1. James Wimberley says

    Remind me of the distinction between pushing this stuff and selling alcohol or cigarettes to children.

  2. Dan Staley says

    Butbutbut rational consumers will read the food label, count the calories, divide the calories in the food product by their daily caloric intake and order the sushi salad instead! Free Market roolz.

  3. KLG says

    I am surrounded by people who evidently eat things like that as a matter of course. It takes a real man or woman to face Type II Diabetes!

    James: A distinction without a difference.

  4. npm says

    James, I’m disappointed. I always unfairly assumed that as a European, you would be less Puritanical. I usually consider myself fully within the RBC mainstream; a rational lefty. And I agree that there’s an obesity problem and that the “toxic food environment” is a contributor. But really, comparing selling a double-sized sandwich to selling alcohol or cigarettes to children?

    It pains me to have to go through this, but 1) Nicotine and alcohol are drugs; we forbid sale of them in any amounts. This is simply two sandwiches put together. 2) Unlike cigarettes, there’s nothing inherently unhealthy in large portions of food. 3) There’s nothing inherently unhealthy about or small portions of alcohol, but there are immediate and acute consequences of drunkenness. The effects of unhealthy food are relatively moderate.

    Or maybe you were joking? I’m hoping…

  5. Don K says

    Of course, Japan is the country that, until fairly recently, famously had beer vending machines (a few also stocked fifths of whiskey), so anyone with the change (220 yen when I lived there) could get a half-liter can of their favorite. (Interestingly, the price at a store also was 220, and the price of a six-pack was 1,320 yen). These were taken out sometime early in the 2000′s, but until then it seemed evidence of a somewhat, mmm, relaxed attitude towards the drinking age (20).

    I don’t know whether the even more ubiquitous cigarette machines are still there, but those were combined with really cheap prices (120 yen, or less than a buck and a half at current exchange rates, for a pack), and absurd TV ads (my favorite was the mountain biker charging up a reasonably challenging hill, then lighting up a Mild Seven once he reached the top). As a result, it was really common to see middle-school aged kids lighting up walking back from school. In terms of availability, price, and promotion, it was like the 60′s in this country. When I was in junior high (’66-’69), anyone who couldn’t score a pack just wasn’t trying.