Posts Tagged ‘child obesity’
May 11th, 2010 at 6:35 pm
White House to Bully Food Marketers Using the Pulpit . . . and the FCC & FTC

Today, a White House report brought more news from the Government War on the American Diet.  The First Lady, who has made fighting childhood obesity a signature project, discussed the findings of the report.  Despite administration protestations that they would rely on “bully pulpit” pressure when working with the food industry, suggestions for new federal regulations are being discussed.

The Task Force on Childhood Obesity, which released the report, is the muscle behind Mrs. Obama’s otherwise toothless awareness campaign.  The working group, comprised of the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Interior and Education, as well as senior White House staff, has several regulatory designs in mind.  Just like the Santa Clara Co., California ban on “Happy Meal” toys, the task force recommends that popular media characters only be used to market healthy food.  Coming to a McDonald’s near you, The Ironman Veggie Platter! As CBS News reports:

“If voluntary efforts fail to limit marketing of less healthy products to young viewers, the task force suggests the FCC should consider new rules on commercials in children’s programming. It also challenges food retailers to stop using in-store displays to sell unhealthy food items to children.”

This type of persuasion is akin to a robber pointing his gun at you through his coat pocket.   The robber says, “Give me your money,” but implicit is, “or else I’ll shoot!”  When it comes to government, the “give me your money” option is always on the table.  The report also calls for an analysis of sales taxes on unhealthy food.

This is just another example of the European-style paternalistic state the Obamas have in mind.  Never mind freedom of choice, they’ll choose for us because Father-Government knows best.  Cass Sunstein, Obama’s Regulatory Czar, believes government can nudge the people to make the right decisions for themselves.  But those who wield the power of government know full well if the people don’t budge, they can be coerced.

February 10th, 2010 at 11:54 am
Do it for the Nation, Tubby!
Posted by Print

Somewhere in the White House, there is a speechwriter who, if she has any sense, is perusing the classified section on Craigslist.

This would be the person responsible for First Lady Michelle Obama’s remarks yesterday about the threat of child obesity (a crusade I’ve previously chronicled here).

Having labored in a speechwriting shop or two in my day (including the one at the White House), I’m sympathetic to the plight of a writer who needs to get five pages out of a topic where one sentence would suffice (in this case, “step away from the eclair”). It usually involves a lot of excess verbiage and a few stretches of the imagination. But the First Lady’s invocation of obesity as a national security threat rivaled her husband’s propensity for audacity. To wit:

“A recent study put the health care cost of obesity-related diseases at $147 billion a year,” Mrs. Obama said. “This epidemic also impacts the nation’s security, as obesity is now one of the most common disqualifiers for military service.”

While advocating for everything from revamping the food pyramid (is there anything First Ladies aren’t responsible for?) to “help[ing] places like convenience stores carry healthier food options” (I have no idea what that means, but I’m sure it includes some subsidies), Mrs. Obama also waxed inspirational about the task ahead:

“This isn’t like a disease where we’re still waiting for a cure to be discovered – we know the cure for this,” Obama said. “This isn’t like putting a man on the moon or inventing the Internet. It doesn’t take some stroke of genius or feat of technology.

Hmmm. But it does take a major program run by the federal government, huh? You’ve got to love liberals. If you’re below a certain rung on the socio-economic ladder, they want to give you everything for free. If you’re above it, however, they want to pry the money right out of your pocket — and now the cheddar bacon potato skins right out of your mouth.