Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Fat Czar

Professor Barry M. Popkin, author of "The World is Fat" in the September, 2007 Scientific American, is working with the Ministry of Health in Mexico to devise fat taxes on soda-pop. He is working with the Chinese government to devise fat taxes on vegetable oil. He is intrigued with a proposal to make any advertisement for fat foods a crime. He wants to make meat, poultry, and dairy products more expensive, so poor people will eat more whole grains. He doesn't like supermarkets like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Ahold because they offer too many cheap snacks and soft drinks. He frets that watching too much television is bad for poor people, thinks that they would be better off if they walked more than rode, and, after extensive study, is absolutely certain that working behind a desk burns up fewer calories than hoeing a field.

Stripped of their scientific pretension and summarized above, Professor Popkin's views are revealed for what they truly are: a call for someone or something to be a fat czar, a potentate charged with regulating the daily dietary and lifestyle choices of billions of people. It is ridiculous to believe that such a thing could exist. It is frightening to think that someone is foolish enough to try.

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