The nanny state strikes again

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

You have got to be kidding me.

Just when New York City and the rest of the Tri-State Area finally got rid of Michael “Don’t You Dare Drink A Soda” Bloomberg, the “nanny state” came along and poured some proverbial salt in the wound. Or something like that.

Food fight

Here’s what happened. Someone — or more likely some group — came up with the brilliant idea that chain restaurants in New York City should put a salt shaker icon next to any menu items that contain or exceed the recommended daily allowance of sodium. Then someone else — likely backed by a bunch of “do-gooders” — decided that this should be mandatory.

Of course someone else decided it wasn’t such a great idea, so of course lawyers got involved and the courts stepped in. Go figure.

Anyhow, from what I’ve read, the New York City “food police” were supposed to start fining restaurants that failed to comply with this last week. A last-minute court ruling put a temporary stop to that, however. You can read the details here.

I suppose you could argue that all of this is no big deal. You could even argue that whole salt shaker icon idea makes sense. After all, it is just simple way to help people make an informed decision, right? I suppose you could also argue that there are lots of people with health issues who shouldn’t have too much salt. So it’s just for their own good.

It’s easy to believe what someone in authority says. So I’m sure if you listen to health gurus and nutritionists and doctors and the government you could list even more reasons to support the idea. Or you can actually think for yourselves and reach your own conclusions. Now there’s a new and revolutionary plan.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

Personally I don’t need a label on a menu to tell me if something’s too salty. I mean, I’m not a dietitian or a nutritionist but I am pretty sure I could figure it out. So could you. Just put the food in your mouth and taste it. It’s really not that difficult.

If you think about it, it’s not that hard to employ a bit of common sense, either. And common sense dictates that it’s not a good idea to indulge in too much of anything. Of course excessive eating, drinking, smoking and so on will take a toll on your health. Of course your body will rebel if you have too much processed food, caffeine, salt, alcohol, nicotine, sugar… Of course if you combine all of this with a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise you’ll probably end up getting really sick. Do you really need anyone to tell you so?

Personally, I don’t. I am an adult. I have a brain. I know how to use it. I know that  all actions have consequences. I know that some consequences can be unpleasant. I also know that if I make risky or irresponsible choices about my own health, there’s no one to blame but myself.

Ultimately if I am not drinking and driving or doing drugs, I am not putting anyone but myself at risk. But could I become a burden on my family — or even my fellow taxpayers — if I became chronically ill as a result of poor choices about my health? Sure. Is that sad? Yes. Is it right? No.

Does that mean that the government should be allowed to dictate everything I eat or drink? I should think not.

Frankly the whole thing makes me sick.

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