I Wouldn’t Get Between Me

…and my cheeseburger. I can promise you a fight to the death.

“There are attempts to create ill-conceived regulations at the state level and there will certainly be rogue lawyers filing obesity lawsuits against companies,” he said. “And if Michael Jacobson has his way there will be a tax on every food product that is not a vegetable. We can’t let that happen.”

Pravda ran an interesting piece on Striking Back at the Food Police.

WHEN it comes to food fights, John Belushi’s character in “Animal House” has nothing on Rick Berman. A prominent Washington lobbyist, Mr. Berman runs the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit advocacy group that is financed by the food and restaurant industries. Two months ago, after a report in a leading medical journal cast doubt on several assumptions about obesity, he pounced.
His group ran $600,000 worth of full-page ads in a half-dozen newspapers, gloating that the study showed that obesity was not an “epidemic” but rather a lot of hype. “Americans have been force-fed a steady diet of obesity myths by the ‘food police,’ trial lawyers, and even our own government,” the ad said.
In recent years, Mr. Berman, who is not a scientist, has emerged as a powerful and controversial voice in the debate over the nation’s eating habits. In some ways, he has become the face of the food industry as it tries to beat back regulations and discourage consumer lawsuits. Food and restaurant companies, he says, are being unfairly blamed for making Americans fat and unhealthy; he adds that people are smart enough to make their own well-informed choices.

Hmmm. Here goes that personal responsibilty thing again. Thank God it’s not our fault and someone’s watching out for the mindless drones that we are.

Run for 30 years by Mr. Jacobson, a tenacious Ph.D. in microbiology, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has consistently shined a bright light on the nutritional ills of the standard American diet. Last year it raised $16 million, mostly from subscribers to its monthly newsletter.
To Mr. Jacobson, food companies have followed the profit motive, making bigger sizes to encourage people to spend more money, and engineering food that is full of sugar, fat and salt – and thus has an irresistible taste. As a result, he says, people have become fat…
Mr. Berman, on the other hand, argues that potato chips and hamburger combo meals have very little to do with America’s ballooning waistline. The real culprits, he says, are a lack of exercise and people’s unwillingness to take personal responsibility for their own diets. He points to separate studies showing that over the last two decades, the rates of exercise among American adolescents have decreased considerably, while total caloric consumption has risen only slightly.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Jacobson cites government data that show just the opposite: that the average American consumed anywhere from 166 to 560 more calories a day in 2000 than in 1980.

Oh well, pooh. Here’s where my willingness to blame everyone but me for my midriff bulge was trumped by my inability let that last paragraph pass. Hopefully readers of the article will note that the last sentence of the previous paragraph pretty much explains the 1980 statistics. Kids today sit on their tender buns a great deal of the time. Whatever social dynamics one chooses to point a collective finger at ~ working parents/daycare/latchkey, deficit ridden school systems, ad nauseum ~ the fact remains that majority of children no longer have the chance to be ‘kids’. The ‘shoved out the door at dawn, don’t come home ’til lunch’ kids. Like us. Shoved out the door after lunch, not to be heard from again until Mom yelled ‘dinner’. Neighborhoods aren’t safe, excess scheduling of ‘activities’, sports or otherwise, parents who don’t stroll in the door until the stroke of 7 ~ it doesn’t leave time to charge around slaying dragons. That’s where we burned those calories off.
When you’ve worked all day and are dead dog tired, it’s easy to stop at Micky D’s on the way home, call for a pizza, shove a Stouffers in the oven, give Jr. the soda he’s whining for, ’cause you’re just so damn pooped. But it’s a parent who needs to set the limits. A parent who needs to make things in bags for dinner with sodas the exception, not the rule. Exhausted as I was from my time as active military, the one thing I made sure was that Ebola had a real breakfast and I made his lunch. Dinner, with that lovely SoCal traffic was always a crap shoot, so I wanted to make sure his day started out right. (Of course it bit me in the a$$ too, since I had a child who wouldn’t touch boxed cereal…) He didn’t need soda at 5 years old and wasn’t getting it in our house. (And he sure as hell didn’t get all those Capri Sun, faux fresh juice packs. Blech.) In my humble opinion, excessively, they set a taste for sweets that only develops into problems later. It has nothing to do with the ee-ville food manufacturers making sure things have ‘an irresistible taste’. Bacon is damned nigh irresistible naturally. Parents set limits; they have to, ’cause kids can’t. As in ‘you can’t eat bacon until it puts you in a coma’.
Now, as an adult, I have my own food issues. I like to blame childbirth for the change from my ‘military cheesecake’ photo, but it’s been the cheesecakes since that are the culprits. I also sit here typing or painting, drink my red wine with dinner and grudgingly trot my expanded, um, assets only rarely on evening constitutionals. But I’m not in denial. I know I did it to myself, just as I know what the fix is and am too indifferent to get moving. On the other hand, I never finish what’s on my plate (unless it’s bacon) and realize that my chair does indeed push easily away from the table. Moderation is the key. ‘The low fat qualities of SnackWells doesn’t mean a green light to eat the whole box’ moderation.

And the group is planning a new television commercial assailing the food police. The ad shows a hand yanking an ice cream cone away from a little boy and grabbing a beer away from a guy at a bar. “Do you ever feel like you’re always being told what not to do?” the ad says. “Find out who’s driving the food police at consumerfreedom.com.”

The Nanny State is alive and well if you have to be told what not to do. And you just abdicate one more slice of your cheesecake if you let them. Don’t drop the chalupa until you want to and know you should.

3 Responses to “I Wouldn’t Get Between Me…”

  1. Gunslinger says:

    All I needed to see was the name Michael Jacobson. That friggin’ scaming huckster should be beaten halfway to death with a giant salami and then buried alive under a mound of Fettucini Alfredo.

  2. Ken Summers says:

    As Daughter Number Two said this evening (in a different context): “If he’s not my god, he’s at least a pretty good false idol”. Him and Steven Milloy.

  3. (Jeez, Gunny! Do you have all the losers catalogued? I’m gonna start emailing you for background before I post, Deep Throat…{8^P)

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