Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

In local news . . .

The Massachusetts Public Health Association and allies are backing a bill in the Massachusetts legislature, sponsored by Rep. Peter Kotoujian, that would ban junk food -- which is carefully defined based on sugar and fat content -- from public schools. Naturally, major opposition to the bill comes from the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

The idea of "manufacturing" food seems a bit odd to begin with. In any case, the main argument of the "manufacturers" is "this:

"Restrictions do not educate," said Susan Connelly, senior manager of state affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, or GMA. "Restricting or prohibiting certain foods will almost certainly not work, as these policies will do nothing to help people choose the right foods for their own dietary needs."

We can certainly thank the food manufacturers for all of their educational efforts in the public service. As Kotoujian points out, according to the Boston Globe article, "children are exposed to 20,000 advertisements a year, the majority of which are about unhealthy foods, such as candy, soda, and fast food."

Hey silly rabbit, tricks are for lobbyists.

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