Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

You won’t need a meal plan in the nanny state



You know what I find ironic? And not Alanis ironic, which is really just crap luck, but genuinely ironic. How vehemently opposed to government “interference” in their lives many people are and how many people ask me to give them meal plans. I’ve had people say to me “just tell me what to eat” (if you’d like to know why I don’t do that, check out this old post). Which is voluntarily completely relinquishing control of what they put in their mouths and people are willing to pay for this service. Yet, people rail on and on about the “nanny state” and how the government should stay out of our kitchens when all public health wants to do is help make it easier for you to make healthier choices.

No one in government wants to tell you exactly what to eat at every meal. Through legislation public health dietitians would like to make nutritionally void foods (like pop and candy) less accessible. We would like to ensure that fast food joints can’t open across the street from schools so that your children aren’t eating shakes and fries every day. We would like to make sure that local food systems are strengthened so that farmers are making living wages and produce is affordable and accessible.

Unlike what people want from a meal plan, we want to make it easy for people to make healthy choices. We don’t want to forbid you from buying pop or chips, we just want to make it easier for you to buy carrots or to fill-up your water bottle.

Why is it that people are so ready to relinquish all control over their diets to a dietitian or nutritionist but when it comes to creating an environment in which making healthy choices would be easier suddenly everyone’s all up in arms?

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

8 thoughts on “You won’t need a meal plan in the nanny state

  1. Spot on! Jane


  2. Well, when a person fails to follow a prescribed meal plan the blame can be placed on the plan. It was full of yucky choices. The food was too hard to cook. It eliminates the feeling of self responsibility.
    Yet, when one complains about the food police, its as if people want others to fail in order to prove that the are better than those who cannot resist the worse choice.
    Its true, better regulations just help people to make better choices, easier. Like putting that bowl of cut up veg, front and center in your fridge. Its not going stop you from eating the cheesecake behind it. But it might make you think twice.
    Its like people just want a built-in mechanism for explaining why they choose the not so great option instead of the one they lnow they should pick.
    Funny how McDonald’s Ray Kroc was the one against the large fry “they should just get two if they want more”
    That’s ironic, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A great post Diana.
    The subject could be anything our Governments do, as the underlying arguments would be the same.  I think that Lisa was on target with her comments.

    The vast majority of people from all walks of life simply do not want to take responsibility for their own lives primarily because they don’t want to put in the effort to understand the nuances and risks associated with each issue.  They prefer to hurl insults, make up facts to support their criticism and sit back in glee when others reference their nonsense as fact.  We are basically lazy.  We don’t want to understand the compromises that were made prior to regulations being implemented and in fairness some regulations are implemented because one of those compromises is often the time, professional resources and funding needed to consider every possible scenario related to the issue.  Just consider all the possible reasons why people don’t get involved…work, children, volunteer activities, physical health, mental health and the list goes on.  And then there are the reasons people do get involved…professional interest, want to make things better, see personal gain in successfully changing regulations etc.

    It’s a fact of life that the complainers will always be there.  It’s also a fact that while it is everyone’s responsibility to themselves and to their community (immediate to large) to filter out the garbage, to become aware and to contribute in a positive way, the reality is that it’s hard work and takes time away from our favourite TV show.  We can dream of the day when everyone works together for a better world, but until that happens we persevere for the betterment of the whole, we grow a thicker skin and we accept that despite our best efforts nothing will be perfect and everything is subject to change….sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong reasons.

    Thanks again for a great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Spot on, as always! I agree with you, and I think people have to realize that these types of controls really are for their own health benefits. I think it comes down to people just not liking the idea of someone else “controlling” them. Meaning: it’s okay if they go to you for a diet plan because they’re choosing, on their own account, to seek nutritional guidance, but if it’s “imposed,” the same intention of wanting to eat healthfully suddenly becomes seen as a forced, overstepping governmental construct. I wish more people would realize the parallel and notice it’s for the best. This is literally the definition of cognitive dissonance.

    Liked by 1 person

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