Big Mommy Michelle Obama launched her childhood obesity campaign in February by dragging her daughters’ BMIs into the public spotlight and carrying water for the SEIU’s legislative agenda. What’s next? Aggressive government pressure on, and policing of, food advertisers. Here they come:
The review by the Task Force on Childhood Obesity says one out of every three children is overweight or obese. The task force is a key part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to solve the problem of obesity within a generation. President Obama ordered the comprehensive review of the issue.
The report includes familiar themes, emphasizing the importance of improved nutrition and physical activity. It also calls for some new and dramatic controls on the marketing of unhealthy foods.
The task force wants junk food makers and marketers to go on what amounts to an advertising diet. It says media characters that are often popular with kids should only be used to promote healthy products. 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.
The advisory panel proposes better food content labeling on products and vending machines. Restaurants and vending machine companies are urged to display calorie counts. The experts say the FDA and USDA should cooperate with the food and beverage industries to develop a standard system of nutrition labeling on the front of packages. The study also suggests that restaurants should re-evaluate portion sizes, improve kids’ menus and list more healthy food choices.
The White House study says school systems should consider efforts to promote healthier food in cafeterias. One idea: “swap deep fryers for salad bars.”
In a proposal that’s sure to be popular with children, the panel says schools should promote recess for younger students and “physical activity breaks” for upper level grades.
Because, you know, parents, teachers and administrators in their local school districts are too stupid and too uncaring to have figured this out already.