The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is about to eliminate trans fats from the diets of Americans – reducing our freedom. While well intentioned, forcing dietary changes on the public diminishes freedoms and insults the intelligence of Americans.
The FDA was born from an era that lacked basic safeguards for the nation’s food and medical supplies. Now that most of the heavy work has been completed, the agency has turned to aggressive efforts to make people healthier.
What about Freedom?
In a free society, people should have choice. A basic principle is that one individual’s actions should not impede on the rights and liberties of another. The government should safeguard the people’s liberties as well. Lately, it appears that government is more concerned with removing choices from Americans rather than allowing for educated choices.
Proper education through schools, doctors, health professionals, and even popular TV programs can do more to transform the health habits of Americans than any government program or food ban.
Not giving Americans credit
Many Americans already make smart choices for their own health and for the health of their families. Most learn of healthy choices from popular medical television programs like the Dr. Oz Show and the Doctors. Americans do inform themselves in a variety of ways and then choose what to put into their bodies.
Today, shopping proves that Americans are paying attention to their health. A visit to your local supermarket reveals the dramatic changes to American dietary choices. Almond milk, high fiber pasta, and kale chips now compete for attention with potato chips, ice cream, and donuts. Most Americans know what is healthy for them and what they should be consuming.
Health by Coercion?
I support healthier food choices and active lifestyles. But government should never coerce the public by banning items that still have purpose. A better way would be to launch a public health campaign and then leaving the choice up to the consumer. Ultimately, our nation should respect the dietary choices of its citizens even if they are unhealthy.
Leave the Trans Fats Be
According to CNN, Through public choice and local regulations like the ones in New York City, most trans fats are already banned. This last step by the FDA to perhaps classify trans fats as a harmful substance eliminates individual choices and local determinations.
According to the Mayo Clinic, increased fiber intake can have dramatic affects on weight. Will the government mandate a certain level of fiber in all food products sold?
There must be limits placed on the well-intentioned decisions of bureaucrats. For all their good intentions are slowly eroding faith in liberty and in a well informed public to make their own choices. By eliminating trans fats nationally, government officials are making the bold claim that Americans are too dumb to make healthy food choices. Perhaps, but lack of intelligence is not a crime. Yet, a constitutional republic that limits the freedom of a people is engaging in wrongdoing. And that is a bitter pill to swallow.
“History” — FDA
“NYC’s Fat Ban Paying Off” — CNN.com
“Nutrition and Eating Healthy” — The Mayo Clinic
“FDA Ruling Would All but Eliminate Trans Fats” — NYTimes