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Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Nanny State Looms Ever More Obese

"FDA Contemplating Crackdown On Salt"---Los Angeles Times, November 29, 2007.

So there it is: Bureaucrats, do-gooders, politicans, and the morally superior have their eyes on salt in processed foods, and next week the ingredients in cookies, and then the recipes for pies made at home from scratch. Talk about an obesity crisis: There is no limit---none whatever---to the meddling in individual choices available to those who believe profoundly in the infinite perfectibility of man; can an exercise requirement be far behind?

And let us not forget that the central justification for such nanny-statism is the public budget for health care: The government (actually, the taxpayers) pays for health care, and so the government has a regulatory interest in individual health. Forget for the moment the fact that the bureaucrats often enough get even the scientific questions wrong, or the larger reality that such judgments inevitably must be politicized. Will this dynamic be reduced if the U.S. moves ever closer to a system of government single-payer health care? Don't bet on it.

[cross-posted from]

1 comment:

Tom Van Dyke said...

Quite so, Dr. Zycher. I enjoyed riding my wee motorcycle about, but then California instituted a mandatory helmet law---either for my own well-being or because if I sustained a head injury in a crash, the state might be on the hook for my medical bills if I were uninsured, and scrambled brains put a hurt on the public trust.

Me, I gave up the bike, because it wasn't any fun anymore. Another problem solved by legislation.