This summer there was a huge flap about New York limiting the size of soft drinks that could be purchased in certain venues. I remember this clearly because even my liberal mother thought government had gone too far. Why limit soft drink size? Because, people’s guts told them, carbonated sugary soft drinks were behind the obesity epidemic that has become the public health crisis of our epoch.
This morning on a liberal talk show that I am quite fond of a panel of experts talked about how many guns had killed Americans since the Sandy Hook incident. I am not an NRA member, nor do I think the average American needs to suit up like Rambo, but the language used by these panelists had me imagining AK47s roaming the streets looking for innocent victims. Maybe that’s because I watched too much Battlestar Galactica over the holidays and I have Cylons on the brain, or maybe because their overinflated rhetoric was just a ridiculous appeal to emotion over logic.
Last week a scientific study received mass media attention because it claims that being overweight is linked to longer life expectancy. A study this week says eating a diet of recycled food is related to a healthier digestive tract and longer life expectancy, as well as greater life satisfaction and multiple orgasms. Americans stopped reading when the articles discussed methodology because that’s boring. Just tell us what we want to hear or what is sensational. We haven’t been titillated in the last 15 seconds and our reward centers are zoning out. We know because next week’s study is going to show us pretty brain pictures that demonstrate it for us.
This morning on my commute the manager of the local McDonald’s was talking to the DJs about the holiday menu items and how they’re going to disappear soon. The biggest seller, apparently, has been the holiday pie, which is a sugar cookie filled with custard and topped with sprinkles. For a limited time, these are available at local McDonald’s franchises for two for a dollar.
Better limit the size of the sodas on the federal level. I’ll start drafting the legislation. Tomorrow I’ll provide a PayPal button to contribute to my interest group that will lobby on our behalves. Donors will receive a complimentary holiday pie coupon. Don’t forget the small soda.