Sunday 12 February 2012

Public Choice vs Government Health Drive In The US

How delightful. US fast food chain Jack in the Box look to be tempting Michelle Obama's righteous anti-fatty food crusaders into a bit of a row.

There's an accompanying website and everything, along with a hefty 'up yours' of a milkshake, as breathlessly described by the Mail.
The marriage of salty, high-fat, high-cholesterol bacon with a super-sweet, high-fat, high-calorie milkshake is already being hailed as one of the most decadent items on already-unhealthy fast food menus.

The new milkshake comes in 16 in 24-ounce sizes. The large shake has 1,081 calories, 37 grams of saturated fat and 108 grams of sugar.

Reactions to the new treat have ranged from exultation to utter disgust
Good God! The sky is falling, so it is.

Ah, but they're already ahead of you Yanks, you see.
“A high school student just shared with me this week a website they were told to go on in their health class to calculate their overall health based on input regarding their diet and exercise. The USDA’s site is called “Supertracker.” The name says it all. Once registered, you are asked to enter all the foods you ate on a typical day. You are then asked to input all the activity you did that day. Each of these screens come with drop down menus with several hundred food and activity options. This is not a superficial, gimmicky, analysis program. Someone has put a lot of time and effort into creating it.

Once you have entered all that information, SuperTracker provides you a health report detailing how many of your daily calories came from fats and what kind of fats, what your sodium intake is, and how much you need to increase your activity levels.

Even IF the government doesn’t use this data to track students individually, they are amassing a lot of conglomerated data on the average teen lifestyle which will just be too tempting to ignore."
Woe betide anyone who dares to log their love of repeated bacon consumption with Michelle's food monitors. I mean, don't Jack in the Box realise that this isn't a laughing matter. Bacon isn't fit for human consumption, let alone marriage!

And that's all before we consider the subtle message in the ad which plays, mischievously, on parental fears about homosexuality or mixed racial matrimony.

Sales, however, are apparently sky high.
Demand was so monstrous, stores already began to run out of the special bacon-flavored syrup after only a few days.

The company says supplies are 'limited as limited can be.'
That just won't do. We can't have the public making their own free choices, now can we?

I admire the chain's cojones, but reckon this will be a campaign that is - as we speak - being written up as a future example of why the industry as a whole requires anti-consumer regulation. Probably couched as the killing of kids, or some such, with that transatlantic Oliver berk somewhere in the background.

One to watch, methinks.

H/T The ever-vigilant CA jewel robber, David G


Thomas said...

That ad campaign will have Banzahaf of ASH, who is also anti-fast-foods and looking for a way to win a Master Settlement case in the courts against the fast food industry, so as to expand the bansturbator's illicit taken booty, just as mad as a hornet (or maybe happy as a lark for opening up a doorway) as will be the entire Moochelle Obama regime in DC. I'm glad Jack in the Box did it. More should and not kiss up to them, the way tobacco foolishly did. More bacon here please. Love it.

Moi said...

I remain staggered that anybody, anywhere still gives any information to any of these "studies" or tells the truth in them, particularly in the private-health-care USA, where the info is highly likely to be stored away somewhere and then produced magically at some later date in order to bump one's premiums up.  Maybe that's why they've devoted this particular one to students - the young are a pretty gullible lot who generally believe what they are told or what they read, unlike us old codgers who don't trust a single thing any more. 

Junican said...

How you fill these surveys in depends upon what you want the Gov to know. If I receive a survey from YouGov which asks how many cigarettes per day I smoke, I double my consumption. The same applies at the dentists or wherever. The reason is that I do not want ASH ET AL using these stats to claim that their policies are succeeding, bearing in mind that they are playing a long game (with targets of about 3% per an reduction in prevalence). When smoking prevalence does not go down, they will want to up the persecution, but the chancellor might, at last, ask why we are pouring money into a failing project.

On the other hand, as regards eating and exercise, cut the eating data and double the exercise!  

thelincolnimp said...

Fuck that burger looks good, I don't usually eat meat, but might takeit up again to screw with the control freaks.

non sum dignus said...

American health drives give me the creeps,big time.
Anything which keeps Yanks alive longer than absolutely necessary
has no place in a decent honorable world.
The cowardly puritans ,not content with normalising misery, want to
live longer ensuring it's universal appeal.  

Single acts of tyranny said...

Wouldn't you just subvert the data though?  Fill in total garbage a la GIGO?

Churchmouse said...

'American health drives give me the creeps,big time.'

That's because of the incestuous relationship between American health insurers and hospitals. They each rely on the other to jack up prices.

For all those in the UK who wish to get rid of the NHS, think again. In the US, you are required -- as I understand it -- to go for regular preventative health checks. That's not Obamacare, just part of your normal insurance policy. Everyone there is fearful of an overly-high cholesterol, blood pressure or blood sugar reading. This is why their lives revolve around health, health, health.

Yet, as Major Henry Dodds in 'Bad Lads' Army' used to say to the new recruits, 'You're all going to die!'

The best advice and statement one could ever hear, reminiscent of Ben Franklin's two certainties, 'death and taxes'.