Moderation not legislation

Posted:

The senators — Bill Frist, Jeff Bingaman and Christopher Dodd — introduced legislation Tuesday aiming at reducing obesity, especially among children.

Obesity is, for the most part, preventable,'' said Frist, R-Tenn.There is no single solution, but better information, improved nutrition and greater opportunities for physical activity will guarantee progress.”

—Assoc. Press, Senators Introduce Obesity Bill

With great restraint, I resisted opening this entry with a cheap joke about the long tradition of lardbutts in Congress. But feel free to make your own. The historical minded of you might want to mention Chester A. Arthur or William H. Taft (a president so gaucy that he once became wedged in the White House bathtab). Modern legislative two-ten-tessies include Newt Gingrich, Dick Army and my own state’s sentor with senority Ted Kennedy. Consider using motifs like “pot calling kettle black,” “fox guarding hen house,” or “tax fattened hyennas.”

That was fun.

Congress can do diddly-squat about American eating habits. Most individuals are hard pressed to effectively manage their weight (see first paragraph). Despite frivilous lawsuits against the fast food industry, there isn’t a dearth of nutrition information freely available. Is there an epidemic of obesity in the US? The CDC and other health organizations believe so. Yet what more can the federal government do to improve the situation? Eating habits are so primal that they are difficult to alter even by people who want to do so. This bill is full of good intentions but is absolutely destined to abject failure. The proposed “fat” money is better spent on anything else (cough Amtrak).

When it does fail, will the Feds declare a War on Weight? Will McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch and Little Debbie Snack Treats be labled an “Axis of Fat?”

[Original use.perl.org post and comments.]