Government Nanny-State Propaganda: Starving Kids Is Good for Them

Starving kids is now such a dogma, that Liberals congratulate corporations for padding their own profits to do it.

I can almost feel sorry for businesses like McDonald’s due to all the grief they get by the zealots for the superstition of minimum wage. But pity can’t override the repugnance I feel when they get congratulated for reducing customer service under the pretense of health.

You can find the story at NPR.org, that great fountain of establishment propaganda: “About A Third Of U.S. Kids and Teens Ate Fast Food Today.”

Okay, let’s stop with the headline for a moment. I happen to be one of those people who almost never eat at fast food anymore because of health concerns. But this headline is unjust in demonizing fast food. Why do I say that? Because, in addition to not eating fast food often, I also avoid probably at least eighty percent of the aisles and shelves in any grocery store where I shop. Fast food restaurants are only one small part of the fast food industry. Most of the food sold in your favorite grocery store is also essentially fast food with the help of a microwave. Some might take an oven, but it is still a concoction that is no better than anything served at McDonald’s and some of the items are probably worse.

Fast food restaurant chains are not the sole component of the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet).

So we get this diversion from the problem:

The big fast-food chains market their foods to us constantly. And our children see, on average, three to five fast-food ads per day.

So perhaps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new findings shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“About 34 percent of all children and adolescents, aged 2 to 19, consume fast food on a given day,” says Cheryl Fryar of the CDC’s National Center for Health Statististics.

In other words, every day about 1 in 3 kids in the U.S. is chowing down on fries, burgers, pizza or other fast-food favorites.

This is a diversion because it pretends that many other children aren’t being fed fries or pizza at home that was brought from the grocery store in a box.

The changes in our diet are not a result of fast food franchises.

But those franchises are using this moment of panic and hysteria as an opportunity:

NPR interviewed Julia Wolfson, a doctoral student and researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Wolfson says there seems to be some progress. She points to evidence that the major fast-food chains are trying to make their menus more healthful.

McDonald’s, for instance, downsized its Happy Meal portions. And it has introduced new kinds of salads and added kale to its breakfast bowls in some locations.

As we’ve reported, Wolfson’s research points to changes across the board. “We have found that fast-food restaurants have been introducing new menu items that are on average 60 calories lower than old menu items,” Wolfson says.

Wolfson says if this trend continues, it could make a difference.

Kids are eating about 190 calories per day in fast-food calories. So if you think about shaving 60 calories off, “that’s a good chunk out of the total.”

That last paragraph is atrocious math. The 190 calories per day is an average for kids that aren’t necessarily even eating there every day. It isn’t a “good chunk out of the total” even if kids choose those menu items pretty often.

One hundred ninety calories a day for one person would mean he eats 1,330 calories a week. Let’s say he eats those calories in two meals of 665 calories each. Let’s further say (as unlikely as it may be) that he chooses a menu item of 60 calories less on each visit to the restaurant. That would be two meals of 605 calories for a total of 1210 calories for the week and an average of almost 173 calories per day. That’s 17 calorie difference per day; not 60 calories.

And, of course, it completely leaves out the fact that many of those trips are because people are thirsty and use the drive-thru. Soda has not changed. Many also want the items that are higher calorie.

Which brings me to an aspect of this story that is just callous. Basically, the fast food restaurants are offering people less food for their money and getting credit as if they are doing a public service. This is the Michelle Obama starvation-as-virtue method of addressing the alleged health crisis.

The news story assumes that people eat extra calories (assuming that the issue is an excess of calories) only because they are hidden in the food. All that needs to be done is take them out and the problem is solved.

But what if people are eating the calories because they are hungry?

Gary Taubes recently wrote about this phenomenon in food and health “science.”

That humans or any other organism will lose weight if starved sufficiently has never been news. The trick, if such a thing exists, is finding a way to do it without hunger so weight loss can be sustained indefinitely.

NPR ignores this. Its entire premise makes no sense. And it leads them to congratulate fast food companies on ripping off customers. I don’t mind a business like McDonald’s using a food fad among customers to pad their bottom line (which needs padding), but it is crazy to hear NPR spin this as a good thing for people who eat there.