Maryland Will Make Your Food Choices For You

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Liberals simply love any issue that gives them an excuse to exert government control over the citizenry. They’ve found those issues in gun violence, climate change, cigarettes, and, of course, in obesity. To combat the latter, we’ve seen anti-freedom advocates like Michael Bloomberg and Michelle Obama at the forefront, and their nanny-state goals have filtered down to the local level. Just look at Maryland, where Democrats want to force vending machine owners to adhere to healthy standards…or else.

The Maryland Healthy Vending Act is set to be debated on the state senate floor this Wednesday. If it becomes law, vending machines located on government property will be compelled to change their selections so that 75% of the offerings meet “healthy standards.” Foods will meet these standards by having no more than .5 grams of trans fat per serving, no more than 200 milligrams of sodium per package, and no more than 200 calories. Drinks must be under 40 calories, with exceptions for milk and certain juices.

Additionally, vendors will be required to place their healthy choices in specific places within the machine, because we can’t expect adults to, you know, look up or down to find unsalted peanuts.

Vendors who are found in violation of the new standards will be subject to fines ranging from $100 to $1,000. Repeat offenders may lose their vending license.

Delegate Antonio Hayes, the Democrat sponsoring the bill, warned that the vending machine industry would argue against the standards by claiming it would cost them profits. “They will make it seem that people will only buy less healthy items,” he said. “They should read their own trade publications, which all say that healthier items are all selling like crazy.”

Right. So Hayes is saying that vending operators are intentionally sabotaging their own profits right now by loading their machines with junk food? That makes sense.

“Right now, there is no choice,” said Robi Rawl of Sugar Free Kids Maryland, a coalition supporting the bill. “Often the choice is to go hungry or to eat an entire day’s worth of calories, salt, fat, sodium in one snack. You can’t make a healthy choice if one is not in the machine.”

Isn’t this just the most typical argument? Always talking about “food deserts” and “access,” as if people have no choice but to eat out of the vending machine. Is Rawl aware that people can actually buy food at the grocery store?

According to the proponents, this law will help the state combat diabetes and other obesity-related diseases. As though vending-machine Cheez-Its are the primary culprit behind rising obesity rates. Do these idiots buy their own hype, or do they just hope that the voters will?