After Taking On Big Tobacco, Social Reformer Jabs at a New Target
This is an, ummm, touchy issue. Although the attorney profiled is “roly-poly”, and has reportedly sued everyone from Spiro Agnew to Barney Frank,
he may not be the best leader for a cause celebre. He’d like to raise health insurance costs for the obese, because their risk for disease is high.
He has company: Southwest Airlines, among others, is now making obese people buy 2 seats on airplane; Marion Nestle, PhD, just wants to get junk food (and its corporate sponsors can take it or take it) out of schools; other pundits want taxes on fatty food, like those on cigarettes.
But can you see it? A political issue in 2004: kids first. That’s how tobacco was won, in part, and this attorney did some of the work.
Food companies have not told consumers about just how bad junk food is for them, have misled consumers about their health benefits, and sucked kids into a lifetime of Krispy Kremes. And strokes, hypertension, obesity and pain and suffering along the way.
There are lots of differences betweent Fat and Tobacco, and this article does a good job of explaining them. But the core issue is this: what we eat, where it comes from, when we eat it, what’s in it and how it’s marketed to us now matters. Because it’s not just a matter of money. It’s also a matter of health–food and medicine are coming together.