NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Anti-Obesity Act is Full of Fat

May 13, 2004

Move over Adkins diet -- House representatives Don Young (R-Alaska) and George Miller (D-Calif.) have proposed the Get Outdoors Act of 2004 in order to address the growing problem of obesity in the United States. The Act, however, is nothing more than repackaging of previous legislation designed to take land from private ownership and create more spending projects, says the Heritage Foundation.

According to Heritage, the Get Outdoors Act of 2004 essentially would:

  • Provide a "conservation" trust fund allowing state governments to purchase undeveloped land for hiking trails, bike paths and recreational facilities.
  • Add $3.125 billion to the annual federal budget through a mandatory spending program -- proponents claim that some funding will come from offshore drilling tax dollars which were originally intended for areas that bore the cost of offshore drilling.
  • Enable the federal government to grab more private land, although the government has enough trouble maintaining the 25 percent of land it already owns, and evidence shows that private land is better preserved than public land.

Indeed, the Act would give property owners less clout by giving more power and influence over private lands to the federal government.

The Get Outdoors Act of 2004 is similar to the earlier proposed Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) in 1999. The only difference, according to Heritage, is that the legislation is packaged as an exercise measure.

Source: Erin Hymel, Keith Miller, Alison Fraser, "The April Fools Diet: How Government Pork Fights American Obesity," Heritage Foundation, Webmemo #500, May 7, 2004.


Browse more articles on Environment Issues