Sometimes saying please just won’t help

It’s just hard for me to get overly enthusiastic about this (emphasis mine):

Anti-obesity advocates are putting pressure on federal officials to follow through with tough voluntary guidelines for food marketing to children.

Did you get that? The best advocates can do it to hope that we can get some tougher voluntary guidelines? If I were food companies, I’d laugh. Except that aren’t even doing that:

Four agencies proposed stringent voluntary guidelines in April but have gotten strong pushback from the food and marketing industries who argue that the guidelines would infringe on their freedom of speech rights – even though they’re voluntary.

We’re at a point where the food companies and ad agencies get to argue that voluntary guidelines are an affront to free speech. We’re not even talking about actual regulations or changes in policy. They’re offended that the government might just say “please”.

I’m sorry, but this seems ridiculous. I have to say I agree more with the following sentiment:

“Nearly everyone agrees that childhood obesity is a very serious problem in our country. However, allegedly ‘voluntary’ guidelines designed by government regulators to ‘protect children from junk food marketing’ will not get us one step closer to solving this epidemic,” said Michelle Bernard, the founder of the free-market Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy. “The smart government approach would be to provide private enterprise with incentives to increase access to healthy and affordable foods in underserved communities and educate all Americans about the importance of balanced nutrition.”

Much better.

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