Among my favorite traditions this time of year is baking Christmas cookies. And it wouldn't be Christmas without leaving some of those cookies out for Santa.
Anti-obesity activists are upset that Santa's a bit rounder than government formulas would like. Meme Roth, one of the many self-appointed attack dogs against the humble cookie, said St. Nick's rotund physique is no matter for merriment: “We're talking morbid obesity, which is not jolly.”
But some would-be Scrooges won't be happy merely to get Santa on a treadmill with celery sticks replacing the cookies on his midnight treat spread. Food makers, including us part-time cookie bakers, are their next target.
I will now show these tidings of Christmas future, if the activists get their way. Before paying for butter, eggs and sugar to bake with, the cashier will ask, “Where are your sugar ration cards?”
Ration cards, you ask? One writer in U.S. News and World Report speculated that a program that set a population limit for sugar in food would be a good idea. Companies would go to Wall Street to buy and sell sugar credits, and individuals would get ration cards.
Once your papers are in order and the cashier registers the ration cards, you will see the much higher register price. The government will pass a “fat tax,” and sugar, butter and chocolate chips will all suffer a significant price hike.
They will start with soda. Duke-National University of Singapore researchers predicted that a soda tax will only reduce Americans' daily calorie consumption by about 1 percent. That won't be enough to fight obesity, so revenue-hungry politicians will take aim at the cookie next.
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