Big Government vs. Big Mac


There's a serious effort in the New York city council to enact new laws limiting the amount of fast food restaurants that can serve certain zones. But the council's made an influential foe in Elizabeth M. Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, who attacks the plan in the New York Sun.

While Big Government was enormously successful in combating infectious diseases with regulatory interventions—such as mandating water chlorination and vaccinations to prevent diseases like polio, diphtheria, and typhoid—in 2006 the greatest threats to the health of New Yorkers are chronic diseases, most of them lifestyle-related and not easily altered by laws.

"Mayor Bloomberg, M.D." and his colleagues on the City Council will not be successful in preventing obesity by restricting burger joints, taxing "junk food," and banning food advertising—all measures that are currently being considered here and in other parts of our fat land.