I know that blog posts should be short, but I so often struggle to combine brevity with complete, rounded thoughts. I also indulge in little preludes, such as the one you just read. Anyway, here's an attempt at shorter:
One absolute invoked by those who speak of the "food police" is the primacy of individual and corporate rights. End of discussion. I value my rights, too, but they don't prevent me from seeing all the harm that unfettered junk food marketing to kids, and to the rest of us, is doing.
In a crisis, sometimes we need to be more nuanced than "end of discussion!" A recent McKinsey report puts the expenditures caused by US obesity at $160 billion annually, and says the figure may double by 2018. Pinning the entire solution to such a huge and cascading problem on personal responsibility is just ... well, it's not working, is it?
When cars exploded onto the American landscape, did we decide to let public safety depend only on personal responsibility, or did we develop traffic lights, traffic lanes, and speed limits?
Clearly, we have a public health crisis — and I assure you, the costs go far deeper than "just" the one-third trillion dollar annual bill we're looking at in this decade. Money is a great quantifier, but as a recovering 365-pounder, I can attest that the human costs are harsh and cutting.
I don't relish government intrusion. But I don't relish an increasingly disabled America unable to populate its armed forces because we're so physically unfit. That sounds, like, dangerous or something, no?