Fatter Government Will Not Shrink Kids

This little nugget of a law just slipped right through. How the HELL did we let this happen. The Nanny State has indeed run amok.


This week, the president signed Michelle Obama’s Child Nutrition Bill. Ostensibly aimed at providing children with more nutritious school meals, the bill will instead lead to a greater reliance on the badly managed school food programs while simultaneously weakening the very institution that might be the key to solving the problems of childhood obesity – good parenting.

Despite the exaggerated rhetoric surrounding the bill’s passage, everyone can agree that ensuring children have access to healthy food is a good thing. But the real impact of this bill is much larger than nutrition. It represents an enormous growth in government. Not in the way we’ve seen it lately – into the financial and business sectors – but into our personal lives and the lives of our children. It tells parents to cease their most basic role – to feed your child. Because why would they bother to do it when schools now feed children three squares a day?

In her speech, the first lady made one small mention of the role of parents, saying that ultimately this was their responsibility. However, she barely drew breath before quickly adding “when our kids spend so much time in school, it’s clear that we can’t just leave it up to the parents.

Really? Why not? Why can’t we expect a parent to serve their kids a bowl of cereal in the morning? Why can’t we expect a parent to put a sandwich and an apple in a paper bag and to tuck a small snack into a child’s backpack to give them a boost after school? Why can’t we expect a parent to stock a pantry with healthy snacks and to prepare a simple dinner for their child? Most importantly, why can’t we simply expect a parent to teach their children the values of proper nutrition, portion control, the importance of exercise, and self-regulation?

Relieving the program of these children – nearly 15 million – would allow schools to focus their efforts on those who actually need it. Instead, Michelle Obama sees the problem only being solved through government expansion. In her speech, the first lady said the problems of both obesity and malnutrition in this country “can be solved when we come together and provide our children with the nutritious food they need and deserve.” These terms “we” and “our” are simply code for government being the better solver of your problems. You cannot be trusted to provide your child a nutritious meal because ultimately the government is smarter than you.

About TLCWeld

Chairman, Reading Republican Town Committee
Constitutional Conservative
As a son of NH, I choose to Live Free or Die

  • The writer says fat kids are a failure of parenting but then says we need to trust parents more.  Why would that work when just a few paragraphs up she conceded it was already failure?

    Here’s a few thoughts… remove vending machines from schools?  Make gym class mandatory and strenuous (no substituting for a class in Wellness)?

  • I completely disagree. My son runs Cross Country in the Fall and track in both the winter and spring. He came home the other day and informed me that he ran 10 miles after school. One in six kids in Swampscott HS were on the Cross Country team. Tell me why those kids need to take PE?  

  • Vote3rdpartynow

    Becuase “IT IS FOR THE CHILDREN”.  

    Whenever some lame-ass politician proposes legislation to help the children it will pass – no matter how stupid, how expensive, how wasteful, how ridiculous!

    Worst of all is that it is billions of dollars that is going directly into the hands of union schools.

    If we can’t trust parents to feed kids, then soon enough the government won’t trust parents to dress them appropriately, socialize them appropriately, develop their sense of faith and values appropriately, and on and on.  In other words “Let’s just have the teachers take the kids once they pop out of the uterus”.  

  • and even get lunch during the summer.

    Yet they lead the state in percentage of obese children.

    So clearly schools feeding kids in not the way to make them more healthy.

  • should, oh I don’t know, actually take responsibility for raising their children. If kids aren’t getting fed at home for financial reasons there are already programs that address that. Maybe if the government didn’t let parents buy booze and scratch tickets with their public assistance (read: our tax dollars) and only let them purchase healthy food items with it there would be no need for wasting this huge amount of money on turning the cafeteria lady into a whole school’s mom.

    Yet one more brick torn from the wall of family and individual responsibility. Wonder if this is going to increase the disintegration of the Black family like LBJ’s welfare state War on Poverty did.

  • Not only can someone sue McDonald’s (and win) because (shocker) coffee is hot and burns when you put the cup between your legs and it spills as you drive out of the lot, but now someone is suing about the Happy Meal.


    According to Ms. Parham:

       “I am concerned about the health of my children and feel that McDonald’s should be a very limited part of their diet and their childhood experience,” Parham said. “But as other busy, working moms and dads know, we have to say ‘no’ to our young children so many times, and McDonald’s makes that so much harder to do. I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat.”

    You’re probably wondering: How is this grounds for a lawsuit? No one forced Parham to take her daughters to McDonald’s, buy them that particular menu item, and sit by as they ate every last French fry in the bag (if they did).

    No, she’s suing because when she said no, her kids became disagreeable and “pouted” – for which she wants class action status. If she gets it, McDonald’s isn’t the only company that should worry. Other kids pout because parents won’t get them 800-piece Lego sets, Madame Alexander dolls and Disney World vacations. Are those companies going to be liable too?

    The center’s longtime shtick is to complain that businesses like McDonald’s, rather than our own choices, are to blame for rising obesity. So let’s take Happy Meals as an example. When you buy one, you get a string of choices. Milk or soda? (Is that really a hard choice for a parent worried about nutrition?) You can swap out the fattening French fries for “apple dippers” with caramel sauce and plenty of kid appeal. But your choices do not end there. If you think the scoop of fries is too big for a kid serving, you can tell the kid to share it with the grownup on hand, namely you. (You’re the grownup. You make the rules.) You can even, shocking as this sounds, toss the surplus French fries into the disposal bin.

  • edfactor

    My first job in politics was working as a low-level liaison for George H.W. Bush on Capitol Hill for USDA.

    Let me tell you, the government is massively involved in all parts of agriculture and food. It is a tragicomic lesson in the problems of big government. You end up getting into all these situations where one part of the government is actually working against another!!! Look no further than the NYT story last week about how one part of the government is trying to get us to lower our fat intake, while another is convincing pizza restaurants to use more cheese!!!! (to help dairy farmers) Link here.

    Some of the food problem could just be solved by getting government out of the way (like stopping all kinds of corn subsidies, stopping the funding of food corporation welfare – like the cheese people above, stopping all of the food pyramid silliness, stopping giving unhealthy food to needy children… it goes on and on. How about this? Before the government tells us how to handle our end of the food problem, can it handle its end first?