Wow, a 10 page debate and nobody's gotten the boot yet!
Anyway, sure, go right ahead and ban McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, and Hardees if you want - but don't dare lay a finger on KFC! Mmmmmm.....honey BBQ wings.
I believe that this boils down to informed choice.
Everybody knows that excessive consumption of greasy, fried foods is unhealthy.
Everybody knows that excessive consumption of alcohol is unhealthy.
Everybody knows that smoking is unhealthy.
Armed with that knowledge, you make a choice and live with its consequences.
The only exception to this, IMO
is when children are involved, since they don't have the capacity to make informed choices yet.
Some of our 'enlightened' leaders in NY have suggested adding an obesity tax to fast food purchases. The money would supposedly go to the state to offset obesity-related expenses incurred by Medicaid/Medicare. Would this stop people from going to McDonalds and the like? Highly unlikely! In NYC, a pack of cigarettes costs $7.50!!!! Combined city and state taxes are over 3 dollars per pack. Yet, I still see lots of people buying cigs in my neighborhood.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg said he raised the city tax by $1.5 in order to save lives. Ha ha ha ha ha! I think he just needed more revenue for the city, and he knew that those poor nicotine-addicted slobs would be an easy, politically expedient target. BTW
, bless all you smokers, gamblers, and drinkers. Without your generous contributions to NYC and NY State, my personal income taxes would be higher. :P