Our Too-Fat Nation Needs a 'Dietary Seat Belt'

Mark Bittman: It's a disgrace we don't regulate food, and nonfood, better
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2012 12:37 PM CST

(Newser) – America needs the equivalent of a seat belt law when it comes to nutrition, writes Mark Bittman in the New York Times. By that he means the government must try to prevent people from eating and drinking so much lousy food through soda taxes, bans on trans fats, public-relations campaigns, etc. Nanny state, you cry? Well, seat belts save lives, and we make people use them for the greater good. It's the same principle, he argues.

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"Soda kills more people than guns—more people than car wrecks—only less dramatically," writes Bittman. "What we need is the equivalent of a dietary seat belt." The biggest public health menace of our time is preventable chronic disease, largely brought about by diet—think diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. We don't need cures, we need prevention via common-sense policies. "We have the power, collectively, to further reduce disease and improve longevity. Who’s against that?" he asks. Click for Bittman's full column. (Read more nutrition stories.)

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