mark bittman: The government regulates tobacco and alcohol. Why not diet? and while we're at it, there are a lot of harmful books out there. why not? at any rate, the idea of prohibiting people from buying x, y, and z with food stamps (of course that's already in place in some respects) shows very precisely that dependency and liberty are inversely related, that a dependent population is an abject population, that a welfare state is an authoritarian state. a government that provides your food owns your body.