Eric Mar is about to go on The Daily Show and become a national joke. He is the author of San Francisco’s ban on Happy Meals.
Because the ban lies at the intersection of San Francisco, politics and pop culture, and because it coincides with the holidays, I’ll be stuck defending Eric Mar to my relatives.
I hate Eric Mar.
But first, a quick thought experiment:
- Imagine a world where children are allowed to eat whatever they want.
- Imagine there are no parents.
- Predict the medical consequences of such a world.
- Now compare your imagined world with the actual world we live in.
HOW IS THIS COUNTERFACTUAL DIFFERENT FROM WHAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW?
Forget the future, look around.
1 in 5 kids are obese. Not fat, not “Could lose a few.” Obese.
So are their parents. Please see step #2.
I’ve lost you, haven’t I? Let’s try something else.
Have you ever seen the popular television series Mad Men?
Often, the show will feature a practice which seems backward or primitive by today’s standards. For example, a doctor will be smoking while giving a woman a pelvic exam. Most viewers think, “I can’t believe they were allowed to do that back then!”
Eventually they banned smoking during pelvic exams.
You’re the one who made fun of the ban.