Isn't it time the government banned pies? Alan Johnson's claim that fat people are more dangerous than the atomic bomb suggests he might be thinking this way.
What would be the effect of such a move? Criminalizing the sale of pies would raise their price; it would shift the supply curve leftwards. One benevolent effect of this would be to reduce demand. But by how much would this improve people's health? Maybe not much. Maybe people will merely switch to foods that are just as bad, or worse, for them. And maybe few will switch anyway, if demand for pies is price-inelastic, say because people are addicted to them.
In this case, the effect of a ban would be to cut the real incomes of pie-munchers. Insofar as these tend to be poorer than average, this is inegalitarian. And it could in turn lead some to turn to crime (though not cat burglary, obviously) to get the money to feed their habit.
Higher pie prices will stimulate crime in other ways. They mean high profit margins for criminal pie-dealers. This'll lead to gang wars as Brockleby's and Pukka fight turf wars. There'll be a spate of waddle-by shootings.
And because criminal pie-dealers will be less concerned about reputation than today's legal pie-dealers, the quality of pies will worsen as dealers do a Louis Edwards and use unfit meat in their pies. That could lead to deaths as pie-abusers buy contaminated junk.
Also, rather than catch conventional criminals, police will spend their time fighting the evil pie trade: trying to stop the lucrative lard-smuggling business and searching fatties on suspicion of possession of an eighth of Ginster's. The upshot will be an increase in ordinary crime as police resources are diverted away from fighting it, and a decline in respect for the police amongst the porker community.
It's pretty clear, then, that there's much to be said against banning pies, even if they are a threat to our futures. Which raises the question. If banning pies is a bad idea, why is banning drugs a good idea? Send your answers to the Home Office.