George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of the best and most important books ever written. This is not hyperbole. It’s as close as one can ever get to an objective statement about a novel. In addition to Orwell’s lean, elegant prose, it is impossible to imagine a more insightful or prescient book about the nature of a truly socialist government. Except for failing to include mass starvation, Orwell accurately predicated just about every aspect of North Korea.
One of the powerful imagines George Orwell created was a sense of being under constant scrutiny and control. Poor Winston Smith, doing his government-mandated physical exercises in front of his government-mandated two-way television, was stridently scolded for failing to implement properly his government-mandated “jerks.” (I’ve never quite known what those “jerks” were, but I assume that they were push-ups or jumping jacks.)
Two-way television, of course, was an unheard of idea in 1948. Now every iPhone has it, and every computer can have it. The future is the present. Oh, and the bit about having the government modern every individual’s lifestyle and health choices? We knew that was coming down the pike when the government passed ObamaCare. The government that controls your health care controls you.
One aspect of health care, of course, is weight. Despite the fact that studies show that “obese” people can be perfectly healthy, our betters and wisers in the worlds of academia and politics want to slim the government health care budget by slimming you — and they think that coercive government force is a good way to achieve this goal:
Federal agencies should step in if industries that promote high-calorie foods to children do not implement common nutrition standards within two years, the influential Institute of Medicine (IOM) said Tuesday.
The recommendation came as part of a 478-page IOM report on the U.S. obesity epidemic that outlined broad policy changes the panel says are necessary to stave off a healthcare crisis.
The changes are aimed at a complete overhaul of the United States’s “obesogenic” environment, the panel wrote.
“People have heard the advice to eat less and move more for years, and during that time a large number of Americans have become obese,” panelist Shiriki Kumanyika of the University of Pennsylvania said.
“The average person cannot maintain a healthy weight in this obesity-promoting environment,” she said.
Strategies like a possible soda tax and new zoning laws to encourage walking and biking are designed to “reinforce one another’s impact to speed our progress,” said panel Chairman Dan Glickman, a former secretary of Agriculture.
The food and beverage industry, as well as its marketers, must cooperate or face possible federal intervention on issues like childhood nutrition standards, the panel warned.
Ace treats this idea with the disdain it deserves, but I’m not sure his voice of reason is being heard outside the Church of Conservative Ideology.
I do wonder, though, if there isn’t a good political campaign to be made of reminding people that Obama’s going to take away their ice cream cones, sodas, hot dogs, and hamburgers.