After Brexit, British Eaters Buried in Red Tape
Last week, Great Britain’s Department of Health and Social Care announced sweeping plans to combat obesity by “empowering adults and children to live healthier lives.”
“Many people have tried to lose weight but struggle in the face of endless prompts to eat—on TV and on the high (main) street,” the health department announcement states. “In supermarkets, special offers and promotions tempt us to buy foods that are not on the shopping list but are hard to resist. When we eat out, we have little information about how many calories are in the food we are offered. We are biologically programmed to eat and when we are bombarded by advertisements and promotions for food—it’s hard to eat healthily, especially if we are busy or tired or stressed.”
To combat food discounts and other choices British adults are currently free and happy to exercise, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will “empower” them by restricting or eliminating those choices. His administration’s absurd plan is epic in scope. It includes a new, subjective “traffic light” label for packaged foods; mandatory calorie labeling on restaurant food and alcohol beverages; banning buy-one-get-one (BOGO) foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt (HFSS); restricting physical and online access to those foods; banning HFSS food advertising on television before 9 p.m.; and moving to ban online advertising of HFSS foods.
The introduction of this veritable nanny state starter kit suggests Johnson wasn’t listening when I cautioned in early February that Great Britain was at a regulatory crossroads. Of course, I don’t know the British leader. But as Johnson led the country into Brexit—the portmanteau that signaled Britain’s exit from the European Union—I wrote a column urging Britain and Johnson to choose more freedom and l
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