Micro managing America

Opinion
Sep 28, 2012

I heard today on the radio that 25 percent of the young people in this country are not eligible for the armed services. Twenty-five percent wouldn’t pass basic boot camp because they are physically unable, according to the report. We sure are hearing a lot about obesity these days in the news and it seems the meddlers are out in force to change your diet.

I’ve always felt that the food movement would eventually attempt to legislate what we would be able to eat, and the changes in the school lunch program seem like a good place to start. Mark my words; this is not the end of food or dietary legislation.

This obesity issue has been Michelle Obama’s pet project as she tries to foster better nutrition for our children. And I’m not disagreeing that there is a problem.

The first thing she did was plant a vegetable garden at the white house, and then she promoted her “let’s move” program, trying to get kids outdoors to play since so many kids seem to be hung up on video games. But this sounds more like a parental issue. She has been trying to roll back time to when we were kids and didn’t have fast foods or soda pop and we all played outdoors.

Society has changed, and now our government feels that it has the right to micromanage your life, right down to what you consume. It seems that every day there is something new from the government to change our behavior and we continue to march toward some semblance of a socialist society with less free choice.

Mrs. Obama has started her new school lunch program and is attempting to teach youngsters how to eat properly. But her initiative isn’t going over so well. I would bet that there are very few folks in the country who eat a proper diet every day in our high-speed world. Reports have come in that the government has taken a “one size fits all” approach to the school lunch program and is enforcing whether or not you consume your vegetables or fruit dish in the cafeteria.

Actually, the lunches are so skimpy that parents are starting to complain and have had to take things into their own hands, bringing kids snacks before football practice or other after-school activities, and the kids are sneaking in snacks to get filled up. Everyone agrees that children need a certain amount of caloric intake and a balanced diet to be at the top of their mental and physical game.

Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King has introduced new legislation to combat the issue and has introduced the “No Hungry Kids Act” in response to the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” which was passed in a lame duck session in 2010. King says for the first time in history, USDA has set a calorie limit on school lunches. The goal of USDA’s new school lunch program was, and is, to ensure students receive enough nutrition to stay healthy and to learn. The act was interpreted by Secretary Vilsack to be a directive that, because some kids are overweight, he would put every child on a diet. Parents know that their kids deserve all of the healthy and nutritious food they want. After all, they are in their early growth stage and require between 3,000 and 5,000 calories a day. Granted, they should be the right kind of calories.

In an op-ed written by congressman Steve King, he said, “Reduced carbohydrates and meat portions are leaving children so hungry that by the end of the day, parents meet their kids with snacks to get them home or to sports. Moms and dads around Iowa are frustrated with the ‘one size fits all’ approach that leaves their kids starving at the end of the day.”

He also said, “We know that Secretary Tom Vilsack’s USDA has an anti-meat agenda. Just a few weeks ago, the Department of Agriculture proposed the seemingly heretical ‘Meatless Mondays’ (for USDA employees) that was beaten back by public outcry. Clearly, that anti-meat attitude can be seen in this rule-making process: Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon was quoted in Politico as saying, ‘The reform will also create a friendlier food environment for vegetarian and vegan students by allowing for meals containing tofu and more legumes.’” I get the feeling that this may be more of an urban issue with obese children but this obesity issue has defiantly caught legislators’ attention. A couple weeks ago, New York City’s health department banned the sale of 32-ounce sugary drinks. You can only purchase a 16-ounce drink at your local 7-11. Like I said, this is only just the beginning of government’s long reach into your diet. They have apparently lost faith in the idea of personal responsibility. This is also what this next election means to me—the freedom for me to make choices in my life rather than the government making decisions for me. I’m capable of making my own decisions, thank you very much. — PETE CROW

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