A friend of mine who is an expert in endocrinology sent me this youtube link to a fascinating lecture by Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, in which he details his hypothesis concerning the causes of the explosion in child obesity, adult obesity and metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease).
First of all, if you are concerned about your own health, this is a must see and may change the way you think about food. Second, although it is not explicitly characterized as such in the lecture, it provides yet another case study in the horrors of central planning (e.g., see my post Golf Clap for Dear Leader).
The biochemistry of metabolism speaks for itself and much has been learned over the past 30 years. The more subtle component in this story concerns the insidious fingerprint of the central planner. The federal government is in a position to directly affect the health of the entire nation through several mechanisms. First, agricultural subsidies cause prices of certain foods to be more or less than otherwise and provide massive incentives to farmers and the food industry to utilize or substitute certain types of "favored" foods (like corn for example). Second, the FDA directly regulates the production and composition of food and drugs and through its official propaganda, which manifests in pronouncements like the RDA, reaches into every sphere of the public consciousness, e.g., adverstisements, industry incentives (or threats), and direct educational efforts in the public school system.