The FDA Wants You to Have an Eating Disorder

The FDA is trying to make you obsess over numbers when you eat—a recipe for an eating disorder.

Following the sad lead of Michelle Obama, the Food and Drug Administration has decided that encouraging a nationwide starvation diet will make people healthy. They are doing this by forcing businesses to encourage consumers to obsess over numbers—the fiction of calories.

calories in calories out

Thus, the New York Times reports, “F.D.A. to Require Calorie Count, Even for Popcorn at the Movies.”

The Food and Drug Administration announced sweeping rules on Tuesday that will require chain restaurants, movie theaters and pizza parlors across the country to post calorie counts on their menus. Health experts said the new requirements would help combat the country’sobesity epidemic by showing Americans just how many calories lurk in their favorite foods.

The rules will have broad implications for public health. As much as a third of the calories that Americans consume come from outside the home, and many health experts believe that increasingly large portion sizes and unhealthy ingredients have been significant contributors to obesity in the United States.

“This is one of the most important public health nutrition policies ever to be passed nationally,” said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Right now, you are totally guessing at what you are getting. This rule will change that.”

The rules are far broader than consumer health advocates had expected, covering food in vending machines and amusement parks, as well as certain prepared foods in supermarkets. They apply to food establishments with 20 or more outlets, including fast-food chains like KFC and Subway and sit-down restaurants like Applebee’s and The Cheesecake Factory. 

The idea that we don’t know what we are getting is just a lie. Anyone who cares knows. There are books in virtually every bookstore and a variety of free apps for smartphones that let you look up every possible menu item. The free market has already provided this information.

Of course, the free market lets people choose for themselves. So not everyone looks up their nutrition or their calories. But those who don’t care will ignore the numbers as well. In fact, this law is only going to provide an additional source of information for those who are already looking at the numbers. For those who are not, it will make no difference. There is no proof that these calorie counts change behavior:

Advocates praised the rules as a strong public education tool, but whether menu labeling has any effect on obesity and health is still an open question. Some studies have shown no effect, while others found one. A 2008 study of 100 million cash register transactions at Starbucks found a 6 percent decrease in average calories purchased after calorie posting.

So do you seriously think that, if we assume that study is correct and the others are not, obesity and diabetes are going to be fixed by taking away six calories from every hundred consumed? The Starbuck’s study by itself proves that this law is insane.

“You’ll need more time out there in the real world with this to see if it works,” said Kelly Brownell, a professor of public policy at Duke University.

Yes, our masters love us so much they will use us as guinea pigs and impose costs on us when they have no reason in the world to think it will make any difference.

But that’s the point: the aim is not to make a difference. The FDA doesn’t make rules for public health. The FDA makes rules for the sake of making rules. Power is its own justification to those who want it. And the primary desire of those in power is more power. So naturally they will impose stuff that they have no idea will work. It doesn’t matter to them.

And spare me the idiot mantra, “As a consumer I want to know…” That just means that as a statist bum you want other people to be forced to do things against their will because you’re too cheap to buy a calorie guide book or too lazy to download a free app.

And how does this have anything to do with “unhealthy ingredients”? Calories have almost nothing to do with ingredients. Michele Obama claims to want informed consumers, but all the evidence suggests that our masters want us to know nothing but numbers.

What do numbers mean? It means everyone will feel guilty for still feeling hungry and for wanting to eat? Is someone seriously going to tell me that this will produce healthy individuals?

What the FDA is steadfastly ignoring is the growing consensus that there are certain foods that, besides other health problems, make us hungrier and prone to increase fat. While the FDA pretends to care about health, it is also a guardian of the food industry. It cannot countenance any claim that some foods are better than others, because then certain industries would get hurt. So the only thing it can do is insist that all foods are good and that the only real health issue is “portion control”—too many calories.

Even if portions were the issue, shouldn’t someone ask why everyone is eating more than they used to? We don’t see any argument or proof that portions “just happen” to be bigger now. Rather, it is assumed that an increase in hunger has nothing to do with the issue. If hunger is a driving force in people eating more—perhaps because the standard American diet does not leave people feeling satiated—then the only ones who will successfully cut calories to the point of weight loss will tend to be dangerously obsessed with calories.

The FDA is promoting anorexia.