The First Health Nazis were, uh, Nazis

For years I have called groups like the Center for Science and the Public Interest the health or food Nazis for their continuing desire for the government to interfere with all of our individual decision-making.  They have even been google bombed with that term, it appears, so I will help -- Food Nazis!

Anyway, Reason has an interesting post linking to a study of Nazi Germany:

In a brief BMJ article, George Davey Smith describes Nazi Germany's pioneering campaigns against smoking, drinking, overeating, and other unhealthy habits. (Robert N. Proctor's 1999 book The Nazi War on Cancer explores this topic in more detail.) "It may seem paradoxical that the robust identification of one of the most important environmental causes of disease of the 20th century occurred in a totalitarian state," Smith writes, referring to Nazi research on the link between smoking and lung cancer.

Uh, no it doesn't seem paradoxical at all that totalitarians would try to micro-manage individual decision-making.

One Comment

  1. NF:

    Of course, the article is in the BMJ, so it may or may not be accurate.

    For more info see here: