The Maryland legislature is considering a bill that would make putting soda and other drinks on children’s menus illegal and would require restaurants to only list milk and other “healthy” options.
One local station covering the bill captured the lawmakers’ opinion of parents perfectly, saying “Navigating a restaurant menu can be tough for some parents.”
Really? Navigating a menu is tough? Saying no to a kid’s request for an unhealthy item on a menu is not tough. It’s routine. And anyone who believes otherwise should probably leave parenting to those with a stronger constitution.
Yet, many government officials believe it’s their job to help you because according to them, everything is hard and difficult and everyone yearns for the government to swoop in and make it all better.
Of course banning these items on kids’ menus will do nothing to improve childhood obesity (the excuse given for this legislation) but it will, yet again, chip away at our freedoms and send a message to parents that they’re just too stupid to make good decisions for their own kids.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, the government gave people more freedom and let parents do things like choose what their children could and could not eat. The government concentrated on big, scary things, like marauding gangs of wacky killers, keeping the border secure, and making sure the country's financial house was in order. But then, government became silly and began focusing on things like banning sprinkles, large drinking vessels and things listed on children's menus.
And that's where we are today. I sometimes hang my head in dispaire that I write about such silliness, but unfortunately, it seems the government's insistence on controlling every part of our lives continues.
What isn't silly is a government so willing to actually tell a restaurant what it can and cannot put on its menus. These food fascists make it all sound okay because they say “it’s for the children” and “we’re doing it to make kids healthy” but no matter the reason, this is an intrusion into how a privately owned business is run. Where does that end? What other “unhealthy” foods will the government ban for children and adults alike? What other “unhealthy” behaviors will the government ban?
These are the sorts of stories that often make those ubiquitous “nanny-state item of the week” lists and we all chuckle at the stupidity of these measures. Yet, they also represent a very sad intrusion into our personal freedoms and a perfect example of the arrogance of big government.