Let Government Protect your Health and Get Big Mistakes

Those who think it is the government’s job to protect your health need to think about what happens when the government is wrong.

butter in coffee

The way Newser.com begins the story is revealing and revolting: “It looks like Americans will be able to eat their eggs guilt-free soon.” As if Americans should allow their consciences to be taken captive to government edicts.

The real lesson here is that the government has no business acting like a Pope over health and science, dictating to us what is healthy and what is not. The Washington Post reports, “The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol.”

The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption.

The group’s finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a “nutrient of concern” stands in contrast to the committee’s findings five years ago, the last time it convened. During those proceedings, as in previous years, the panel deemed the issue of excess cholesterol in the American diet a public health concern.

The finding follows an evolution of thinking among many nutritionists who now believe that, for healthy adults, eating foods high in cholesterol may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease.

Of course, this “evolution” happened years ago but was denied over and over again by government scientists because government scientists have an aversion to admitting in public that they have been giving bad advice to people about their health. Since the whole premise of government health recommendations is that the government knows best, changing the guidelines is a major problem. Bureaucrats never want to allow the public’s faith in their competence to be shaken. So, ironically, they hold on to false information and continue to insist that it is credible.

[See also, “Begging Obama to be a Better Food Dictator.”]

Eventually, however, the bureaucrats must give in because they realize their credibility is on the line. Then, if they can, they will avoid that damage of one false story by running to another false story:

The greater danger in this regard, these experts believe, lies not in products such as eggs, shrimp or lobster, which are high in cholesterol, but in too many servings of foods heavy with saturated fats, such as fatty meats, whole milk, and butter.

In my opinion, this is nonsense. Fat is good for you. Many people are beginning to realize this, even to the point that the price of butter is rising due to increased demand. But it will take at least another decade before the government’s experts are willing to give in.

In the meantime, we now have an official government acknowledgement that taxpayers have been required to finance the spread of false information.