Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Thinning The Herd

Tax soda, pizza to cut obesity, researchers say:

They compared data on food prices during the same time. Over a 20-year period, a 10 percent increase in cost was linked with a 7 percent decrease in the amount of calories consumed from soda and a 12 percent decrease in calories consumed from pizza.

The team estimates that an 18 percent tax on these foods could cut daily intake by 56 calories per person, resulting in a weight loss of 5 pounds (2 kg) per person per year.

"Our findings suggest that national, state or local policies to alter the price of less healthful foods and beverages may be one possible mechanism for steering U.S. adults toward a more healthful diet," Duffey and colleagues wrote.

You gotta love the language, don't ya? "Steering" sounds so benign and gentle. Especially when compared to pushing, prodding, or herding. Such terms would be more appropriate given that the attitude with which these health nannies regard the American people. You are an animal, unable or unwilling to control your urges and appetites. Therefore your betters must "steer" you--using the confiscatory powers of the state as a cattle prod--toward a more healthy lifestyle. Hey, it's for your own good. Stop complaining and eat your government subsidized salad. No dressing though, unless you're willing to pay that added tax.

For those of you out there who do manage to take care of yourself and manage your diet and health without government coercion, too bad. You get to pay the soda and pizza tax too. But remember, we're talking about the greater good here. We should all be happy to pay more for a thinner America. Right?

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