Thursday, June 24, 2010

healthy-er junk food

nanny state-ism is, like it or not. we share in each others' pain, illness, and wellness if not by intent at least by infrastructure. from private to public health insurance plans, the means of operational success comes from sharing the burden of illness with those who are healthy. in fact, we've seen much from the recent health care debates that demonstrate that the cost of any insurance plan is increased as healthier (read: younger) people opt out, leaving the more costly sicker people, or people at risk of becoming sicker (read: older) remain in the pool. hence, requiring everyone to pay into the pool, young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor (read: subsidized by government) is the only way to reduce premiums to all.

thus, the question at hand: does the state have the right or responsibility to watch how we eat?

well, since government has to approve food production methods and ingredients, one could argue that it already is watching over us. but it should not tell us what or how much to eat.

the other side suggests that, with small changes in oversight, substantially large changes in individual and public health can reap great benefits with minimal loss of either corporate profits or personal tastes. here's an article of a discussion in england, a real nanny state, that addresses such small changes in food production: less sodium, less or no trans fats:

whether or not you believe the state should be a nanny, there can be little argument for allowing the state to cooperate in the profiteering of corporate foods (what some might call, Food, Inc.) at the expense of both private and public health since we're all paying.

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