It's been a bad week for backyard cookouts and anyone who enjoys food in general. First the food police put a bounty on hot dogs.
Food vigilantes and their frying squads have targeted more than 100 foods with their scientific studies and attacks. They won't relent until we're all slurping seaweed and snacking on wheat berries.
If having hot dogs and brats disrespected at the peak of summer wasn't bad enough, the Senate Finance Committee announced they were considering taxing soda. Like a three-cent tax per can is going to fund health care and create a stampede for broccoli flowerets.
The crusaders are gunning for curvy people the ample, the plump, the generous, the Rubenesque and the outright obese.
Now that the pool of smokers has shrunk, they need a new target. It is essential that the movers and shakers always have someone else to move and shake.
The only thing more annoying than a crazed anti-smoking crusader is a smug thin person.
As a nation, we are, well, round. We know we're round. Every time we turn around - and give me a little space could you? a headline tells us we're round. And a headline beside that offers a recipe for rocky road double fudge brownies.
If the Feds want to control what the rest of us eat, they may want to clean out their own'fridge first. The new Surgeon General isn't exactly willowy and Barney Frank would be the first to admit that's not an all-wheel drive Goodyear tire wrapped around his middle.
It used to be it was a mother's job to tell you what to eat, not a senator's job. It's only a matter of time before the president appoints a Calorie Czar. Paging Jenny Craig.
Feeding people isn't new to the Feds. They've been menu planning for our children for some time. A teacher friend found it ironic that students who get breakfast at school had a donut in one hand and were touching their toes with the other as part of the school's fitness program.
Eat. Exercise. Eat. Exercise. Bend there, done that.
We're not the only ones whose government is nosing in on our eating habits. The Brits conducted a trial door-to-door campaign in January in which officials called on households asking residents what they were cooking, talked about portion size, dispensed dietary advice and offered tips on what to do with leftovers.
Our roundness, like every other social problem, is best addressed at a smaller and more intimate level like, say, the family. Or the community.Once upon a time we solved problems ourselves without facing the Potomac and bowing to Washington.
It is an individual and family choice to make the time to cook at home, to make sweets, junk and eating out the occasional treat and not a staple. It is a personal choice to get off your duff and get outside, to bike, hike, shoot hoops, walk not drive, take the stairs and generally get the lead out.
You can't coerce someone into losing weight - although that female trainer on the "Biggest Loser" sure comes close. You can't tax someone into losing weight. The decisions on what to eat, when, where and if to exercise, are personal. At least they used to be. When government gets their nose in your cupboard, the scales are out of whack.
We may be pudgy, but we're not stupid.
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