Posts Tagged ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’

In Which I Get My Politics On

From the “Really Stupid Ways to Force People to Eat Healthy” department, there’s this item from Denmark, as reported by Jack Cafferty and Ezra Klein, both of whom are interesting writers (in different ways).  Remember when the Danish government was only worried about the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?

These days the Danes are apparently less interested in fundamental existentialism than in social engineering.  Regardless of the politics of how deeply into your menu I think a government should be, this is, I believe, on the wrong track because (regular readers will anticipate this) fat is not the problem.

People have been eating fat – even the saturated kind – for as long as people have been eating.  What have people not been eating for millennia?  Fake food.  Heavily engineered corn sweeteners.  I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

As you may remember from posts like this one, there’s good research out there to indicate that the problem is overly processed and highly engineered “food.”  That the stuff we eat today does a better job of making us want more of the stuff we eat than it does of helping our bodies run efficiently.

If a government wants to socially-engineer better health, it could start by cutting US corn subsidies.  I realize this is Denmark we’re talking about, but here in America, we’re getting an average of ten percent of our calories from High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Seriously.

Klein, in the more substantive of the articles on the Danish tax, points out that research indicates a tax like this has to be pretty heavy-handed to affect behavioral change.

So, you want to lead people away from their dinner plates?  Don’t tax their bacon.  Just stop subsidizing their corn.

Hey, remember yesterday when I promised you music?  Sorry about that.  So, tomorrow, the bold return of Five Things Wednesday features music about weight loss.  Good for YOU!

Thanks for reading, as always.

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