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The latest government edict: listing calories

Effingham Daily News

Wednesday, June 13, 2018  |  Column  |  

Food-Related Issues

The government’s recent edict requiring the listing of calories on foods will, given what happened when diet drinks became the rage, only increase obesity in America. Of course, the requirement issues from good intent.

Bureaucrats are good people, spawned by the necessity of keeping government running on an even keel. Indeed, society could not function without bureaucracy. But, sometimes, there can be too much of a good thing. The problem is inherent.

At one time I weighed 247 pounds, I enjoyed my lumberjack breakfast at the local restaurant; eagerly devouring three huge pancakes, three fried eggs, three large sausage patties, a huge pile of American fries (I am still mad at the French), and slabs of toast soaked in real butter.

Having dispatched the snack, I would unleash myself on my wife’s leftovers, which usually consisted of three slices of bacon, hash browns, and a slice of toast. Unfortunately, the restaurant did not serve peanut butter milkshakes topped with chocolate for breakfast. I considered taking that up with the manager.

Three years ago, I collapsed in a local restaurant, and did an excellent job of being dead. Indeed, my son was so convinced of my demise he pulled out his phone and called the undertaker. Revived by the medics during an exceedingly expensive trip to the hospital, the undertaker canceled his plans for a European vacation.

You learn something from being almost dead: fear is overrated; which is one lesson I took from the adventure. Paying the bill? Well, that is terrifying, I image, for anyone not having insurance, or a policy clause that reads: Do not get sick, or you will be much denied.

But, what does that have to do with the government mandating calorie charts? The requirement will have the same effect diet drinks have on calories: adverse. Unless you are from Mars, when you order a meal you ask for a diet drink.

This makes you feel good when you are downing your triple cheeseburger and large fries. That is what millions of Americans do. The logic may be tenuous at best, but we are somewhat relieved of the guilt we would have felt if we had not ordered a diet drink.

We make those decisions, what we eat, not the well-meaning bureaucrats, who mistakenly assume the cure for obesity is to count calories. What a farce. The key to avoiding obesity is to eat less and exercise more.

It is not what you eat, but what you eat in moderation, that has a large impact on your health. After leaving the hospital, praising the Lord for Medicare, I joined the local YMCA and begin eating half of what I ordered. The only thing the dog will not eat is sauerkraut.

Thanks to the government’s poor reading of human nature, the average American will look at their menus, perhaps, order sauerkraut (27 calories per cup), a triple cheeseburger large fries and a diet drink. They will then proceed to eat everything, but the sauerkraut.