Globesity: Fat’s New Frontier - an insightful documentary from ABC in Australia
If public health is a legitimate reason to curb corporations’ advertising to kids, why limit bans to cigarettes, booze, and toys in happy meals, and not include, say, all unhealthy food?
In the fall of 2008, San Francisco polished its progressive credentials by banning something. From October 1, 2008, the sale of cigarettes was prohibited in certain places. You could still buy them in convenience stores, of course, and bodegas, gas stations, and even the occasional bar. But the city thought that perhaps it was a bad idea to allow them to be sold in pharmacies. As the city attorney, Dennis Herrera, put it: “Consumers — and especially young people — should reasonably expect pharmacies to serve their health needs, not to enable our leading cause of preventable death.”
Pharmacy and tobacco executives were apoplectic. The Walgreens pharmacy chain argued that they needed to be allowed to sell cigarettes so that they might counsel people on how to quit. The tobacco industry was upset too. From the hallowed garden of constitutional law, it argued that the ban was an infringement of its First Amendment rights to free speech. Big Smoke argued that it was being muzzled by an over-reaching government marching down the road to tyranny. The judge who heard the case took a dim view of this logic, pointing out that while advertising is a form of free speech, “selling cigarettes isn’t.” The ban continues.
- It’s almost as if there’s a conspiracy to make us fatter. Over time, the size of the portions we consume have gotten larger, and the least healthy foods are the worst offenders. The portion size of sugary and salty snacks have grown by more than 50% in the last 30 years.
- It’s not enough to just plan on eating part of a dish. The overall size of the portion actually influences how much of it you eat before you think you’re full.