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Dec 4, 2011

Bligh Government declares war on waistlines.

Image: Hungry Jacks Ultimate Double Whopper.

The Queensland government has come up with a new plan to tackle obesity. We are going to have a War on Waistlines, Battle of the Bulge, or some such cliché in an effort to turn us into the beautiful people that Bligh approves of. The key salvo is predictably being fired at the fast food industry with legislation to force outlets to display energy content on menus.

Government policy tends to get a bit schizophrenic as the nanny state gathers steam in its attempts to do our thinking for us, and ensure that we conform to its image of what we should be like. It is not so long ago that the state was railing about the use of slim attractive models in the glossy magazines, because it gave people an unhealthy perception of body image. This could cause fat bastards people who fall outside the government’s recommended maximum weight guidelines feel bad about themselves.

The media are dubbing this new the war on obesity and are quoting all of the usual suspects like the Heart Foundation, the AMA, childhood obesity ‘experts’ and anyone else who thinks obesity is caused by burgers, rather than the eating of too many of them:

New rules to be announced today will give customers the chance to weigh up the nutritional value of meals before ordering their meal over the counter - and whether their waistlines can handle the super-sized option.

The legislation being drafted by the Bligh Government means fast-food outlets must display the energy content of all items on their menus. The scheme has targeted super-sized servings that can almost chew up the recommended daily energy intake in one meal.

Customers will be confronted with the daunting kilojoule content - the energy value of food - of items under new-look menu boards in a bid to drive them towards healthier meal choices. …

It is expected the law will apply to fast-food and snack food chains with more than 20 outlets in the state, or 50 outlets nationally.
It is not certain what the size of the franchise has to do with the affect of the fat content of the food provided. Is the Health Minister suggesting that the bigger the chain, the fatter the meal? Perhaps it just comes down to the ‘small is beautiful’ and ‘the bigger the corporation the badder its product’ thing post modernist thinking demands.

The idea that the state has a part to play in diet is nonsensical at best, and blaming the whole thing on fast food outlets with over 20 outlets in the state is absurd. Given this logic it becomes clear that the people really need to get away from the idea that the government should be responsible for keeping them fit and healthy.

Perhaps those underweight models and the more frequent use of the term “fat bastard” would do more to encourage better diet and healthier lifestyle than all of that calorie information that very few are going to read, no matter how compulsory it is.

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