“Goodbye, war on smoking. Hello, war on fat”

But somehow, “the food industry” doesn’t sound quite as evil as “the tobacco industry.” Something about food — the fact that it keeps us alive, perhaps — makes its purveyors hard to hate. For that matter, the rationale for recent bans on smoking is the injustice of secondhand smoke, and there’s no such thing as secondhand obesity. …

These obstacles don’t make the assault on junk food futile. But they do clarify how it will unfold. It will rely on three arguments: First, we should protect kids. Second, fat people are burdening the rest of us. Third, junk food isn’t really food….

A fact sheet from [Iowa Sen. Tom] Harkin implies that schools should treat milk, French fries, and pizza like soda, jelly beans, and gum.

(William Saletan, “Junk-Food Jihad”, Slate, Apr. 15).


  • I suffered second hand obesity, in my narrow airline seat, next to a seeming convention package planeful of seat belt extender users, on a $79 flight from Las Vegas, for 5 hours. I considered going to the lavatory for some air, but the enterprise of getting past my person in the aisle seat seemed too daunting. I held myself in until we landed.

  • We are all impacted by secondhand obesity with our tax dollars. This is the same issue as smoking. There is no easy answer here, and fault falls both on marketing and the people buying the crap food. The bottom line is thar until we improve the education of Americans, we will continue to have self induced health problems. We have a problem here…. Each time our tax dollars are spent on obesity, they are not being spent on education. Yet, we can’t cut off obese people who can’t pay.

    Maybe the government should n’t have banned ephedra…

  • “This is the same issue as smoking.”

    Well, in the sense that there was ANY justice in the whole smoking mess, NO, as the cigarette companies were found to have hidden evidence regarding smoking’s health impacts.

    Also, in the sense that there is second hand smoke but not second-hand obesity, NO, that analogy again fails.

    But in all other ways, yes, which is to say, it’s just as evil and wrong an idea as that was.

    Do I own my body, or not?

    You have a problem with the government paying for my mistakes? ME TOO!! The solution is to have the government NOT pay for my mistakes, not allow the govrnment to control me. Pretty simple, really.

    There IS an easy answer: get the government out of it, and throw the lawyers doing this out on their ears (and preferably disbar them).