Friday, November 03, 2006

Food for Thought

Citizen H has come to my rescue after I hollered from the locked room in the cold stone tower of my writer's block. (The views expressed do not represent the opinions of the Blog administrator, her affiliates, or dog. Then again, they might.):

"Seems NYC is pretty serious about imposing a ban on trans-fats in restaurants. This is the point where taxpayers should be screaming for elected officials' heads on pikes, for wasting taxpayer money on useless legislation when there is a glut of other serious items in need of attention.

Simply stated, if someone chooses to wage jihad on their arteries and wastelines, it's their prerogative. Yes, there's an obesity problem in this nation; but frankly, that's not any elected official's business. This is not a nanny state, or at least it shouldn't be. Let natural selection take its course--weed out the slow, weak, and stupid, but by their own actions or inactions.

It's not up to any political or judicial entity to dictate what anyone eats or otherwise does to themselves.

I know this stand can anger anti-abortion advocates, but frankly, they can bugger themselves (without govt. prying, intrusion, or legislation.)

Many of the same people who bemoan "choice" and promote legislation to overturn it complain on the other hand about government intrusion into other aspects of their lives. You can't have it both ways. So deal with it, OK?

In the mean time, quit tossing taxpayer time and money down the tubes for political points or asinine public health crusades. Save the health mania for outbreaks. If nothing else, it would cost less to start an advertising campaign on the risks of transfats. Doctors do that already for high-risk patients.

If healthcare costs for the morbidly obese, diabetics, heart disease sufferers, or those whose lives are impacted severely by poor dietary choices are the concern, counsel them on the risks.

Honestly, if those at risk are stupid enough to continue to make bad decisions with their health, the costs of further care should come out of their own pockets."

Thanks H, for chewing the fat.


Beth said...

BRAVO! *stands and applauds*

The Frito Pundito said...

While I fully agree that people should bear the brunt of their irresponsible actions, the reality is that they don't, we all do, and that situation is not going to change in the appreciable future. I mean get real, do you seriously think insurance companies will say "Sorry fatty, you don't get that emergency bypass paid for because you ate yourself into it." Then Fatty will just not pay for it, and the hospital will have to do the bypass anyway because they are legally obligated to provide life-saving measures to people regardless of costs*, and then voila we all pay for it because the hospital is about to go bust and needs a bond floated. Those who simply think you can divorce an individual's actions from the effects on a community are not living in a real world (or they are in a cabin somewhere in Manitoba). So given that, it makes sense to try and reduce the costs on the community in whatever way possible. The reasonable question to ask would be, how much is eliminating trans fats from restaurants really going to reduce obesity-related illnesses, and that I have no answer for. I do know that transfats are not natural, they are a fairly recent addition to food processing because they spoil less easily than non-transfats, so it's not like eliminating is getting rid of any grand cooking traditions anyway.

*Another thing that will not change anytime, no matter how much you wish it.