A documentary called “Supersize Me” has recently come out in theatres. It chronicles the experiences of a man (the movie's star and director, Morgan Spurlock) who decided to turn his own body into some sort of lab experiment by eating three meals a day at McDonald’s restaurants for an entire month to see if there would be any repercussions to his health. Prior to beginning his culinary kamikaze mission, Spurlock was given a clean bill of health by his doctor. By the halfway point, his doctors were advising him to quit, citing such medical concerns as a high level of toxicity to his liver. Ultimately, Spurlock continued and ended up piling 25 pounds of McLard onto his 6'2 frame.
This is a movie that has been widely credited for McDonald’s having deep-sixed their idea of "supersized" portions. It just so happens that the movie's release also closely coincided with the recent death by heart-attack of the restaurant's founder, and with its CEO being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
As entertaining and amusing as the notion may be of a martyr stuffing his face with Big Macs in some attempt to prove how damaging McDonald’s products could be if consumed to excess (forgetting for a second about the fact that even water is deadly when consumed to excess), there are much greater principles at stake here—those of personal choice and responsibility.
Fast food joints like McDonald’s already list the nutritional breakdown of each of their menu items. But now it seems that governments in both Canada and the USA want to start taking drastic measures to protect you from these jihadi cheeseburgers, as though they're actually launching themselves onto the plates of innocent citizens who have absolutely no control over what ends up in their cake hole.
A private members bill in the Canadian Parliament —- put forth by Member of Parliament Pat Martin of the socialist New Democratic Party —- would limit trans fat in all food sold in the country. Granted, the World Health Organization standards and various other studies have indeed shown that trans fats deliver a double-whammy: they are artery-clogging and reduce the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol. However, without them, we wouldn’t have margarine or shortening, cookies, cakes, or potato chips.
The underlying premise here is that people can't be educated and trusted to make decisions about their own health and well-being, so the government must do it for them. Perhaps the next step is to install weigh scales at the entrances to all fast food restaurants. If a person is deemed, by virtue of his or her weight, to have comprised far too many of the "over 10 billion customers served" (or whatever that number is now), bells and alarms can start going off and the door can lock shut?
Both Canadians and Americans should be able to scarf down “ninja chips” or order up their very own “heart attack on a plate” whenever they feel like it. If I wanted the fat taken out of my hamburgers, I'd join the granola-munching tofu crowd. If some schmuck can't restrain himself enough to turn off the Big Mac tap after he's downed 3 or 4 of them, that's his own business. The occasional junk food binge shouldn't be denied to anyone else because a clown like this has a bit of a problem with self-control.
According to a Washington Post article, legislatures in at least 25 American states are debating more than 140 bills with the goal of curbing obesity. Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-NY) has proposed six of them. If Oritz’s bills were to become law, they would result in hefty taxes on not only fatty foods, "but also modern icons of sedentary living--movie tickets, video games and DVD rentals", or pretty much anything that keeps you seated for longer than a few minutes. Great. Just as we’re trying to stop liberals like Oritz from reaching into our wallets, they’re busy trying to figure out ways to work themselves into our kitchens.
Whether it's the government trying to save us from attacks of the munchies -— or from radio personalities saying things that some people find offensive —- the bottom line is that it's an affront to my freedom and yours. If you don't like what you hear, change the radio station. If you feel a program might corrupt your children, then start being a parent, stop using the TV as a babysitter, and take responsibility for the programs your children watch. Don't expect the government to do it for you. If you don't like what's in a Taco Bell burrito, don't order it. Limit the time your kids spend in front of the Playstation or X-Box, and make an effort to teach them the value of being physically active and eating a balanced diet. Neither food nor airwaves ought to be subject to banning or censorship because some folks just can’t control themselves and need Big Brother to set them straight.
In fact, I think what ought to be done is that McDonald’s should install video game stations, televisions, and Internet stations inside their restaurants. That way, people could have the convenience of feeling their asses spread right there on one of those little orange or yellow benches while they're pounding back Happy Meal after Happy Meal for hours at a crack. Perfect and convenient. And it should be every North American's God-given right. Personally, I don’t drink, and I don’t smoke -— both of which are perfectly legal vices —- and I spend two hours at the gym every day. Please, at least allow me my one killer cheeseburger.