In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 25, 2010 / 11 Adar 5770

Child obesity in nanny state

By Marybeth Hicks

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Earlier this month, President Obama created a task force on childhood obesity to be headed by Michelle Obama, who has taken up the issue as her public-service cause under the banner "Let's Move."

Pointing to the nearly one-third of U.S. children who are either obese or overweight, the administration will pursue a legislative agenda to support its efforts, expanding the federal school-lunch program by $10 billion over 10 years and spending $400 million to bring grocery stores to so-called food deserts, urban and rural areas without adequate food stores.

So I guess this means we'll now own the corner groceries, right next to our federally owned and operated car dealerships.

Mrs. Obama comes at the issue as a mother. In interviews, she says her pediatrician pulled her aside and encouraged her to improve her family's health status by initiating portion control, eliminating high-calorie convenience foods and sugary drinks, and getting her daughters moving with more exercise and less TV time.

She listened to her children's doctor, and her daughters are healthier for it.

Now, the Obamas have committed themselves to eliminating not only the possibility that their daughters might be overweight, but also the entire nation's childhood obesity health crisis, in the span of one generation.

No one can argue that this would be a good thing, as obesity is almost entirely preventable and contributes to some of the costliest maladies burdening our health care system.

Yet at the same time, Mrs. Obama's "Let's Move" initiative was announced, researchers at Ohio State University released a study that shows three factors most effectively reduce the risk of childhood obesity: eating family meals together several times per week, getting adequate sleep and limiting TV time.

Letter from JWR publisher

Notably, these highly effective, risk-reducing solutions aren't likely to be influenced by a multibillion-dollar federal government "investment." In fact, they rely on exactly the tactics Mrs. Obama used — greater parental supervision and more healthful decision-making for one's own children.

Good intentions aside, a presidential task force isn't going to do what millions of American parents already don't do — namely, pull the plug on the 68 percent of kids with televisions in their bedrooms, or on the average 53 hours per week that "Generations M's" (8-to-18-year-olds) spend engaged with electronic media.

Nor will the task force change the way most families eat. For decades, our federal government already has offered far-reaching programs for nutrition promotion, food subsidies and disease prevention, and as Mrs. Obama points out, these problems are not going away.

On the other hand, we now have an abundance of government Web sites representing the growing nanny state for personal lifestyle support.

It's worth a tour of the ".gov" cybersphere to see just how involved our federal bureaucracy is in our daily lives. The subject of nutrition alone already enjoys millions of dollars in government Internet attention — never mind the countless publications, pamphlets and educational programs.

In addition to Mrs. Obama's new LetsMove.gov Web site, we can learn what and how to eat at teamnutrition.usda.gov, mypyramid.gov (another USDA site), healthymeals.nal.usda.gov (yet another USDA site), nifa.usda.gov (the National Institute of Food and Agriculture/Families, Youth and Communities), cnpp.usda.gov (Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion), and USDA's Food and Nutrition service at fns.usda.gov, among others.

Clearly, there is nothing about eating that the U.S. government isn't already telling us, so maybe that's not the problem.

Mrs. Obama is a concerned mother, and she sets a strong example for those who ought to implement many of her proven and effective parenting strategies. I applaud the use of her platform to urge Americans to face the childhood-obesity issue as a way to do a better job of parenting, period.

That's because it's not only an obesity crisis we face; it's a parenting crisis and a crisis of adulthood that has convinced too many Americans that our federal bureaucracy has an appropriate role in teaching us not just how to eat, but how to live.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2009, Marybeth Hicks