Child obesity is on the rise, as is adulthood obesity, but I’ll leave the latter topic for another day. With an administration that firmly believes, “we’re the government and we’re here to help”, a task force was formed to solve this problem. So, why are more and more children becoming obese?
There may well be several causes.
Back in the day when I was a kid, there was school recess. You went outside and played games…hopscotch, jump rope, dodge ball. Then, after school, you went home, finished your homework as fast as you could, and went out with your friends to play baseball, football or basketball.
Today, there is no school recess because the lawyers are hovering ready to sue any school if a student is injured. And, coming home after school means sitting down at the computer to play games.
In spite of the obvious, our trusty federal government task force has decided that childhood obesity is caused by television commercials advertising “unhealthy” foods during children’s TV programs, and thus, this must be stopped.
…an interagency government task force proposed new ‘voluntary‘ guidelines on food marketing aimed at kids under 17 that defines prohibited foods so broadly that it would curtail advertising not only of Froot Loops and soda but also of Cheerios and yogurt. The task force acknowledges that ‘a large percentage of food products currently in the marketplace’—88 of the 100 most-advertised foods and drinks, according to the Association of National Advertisers—’would not meet the [guidelines].’ Those guidelines are currently at the White House, where the administration faces heavy pressure from do-gooder types and the public-health lobby to approve them. [emphasis supplied]
But, then again we still have a First Amendment. The federal government can’t tell General Mills, for example, that it cannot advertise Cheerios on certain shows on TV. (Before I receive comments about the federal government and cigarette advertising, know that the cigarette companies voluntarily stopped advertising on TV.)
In response to this First Amendment issue,
…Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, has hinted that if the food industry doesn’t adopt the guidelines he will seek congressional action.
A couple of thoughts here…
…how “voluntary” is this proposed regulation if Congress can ultimately mandate it, and, more to the point, how can Congress erase freedom of speech from our Constitution?
Now that I think about it, what kid wouldn’t pay attention to commercials about broccoli and asparagus?