I saw an interesting quote from Clint Eastwood on Facebook last week. He said, “I like the libertarian view which is to leave everyone alone. Even as a kid I was annoyed by people who wanted to tell everyone how to live”. This seemed quite apt in the light of a New York court striking down Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to restrict the size of soda that can be sold. The ban had many loopholes so in effect stopped some places selling big soda but not others.
Meanwhile in Mississippi a law is being proposed to ban the sort of ban that New York was doing. It seeks to ban local municipalities from regulating nutrition.
Could these approaches be further apart?
Regular readers of my newsletter as well as my site and this blog will know my views on nutrition in general and of liquid calories in particular. So you may think that I would support bans such as that one proposed in New York.
I do not.
In setting up my website .blog and other media activities I wanted to talk to people about how they can be healthy – if that is what they want. It is not my role to dictate to anyone what they eat or drink. I can provide knowledge. Those who feel that what they read or hear from me makes sense to them may choose to apply it.
It is also not the role of government or anyone else to dictate in an arbitrary fashion what adults can or can’t eat.
Some people will make what others may view as “bad” choices. That is their right and whether I agree with them or not is immaterial. It is not my business.
There are numerous aspects to the health of mind, body and spirit. Freedom to make choices and freedom to express views are a little understood aspect of health. Treat an adult like a child and they will regress to childlike behaviour. We see that in things like road rage (an adult having a tantrum). Stop people having a voice and you get repressed emotion that in time can manifest as some form of dis-ease.
This is why I regard recent attacks on free speech in Australia as absolutely appalling. They would not be tolerated in the USA where free speech is valued more than political correctness. Governments must not be allowed to stop newspapers or any citizen from criticizing them. Or indeed from expressing a view even if someone may choose to take offence.
To get back to where we started about eating the “wrong “ thing assumes we know what is right and wrong. At an instinctive level we do in much the same way as all other animals on the planet. Our ancestors applied this instinct. We have allowed ourselves to move away from this and be told by “expert” and “science” what to eat. The proverbial worm may be turning.
Over the last two months we have seen the demolition of the notion that fat is bad and being a bit overweight will kill you. Yet publically funded (yes by you and me) busybodies have been pushing these ideas for 30 years. Worse than that the same people have encouraged us to eat low fat, high sugar foods. Sugar consumption (not weight) is in fact the primary cause of type 2 diabetes.
So those who thought they knew best did not. That is fine. Nobody gets it right all the time. However when the freedom of individuals is reduced because some people want to impose their view forcibly on others we have a problem.
The world did not end in 2012. Yet it interesting to see how many “givens” are unraveling in 2013. Maybe we are seeing the beginning of a new world.