Overgovernment: Cookie Police Edition
The nannies in Massachusetts are on a sugar-hating kick, picking on that most popular of targets in recent years – so-called junk food:
Bake sales, the calorie-laden standby cash-strapped classrooms, PTAs and booster clubs rely on, will be outlawed from public schools as of Aug. 1 as part of new no-nonsense nutrition standards, forcing fundraisers back to the blackboard to cook up alternative ways to raise money for kids.
At a minimum, the nosh clampdown targets so-called “competitive” foods — those sold or served during the school day in hallways, cafeterias, stores and vending machines outside the regular lunch program, including bake sales, holiday parties and treats dished out to reward academic achievement. But state officials are pushing schools to expand the ban 24/7 to include evening, weekend and community events such as banquets, door-to-door candy sales and football games.
The heavy-handed, paternalistic rules are bad enough, but what really irks me is this mentality:
State Sen. Susan Fargo (D-Lincoln), chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Public Health, said the problem of overweight children has reached “crisis” proportions.
“If we didn’t have so many kids that were obese, we could have let things go,” Fargo said.
“But,” she added, “this is a major public health problem and these kids deserve a chance at a good, long healthy life.”
No, obesity is not a “public health problem,” it is an individual health problem. Public health problems exist when one persons sickness can make me sick or unhealthy. But one person being fat has no impact whatsoever on whether or not I am fat.
There is a related problem where I am expected to bear the cost of another’s health choices, but that doesn’t make it a public health issue, that just makes inherently unfair regulations requiring some to subsidize the healthcare of others, even when the cause of the need for care is based on choice.
What State Sen. Susan Fargo (D-Lincoln), chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Public Health, is doing is using one set of boneheaded policies put in place by people like State Sen. Susan Fargo (D-Lincoln), chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Public Health, in order to justify a further collectivized society, and more power in the hands of people like State Sen. Susan Fargo (D-Lincoln), chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Public Health. Funny how that works.