30 July 2007

Why 'obesity is contagious' is contagious.

Russell Roberts explains what the heck goes on with the whole 'obesity is contagious' news item, which has itself been spreading pretty infectiously:

You see, the more it's LIKE a virus, the more increasing obesity is like an epidemic rather than a failure of personal responsibility or merely a pleasant experience, say, of eating more ice cream and being a little less trim. The more it is like a virus, the less it is a personal choice, the more justified is government involvement on "public health" grounds.
A ha, as they say.

Related: earlier this month, Seattle's King County banned trans fats in restaurants, joining New York City, Philadelphia, Brookline, MA and Montgomery County, MD. California, which surprisingly did NOT lead the way this time, is catching up. Many national chains are also going trans-fat free, some in response to the bans, some who started reformulating several years ago to get ahead of the trend. Incidentally, I think I've tried several versions of Starbucks' trans-fat-free Maple Oat Nut scone (my favorite breakfast junk food), and it is not good, not good at all. They're going to have to do better. My grandparents routinely tell me that I don't know what real tomatoes (cucumbers, apples, corn, etc.) taste like, now that they're grown so efficiently for pest resistance and cross-country shipping. I will be saying this to my grandchildren about donuts, I suspect.