To Fight Fat, Make Junk Food as Taboo as Tobacco
US must get a handle on public health crisis
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2010 1:56 PM CDT
Laws and regulations forbidding smoking improved overall health; now it's time to use the same approach to fast food.   (Fickr)
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(Newser) – A widespread vice has a negative effect on Americans' health, and it's up to the government to do something about it. That approach worked for tobacco, David Lazarus writes for the LA Times, and it can work for obesity, too. "The answer seems obvious," he argues. "If we want to protect ourselves from a deadly epidemic of heart disease, diabetes and other ailments, just as we've taken steps to protect ourselves from an epidemic of lung cancer, we need to act."

The "obvious" first step is a tax on soda, and experts Lazarus consults offer numerous other suggestions, including subsidizing healthy food options rather than the likes of high-fructose corn syrup, and banning junk food from government buildings. "We're already removing sugary sodas and junk food from schools, and we're doing it to help kids be healthier," Lazarus writes. "Surely the same rationale applies to the rest of society."