Nanny State

First They Came For Sugar Smacks, And I Didn't Care Because I Had Already Moved on to Mueslix…


A number of readers have alerted Reason to the latest silliness coming out of the Bay Area, this time in the form of a research paper arguing that sugar is toxic, an additive, and hence should be regulated. 

"We are now seeing the toxic downside," co-author and sugar researcher Lustig, a professor of clinical pediatrics at the UCSF Center for Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment, told WebMD. "There has to be some sort of societal intervention. We cannot do it on our own because sugar is addictive. Personal intervention is necessary, but not sufficient."… 

Hot Air's Allahpundit has an interesting gloss on the larger issues:

One of the co-authors has an op-ed at CNN making her case. She doesn't want prohibition — imagine trying to enforce an outright ban on sugar — but rather "gentle 'supply side' controls, such as taxing products, setting age limits and promoting healthier versions of the product." You would think that in an information age, as TVs and cell phones become ubiquitous even among the lower classes, nanny impulses would be channeled more frequently into public education campaigns than into regulation. Doesn't feel that way, though, does it?…

The more access to information you have, the dumber you supposedly are, and therefore the more your choices have to be made for you by your superiors. Isn't the future glorious?

Read the whole Allahpundit here.

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  1. In America, FIRST you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women!

    1. Marge: Homer, when are you going to give up this crazy sugar scheme?
      Homer: Never, Marge. Never. I can’t live the button-down life like you. I want it all: the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles. Sure, I might offend a few of the bluenoses with my cocky stride and musky odors – oh, I’ll never be the darling of the so-called “City Fathers” who cluck their tongues, stroke their beards, and talk about “What’s to be done with this Homer Simpson?”

      1. Are you a bicurious having trouble finding honest and safe places to have bisexual chat ? Well you’ve come to the right place—datebi*cO’m—. Just join in for free!

    2. Bees are on the what now?

  2. So they want to make the nation, dare I say it, SugarFree?

    1. If they do, let it be upon their heads.

      I’d like to think there’s no possibility these proposals could be put in place, but the slippery slope of food nannyism is almost at a 90 degree angle at this point.

      1. the slippery slope of food nannyism is almost at a 90 degree angle

        It is! In one small room at the UCSF Center for Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment, anyway.

  3. “The more access to information you have, the dumber you supposedly are, and therefore the more your choices have to be made for you by your superiors.”

    That’s not the argument as I understand it. It goes like this: “With an increase in information you also get an increase in misinformation and advertising which cancels out the positive effects of more information, so controls blah blah blah.”

    That’s all well and good, but I find public health nannys never think that it could be possible that someone might, in a fully informed way, say “you know, I know these are terrible for me, but I’d like to have some nonetheless.” In fact, they might just be saying “I’d like to have some in the morning, and I’ll offset it with a salad or whatever for lunch.”

    Better to just make the thing harder and more expensive to get you know…Sheesh.

    1. I don’t see the distinction between your version and Nick’s.

      Well, yours has more words, but it boils down the same.

    2. I also like the fact that he implicitly endorses government action to fix a problem government caused via sugar subsidies…but lol…whatever

  4. They should put that clown on the new $100 bill.

    1. Under a Juggalo government, all currency portraits will be in clownface.

  5. They could just mandate that all sugary products be sold in packages with that clown’s horrific face on them.

    1. Seriously. Scariest cereal box ever.

      1. That clown looks really psychotic. Someone should make a horror movie. Include a scene with him chainsawing his way into someone’s home.

        1. Perhaps Gacy did the world a favor by making sure everyone notices how creepy clowns really are.

      2. Is it a coincidence that the clown’s last name is Jung?

  6. Sugar addictive? I stopped drinking soda and even sweet tea practically on a whim. I still make a conscious decision to choose water or unsweetened tea every time I eat out. Now coffee…that shit is good and absolutely needs to be regulated because I like drinking it too much. Save me from myself!!!

    1. Easy for you to say, Terr. In my 12-step group, there are guys who sucked dick to score some Domino.

  7. What they should do is simply ban the sale of food, and instead have government warehouses give to people what the nannies feel that they need.
    There should be strict penalties for bartering, because that would defeat the whole purpose of the centrally planned diet.
    Of course the political class would be exempt, but they must be if they are to make correct decisions for everyone else.
    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. You know, government cheese was pretty damn good. I don’t think anything made a standard American grilled cheese sandwich better.

      Maybe we should see what they can do with breakfast cereals first, before rejecting your idea out of hand.

      1. It’s all going to be King Vitamin in the deluxe family bags…

      2. It wasnt cheese….it was cheese food. yuck

        To make a proper grilled cheese you need wheat bread, real butter, sharp cheddar and 3 slices of bacon. yum.

        1. Don’t forget the mustard and fresh tomato.

        2. Once you add bacon, it’s no longer a cheese sandwich…it’s a bacon sandwich with cheese.

          1. I totally disagree.

            Grilled cheese means grilled bread and melted cheese.

            That is your base canvass.

            You can add most anything you want to it, and as long as you’ve got grilled bread and melted cheese, it’s still a grilled cheese.

            1. grill me a cheese.

      3. Cheese. Grill me a cheese.

  8. Its not about sugar, it’s about control.

    1. “The more you tighten your grip, the more systems will slip through your fingers.”

  9. I do believe it’s time to start building a wall. As high as human ingenuity can make it. We must protect ourselves from the emanations that radiate out from that horrible city. We’ll tell them it’s for their own good, that we are protecting them from the evils of society on the outside.

  10. Don’t “we” already tariff the hell out of sugar and make it more expensive than it would otherwise be?

    1. Well then, this just shows we aren’t doing it hard enough.

    2. Yes, and to compensate the govt. gives subsidies to domestic corn growers, and most of that corn is used to make cheap HFCS which is comparable to sugar in its composition and effect on the body. Because it is so cheap and has a different “mouth feel” than sugar, HFCS is in almost every processed food sold these days.

  11. The more power you think you have, the more quickly it slips from your grasp.

  12. Bruce Wayne: Progressives aren’t complicated, Alfred. Just have to figure out what he’s after.
    Alfred Pennyworth: With respect, sir, perhaps this is a man that *you* don’t fully understand, either. A long time ago, I was in Burma. My friends and I were working for the local government. They were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans were being raided in a forest north of Rangoon by a Occutards. So, we went looking for the stones. But in three months, we never met anybody who traded with him. One day, I saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing them away.
    Bruce Wayne: So why steal them?
    Alfred Pennyworth: Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

    1. Batman: If this is going on in Burma, isn’t that the Phantom’s responsibility? Why bother me?

      1. Good Point.

  13. It amazes me how these people correctly note that people eat too much sugar, and immediately leap to government bans as the only solution. Nothing else could solve this problem, obviously. Or any problem.

    1. And since the government endorses whole grains and sugary fruits, they can rest assured that those aren’t causing any problems whatsoever.

    2. This is the anti-tobacco campaign’s fault.

      They’ve managed to sell a historical narrative on smoking which says that merely convincing people wasn’t enough. According to them, government had to step in and tax the shit out of cigarettes, ban smoking in all kids of “public” places, and so on to reduce smoking rates. Just giving people accurate information and letting them make their own decisions is no good.

      Now this account doesn’t hold up if you look at the statistics (smoking rates were falling long before the more coercive tactics came into use). But that’s the story that every social scientist is now convinced of, and they’re sticking to it for any behavior that’s deemed a vice from now on.

  14. Is HFCS also addictive?

  15. She doesn’t want prohibition ? imagine trying to enforce an outright ban on sugar ? but rather “gentle ‘supply side’ controls, such as … setting age limits

    “Hey, Kenny, can you get your uncle to score us some more Pixy Stix?”

    1. I’m breeding a crop of sugar beets that can be shade grown so the drones cant find my grow.

  16. Here in MA, home of Good Ideas and Top Men, our wise and benevolent governor, Deval Patrick, is proposing extending the state’s sales tax to candy and soda, which, like all groceries are currently exempt. Naturally the Facebook hordes are giddy with joy at this idea, and less so at my counter-proposal of a tax on all food items purchased at food co-ops. Something about “responsible choices” apparently, which seems to be progressive speak for “things I buy and eat.”

    Is it really possible that Bill Weld was actually elected governor here? Because although I seem to recall voting for him, the notion seems more like a drug-induced delusion every day.

  17. Pretty nice analogy dude I like it.

  18. “There has to be some sort of societal intervention. We cannot do it on our own because sugar is addictive. ”

    Seriously, where the fuck do these people come from? Are they grown in pods or something. How could anyone have the gall to think they can telll me what to eat, or what responsible choices are? How could anyone be such an arrogant, self righteous prick?

    1. You can thank the self-esteem movement in public schools for this. A person like this should have been beaten senseless in first grade and would have to reflect on the stupidity of his thinking before expressing himself. Instead, every lame-brained idea is given equal merit.

  19. Robert Lustig’s work in the field if neuroendocrinology is quite good. And he’s quite correct about the deleterious effects of fructose and especially HFCS and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease(NAFLD).

    Too bad he then takes the standard liberal nanny-state solution.

    If kids weren’t being fed a crappy low-fat diet they wouldn’t be so addicted to shitty processed carbs. Give them some meatloaf and gravy and full fat milk to drink.

    1. And of course it was the nanny-state that has been pushing carbs and demonizing fat, not to mention subsidizing the hell out of corn that’s made HFCS so ubiquitous today.

  20. “We cannot do it on our own because ….”

    I despise people like this. The double edged sword of libertarinism is that such people are allowed to breed. Is this something that can be addressed with passive eugenics?

    1. In most social settings, I think it’s addressed by the asexual nature of these tight-asses,as well as their complete lack of, for want of a better term, animal magnetism, and this is problematic– they aren’t breeding much, anyway, especially because they’re usually also of the belief that it’s irresponsible and bad for “the planet” for anybody to have more than one child, and that the proper age for having one’s sole offspring is somewhere north of 35. So apparently these are mutants sprung from the loins of normal human beings, which makes their own reproductive habits fairly irrelevant. Shit, it you had parents like these idiots, wouldn’t you be in a state of permanent rebellion against them and their way of life?

    2. Its a pretty self-solving problem. Letting them get into the liquor around each other seems to be the primary mode of reproduction.

  21. You would think that in an information age, as TVs and cell phones become ubiquitous even among the lower classes, nanny impulses would be channeled more frequently into public education campaigns than into regulation.

    Allahpundit must have missed the memo on paid-for-with-stimulus-dollars education campaigns opposing sugar.

    1. Those obviously-subsidized “corn sweetener is awesome, m’kay” ads are transparent as all hell. They actually make me want to throw my TV across the room, even though most evidence indicates that HFCS is really just as nefarious as sugar, no more.

      On a different note, the California Milk ads make me want to kill myself with embarrassment for having watched them, even if I was tricked into it. Especially that one with the fat mom telling the cow she looks fantastic or whatever. Or was that the other way around?

      1. One of the craft beer bars in my town runs a projector with old stuff on it, ads, movie clips, Clutch Cargo, etc without sound. Last time I was in there they had some 50s era corn farmers of america production on the loop extoling corn oil, corn syrup, pop corn, corn on the cob, etc. It was like Forrest Gump for corn.

  22. Nice ingredient list on the box: “Made from wheat with sugar, honey, corn syrup…” Any sweeteners they missed?

    1. I like the euphemism that Kashi cereals use–

      Evaporated cane juice syrup! (AKA sugar)

  23. Sugar is a hell of a drug. A hell of a drug.

  24. How to Eliminate Sugar from Your Diet

    Sugar can lead to many diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. So it’s definitely important to watch what you eat when it comes to sugar

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