A bowlful of developments in obesity politics have cropped up in just the last day. The Center for Consumer Freedom is here to give you the story … and the story behind the story.
In New York City, one City Councilman has suggested using zoning laws to prevent fast food restaurants from being built. Councilman Joel Rivera hyped his idea as a way to fight obesity, especially in lower-income communities. We’re pretty sure restaurants get built according to consumer demand, but hey, why let consumers eat where they want?
Angered that his son was served a local delicacy as a school lunch, a Massachusetts state lawmaker is attempting to restrict the use of Marshmallow Fluff in public schools. A popular sandwich in the Northeast, the Fluffernutter is made with Fluff and peanut butter. When his kid chose to get a Fluffernutter for lunch (Fluff has caloric content almost identical to the jelly in a PB&J sandwich), State Senator Jarrett Barrios “kicked off a fuss that would have to be considered bizarre even by State House standards,” as one Boston Globe columnist put it. “Regulators are trying hard to take the fun out of school,” protested the head of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. Another lawmaker told the Globe: “ [I]t’s insane that we’re having this conversation.“
A market analyst’s new report suggests that fewer teenagers may be choosing soft drinks in the future. While teens may be making a variety of alternative drink choices (that’s consumer freedom, after all), this trend flies in the face of food scold Marion Nestle‘s claim that “[i]t’s asking far too much of late adolescents to exercise that kind of choice,” since health is one of the reasons cited for the switch. While Nestle was talking about college kids being able to choose their own breakfast cereals, it’s safe to assume that she doesn’t think highly of teens’ personal responsibility when it comes to soft drinks, either.