$50K to Study Snacking Habits of College Freshmen

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Every year, it seems our government comes up with a thousand new ways to waste taxpayer money, and every year, these expenditures get more ridiculous. Our military is slowly being stripped down to nothing, Social Security is going broke, our infrastructure is crumbling, and our space program is woefully underfunded. It’s not that the federal government isn’t getting enough money from the citizenry, it’s that they’re spending the money the way you might if next year’s budget depended on how much of this year’s you had left. Which, when you break the government down into its constituent parts, is exactly what’s happening.

To wit: The National Institutes of Health is getting ready to spend more than $50,000 to study how much snacking college students do when they’re drinking. Over two years, researchers will observe 175 college freshmen at the University of Kansas to see if their groundbreaking hypothesis – that drinking may lead to unhealthy eating – holds up. The study will also get to the bottom of a parallel question that we’ve all been dying to answer: Does “heavy alcohol use” cause college freshmen to gain weight?

This study is part of a larger NIH project which aims to demystify the “Freshmen 15” phenomenon. All in all, the agency has spent more than $1.5 million on the project. We can only imagine that President Obama and his ideological brethren will be eagerly awaiting the results. A whole new world of regulatory possibilities could open up. Who will protect these college kids from Budweiser and Doritos if not the Democratic Party?

Ok, ok, that’s too cynical. You’re right.

“The long-term goal of this research is to develop a prevention intervention that addresses both problems in college students,” says the grant.

See, it’s for the purpose of “prevention intervention,” not regulations.

Now what might that look like? Perhaps the NIH will release a series of public awareness videos with titles like: Chips and Beer: The Cellulite Combination. Maybe they’ll send counselors around the country to encourage freshmen to eat carrot sticks with their Coors. Or maybe they’ll follow the usual Obama path, which is to skip the propaganda and just go straight for the law. It’s so much easier to get people to do what you want them to do when you threaten them with fines and imprisonment. Much more efficient.

It was said often about Michelle Obama’s school lunch scheme and it’s worth saying again: If we’re ready as a nation to lose some fat, we should start with the government.