Kelly Brownell of Yale has been promoting “bad food” taxes with little legislative success for more than 15 years. He and his colleagues have created a “Food Addiction Scale” that purports to show how hooked on tasty treats people are. Nobody's robbing the candy store for chocolate-covered pretzels, but Brownell has said that “society does not have the luxury to await scientific certainty” before adopting heavy-handed policies.
Because of food's supposed “addictiveness,” University of California-San Francisco researcher Robert Lustig and other writers propose banning all-you-care-to-eat buffets, late-night service at fast-food restaurants and even the sale of sweets to kids. A “Cheeseburger Control Store” (like the state-run “ABC” liquor stores in many states) hasn't been proposed, yet. But before you say it'll never happen, one of those articles examined “portion control for food servings.” That sounds an awful lot like the New York City soda ban.
New York City's imminent fat-fighting failure won't stop the ruthless march of government paternalists who want control over everything we eat. After all, they think we're their “patients.” And they demand that we take their medicine.
Wilson is the senior research analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom.