The Richmond Times-Dispatch weighs in on the so-called “obesity epidemic” in an editorial: “Fat is the next big political thing… Sixty percent of the populace is overweight. Just take a look around. Yet if the figure seems high, that is because the federal government changed its ‘body mass index’ four years ago. As a result, even people in excellent physical shape can qualify as butterballs according to their height/weight ratio.
“News stories now talk of the obesity ‘epidemic.’ And an epidemic, as everyone knows, is a public-health problem requiring a public — i.e., a governmental — response… The idea of a ‘Twinkie tax’ on junk food has spread from the academic/think-tank world to the world beyond: In March a California lawmaker proposed a tax on soda.”
The paper concludes: “Only a decade ago conservatives used to warn, half-jokingly, that if the Nanny State were not reined in, before long it would be requiring individuals to exercise and telling them what and how much they could eat. It was hardly a knee-slapper back then. As the ranks of the busybodies swell, it seems even less funny now.”