Super (Down) Size Me

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In 2004, the film Super Size Me hit theaters. Much was made of the filmmaker's weight gain from eating McDonald's food exclusively for 30 days. He gained some 24.5 pounds. Expect to hear considerably less about the Virginia man who lost 80 pounds – eating almost exclusively at McDonald's.

QUINTON, Va. – A Virginia man lost about 80 pounds in six months by eating nearly every meal at McDonald's. Not Big Macs, french fries and chocolate shakes. Mostly salads, wraps and apple dippers without the caramel sauce.

Chris Coleson tipped the scales at 278 pounds in December. The 5-foot-8 Coleson now weighs 199 pounds and his waist size has dropped from 50 to 36.

In other words, your personal choices make a big difference. What a surprise. On the same note, Steve Chapman notes the latest push by the Nannies of New York – aka the NYC Health Department – to regulate the posting of nutritional information.

The 21st century has many problems, but a shortage of information is not one of them. Trying to avoid being endlessly barraged with facts is like trying to stay dry in a hurricane. But no matter. One government body after another has the idea that some people need more information, and it will be supplied or else.

The targets of this campaign are restaurants. New York City has a new law commanding chain outlets to post the calorie count of every item on menus and menu boards. The legislatures in New York and California are considering state laws to require even more extensive disclosures.

The reason, as the New York City Health Department explains, is that "New Yorkers get a third or more of their calories away from home. The lack of readily available calorie information in food service establishments makes it easy to consume too many calories without realizing it."

Imposing this mandate is supposed to help combat obesity. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health asserts that if just 10 percent of restaurant patrons cut their intake by a mere 100 calories per meal, we would see a 39 percent decline in weight gain.

As Chapman notes, food labeling began in earnest in the 1970s. Americans have steadily gained weight ever since. So the assumption that more information will lead to better choices is founded on flawed logic. It hasn't worked yet, why would it start doing so now?

You are responsible for what eating decisions you make, not the government. That is as it should be.

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4 Responses to Super (Down) Size Me

  1. Pingback: The DaleyGator » Blog Archive » Shocker! Personal responsibility and choices can influence obesity

  2. steve m says:

    The trend since the seventies being what it’s been, would it be safe to say that more information LEADS TO increased levels of obesity?

  3. sam says:

    It has been a frustration to me that McDonalds gets so much bad press about their menu.  Compared to many restaurants, their food is reasonably healthy.  Watch a few episodes of the programs on cable TV where they do features on roadside diners, cafes, burger joints, and so on.  A look at the food these mom and pop places serve is eyeopening.  Pastrami sandwiches with a stack of meat the size of a grapefruit, plate sized omelettes filled with and smothered with meat and cheese, chili dogs and cheese fries, barbequed sausages and ribs, quart sized malts, cheese smothered enchiladas, burritos, and nachos, and on and on.  Compared with some of those dishes, a Big Mac and fries value meal looks positively puny.I guess that is the problem with being a large corporation.  If a filmmaker made a daring expose of the diner down the road, he would likely be lynched by the regular customers. But as a large multinational McDonalds is fair game.

  4. Ted Goldman says:

    Food nannies are minature Marxists.
    God help us if the life size Democratic Marxists, led by BHO, ever get into the White House.

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