The New England Journal of Medicine printed an article worth reading about possible impacts of childhood obesity. I like the attitude. Here is the last part:
Certainly, we have much to learn about the regulation of body weight. Low-fat diets have yielded disappointing results, and very-low-carbohydrate diets appear to be more effective only in the short term. Novel approaches that focus on the quality rather than the ratio of macronutrients appear promising, and other areas warrant study, including the effects of sleep deprivation, stress, infectious agents, and endocrine-disrupting environmental toxins on weight. Unfortunately, the U.S. government has thus far invested only a fraction of a cent in research for every dollar that obesity costs society. And although broad consensus exists regarding the dietary and lifestyle habits needed to prevent and treat childhood obesity, we lack anything resembling a comprehensive strategy for encouraging children to eat a healthful diet and engage in physical activity. Such a strategy would include legislation that regulates junk-food advertising, provides adequate funding for decent lunches and regular physical activities at school, restructures the farm-subsidies program to favor nutrient-dense rather than calorie-dense produce, and mandates insurance coverage for preventing and treating pediatric obesity.
Parents must take responsibility for their children’s welfare by providing high-quality food, limiting television viewing, and modeling a healthful lifestyle. But why should Mr. and Ms. G.’s efforts to protect their children from life-threatening illness be undermined by massive marketing campaigns from the manufacturers of junk food? Why are their children subjected to the temptation of such food in the school cafeteria and vending machines? Why don’t they have the opportunity to exercise their bodies during the school day? And why must Mr. and Ms. G. fight with their insurance company for reimbursement to cover the costs of their children’s care at the OWL clinic? Fortunately, with the exercise of both personal and social responsibility, we have the power to choose the shape of things to come.
The Heritage foundation claimed poor people are not malnourished because they are fat and should eat beans and rice.
The Farm Bill includes funding for WIC and food stamps as well as big subsidies for corn sugar and other yummy nourishing things, and actually discourages medium and small farmers from thriving.
Add in marketing costs for fast food, that tornado of deception, and pit it against each parent one at a time. So much for the ‘fair food fight and solely each parents concern’ idealogy – what a convenient frame. Another deferred cost from our big corporations and government. My supply of Twinkies has diminishing returns and exploding liabilities. Darn.