Obesity

Prof Tells Students to Lobby for Soda Bans to Get an "A"

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John Banzhaf
Credit: banzhaf.net

George Washington University prof John Banzhaf assigned his students some unusual homework this week:

Some 200 undergrads will be asked to contact legislators in their home cities, counties, or states asking them to adopt legislation similar to that already adopted in New York City – and apparently to be considered in D.C., Cambridge, Mass, New York State, and perhaps elsewhere  – banning restaurants, delis, movie theaters and many other businesses from selling high-sugar drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces. 

Banzhaf, the anti-obesity crusader who made a name for himself by having his students sue McDonald's for making people fat, fancies himself the scourge of soda. He's also a master of self-promotion—the prose above and below comes from a press release the man wrote and released himself.

It's cool, though. If the students happen to object to Banzhaf's proposal, they have other options: 

In response to critics, Banzhaf notes that the students will not have to lobby in favor of the NYC-type ban on large servings of sugary soft drinks, although most probably will choose that option.  They may also lobby for other ways to deal with the major impact sugary soft drinks have on obesity.  For example:
? Ban the sale of sugary soft drinks entirely
? Ban the sale of sugary soft drinks to children
? Put a special tax on sugary soft drinks; e.g., to reduce consumption and/or to fund counterads
? Don't exempt sugary soft drinks from the ordinary sales tax
? Prohibit the sale of sugary soft drinks in vending machines
? Mandate per-oz. pricing of sugary soft drinks in venues like fast food restaurants and movie theaters (i.e., a 32 oz. serving must cost at least twice as much as a 16 oz. serving)
? Limit the maximum size for sugary soft drinks in venues like fast food restaurants and movie theaters (e.g., a single serving can be no more than 16 oz.).

The homework assignment also permits the students to "ask the legislators to address another food-related problem other than obesity (e.g., food safety, availability, etc.)."

I'm gonna guess there aren't a lot of libertarians in his class.

If we're lucky, soon this Bloomberg PSA will air across the nation!

Via Walter Olson.

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  1. So is he merely a shameless attention whore? Or a modern-day puritan shamelessly declaring war against the sinful pleasures of poor people?

  2. Yeah, fuck this asshole, too.

    What is this, Fuckhead Day? Oh, wait – that’s everyday for the nannies.

  3. because what good are students if professors can’t turn them into mindless drones unable to think for themselves or believe that others should have that right. Good to know that GWU is upholding the mantle of the academy as the marketplace of ideas.

  4. http://blogs.gwhatchet.com/new…..urtesy.jpg

    I don’t think he has an ideal BMI. Funny how these assholes never follow their own advice.

    1. If only there had been laws to stop him when he was a young man!

    2. He probably is faithfully following the American Heart Association guidelines and mainlining bread with olive oil. Along with 4 servings of potatoes a day.

    3. That’s becuase he lacks self control and requires a policeman, or possibly a robot, to keep him from drinking those sweeeeet, sweeeeet sodas.

      Devil drinks, they are.

    4. Guy needs to get a tailor as well. He looks like Clouseau dressed as the Godfather.

    5. Of course you’ll still be you in a legal sense, but think of it as a thinner, more attractive, better you than you could ever become without us. How do I know? Well, I’m not only the founder of Globo Gym. I’m also a client.
      [a picture of a 600-pound John Banzhaf from 14 years ago]
      600 pounds ago… before I knew how much I hated myself.

  5. Well it’s a private school, so if they want to require political activism in order to graduate, that should be their perogative.

    1. ^this^

      If students don’t like it, drop the class or transfer from GWU.

      Calling attention to this whore just reinforces idiotic behavior.

      1. I don’t know. Perhaps I’m overly optimistic today, but I think that most people would think that this is pretty egregious and condemn this guy.

        1. Oh, I agree it’s egregious. I just think it’s legally egregious.

          1. Sure, I don’t disagree with that. But unless all applicants to GWU law school are told that progressive political activism will be required, I think they would be quite right to complain that this kind of bullshit is what their $40,000 (or whatever) per year is getting them.

    2. That’s fine as long as they comply with all the reporting requirements for lobbying. I can’t seem to find a donor list or any other paperwork as required by the IRS. Would the students be considered as paid campaign workers (compensation for services) or as organizational donors?

      1. And are any of the lobbyists receiving federally subsidized funding to conduct their activities?

    3. Its funny that when they require progressive lobbying, they’re a public institution. If he required them to lobby for an abortion ban, you’d be screaming about how they accept federal funds so therefore its a violation of 1A rights.

      1. s/public/private.

  6. What if they lobby their representatives ironically?

    1. We’ll see sarsaparilla bans in no time at all.

  7. Don’t exempt sugary soft drinks from the ordinary sales tax

    Along with newspapers, haircuts, canned foods, and accounting services in FL.

  8. GWU loses their accreditation in 3, 2, 1….

    1. …Never.

      You think progressive accreditation will shit all over itself?

  9. Aside from the statist issues (disturbing as they are), isn’t there something unethical about not merely requiring students to take a position they might disagree with in a class exercise, but requiring them to try to cause TPTB to adopt such a position?

    (Assuming that the course description didn’t say “students will be required to lobby their Congresspeople to do what the professor says.”)

    1. I don’t think there’s anything unethical about requiring students to take a position they disagree with *in class* – I even think its a good idea.

      I do agree that it is unethical to make them push for real changes in law and culture in order to pass.

      1. *in class* is the key here.

        Anyone who’s taken a debate class has had to play devil’s advocate at some point. I once had to argue as to why communism is a good thing. I didn’t believe a damn word of what I was saying, but having to research it and present taught me things I didn’t specifically know about it.

        1. agreed.

          interestingly enough, my path to libertopia was a consequence of being asked to argue the “conservative” view in my screamingly-progressive high-school debate team. they knew me as being well-read, but could never conceive me actually *believing* arguments i made. they had no idea how much all the howard zinn and noam chomsky we read had turned me against their whole sanctimonious worldview

  10. When I first read this I thought the prof was at George Mason University.

    I was waiting for the follow up news report of Russ Roberts beating the guy to death with a copy of Human Action.

  11. I see Reason is trying to crush our spirit completely after Rand gave us a brief moment of hope.

    1. You still have a spirit left to crush? Let me guess, you’ve been reading some optimistic claptrap book by Welch & Gillespie?

  12. I have some commentary on that man’s physique:

    1. What a punchable face. It looks soft enough that you could punch it for hours without stopping.

    2. What a fat fuck. Obviously he’s projecting his own inability to put the fucking fork down on everyone else, and like all statists wants the state to step in save him from himself like he’s some kind of fucking child. I bet he’s also one of those weirdos with a fetish involving being treated like a baby.

    3. What a shithead. Not really a comment on his physique, unless one interprets it literally.

    1. Asking an unfit person for fitness advice is like asking a homeless man for investment advice.

      And, seconded. Fuck that nasty bastard and his self-loathing.

    2. punchable fat fuck shithead. concise analysis!

  13. Are the server squirrels rioting or something?

    1. The squirrels are on acid today. Also the stylesheets keep changing as I try to post this. Something is definitely building a nest in the server.

      1. Hmm, maybe you could repeat that comment a couple times to see if it clears up?

    2. The squirrels are on acid today. Also the stylesheets keep changing as I try to post this. Something is definitely building a nest in the server.

    3. The squirrels are on acid today. Also the stylesheets keep changing as I try to post this. Something is definitely building a nest in the server.

      1. What’s that?

        What’s that?

        What’s that?

        What’s that?

        What’s that?

      2. Thanks, I think you fixed it.

      3. Thanks, I think that fixed it.

        1. ampersands? &&&&&

          1. FREEDOM!!!! We have survived the ampersand gulag!!

  14. “Yes, it’s true. This man has no dick.”

  15. “Yes, it’s true. This man has no dick.”

  16. I wonder what happens if a student tells him that they don’t think that the government should have anything to say one way or the other about what food people should eat or sell? Even among liberals, opposition to the food police shit is pretty common, in my experience, at least.

  17. I wonder what happens if a student tells him that they don’t think that the government should have anything to say one way or the other about what food people should eat or sell? Even among liberals, opposition to the food police shit is pretty common, in my experience, at least.

    1. That student would get an F. It’s spelled out in the assignment.

      1. I don’t see that anywhere.

        The homework assignment also permits the students to “ask the legislators to address another food-related problem other than obesity

        Over-regulation and nannyism is a food-related problem.

        I hope someone tries anyway.

        1. From Banzhaf, the student would get an F.

          There would also be a “Student Social Action Committee” (every campus has one) demanding that the student be expelled.

  18. Is there an echo in here?

    1. is there an echo…? ah, fuck

  19. my best friend’s step-aunt makes $87 every hour on the computer. She has been laid off for 9 months but last month her check was $12850 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this web site and go to home tab….
    http://googlejobs.co.uk.qr.net/ka8z

    1. FOADIASF, spambot.

      1. ok theres something there i missed

        “fuck off and die in a ? fire”?

        solar flare?

        the s eludes me

  20. It is very disappointing that his mother did not exercise her right to choose an abortion.

  21. Pricks like Banzhaf would ban at least half of all economic activity if they could. Isn’t it great when people resemble their names?

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