Opinions

Government should not regulate trimming trans fat

Our health pumped governor made California the first state to ban trans fat in retail food.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger passed legislation on Friday requiring restaurants to serve less than half a gram of trans fat by 2010.

Many food depots, like McDonald’s and Spago Beverly Hills, are already making healthier changes due to consumer demands, according to the Los Angeles Times. Why is the government wasting time on legislation that is already a trend?

Now, when we’re in the mood to have a delicious fatty bean burrito with the works we have to make it at home. Really?

The government is effectively telling us we are not smart enough to make our own choices. Maybe we’re not, but let’s address the behavior and not the product. If we educate our citizens and put the responsibility in the consumer’s court, then we will see changes in consumer wants and that will translate into product changes.

We all remember “Super Size Me,” which resulted in McDonald’s changing its menu items. Even Burger King consumers can now enjoy apple fries. Tiburon, a northern California town, voluntarily stepped away from trans fat and all 18 of the town’s restaurants have been free of them since 2004, according to a report on ABC News.

The movement has undoubtedly spread; New York City has already passed similar needless legislation. Don’t be mistaken, we’re not inferring that there should be a truckload of trans fat in our fast food — but legislation is unnecessary.

State government officials should be focusing on fixing the economy and getting California out of debt — not worrying about what we are putting in our mouths.

Government regulations are important and are instituted to protect us. But when the government steps in to control our food choices, they are wasting their time and our tax money. Time and money should be spent on effective nutrition education for all Californians.

We need to know the cause and effect of what we are eating and we need to make our own choices. America is fat because we want to be fat, not because we are forced to eat unhealthy food.

Trans fat has no nutritional value and consuming it can lead to fatal heath issues like diabetes, heart disease and clogged arteries, but trans fat doesn’t make people fat and unhealthy.

People do that to themselves. Anyone who eats at a fast food joint and thinks it is healthy is either uninformed or unconcerned.

Wendy’s, El Pollo Loco, Mimi’s Cafe, KFC, Burger King, IHOP, Applebee’s, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell, Denny’s, Panera Bread, Red Lobster and the Olive Garden had already committed to reducing or eliminating trans fat before legislation required them to do so, according to the restaurant association and the L.A. Times.

Cal State Long Beach houses several of these fast food eateries. Now, when we grab a snack at Taco Bell we can feel appreciative toward our hardworking government officials for requiring them to do what the establistment already had on their planned menus. What will be next — government meal plans?

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