August 10, 2015
Add it to the list of things that the government got wrong when it comes to nutrition: skipping breakfast may not make you fat. It turns out this apparent truism isn’t so true and the idea has only been in circulation for the last five years or so:
The notion that skipping breakfast might cause weight gain entered the Dietary Guidelines in 2010, during one of the reviews conducted every five years by experts to update its findings… [They] collected research on skipping breakfast. Some of it did, indeed, suggest that breakfast skippers may be more likely to gain weight.
But the evidence the experts on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee relied on were observational....
August 6, 2015
In the nation’s capital, many of us are eagerly awaiting tonight’s Republican presidential debate. There’s no question that it will be entertaining, but will we learn where the candidates really stand on anything? Will we get real answers about the principles they truly hold dear and the ones that are just political talking points?
Personally, I’m hoping that one of the three moderators (Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, and Megyn Kelly) will ask the potential commanders-in-chief how committed they really are to the principles ingrained in the Constitution. It’s particularly important that the candidates clarify their position on the Tenth Amendment. Traditionally, Republicans have been the party that upholds—at least in their rhetoric—the principle that powers not enumerated to the federal government belong to the states and individuals. But in practice, most of the candidates seem...
August 6, 2015
We’ve all done it: shared a story about some study showing that chocolate is a weight-loss miracle food or a story about how KFC serves...
August 3, 2015
If you think the brainless health nannies in the United States are bad, you should read up on the absurd proposals bursting from the cranial voids of Australian nannies. From plain packaging on cigarettes, which may or may not have actually increased smoking, to a proposal that would give cops the power to raid pubs and breathalyze patrons, the Aussie nannies seem to be quite innovative in their exercise of petty authoritarianism. But a recent proposal to tax meat...
July 24, 2015
Recent polls show that Iowans aren’t too keen on legalizing online gambling in their state. They’re mistaken, in my view, but that’s their prerogative. And Iowans’ choices don’t affect me, given that I don’t live in the state. But a bill currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee could change that, by centralizing decisions on gambling in Washington.
The Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA S. 1168) would amend the 1961 Federal Wire Act, a bill passed long before the Internet existed that was intended to target the mafia’s sports betting racket, would impose a national prohibition on states legalizing almost all forms of online gambling—even for those states that have already done so. This Saturday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who has not yet taken a public stance on RAWA, will hold three town hall meetings in southeastern Iowa, giving him an opportunity to make his...
July 21, 2015
Yes, there’s a holiday for everything, but National Junk Food Day has particular relevance in light of a recent decision by the Food and Drug Administration. As the Cato Institute pointed out, the foods we indulge in today may be very different when we celebrate next year. That is because the FDA decided to create a de facto ban on partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (aka artificial trans fats). While most food producers eliminated the much maligned additive in the last 15 years and Americans have reduced consumption from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to less than a gram in 2013, some products still contain trans fats—most of which are sweets that require long shelf-life. Despite a dearth of research on the effect of consuming trans fats at the low levels Americans do, the FDA asserted...
July 17, 2015
Will Saletan has an exhaustively researched and cogently argued piece at Slate on the dishonesty of the anti-biotechnology activists and the harm they have caused. He lays out, for all to see, the naked truth about their efforts. It has nothing to do with the truth. They only care about pushing their agenda, even if it comes at the cost of human lives. As Saletan writes, “[t]hey want more studies. They’ll always want more studies. They call themselves skeptics. But when you cling to an unsubstantiated belief, even after two decades of research and experience, that’s not skepticism. It’s dogma.”
Saletan describes the tactics employed by activists to hoodwink the public and politicians. Fear-mongering...
June 16, 2015
Ding dong the witch is dead; killed by the federal government…well, that’s if the witch was a recluse people hardly ever saw, probably hasn’t hurt anyone, and was brought into town by the person burning her at the stake. The “witch” I’m referring to is trans fats, which were officially banned today via Food and Drug Administration (FDA) edict. A witch hunt is a good way to describe what the FDA did; revoking the additive’s determination as “generally recognized as safe,” because despite the fact that Americans have almost completely eliminated the substance from our diets voluntarily, the administration believes any amount of trans fats can be harmful. The fact that there is no scientific evidence to prove this didn’t seem to temper calls to “burn it...
May 26, 2015
You might not know it, but about half the cost of your preferred alcoholic beverage is made up of taxes and fees. One man in Congress, Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) wants to change that. Today he introduced a bill that would introduced a bill that would cut the current federal excise tax rate on whiskey, rum, vodka, and gin. For the first 100,000 gallons, the bill would reduce the tax from from $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 per proof gallon, and for subsequent gallons the tax would be $9 per proof gallon.
H.R. 2520 has support from both the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) and the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS), which said in their...
May 12, 2015
Last month, researchers at the University of Florida published a study in the American Journal of Public Health that concluded, “Increases in alcohol excise taxes, such as the 2009 Illinois act, could save thousands of lives yearly across the United States as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce alcohol-impaired driving.” Their study presented the case that the 2009 tax increase resulted in a statistically significant reduction in alcohol-related deaths in Illinois. However, as I pointed out in a blog post, there only appears to be a reduction in fatalities because of the authors’ selective inclusion and exclusion of data. Rebecca Goldin,...