The following article has been authored by a non-clinician.
There's this great quote from James Madison that "If men were angels, no government would be necessary." He then continues that if you're stuck with a government where humans rule over other humans, the government must be able to both control the governed and also control itself. He's saying you need to thread the needle: firm, but not too firm.
But that's not really human nature. It's easier – and more satisfying on a cruel, primal level – to see something wrong and use it as an excuse to reach too far.
Pollution is a problem, but rather than addressing it with a light touch, it's more fun to use it as an excuse for the government to seize absolute power over the economy. Instead of being satisfied that cops who abused their power are in prison, it's more fun to insist we must defund the police. In the face of a worldwide pandemic, rather than just tell people to wash their hands regularly and wear masks, imagine the thrill of demanding that the entire world has to be shut down.
Rare indeed are the humans who will see a problem and address it as much as it needs to but no farther.
And now a group that's supposed to make recommendations on school lunches wants to control how much beer you can drink at the end of a long day.
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) issued the latest in a series of routine reports designed "to promote health and help prevent disease for all Americans."
These usually don't draw a lot of attention, but this one did because they made some unusual claims to restrict alcohol consumption, namely reducing the definition of moderate consumption from two drinks to one for men – making it then identical to the pre-existing guideline for women.
A joint operation between the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, DGAC has been around for 30 years, comprised of a rotating crop of experts that meets every five years to update policies on topics as varied as how many vegetables people should eat to what foods to give to troops, schoolchildren and even prisoners.
For DGAC to draw this hard line is basically the strictest the government has ever gotten with booze since Prohibition. And this recommendation might be as bad as some other ones they've made.
Note these are largely the same people who have defended the disastrous food pyramid, which dramatically over-prescribed carbohydrate consumption for decades and contributed to the country's obesity epidemic. They're also the ones behind our terrible corn-subsidies policy, which is a huge expense to taxpayers, bad for crop diversification, even worse for public health, and destroys the livelihoods of small farmers in the developing world.
The biggest problem with these new dietary guidelines as others have noted is that it focuses on just one of 60 available studies on alcohol intake. DGAC is conflating reasonable, regular alcohol consumption – like two beers – with actual alcohol abuse, like binge drinking five or more drinks at the same time.
If DGAC wants people to drink less, then it needs to start demanding we re-open society. People at bars don't binge drink – people shut in at home all alone do. But governments don't usually want to let go of power when they can grab it instead. Men are not angels, and this policy shows some nutritionists are drunk with power.
Jared Whitley is a long-time politico who has worked in the U.S. Congress, White House, and defense industry. He is an award-winning writer, having won best blogger in the state from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists (2018) and best columnist from Best of the West (2016). He earned his MBA from Hult International Business School in Dubai. Read Jared Whitley's reports — More Here.
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