Jesus Creed

Our First Lady has taken up a great cause, childhood obesity. Judith Gunlock, who writes for the National Review, likes the First Lady’s personal behaviors with her daughters but wonders if there’s a disconnect then with her proposals. Here are a few paragraphs, and I wonder how you would approach this issue: Is this a family, school, State or Federal issue? Perhaps this is a better approach: Where would you focus your attention? How? 

Michelle Obama has recently taken up childhood obesity as one of her major policy priorities. Interviewed about this “epidemic,” the first lady discussed in some detail her own children’s supposed weight problems as an illustration of her personal experience with her new signature issue. …

But apparently the first family’s own success has had no impact on Mrs. Obama’s policy prescriptions. Her solution for the rest of America is more government intervention. …

Although she was murky on the details, the first lady’s new plan involves four basic initiatives. She wants to increase the number of “healthy” schools, and she also wants to increase the number of physical-activity programs made available by them. She hopes to improve the “accessibility and affordability” of food for all Americans. (Apparently, Mrs. Obama is unaware that Americans pay far less for their food than citizens of other nations do, spending only 7 percent of annual income on it, according to a 2009 Department of Labor study.) Lastly, she wants to “empower” consumers to make better food choices — whatever that means….

By all means, let the first lady urge American parents to follow her example and take the lead in making better food choices for their children. Just as parents need to ensure that their children get enough sleep, do their homework, and avoid dangerous activities, they need to teach their children proper eating habits. Parental involvement, not the federal government, is the only long-term cure for childhood obesity — as Mrs. Obama has shown by her example, if not by her policy proposals.
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