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The Best Government Advice Your Money Can Buy: Eat from Plates and Bowls

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Sometimes, the intrusive hand of government is a heavy, like when the EPA decides to lock up your property as a wetland. Sometimes it is subtle. And then there are times whine the government’s collective head is just plain dumb.

Such is the case in the latest offering from Health and Human Services which is now admonishing families to use plates and bowls when they eat. Apparently, HHS is under the impression that the vast majority of Americans are eating in Viking mead halls and throwing roast mutton at a jester, or just wallowing at a trough filled with cheeseburgers in between turns on the X Box.

An HHS website states in part: “Measure out standard servings and always eat from a bowl or plate. Eating from the carton or bag makes it easy to lose track of your portions and can cause you and your family members to have too much.”

Yes, we now have plate warnings from HHS.

The website also advises families to have a good breakfast, eat together and to turn off the television during meals.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s good advice, but it is advice that we heard for years from our parents; long before the government decided to make our eating habits its purview.

It doesn’t stop there, either.

One can also download a PDF file of a government-approved grocery list complete with starter items such as apples, spinach, whole grain bread, brown rice, chicken breasts, whole eggs, low fat or fat free yogurt, black beans, canned pineapple (in its own juice) fat free milk and olive oil.

Stuff we at our house get when we go to the grocery store anyway.

None of the advice on the website is bad.

But it does give one pause that the federal government either labors under the impression that Americans are incapable of navigating their way through a supermarket or around their kitchen, or under the impression that it must convince Americans that they are incapable of doing so.  

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