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Is It Really Anyone’s Business What You Eat?

Health Dept. workers in New York are about to move into new digs in Queens.  Along with their marching orders, they’ve been given a list of new guidelines on what they can and cannot eat at work.  Who says communism isn’t alive and well in America?  Basically, they don’t want the health workers eating fried foods, sweets and whole bagels.   I’m getting visions of trays filled with carrot shavings and kelp.  Tap water must be an option.  I hardly drink the tap water in Wichita Falls anymore.  I doubt anyone wants to drink the tap water in NYC.  Among the other guidelines are new rules on the display of posters and other visual items inside or around ones cubicle.  Now I can accept that one.  After all, an 11 x 13 poster of the Penthouse Pet of the Month might make some folks a little uncomfortable (and you know some fool somewhere at sometime has done that).  But as far as your diet, does anyone really have the right to tell you what and what not to eat?  Can you imagine what would happen in this neck of the woods if city or county government pulled this one?  We’d have  a full on revolt on our hands.  Look, I’m a big ‘ol boy.  I like food.  Food likes me.  It’s been a great relationship.  I’ve been banned from a couple of buffets.  Could I stand to lose some weight?  Oh yeah.  No doubt about that one.  But I don’t need anyone holding my hand and telling me so.  I’m a grown man.  I know that I’d feel much better if I had about 50 less pounds on me.    But increasingly, government is intruding into our lives.  Now you could, I guess, make the argument that these people are, after all, government employees.  And health care costs being what they are, the government honchos in the Big Apple are just looking out for the taxpayer, right?  A healthier employee means less doctor visits and, somewhere way down the line, lower insurance costs.  Sure it does.  And the tooth fairy will soon start paying off with gold coins.  Don’t be fooled.  As long as there is a demand for health care, the price for insurance coverage won’t be coming down.  If you want it, you’ll buy it and that’s that.  And there are over-bloated egos in Washington who love it because the high costs give them more inroads to you, via fear.  Every single government employee up there could be the size of French runway model and it wouldn’t cost a dime less.  I have every confidence in that!  But that’s another story.  Does the government have any right, ever, to tell you what and what not to eat?  Well if you think they do, even for government employees, consider this: how many times have you seen someone in check out line at the supermarket buying fatty fried foods, sweets and general junk with a Lone Star Card?   For those of you that don’t know, the Lone Star Card is Texas’ answer to food stamps.  Their was so much fraud years ago with the food stamp program that many (if not all states, now) decided to go with a debit card-type program.  Basically, those who use the card are buying their food on your dime, right?  If you don’t like what they’re buying, do you have a right to tell them they can’t buy it?  No, you don’t, legally speaking.   There are regulations, but not many.  You cannot buy beer, smokes, some food items, etc.., but by and large, it looks like a pretty open program.  So where does any city or county or state or federal government get off telling you that you can’t eat french fries or cheeseburgers or whole bagels if you like?  Heck, I’d like a nice, fresh bagel right now myself.  But with lots of cream cheese, please.

(Photo Illustration by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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