Marion Nestle: Vive le Nanny State!

Where would we be without fortified bread?

“That is where public health measures come in. The closest analogy is food fortification. You have to eat vitamins and iron with your bread and cereals whether you want to or not. You have to wear seat belts in a car and a helmet on a motorcycle. You can’t drive much over the speed limit or under the influence. You can’t smoke in public places. Would you leave it up to individuals to do as they please in these instances regardless of the effects of their choices on themselves, other people and society? Haven’t these “nanny state” measures, as you call them, made life healthier and safer for everyone?” [San Francisco Chronicle]

17 thoughts on “Marion Nestle: Vive le Nanny State!”

  1. Howdy Johan
    Personal health insurance is not comparable to mandatory liability insurance for driving a car.
    There are several kinds of auto insurance available. Every state requires some form of financial responsibility for (this is the important part) damage you may do to others if you drive negligently. No state requires that you insure your own losses related to poor driving. If your car has a lien, the lienholder may require insurance to protect the value of the loan but that’s a private contract operation.
    I have military retiree health insurance and I served 20 years to get it. Other people have other forms of insurance if they choose. If they do not choose, then by golly they are supposed to be responsible for their own health care costs — not the federal government nor any level of government. I know there are complications because of unique aspects of health care (a dealer can reposess your car but a surgeon won’t put your appendix back). But the concept of insuring others for the damage you may do them and covering your own losses are very different.

  2. At least Air bags have a positive benefit, being total lives saved. It may be an expensive benefit, but it is a benefit.

    Similarly, fortified wheat, fluoridized water, and mandatory vaccines had a significant and visible public health benefit at relatively low cost. However, they did not interfere with the lives of the people, and options were available should you wish to avoid them.

    However, mandating a maximum sugar content of beverages will have no measurable public benefit, nor will keeping children in car seats until they are 12. The “Affordable Care Act” will greatly increase the cost of health care. While tobacco cessation does have a health benefit, the government’s campaigns against it have abused science six ways from Sunday. plus, given our experience with prohibition and the current numbers of illegal, untaxed cigarettes already available, a ban would do nothing but fund the cartels.

    I don’t mind competent and useful government action (to a point, obviously). However, this is unacceptable.

  3. Liddy Dole is the Reichsleiter who gave us airbags. They were originally intended to replace seatbelts. They didn’t work. But that didn’t cause government to back off.

  4. Seat belts are great. As i remember, many years passed before there was a dead person wearing a seat belt. Now, of couse, we have good data on when seat belts help and when they hinder. The balance is overwhelmingly in favor of benefit. But air bags are a terrific waste of money. Over a 10 year period roughly 2,000 people were saved by air bags. that number had to reduced by 400 for the children who had there heads knocked off. (The figures is the best of my faulty memory, but I sure they are eventually correct.)

    Helping people kick the cigarette habit is a social good. But the second hand smoke campaign is just a jihad.

    ObamaCare or something like is is required because our good (and bad) citizens will game the system making no mandate private insurance impossible.

    The challenge is to have rational regulation. We have absolutely have to rid our institutions of Naderites, the people responsible for the air bags fiasco and just about every other evil in our country.

  5. OK Gamecock. Now what about the kids. Can they eat what they like? Oops, I just noticed oh dear, my friend Johan, possibly a neo-Bachian, has upstaged me!!! . I’d better put on some Wagner.

  6. Gamecock: Please stop whining over Obamacare. Vote for people who make it better if you do not like it. The idea is not any more complicated than that of your fire insurance. Why is it so wrong to level out the costs for life-saving lung operation so yo can get it for 500 dollars instead of 30 000? The columnist tries to be funny over car seat belts and compares them to bad school food. That is simply immoral. He/she has evidently not seen the remains of a driver who crashed without a seat belt. I have, and I have also crashed with my belt on. These two experiences taken together taught me to wear my belt as soon as I back out from the garage. There are, of course, tough guys that don’t care if a truck cuts off their legs at the knees or squeezes their rib cage into a two-dimensional object, but perhaps some one else does – like a spouse or children or parent.

  7. The idea of the food police is the same as the warmists. They have utter disdain for freedom. They don’t like your eating pizza and driving SUVs. You don’t care that they don’t like it.

    But they try to convince the pop culture that your eating pizza affects more than just you, and that driving an SUV drowns people in the Maldives. Mizz Nestle isn’t interested interested in people’s health; she’s interested in crushing freedom. Warmists aren’t interested in “saving the planet.” They want to crush your freedom, and say they are “saving the planet” to get you to accept their constraints. When man made global warming is generally recognized to be a hoax, they will still hate freedom, and will continue to try to get you to accept their constraints. Other hoaxes are being prepared.

    Obamacare isn’t about health. It’s about claiming that your personal behavior and choices must come under control of the government.

  8. What Marion Nestle says isn’t very important. She’s a known flake. Former board member of Center for Science in the Public Interest.

    “Would you leave it up to individuals to do as they please in these instances regardless of the effects of their choices on themselves, other people and society?”

    Yep. The deal is, you decide what pleases you, and I decide what pleases me. You’re not my Mommy.

  9. Eh, got more to say.
    I think fluoride is valuable for teeth. But the issue came up for a vote in Billings and I voted not to fluoridate the water. I can get all the fluoride I need in toothpaste and supplements. Someone who fears fluoride, however foolish I think that fear may be, should be able to drink municipal water without an additive the person fears.

  10. “life healthier and safer for everyone”

    That’s what life is all about. And the state gets to decide what’s healthier and safer.

    You vill be happy.

    School cafeteria trash cans are full of squash casserole, veggie lasagna and whole grain pasta shells stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese. And the school wins awards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    They try to feed adult food to kids. Every parent knows better. But not our government. They know better.

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