The Obamas’ Political Obesity

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A massive, high-profile federal program is under way to try to end childhood obesity in a generation. At issue is whether it can be primarily a voluntary effort or whether government intrusion, controls, and politics will play major roles. The objective is noble and heart-warming. But, being government directed, citizens’ free-will will be tested. The program is led by Michelle Obama. Her task force will “review every single program and policy relating to childhood nutrition and physical activity and develop a national action plan that maximize federal resources” to conduct her plan, said a Chicago Sun-Times story.

Government has a lengthy history of trying to guard the public’s health, including that of children. But Michelle Obama has now linked the health of African-American children to the civil rights struggle of that earlier dark period in America.

For African-Americans “[w]e’re decades beyond slavery, we are decades beyond Jim Crow, when one of the greatest risks to our children’s future is their own health…African-American children are significantly more likely to be obese than are white children. Nearly half of African-American children will develop diabetes….” Mrs. Obama told the NAACP convention July 12.

She also told the civil rights organization “Studies have found that African-American children spend an average of nearly six hours a day watching TV—and that every extra hour of TV they watch is associated with the consumption of an additional 167 calories.”

Shortly after the close of its convention, the NAACP branded the Tea Party activists as bigots, adopting a resolution condemning alleged racism in that political movement. A Tea Party activist, Alex Poulter, disputed the charge, saying he has seen no racism in the movement. The loosely-knit organization is “upset with what’s going on with this country,” Poulter explained: over-the-top spending, debt, and bureaucratic controls.

Mrs. Obama’s address on obesity came at a time when she was attempting to change Americans’ distaste for the new health care overhaul. On July 14, Mrs. Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Vice President Biden’s wife, Jill, set out to defend the heavily criticized and unpopular Obamacare law. They met with doctors, nurses and other health workers to discuss preventive health-care coverage. The law now requires insurance plans to provide preventive care.

The White House and Democratic National Committee have been touting the new health law in the face of universal forecasts that the Democrats may lose the House of Representatives to Republicans in the November election. The trillion dollar nationalized health care is part of the Obama Administration’s spending binge, the cost of which is frightening a majority of voters.

Certainly childhood health problems are grave concerns, particularly for parents. One in three kids today is overweight or obese, puting them at risk for diabetes or high blood pressure. Many will have shorter life spans than their parents, various studies have predicted.

Michelle Obama formally announced on Feb. 9 what she called “a very ambitious” program to end childhood obesity in a single generation. “We want to eliminate this problem of childhood obesity in a generation. The extensive national campaign, called “Let’s move,” involves innumerable initiatives, including informing parents about nutrition and exercise, improving food quality in schools, making wholesome food both more affordable and more accessible, and stressing physical education.

Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move’ program includes the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. It will spend $400 million a year to bring grocery stores to ‘underserved’ areas and “offer incentives for neighborhood convenience stores to carry healthier food options,” as reported by NPR in February. It will make available federal tax credits, below-market rate loans, loan guarantees, and grants to attract private investors to take a chance on constructing new grocery stores. Also the Department of Agriculture “will partner with schools across the nation to help them meet guidelines set by the Healthier U.S. Schools Challenge Program….” It will establish “rigorous standards for schools’ food quality, participation in meal programs, physical activity, and nutrition education.” “Let’s Move” will also “help schools implement provisions of The Child Nutrition Act.” Obama’s budget calls for an increase of $1 billion annually for the next decade for “healthier” school meals.

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  • davarino

    Bring back mandated PE in school. Is that to much to ask. We had that when I was a kid and nobody died. We all excercised and were in pretty good shape. Kids today get out of PE cause mommy doesnt want their little jonnie to sweat to much. All these single mothers are letting their kids sit around and do nothing. That shows you how valuable our current school systems are, not only do they not teach the kids anything, they dont make them excercise, but they sure as hell are going to control what they eat.

  • NCPatriotMom

    How about instead of regulating the food we eat, the Obamas recommend to lame duck parents that they NOT let their children watch 6+ hours of TV per day and make them go play? They can't — because you'll never be able to force parents to take care of their kids.

  • Deely

    Stupid US government is the very reason for the obesity. A lot of people think that obesity is because people eat too much. That may be part of it, but the other is that healthy foods like fruits and vegetables have become so expensive, only the wealthy can afford to buy enough for a week or two. The alternative is starchy, fried foods using a lot of potatoes and pasta to go far enough. All the grocery stores have nothing but fast food to sell because all the mothers are working to make ends meet and don't have time to cook properly.

    Our government has stolen all the wealth of America and spends it like drunken sailors, but want to blame the citizens for the problems the government spawns. Kids can't even play on the playground anymore because of govt. interference. Someone might need a band aid.

  • Deely

    Government promotes dependency on it through taking from half the population and giving it to the other that didn't earn it. There are too many children without fathers who grow up to be illiterate and run the streets with gangs and don't contribute to society and become a burden to society through crime and drug use. No one should be able to be on welfare generation after generation. The promotion of having children out of wedlock is deadly to a society. There are mothers who do a good job of raising children alone, but far too many can’t do it alone and their children suffer for it.

    The point is that all of these things take money from those that work and give it to a huge population that doesn’t work.

  • chris jones

    Is Michelle right? Are close to fifty percent of black Americans expected to come down with diabetes? Uh… That should make you spray coffee all over your monitor. That's bad, like, worse than AIDS bad! Diabetes/high blood-pressure leads to a series of conditions and events that cause your heart to weaken and then stop – extreme risk! The thought of millions of people with metabolic syndrome is truly ghastly; something should most definitely be done. But you know what? I don't trust the Government to handle the problem. I think they'll just fart around with a bunch of politically correct, vote-garnering, union-pleasing notions, and accomplish nothing whatsoever – probably make things worse. Hope I'm wrong…

  • Ron

    Whenever a "progressive" pushes some good sounding cause like this one from the past, especially someone like Obama who is as far to the left as it comes, they are doing it as a strategy for more government, more taxes, and government interference in the lives of the citizens of this country.

    This is also designed to feed the Unions by increasing greatly the number of SEIU, and other government Union jobs that will be necessary in state and local government to deal with all the new red tape!

    This sounds like Johnson sounded in 1965 launching his destructive war on poverty! It also indicates the coming attempt to control what we eat and drink. The war on Food has begun!!

  • The Cat Lady

    If the parents bought healthy food and limited the TV to an hour a day, kids wouldn't be fat. It's that simple.

  • sebyandrew

    Unfortunately I have no hope or any reason whatsoever to believe that this won't be yet another huge boondoggle. If the government will just step in everyone will choose the right foods, lifestyle, etc. Of course Mrs. Obama has a lot of money at her disposal (ours) for her newest hobby-social engineering