Disempowered and Disabled

Tom in California drew attention today to “Nanny state or catalyst for change?” in Translational Global Health. The author – some healthist busybody – was a bit bothered by the “nanny state” charge:

 it is when policies are perceived as being too interventionist, restrictive of choice or paternalistic that public health can really provoke headlines, controversy and debate (think ‘fat fascists’ or similar). At the forefront of opposition to these policies is the criticism that public health wants to ‘nanny’ the population – and, not wanting to risk public outcry, this can translate into a distinct lack of effective action by government.

He wails:

David Cameron recently performed an outrageous u-turn on both plain packaging and minimum-pricing for alcohol.

Outrageous?  All I can say that it’s a relief to know that opposition actually does occasionally translate into government inaction.

Let’s reflect on the fact that the overarching aim of NCD [non-communicable disease] prevention policies is to empower and enable people to lead healthier lives.

Empower? Enable? When the force of law is used, people are not being “empowered”, they’re being forced. Far from being empowered, they’re being disempowered and disabled, as more and more choice is taken away from them. (Is it just me, that I switch off when I hear words like “empower” and “enable”?)

From the evidence, we know that factors in our immediate environments, such as the availability, affordability, and promotion of products, are a major component in influencing our behaviour. We also know that our behaviour is being intentionally altered by the actions of companies in a way that fundamentally shifts our demand for their products and encourages the development of unhealthy habits. For example, in the food arena, companies intentionally market products in such a way that it encourages us to consume more of them, more often, and they then manipulate the characteristics and price of the product to reinforce this effect.

It cannot (or, should not) be implied therefore that consumers are somehow only fulfilling their desires.

Well, it’s certainly true that companies usually do like people to buy more of their products rather than less. I bought half a dozen eggs and six rashers of smoked streaky bacon today at my local butcher. He’d probably have preferred it if I’d bought a hundred of each.

But I didn’t buy them because I’d seen an ad somewhere saying Go Buy Eggs and Bacon. I bought them because they’re just regular purchases of mine, along with milk and cheese and bread and various other elements of my habitual diet. I’d written down a list of things to buy, and went and bought them.

In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw an ad for eggs and bacon. There used to be a strange ad back in the 60s which said, “Go To Work On An Egg,”  and which used to conjure up images of people teetering along on top of eggs.

And the eggs and bacon hadn’t been nicely packaged and presented inside the butcher shop. The eggs were in dull grey cardboard cartons. And the bacon was lying in heaped slices on a steel tray.

So I think that I was actually buying what I wanted to buy, not what somebody else had induced me to buy.

I suppose they could then say that I’m addicted to eggs and bacon. And since I’ve been eating them for the past 60 years, they’d probably say that that just goes to show that I’m as addicted to them as I am to cigarettes. They’d probably tell me that my mother, with all her plates of bacon and eggs, was a drug pusher.

When it comes to preventing NCDs, unnecessary deaths and disability, I feel that we – as a community – have a legitimate rationale to support intervention to protect and empower people. Particularly when it is so patently clear that industries with a completely different set of interests and motivations are allowed to interfere by influencing our behaviours.

Our choices and actions – which determine our health – are rarely made on a completely rational or informed basis but are in fact influenced in large part by our external environment, and in ways over which we may have little control.

My eating habits are culturally acquired. Eggs and bacon is a traditional English breakfast. If I was American maybe it would be waffles and maple syrup. And if I was French it would be pain au chocolat. I’ve never heard of a “completely rational” breakfast. And I doubt I ever will.

When it comes to preventing NCDs, unnecessary deaths and disability, I feel that we – as a community – have a legitimate rationale to support intervention to protect and empower people. Particularly when it is so patently clear that industries with a completely different set of interests and motivations are allowed to interfere by influencing our behaviours.

But aren’t these healthist “interventions” essentially the same as the “interference” by food marketing and advertising? It’s just that rather than trying to get people to buy more, they’re trying to get them to buy less – which is simply the converse of what food retailers are doing. Why should the “interests and motivations” of healthist zealots with their anti-advertising be supposed to be any nobler than those of food retailers? I don’t think it is.

And in general, in my view, it’s better that people have more food rather than less food. When there isn’t much food around, it’s called “famine”, during which people “starve”. And in my view, economies prosper when they sell more stuff rather than less stuff. And when that happens, people get “rich” rather than stay “poor” and their plates are full of eggs and bacon and waffles and everything. And that’s a good thing.

In fact, given our lingering recession, perhaps it would be a good idea if there were more ads saying Buy More Eggs and Bacon than healthist ones saying Buy Less Eggs and Bacon?

When people say that these sorts of interventions are nanny state, I ask: do you want to go back to a time when you breathed smoke for the duration of transatlantic flights, or risked your life driving at night because the driver coming towards you was blind drunk?

Well yes, I would like to go back to that time. It was so much better. It was so much happier. I never noticed the smoke on transatlantic flights (and I flew lots of them) any more than I noticed the coffee or the bread or anything else. And people can actually drive pretty well when they’re drunk. They can’t drive at all when they’re blind drunk. They can’t even find their cars. There were drunk drivers everywhere for the first 30 years of my life. And nobody thought anything of it. And the roads weren’t littered with wrecks and bodies either.

Policies in these areas were once controversial, but have now come to be part of social norms and valued. My colleagues and I often reflect upon the fact that at some point in the future people will surely look back and think we were mad to ever let companies manipulate children through marketing junk food.

They still are controversial, and are becoming more so, as people get more and more sick of them. And anyway I don’t think social norms can be intoduced from the top down through legislation: they grow from the bottom up out of the choices and preferences of ordinary people.

And in fact I think that at some point in the future people will look back and think that we were mad to ever let a bunch of self-righteous busybodies manipulate and coerce everybody- usually in the name of chiiiildren -, in what was not just a nanny state, but a bully state.


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35 Responses to Disempowered and Disabled

  1. waltc says:

    Unfortunately, though, social norms CAN be introduced from the top down. How otherwise to explain how majorities who didn’t give a rat’s A even a decade ago about SHS are now clamoring for things like smoker-free parks and banning their smoking (ex?) friends from their homes. In many cases, these are measurable majorities (when, in some locations, they vote for bans) and in others they’re just the vocal-enough majority and, everywhere, it seems, they’re backed by the media which acts as the messenger of the new Normal.

    I too would gladly turn back the clock even if it meant giving up ATMs and cellphones and the net. (Well, maybe not the net…)

    • Frank Davis says:

      Unfortunately, though, social norms CAN be introduced from the top down


    • Frank Davis says:

      To elaborate (I was too sleepy to do so last night): social norms require the widest possible acceptance – else they’re not norms. Smoking bans aren’t accepted by many smokers, so they’re not norms. Global warming isn’t accepted by many climate sceptics, so belief in that isn’t a norm either.Anything that isn’t more or less universally accepted isn’t a social norm.

      It isn’t a norm for someone to be a Catholic or Protestant or a Muslim or a Buddhist either. Or Republican or Democrat..We actually have very few social norms.

  2. Rose says:

    For example, in the food arena, companies intentionally market products in such a way that it encourages us to consume more of them, more often, and they then manipulate the characteristics and price of the product to reinforce this effect

    No, they market these products to get us to try them and if we like them remind us to buy them again or to inform us of a new product.

    I am immune to McDonalds and KFC advertising, not because of any healthist blethering on at me, but because I have actually tried their products and didn’t like them, so I am not inclined to repeat the experience.

    I often think that these earnest healthists are trying to rationalise their own problems with food and assuming it to be the norm.

    David Kessler as a case in point.

    “Why does that chocolate chip cookie have such power over me?” Dr. Kessler asked in an interview. “Is it the cookie, the representation of the cookie in my brain? I spent seven years trying to figure out the answer.”

    “But by combining fats, sugar and salt in innumerable ways, food makers have essentially tapped into the brain’s reward system, creating a feedback loop that stimulates our desire to eat and leaves us wanting more and more even when we’re full.”

    No, Dr Kessler it’s not the Food Industry, it’s YOU.
    Stop blaming everyone else and accept responsibility.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Rose my problem with Mc’ds and all the other food producers isn’t their menu its when they succumb to the high hand of the government healthists and start changing their menu ingredients to satisfy the Nazi’s as in changing to new cooking oils that make French fries taste like they were cooked in PLASTIC. Then the move to sea salt in soups by Campbells and other manufacturers. That’s just 2 examples and theres hundreds more that send me away from their doors and on down to the mom and pop that still make REAL FOOD the way you expect it to be made and Taste.

      • benpal says:

        ” isn’t their menu it’s when they succumb to the high hand of the government healthists and start changing their menu ingredients to satisfy the Nazi’s”
        Exactly. In fact I like taking my grand children (4 and 6) to McDo from time to time and they like it as well. I don’t see the difference between a hamburger cooked at home and a hamburger cooked on a grill by a McDo employee.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      FDA To Ban Trans Fats

      By MARY CLARE JALONICK 11/07/13 09:21 AM ET EST AP

      WASHINGTON — WASHINGTON (AP) — Heart-clogging trans fats have been slowly disappearing from grocery aisles and restaurant menus in the last decade. Now, the Food and Drug Administration is finishing the job.

      The FDA plans to announce later Thursday that it will require the food industry to gradually phase out all trans fats, saying they are a threat to people’s health. Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the move could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.

      Hamburg said that while the amount of trans fats in the country’s diet has declined dramatically in the last decade, they “remain an area of significant public health concern.” The trans fats have long been criticized by nutritionists, and New York and other local governments have banned them.

      The agency isn’t yet setting a timeline for the phase-out, but will collect comments for two months before officials determine how long it will take. Different foods may have different timelines, depending how easy it is to substitute.

      “We want to do it in a way that doesn’t unduly disrupt markets,” says Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods. Still, he says, “industry has demonstrated that it is by and large feasible to do.”

      To phase them out, the FDA said it had made a preliminary determination that trans fats no longer fall in the agency’s “generally recognized as safe” category, which is reserved for thousands of additives that manufacturers can add to foods without FDA review. Once trans fats are off the list, anyone who wants to use them would have to petition the agency for a regulation allowing it, and that would be unlikely to be approved.

      Trans fat is widely considered the worst kind for your heart, even worse than saturated fat, which can also contribute to heart disease. Trans fats are used both in processed food and in restaurants, often to improve the texture, shelf life or flavor of foods. They are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it more solid, which is why they are often called partially hydrogenated oils.

      Scientists say there are no health benefits to trans fats, and they can raise so-called “bad” cholesterols, increasing the risk of heart disease — the leading cause of death in the United States.

      Many companies have already phased out trans fats, prompted by new nutrition labels introduced by FDA in 2006 that list trans fats and an increasing number of local laws that have banned them.

      Though they have been removed from many items, the fats are still found in processed foods, including some microwave popcorns and frozen pizzas, refrigerated doughs and ready-to-use frostings. They are also sometimes used by restaurants that use the fats for frying. Many larger chains have phased them out, but smaller restaurants may still get trans fats from suppliers.

      As a result of the local and federal efforts, consumers have slowly eaten fewer of the fats. According to the FDA, trans fat intake among American consumers declined from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to around one gram per day in 2012.

      FDA officials say they have been working on trans fat issues for around 15 years — the first goal was to label them — and have been collecting data to justify a possible phase out since just after President Barack Obama came into office in 2009.

      The advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest first petitioned FDA to ban trans fats nine years ago. The group’s director, Michael Jacobson, says the move is “one of the most important lifesaving actions the FDA could take.”

      He says the agency should try and move quickly as it determines a timeline.

      “Six months or a year should be more than enough time, especially considering that companies have had a decade to figure out what to do,” Jacobson said


      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Mummies’ clogged arteries take smoking, fatty foods, lethargy out of the mix

        Tuesday, April 23, 2013

        You do everything right: You exercise every day, include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet, never smoke, minimize the stress in your life and take medication to keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control. You’re preventing modern life from ruining your heart, right? • Well, maybe modern life isn’t as much of a problem as merely living. CT scans of 137 ancient mummies from three continents show that our ancestors had plaque in their arteries, too, even though they never smoked, never tasted ice cream or pork rinds, and had no choice but to exercise vigorously every day of their lives.

        According to the study, which appeared recently in the Lancet, at least one-third of the mummies, who lived as long as 5,000 years ago, had arteries that had narrowed as a result of atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty deposits in the arterial wall. Apparently the cardiovascular system has a tendency to clog up over time.


        • harleyrider1978 says:

          If the comment gets posted on the leftwing Huffington Post………….

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          It appears our Black Hitler is behind it all here too!

          FDA officials say they have been working on trans fat issues for around 15 years — the first goal was to label them — and have been collecting data to justify a possible phase out since just after President Barack Obama came into office in 2009.

          Yep Owebummers behind it ALL!

          Obama healthcare: Government, heal thyself
          Op-Ed The $100 million for ‘community transformation grants’ allocated under President Obama’s healthcare plan will fund projects that have little evidence behind them.

          June 03, 2011|By Jeff Stier and Henry I. MillerEven at a time of high-profile budget cutting, the Obama administration is spending not just on the essentials of governance but also on social engineering to promote its liberal inclinations.

          One example is the Department of Health and Human Services announcement in May of the availability of $100 million for “community transformation grants,” a program created by “Obamacare.”

          The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will administer the program, and grants will be funneled to local government agencies and nonprofit organizations, which are required to use evidence-based strategies and ensure that their activities have broad population impact and help address health disparities. Projects that could qualify include the promotion of blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, increased access to healthful food options, including the elimination of food deserts (areas where it is supposedly difficult to buy healthful foods), and efforts to improve school nutrition and bring more healthful foods to corner markets in urban areas.

          The new grants “will empower communities with resources, information and flexibility to help make their residents healthier,” according to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. And this presumptive improved health will result in — wait for it — savings in federal healthcare expenditures because of less chronic disease caused by tobacco use, obesity, poor diet and lack of physical activity.

          These are worthy goals, but we would argue that this wishful-thinking, ideological approach to achieving them is especially dubious at a time of budgetary belt-tightening.


        • Rose says:

          Harley, I’ve been resisting the margarine pushers for decades.

          A fairly recent attempt –

          Ban butter to save our hearts, says doctor – 2010

          “Butter should be banned in a bid to save thousands from heart disease, a leading heart surgeon claims.
          Dr Shyam Kolvekar said that he is “increasingly concerned” about the nation’s eating habits as he is seeing patients as young as 30 in need of heart bypass surgery due to a diet “overloaded” with saturated fat.”

          “By adjusting your diet by replacing butter with a healthy spread or margarine is a very simple thing to do and makes a whole world of difference.”

          “Mr Kolvekar’s comments were issued by KTB, a public relations company that works for Unilever, the maker of Flora margarine.
          However, a KTB spokesman said there were no financial ties between the consultant and Unilever and he was not receiving any payment. ‘These are his views,’ added the spokesman.

          The surgeon timed his comments to coincide with the Food Standards Agency’s campaign to promote the virtues of low-fat milk.”
          http: //www.mailonsunday.co.uk/health/article-1244048/Ban-butter-save-thousands-lives-says-heart-surgeon.html

          Butter is bad – a myth we’ve been fed by the ‘healthy eating’ industry – 2013

          “Government and health charities have been doling out duff healthy eating advice for decades, but when are they going to admit it?”

          “So why has the public health establishment so assiduously encouraged us to shun it?

          Viewed charitably, public health advice is just like any other socially constructed wisdom in that it gains authority through endless repetition. And who can blame GPs and other well-intentioned purveyors of health guidance up and down the land, if they recycle and disseminate uncritically tablets of nutritional wisdom dispensed from above?

          Viewed cynically, however, it would be naive not to notice how the anti-sat-fat message has been used effectively by food manufacturers and processors to woo us away from whole, natural foods, such as butter, which is only minimally processed, on to their products, which are entirely the opposite, such as margarine.”

          The origins of margarine

          “Emperor Napoleon III of France offered a prize to anyone who could make a satisfactory alternative for butter, suitable for use by the armed forces and the lower classes.

          French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès invented a substance he called oleomargarine, the name of which became shortened to the trade name “margarine”. Mège-Mouriès patented the concept in 1869 and expanded his initial manufacturing operation from France but had little commercial success. In 1871, he sold the patent to the Dutch company Jurgens, now part of Unilever”

  3. Steve Kelly says:

    Genuine social norms come from the culture and from the people. What’s introduced as new-and-improved “normality”, from the “authorities”, is almost always, really, brainwashing and social abnormality: that can happen: look at Germany under the Nazis, and the Holocaust for instance, or look at what Walt properly points out (above) about the scads of once-normal folks who’ve become hysterical and have converted to smoker hating over recent decades.

    The Antis set out very deliberately — they’re proud to say as much — to “denormalize” normal people and normal behavior. They have had a lot of success. They have created what is now, in many ways, a grossly abnormal, indeed crazy, and very hateful society.

    The German who reported on or actually exterminated Jews was, in Nazi society, a hero. The German who hid Jews in his attic, to protect them from from the Nazis, was a criminal subject to being exterminated himself.

    The fellow today who isn’t terrified of others’ cigarettes, and who likes his neighbors regardless of whether they like tobacco, is the normal person that our considerably “denormalized” society tries to label as a throwback, a fool, a threat to progress and of course to the children.

    The bastards among us are always trying to impose their idea of normality, which is the exact opposite of genuine normality, on all of us. When the bastards get into power they create Hell on Earth and call it the new norm. They’re very happy and proud of their Hell while all the rest of us burn in it.

    Now is one of those times. I’m looking for these awful times to end but I don’t know when they will. Antis are utter swine. I do not hesitate to say that I hate them into my bones. Join me in doing so if you haven’t already. Hating haters is a virtue, and in times as bad as these, it can be the only real consolation.

    • Frank Davis says:

      They have had a lot of success. They have created what is now, in many ways, a grossly abnormal, indeed crazy, and very hateful society.

      They have created a divided society. They have created a society in which one bunch of people believes one thing, and others believe something else.

      P.S. I hate the bastards too.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Then there are those of us who cannot be conjoled,changed,brainwashed or made to submit. Its those of us who fight back and lead those who have no backbone for the fight but who also defy the denormalizers from their spider holes hidden away waiting for normalcy and decency to return.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Fighting haters is a virtue, and in times as bad as these, it can be the only real consolation.

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Outdated second-hand smoking statistics no longer relevant: critics

    Friday, 25 October 2013
    By Shannon Kilgariff PDF Print E-mail

    Views : 181

    Favoured : None

    Published in : Centretown News, News

    Related articles

    Non-smoking organizations say data used in a report from 2010-11 describing Ottawa as having the worst rate of second-hand smoke exposure in the country is no longer relevant.

    The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, a federal government-funded organization compiled the report “Population Health in Canada’s Largest Cities,” which says that 17.8 per cent of residents are exposed to second-hand smoke in Ottawa,

    Carol McDonald, president of the Ottawa Council on Smoking or Health, says she believes that despite the high percentage of exposure in the report, Ottawa has come a long way since the introduction of the smoking bylaws in 2012. Today, the percentage would be significantly lower.

    “When you think of all the restaurant patios, for instance that are in Ottawa, they’re 100-per-cent smoke free. Children are also not exposed to second-hand smoke as much. It’s not perfect yet but I think when the survey is repeated, the public will definitely say that they’ve been receiving less exposure in Ottawa.”

    McDonald says being able to look at the old data shows that the bylaws and awareness campaigns are working to reduce the hazardous levels of smoke in the city.

    Rami Rahal, director of system performance at the partnership against cancer, says the 2010-11 data was used in this one-off report because it was the most recent data available.

    “This data is based on the Canadian Community Health Survey, which is a large national survey on health status and is administrated by Statistics Canada. The survey is run yearly and the data takes a while to compile. This is self-reported data and is based on people’s perceptions of the extent of which they are exposed to smoke in public places,” Rahal says.

    “We’ve seen in this report a direct relationship between the strength of the passive smoking by-laws and the performance of that city.”

    Rahal says that reports like this are important because 30 per cent of cancer deaths can be prevented if smoking is eliminated. Urban areas are particularly prone to second-hand smoke exposure.

    “In a large urban centre, there is high population density where people are more likely to be exposed to second-hand smoking than in a smaller town.” Rahal says.

    In 2012, Ottawa updated its bylaws to protect children and non-smokers from second-hand smoke, as well as to reduce the number of smokers.

    The laws restrict smoking in or around outdoor public areas including parks, beaches, playgrounds, sports fields and patios.

    Smokers are not permitted to light up within nine metres of certain public institutions and there is a $305 fine if they do not comply.

    Pippa Beck, from the Non-Smokers Rights Association, says these bylaws and increased awareness have made people less tolerant of smokers.

    “As people know more about second-hand smoke and their exposure to it decreases, so do their tolerances, so even a whiff of it and people will report exposure.”

    McDonald says that there is still work to be done in Ottawa, including at hospitals, construction sites, universities and in particular, the Sparks Street Mall.

    “We get almost daily complaints about the Mall. It’s advertised by the business association as a parkland but it’s not following the rules of a parkland. They have activities for children, sandboxes and medical things like blood donor clinics there. People are smoking all over the place.


  6. Steve Kelly says:

    “McDonald says that there is still work to be done in Ottawa”.

    I agree. Job one is to exile McDonald and her ilk from Ottawa, and from Canada, and from the planet, to smoke-free Mars. There isn’t even any air on Mars to pollute. I believe that should suit the Antis perfectly.

    • Barry Homan says:

      McDonald and Hamburg. Glantz and Banzhaf. Linda Bauld.

      I’m waiting for a Mildred P. Salele-Klugscheisser.

      Why do prohibitionists always have strange names you wouldn’t ever pick yourself.

      Anyone else notice the trend?

      • Barry Homan says:

        Btw, one of the best semi-common last names here in Denmark is Klitgaard.

        • Barry Homan says:

          What if I’m prejudice?

          Maybe the names of our pro-choice leaders aren’t much different.

          Let’s imagine a little name-change for some of them.

          Audrey Sulk. Dick Piddlemoat. Miguel MacMadden. Pat Wurse. Frank Beavis.

          Hmmm…ah well, maybe I’m just being…you know.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    All-Time High Unemployment: The Economic Depression In Europe Just Keeps Getting Deeper

    By Michael Snyder, on October 31st, 2013


  8. garyk30 says:

    “Let’s reflect on the fact that the overarching aim of NCD [non-communicable disease] prevention policies is to empower and enable people to lead healthier lives.”

    Youngster babble.
    Senior citizens know that, no matter what you do, health tends to get worse with age.

    Us old folks are more concerned with getting the most enjoyment out of what we have and are not concerned with some impossible nirvana.

  9. Tony says:

    Whilst I do agree with your article, I can’t resist pointing out that the ‘traditional’ breakfast of bacon and eggs was ‘created’ by Edward Bernays who you’ve written about before:

    ‘”If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway”, he said. In order to promote sales of bacon, for example, he conducted a survey of physicians and reported their recommendation that people eat heavy breakfasts. He sent the results of the survey to 5,000 physicians, along with publicity touting bacon and eggs as an ideal heavy breakfast, and superior for health to the then traditional breakfast of tea (or coffee) and toast.’

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Tobacco Stems And Stalks Are Valuable Fertilizers . – Google News


    be used to good advantage by the American grower of tobacco as fertilizer. Soil fertilized by these stems secured from the cigars and tobacco factories and …

  11. waltc says:

    About breakfast and brainwashing:

    People continue to eat bacon and eggs for breakfast (mine today was ham and eggs) because they happen to taste great and the fat and the protein give an energy boost,. If advertising poiints you to something you like, you’ll do it again but if, as Rose says of McD’s, you try it and don’t like it, you don’t do it again. In neither case are you being manipulated. If the healthists started a “Broccoli For Breakfast” campaign they could run it night and day– with endorsements from Beyonce and George Clooney– and I doubt they’d get far. Same with cigarettes. If the Marlboro Man or Virginia Slims woman intrigued you to pick up your first cigarette (as opposed to just enticing you to pick up their brand), if you didn’t intrinsically enjoy smoking, you wouldn’t repeat it. The Healthists, however, are neatly confounding enjoyment with “addiction.” Thus Dr. Kessler and his not-so-merry band of “sugar addicts.”

    Real manipulation — the social engineering variety– depends on playing to the base emotions: fear, envy, status-seeking and tribal identification. (OTOH, perhaps tangential to my point, by now, a cigarette has now become a tribal totem– a totem of our tribe– cylindrical samizdat.)


    in the…1980’s?… a Dr. Walter Willet (maybe with 2 t’s) of Harvard was pushing margerine as a life saver. A few years later he wrote a hilarious (to me) mea culpa explaining that margerine was full of trans fats and estimating (literally) that margerine “kills 35,000 Americans a year,” I’m sure you can google it. As long ago as that I decided Public Healthists were full of…[bad advice].

  12. JJ says:

    Sorry to be off topic Frank…but what has happened to ‘Taking Liberties’ Simon Clark. I get a black page with white writing saying ‘no such account’ – the page you requested does not exist.
    Any ideas?

  13. Pingback: Fractional Shifts in Attitude | Frank Davis

  14. chris says:

    Frank–Read this one and “Free speech Zones” on air yesterday. Keep ’em coming!

  15. Excellently skewered, Frank. It is typical one-sided equation stuff from a self-admitted anti funded by the usual suspects. It’s easy to make a case for your own particular bug-bear when you exclude any opinion which opposes you, and that is exactly what this article has done.

    Nice to know that the ‘nanny state’ tag hurts them though. All the more reason to use it alongside the other one they admitted they don’t like … ‘tobacco control industry’. ;)

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