when government sees fit to enact laws that limit our freedoms, that’s a step too far.

    Ryan McNulty is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to No Dessert for Jay Leno?

    1. Liberals will do what they do. They know better than us and will take away our freedoms everytime.

    2. Jeff, Illinois says:

      Yeah, don't for a second simply consider that information and nutritional guidelines might be well intentioned/helpful. Instead immediately start locking your doors, look for your guns and watch FOX news 24/7 until the coast is clear!!

      • Stirling says:

        "Guidelines" are just that, Guidelines.. and since we live in a free country, people should not think of them as required… The problem is "progressives" want them to be required/mandated so they can control what you eat. It really boils down to a question of choice.. do you want to make it based on your own God given "free-will" or a Government bearucrat that makes your choice for you.. As for watching Fox, that is also a God given free-will choice, and having more options is better then not having them.

      • ronbo says:

        I'm kind of curious, when you read these articles do you get a picture in your head like a redacted e-mail from the white house to the AG? You seem to cherry pick only those bits of info that you can wrap your politics around. This paragraph must have been blacked out:

        "What does work are gentle supply side controls, such as taxing products, setting age limits and promoting healthier versions of the product — like making it cheaper for a person to drink light beer rather than schnapps".

        That sounds a little less "well intentioned/helpful" and a lot more intrusive and, dare I say, controlling. But hey I'm incapable of making my own decisions and I do like schnapps.

    3. Pam says:

      Jeff from Illinois – The food pyramid has been around since the 60's. I raised two children who are normal weight. And I didn't do this by allowing them to stuff their faces with Cheetos and Twinkies. I don't want the government telling me how to live, nor do I need the government telling me how to live. And by the way, I don't watch Fox news.

    4. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Do we not see the pattern yet? Another slight "push", or as Jeff believed, "helpful", to point out all of our bad habits that the government feels compelled save us from. Those like Jeff either cannot or refuse to realize that this is deliberate indoctrination of Americans to become accustomed to accepting government control under the guise of "intentioned/helpful, that will soon find us with no decisions of our own, only what the government decides for us, while those like Jeff and Jay Leno go along with the concept.

    5. Rick, Oklahoma says:

      Jeff from Illinois. I don't watch Fox either. What Pam said above is spot on. I believe the real obesity problems in the US began 40 + years ago, when parents didn't want their children exposed to the self-esteem degrading issues of losing in sports and other physical activities. School PE classes and recess are frowned upon with their competitive activities. When we bucked the "everybody is a winner" attitude in our area, we saw some parents pull their kids from these activities. This is the "fairness" used in the progressive vocabulary, that isn't fair in today's world.

      Additionally, progressives want single payer health care, but realize the cost of the obesity problem stems, not from manufactures of food products, but from irresponsible, entitled parents and citizens, which they in turn believe, need to be controlled with food limiting legislation. If all people would have to bear the costs of their poor health choices, obesity and other health issues would nearly cure themselves.

    6. Bobbie says:

      oh, brother to it all! sugar is a natural energy substance to the human body ask any hypoglycemic. Sugar consists of no fat! Fat is necessary on the body and too many bodies are seen without it more than too many seen with it. It's all in the behavior of the person and Mrs. Obama's refusal to respect it without taxing it unfairly and controlling it rather maliciously overreacting to place burden of government costs when people are suffering enough with little money to feed their families. How dare government control the costs of our necessities of survival!!!!! Bring down food costs!!!

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