Breaking news: “Personal freedom is rampant in America.” And according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), that’s a bad thing. In a press release today, food cops at CSPI complained that consumers in the U.S. are subject to far less dietary regulation than their counterparts overseas. The group’s legal affairs director, Bruce Silverglade, tried to spin this as bad news, warning that “we are falling behind other countries that are taking more aggressive steps” to combat obesity.
Here are just a few of the “more aggressive” measures that we’re missing out on:
A proposed “fat tax” on foods deemed by UK government officials to be “unhealthy”
Cigarette-style health warnings that the UK Food Standards Agency has considered plastering dairy products (like cheese and butter)
A policy instructing teachers to confiscate “junk” food (The strategy is structured around a “Packed Lunch Policy”—an initiative that tells parents what they can and cannot feed their own children.)
A recommendation in the Foresight report (commissioned by the British government) calling for overweight kids to be shipped off to government-sponsored fat camps
All of this government intervention hasn’t made our European neighbors dramatically healthier or skinnier. In fact, on Monday The Times of London reported that the country’s unhealthy obsession with dieting and weight loss “might explain the exponential increase in eating disorders seen in women born in the last half of the 20th century and, in part, also contributes to the increase in obesity.”