Monday, July 04, 2005

Krugman: Red America Kills by Obesity

Girth of a Nation - New York Times: "The Center for Consumer Freedom, an advocacy group financed by Coca-Cola, Wendy's and Tyson Foods, among others, has a Fourth of July message for you: worrying about the rapid rise in American obesity is unpatriotic.

...It sounds like a parody, but don't laugh. These people are blocking efforts to help America's children.

...So there is, understandably, a movement to do something about rising obesity, especially among the young. Bills that would require schools to serve healthier lunches, remove vending machines selling sweets and soda, and so on have been introduced in a number of state legislatures.

...But even these mild steps have run into fierce opposition from conservatives. Why?

In part, this is yet another red-blue cultural conflict. On average, people living outside metropolitan areas are heavier than urban or suburban residents, and people in the South and Midwest are heavier than those on the coasts. So it's all too easy for worries about America's weight to come off as cultural elitism.

More important, however, is the role of the food industry. The debate over obesity, it turns out, is a lot like the debate over global warming.

So what can we do?

The first step is to recognize the industry-financed campaign against doing anything for the cynical exercise it is. Remember, nobody is proposing that adult Americans be prevented from eating whatever they want. The question is whether big companies will have a free hand in their efforts to get children into the habit of eating food that's bad for them. "
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First, John Edwards says red america kills kids by starvation; now Krugman says red america feeds kids too much bad food just like the "big" companies want...

So, Krugman wants to 1)restrict the free speech of big bad companies out to kill people (isn't a dead customer by definition not a good customer?) and red state conservatives play into the hands of the conspiracy; and 2) have the government dictate the diet of children for their own good (Krugman notes that "nobody is proposing that adult[my emphasis] Americans be prevented from eating whatever they want.")

Krugman sees the ads by the food industry as seemingly "parody"; I think Krugman's columns are ghost written by Scott Ott of Scrappleface fame.

Since Krugman's "Fourth of July" column only mentions our Independence Day in an oblique comment added seemingly as an afterthought to today, I guess Krugman thinks the Declaration of Independence was just another crazy treatise from a red state guy from Virginia, Thomas something or other, wanting the government out of his affairs.

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