Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
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- Surveys Show Many Support Climate Action, But Only If It’s Really Cheap - October 22, 2019
- Save the Planet: Reform the Endangered Species Act - October 22, 2019
Leave it to Enviro-wackos to crawl into bed with public health scolds in order to restrict individual Americans freedom to eat as they choose.
You knew it was coming. First you’re forced to buy government mandated health insurance then, because the insurers that collaborated with the President Obama to create the monster known as “Obamacare,” want to reduce payouts, the government now wants to tell American’s what they can eat and how much TV and computer time they can have.
Think I’m exaggerating? Think again.
According to an article in The Washington Free Beacon, the federal committee responsible for nutrition guidelines, Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), is calling for the adoption of “plant-based” diets, taxes on dessert, trained obesity “interventionists” at worksites, and electronic monitoring of how long Americans sit in front of the television.
The government will use the DGAC’s far-reaching 571-pages of recommendations to to develop the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that are the basis for government food assistance programs, nutrition education efforts, and for making “decisions about national health objectives.”
The DGAC wants “trained interventionists,” inserted into schools, hospitals, work sites, restaraunts and public building to ensure people are eating what the committee believes are the right things. To discourage backsliding in private, the DGAC is calling for limiting peoples access to high calorie foods in public buildings, “limit the exposure” of advertisements for junk food, a soda tax, and taxing high sugar and salt items and dessert.
In addition the DGAC is recommending “coaching or counseling sessions,” “peer-based social support,” and “electronic tracking and monitoring of the use of screen-based technologies” as a way to limit screen time. Yes, you read right, they want to tell everyone how much time they can spend in front of the TV.
Now comes the recommendations that trod on my special area of expertise. The DGAC (climate experts all, I’m sure), had the temerity to recommend Americans move towards plant based diets, not for health reasons, but to improve sustainability and reduce the threat of global warming.
There is no evidence, though there is much speculation and hype, that current diets in the developed countries are unsustainable (whatever that means). Only those wedded to the idea that the Earth’s food system is a fixed pie, with limited slices, can one argue how we eat today is unsustainable. However, if you’ve followed agricultural, technological and population trends over the centuries since Malthus first foisted upon us the idea that population would outstrip food supply, you’ll recognize that the pie’s size is not fixed, but ever growing. Why should people eat like their much poorer, less healthy ancestors once did? I know populations in developing countries want diets more like our own, and less like the ones they are currently restricted to by faulty economic and corrupt political systems.
The committee also said that “altering individual and population dietary choices and patterns” would be necessary to meet its sustainability goals, as well as policy changes.
Sadly, I am all to often reminded that the hubris of government planners know no bounds.
As the Beacon reports, outside of the communities of radical environmentalists and would be public health wardens, response to the DGAC guidelines have been negative.
Per the Beacon:
“The Committee’s foray into the murky waters of sustainability is well beyond its scope and expertise. It’s akin to having a dermatologist provide recommendations about cardiac care,” Barry Carpenter, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, said in a statement.
Jeff Stier, a fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, said the report “was heavily influenced by activists’ plans to change the nation’s dietary guidelines to promote foods that they believe have ‘a smaller carbon footprint.'”
This country was founded on the ideal of individual freedom, not big-state nannyism, which is what has made it the envy of the world.
I’d like to leave my size 9 1/2 carbon footprint on the DGAC’s members behinds.