Forbes online has a great article reminding us it isn’t just the first lady trying to prohibit certain foods, every level of government is jumping on the anti-obesity bandwagon. The result of these nanny-state efforts will mean two things for consumers: higher prices and less choices.
The article describes several efforts at the federal, state and local levels to regulate food (food bans, regs on restaurants, more extensive food labels) but perhaps the most interesting thing about the article is the last paragraph where the writer describes the comfortable relationship between nanny-state food activists and the federally funded Institute of Medicine:
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) seems to be regulators’ and activists’ favorite government entity for quietly advancing their paternalistic agendas. As a law firm memorelates, IOM’s Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention held a workshopon October 21 examining “legal strategies” to reducing obesity. David Vladeck, an activist turned regulator from the Federal Trade Commission, warned businesses that the Commission could rely upon its controversial “unfairness” jurisdiction to sue food marketers without having to prove a causal link between marketing and obesity. Other speakers included CSPI’s Michael Jacobson on a panel entitled “Using Litigation to Make Change,” and Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, who floated the possibility that his state might pursue new taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages.
It looks like the Institute of Medicine isn’t really interested in researching the obesity issue at all. Rather, they seem to have made up their mind that the solution to childhood obesity lies in government action.