Garbage In, Food Police Out

A new projection that 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030 is making news just in time for the nation’s food police to gather in the nation’s capital and collaborate on their Social Engineer’s Manifesto.

That sounds like awfully providential news. And now, thanks to an op-ed in Newsday, we know a little bit more about how, in spite of falling added-sugar consumption and a leveling off of obesity rates, this result was generated. The authors note:

The assertion, however, is as reliable a predictor as a Magic Eight Ball. It’s based on projections like the number of fast-food restaurants likely to be built over the next two decades. Wall Street analysts can’t predict such things five years out. […] That’s about as nutty as predicting obesity based on Internet access.

And sure enough, that’s what the researchers did. The researchers also assert that their “projections assume that […] parameters […] from past data will continue to hold in the future,” failing to consider that since 2008 (when their data was generated) the restaurant and food landscape (to say nothing about the rest of American life) has changed. As consumers have demanded healthier options, for instance, restaurants and food companies have provided those options.

So if this projection isn’t an accurate reflection of the future of America’s health, what is it? One need only look at where the projections were announced. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, now run by former New York City Health Commissioner and would-be dietary dictator Thomas Frieden, is holding its “Weight of the Nation” conference to build support for anti-obesity social engineering.

In order to serve the engineers’ ends, the food police are pulling out all the stops: Wild projections, manifestos for dietary central planning, ludicrous comparisons of food to tobacco, and even a week-long HBO documentary.

They’ve even proposed mandating the content of restaurant menus because they don’t think people are smart enough to make their own choices. Our Senior Research Analyst went on National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm Show to respond to this implicit insult:

Well, recommendation two [of the manifesto] is specifically related to the government’s attempts to make concerted efforts to reduce unhealthy food and beverage options. This is  […] a sea change in government policy-making with respect to the government’s ability to tell us what we are allowed to eat. And I see it as really troubling and, frankly, very paternalistic. You know, no one seems to be questioning: At what point did it become legitimate for the government to tell us how much we’re allowed to weigh?

What’s missing in all this? Any acknowledgement that personal irresponsibility played a role in the causes of obesity and that only by restoring personal responsibility can we fix the problem. As we told USA Today:

Personal irresponsibility is to blame for obesity; personal responsibility is the only viable solution. We shouldn’t promote policies that serve only to diminish it.

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