There once was a very wise man, Steve H. Graham, who said, "Eat what you want and die like a man." Screwing around with recipes to make them "healthier," he insists, is a waste of time:

I get sick of hearing people who don't know what good food is, perpetuating the tired, transparent lie that you can cook just as well with healthy ingredients. And it irritates me that they've managed to get their awful vegetable grease and lowfat milk and so on into products like ice cream and cookies, which exist solely to taste good. It's like putting a Prius engine in a Ferrari. It does not work.

In fact, "healthy" eating in general seems to be dubious at best:

[T]he results of every major randomized, controlled clinical trial of healthy eating and lifestyles to date have been ignored, downplayed, or explained away ... or their benefits greatly overstated. As incredible as it seems, they have failed to demonstrate significant benefit in preventing chronic diseases of old age, like the big three, diabetes, heart disease or cancers, or in living longer. Nor has any healthy eating intervention been credibly shown to give everyone a government-approved BMI.

Remember the Woman's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial, for instance? It was designed as the largest, longest and most expensive randomized controlled diet trial in the history of our country and was to finally prove the government's "healthy" eating dietary guidelines for the prevention of chronic diseases and weight loss. After eight years of intensive interventions, there were no real differences in the incidences of more than 30 cancers, heart attacks or strokes, diabetes, weight, or all-cause mortality among those who followed a restrictive "healthy" diet and the control group who ate whatever they chose.

In other words, this might be every bit as big a scam as "global warming," "climate change," or whatever they're calling it this week. And where there's this much power at stake, there will be the usual gaggle of sociopaths anxious to exert it:

Imagine a country where the government regularly checks the waistlines of citizens over age 40. Anyone deemed too fat would be required to undergo diet counseling. Those who fail to lose sufficient weight could face further "reeducation" and their communities subject to stiff fines.

Is this some nightmarish dystopia?

No, this is contemporary Japan.

The Japanese government argues that it must regulate citizens' lifestyles because it is paying their health costs. This highlights one of the greatly underappreciated dangers of "universal healthcare." Any government that attempts to guarantee healthcare must also control its costs. The inevitable next step will be to seek to control citizens' health and their behavior. Hence, Americans should beware that if we adopt universal healthcare, we also risk creating a "nanny state on steroids" antithetical to core American principles.

Sounds like a "nightmarish dystopia" to me.

You'd think the Nanny State would be happy if I wanted fries with that; the sooner I croak, the less likely I am to collect from the de facto bankrupt Social Security system. No such luck. And I am starting to believe that American health-insurance operations, far from feeling threatened with obsolescence by some nebulous ObamaCare, are actually looking forward to being subsumed by Washington: after all, they can cash out all those premium dollars, then hire themselves out to the government as regional gatekeepers, or some such nonsense. (For the record: I will support a single-payer system if, and only if, that single payer is George Soros.)

And speak not to me of "risk factors." The most significant risk factor of all is being born: people who have been born have a 100-percent chance of death, and that's that. Figure out some way around that, and we'll talk. Until then, I'm off to the kitchen. I might even conjure up something like this, if I feel like disassembling a rifle.

The Vent

  24 January

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 Copyright © 2009 by Charles G. Hill