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27 June 2010 - Whose Responsibility is It?

I often wonder, if the authors of our Constitution were alive today, what they would think about the many ways in which the Federal government injects itself into our daily lives and decision-making. For example, should the Federal government tell us what to eat and how to eat it? I wonder if our founding fathers ever intended that would be the role of the Congress and the administration.

Recently, the report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee was introduced by Rear Admiral Penelope Slade-Sawyer of the Health and Human Services Department and she said, "....new nutritional guidelines should focus on keeping Americans from getting even fatter with an emphasis not only on healthy foods but on finding ways to help Americans eat better and exercise more".

I can't argue that there is a reason for that statement with two-thirds of U.S. adults overweight or obese, but what ever happened to personal responsibility? Must we have a Federal law on the books to tell us to do what we know we should do?

Let me share some of the other statements in the report..."Americans of all ages consume too few vegetables, fruits, high-fiber whole grains, low-fat milk and milk products and seafood, and they eat too much added sugars, solid fats, refined grains and sodium". The committee's recommendations emphasize "a plant-based diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs".

They also suggest decreasing sodium intake from current levels to less than 1,500 milligrams daily. There is a call for drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages; a call to decrease saturated fat from 10% to 7% of daily calories. "Families need to learn how to cook healthier food and kids need recess" says the report. It suggested development of fish farms to help people afford fish.

All of these proposals will be considered by officials of the Health and Human Services Department and U.S. Department of Agriculture when they draw up new dietary guidelines, something they must do every five years. Those guidelines will set standards for U.S. school breakfasts, lunches and other federal food programs, so indeed, they could become law. As long as we refuse to accept personal responsibility, we can expect the Federal government to encroach further into our daily lives. I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of "Big Brother" looking over my shoulder in the kitchen or dining room. That is not their job!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.