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Warning: Obesity (and Lying about It) Could be Hazardous to Your Health


Lest anyone have any doubts that our federal daddy is carefully watching over his adult-children, the Food and Drug Administration has formally announced a campaign against obesity among Americans.

You remember the FDA, right? That’s the federal bureaucratic agency that wrongfully leaked the information that ultimately led to the conviction of Martha Stewart. Stewart’s friend Sam Waksal decided to unload stock in his company, ImClone Systems, after receiving the leaked information that the FDA intended to deny ImClone’s application to market a new cancer treatment, and Stewart violated federal law by lying to federal officials about having learned of Waksal’s decision.

Never mind that two years later FDA bureaucrats changed their minds and approved the drug. After all, even though an untold number of people lost money when their ImClone stock plummeted after the FDA’s initial denial of the drug-treatment application and even though an untold number of people suffered from not being able to receive the cancer treatment for two years, no parent is perfect, not even our federal daddy, right?

As part of its anti-obesity campaign, the FDA has announced that it intends to crack down on food sellers to make sure that their labels clearly state the number of calories their food contains, so that American adults, most of whom graduated from America’s public (i.e., government) schools, will be able to more easily count their calories.

With overeating apparently posing a greater danger to the American people than terrorism, chief anti-obesity warrior Tommy G. Thompson, Health and Human Services Secretary for the U.S. welfare state, announced the gravity of the crisis: “The epidemic [sic] of obesity threatens the health of millions of Americans. Far too many Americans are literally eating themselves to death.”

In other words, something has to be done! Now! Think of the millions of Americans who could be dead if we wait!

Given that two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and, therefore, potential targets in the federal government’s anti-obesity campaign, Americans are now faced with a double danger: obesity and, even worse, the possibility that officials of the FDA and the Justice Department will conduct unannounced visits asking them how much they weigh.

Warning! Warning! Warning! When you receive a knock on the door and the visitors in black suits and ties and white shirts pull out their federal badges and ask to sit down with you for an informal chat about your eating habits, whatever you do, don’t lie about your weight! Because if you do, you’ll soon find that lying to a federal bureaucrat is even more hazardous to your health than obesity. Just ask Martha Stewart!

But hey, don’t despair: If you have a hard time losing weight and you end up getting sent to federal prison, either for obesity or lying, there’s always a chance that you’ll get to work next to Martha Stewart — in the prison kitchen. That’s assuming, of course, that our federal daddy, under provisions of the Americans with Disability Act, widens the prison doors for you.

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    Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.