Beware Of The Food Police

Young girl drinks can of SODA, 2-16-00 AP

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
I had a conversation the other day with Michael Jacobson, the director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. I've been interviewing Michael for years, and he used to get mad at me because I called his organization the Food Police.

Well, the Food Police would like to put warning labels on soda cans so teenagers, the biggest consumers of soda, might begin to get a clue that the thousands of sugar-charged calories they're pouring into their gullets is making them fat and sick.

I said, "Michael, you cant be serious." He is though and while putting a warning label on a pop can sounds gooney, obesity and diabetes are serious long term health risks that each of us will end up paying for, as more overweight kids turn into overweight adults and begin tipping the already groaning scale that is the U.S. health care system. OK, so it's not a system, it's a fault ridden ad hoc patch work of service methods whose quality and dispersal is a dark mystery to most of us.

But, I digress. I don't know if kids are really going to care if there's a warning on a pop can. Teenagers are invulnerable. That's why they smoke, and drive too fast. And why apparently they like big gulps. A thousand calories a shot, says Michael. Somebody call the food police.



By Harry Smith
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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