Past Event

Café Society: Public Safety, Individual Liberty & Fat - What Do You Value Most?

Trans fat, also know as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, has become the focus of a number of campaigns advocating for the health of the American public. According to many medical researchers and dietary experts, trans fat raises the levels of bad cholesterol and lowers helpful cholesterol. In the newest phase in the war on obesity, a number of food activists across the nation are working to ban trans fats from public consumption.

The state of North Carolina, New York City, and a small town in California have all implemented bans or voluntary programs. Most recently the city of Chicago has considered a mandate that would take trans fat off the menus of the city’s restaurants. Opponents have argued that such restrictions are infringements on personal liberty. They feel that the regulation of diet is an issue of personal responsibility and that the government should not legislate every facet of its citizens’ lives.

Which do you value more individual liberty or public safety? How should the government balance its obligation to protect public health with the desire to avoid intruding into people’s private lives? What can or should our government do to improve the physical health of its citizens?

Join us this week at Café Society to tell us if you want the freedom to eat trans fats.

Suggested Readings:

For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.