Greg Beato on How the Government Is Watching What You Eat


The history of government dietary advice is a history of failure and escalation, writes Greg Beato. It started in 1894, when Congress funded research efforts by W.O. Atwater, a professor of chemistry at Wesleyan University, to determine the nutritive value and costs of various foods. After Atwater's unsuccessful efforts, a steady stream of government pamphlets and posters urged America to fuel itself more strategically, but ultimately, the country's poor eating habits persisted. The latest doomed federal initiative is called SuperTracker, an online tool from the Department of Agriculture that allows users to set and maintain dietary goals. Isn't it time for the government to stop watching what we eat?