Prince Charles is publicly advocating a ban on Big Macs. While touring a diabetes center, he asked a local official, Have you got anywhere with McDonalds, have you tried getting it banned? That's the key.
Its no secret that Big Macs and fries aren't good for you (incidentally, neither are fish n chips, chap).
But what's even worse is government regulation of what you put on your plate. Such bans replace individual judgment with politically favored notions of nutrition. Had the government been setting our tables in the 1980s, we would have been eating a lot of trans fats, which nutrition advocates claimed were the healthy alternative to butter.
Certainly, educating the public about nutrition is laudable, and numerous private organizations, such as the American Dietetic Association and the American Diabetes Association, not to mention hundreds of thousands of doctors, undertake that task every day.
So it comes down to this: Should we let government officials decide what we eat? Or is that a personal decision that free individuals should make for themselves?
In this case, Prince Charles beef with McDonalds is best left in Britain.
Andrea Woodmansee is director of publications at the Goldwater Institute.