In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 May 14, 2010 / 1 Sivan 5770

Mrs. Obama and Fat Government

By Mona Charen

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "The closest thing to immortality on this Earth," Ronald Reagan once said, "is a federal government program." We still have a Rural Electrification Administration for Heaven's sake (though it's been renamed) — FDR's program to bring electrical power to rural areas.

No problem that the federal government undertakes to tackle can ever be recognized as solved because to do so would mean the dissolution of an agency. And if the federal program creates new problems, well, those are then excuses for new agencies.

Consider the problem of obesity. Under the leadership of the first lady, the Obama administration has unveiled a series of proposals to combat obesity in children. Among the 70 recommendations: new federal subsidies for fruits and vegetables; taxes on sodas, candy, and junk food; and mandates on federally funded and private health programs to cover obesity-related problems.

Mrs. Obama and her crack team of federal do-gooders did not consider that the federal government is also in the business of feeding a significant portion of the population.

The scale of federal nutrition programs is actually quite staggering. One in eight adult Americans now receives food stamps, along with 25 percent of children. More than half of all American infants are on the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) nutrition program. Sixty-two percent of American schoolchildren who eat school lunches are getting free or reduced-price meals.

How in the world did programs intended to keep the neediest Americans from malnutrition end up feeding — even overfeeding — such a huge percentage of the population?

The WIC program is instructive. It was enacted in 1972 to provide food, nutrition counseling, and referrals to health and other social services for needy pregnant and nursing women and their children up to age 5. Who can be opposed to that? In 1977, as Douglas Besharov of the University of Maryland documents in a study of the program, WIC covered about 4 percent of women and children and 6 percent of infants. By 2006, it had stretched to include 30 percent of pregnant women, 51 percent of infants, and 25 percent of young children.

Receiving benefits from one federal nutrition program does not affect eligibility for others. So nothing prevents someone who gets WIC from also getting food stamps and free or discounted school lunches and breakfasts.

The WIC program's growth — to the point where it has become obese itself — was enabled by cowardice and neglect. Because the idea of providing nourishing food and nutrition counseling to pregnant women and infants is so appealing (or, to take the more cynical view, because politicians feared being accused of taking food from infants and mothers), the program received steadily increasing funding and little oversight from members of Congress. The Food and Nutrition Service (the largest part of the Agriculture Department), which administers the program, is staffed by earnest bureaucrats enthusiastic about their program. Eligibility standards have accordingly been relaxed over time to the point where, in 2004, about 6 percent of WIC infants lived in families with annual incomes above 300 percent of poverty (for a family of three, about $52,808). In 2006, only 48 percent of WIC families had income at or below the poverty line.

A funny thing happened on the way to preventing hunger among America's poor — the nation got fat. And the populations most prone to obesity are the poorest. A 2006 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that 35 percent of low-income 3-year-olds were overweight — double the rate of the rest of the population. The prevalence of obesity among low-income women is 50 percent higher than among wealthier women, and the poor are disproportionately overweight at all ages and in both sexes.

Nutrition programs haven't been proved to cause obesity. But the obesity epidemic among the poor suggests that actual starvation is not the main challenge now. Advocates for more spending, like the Food Research and Action Center are puzzling it out: "A number of researchers have theorized about potential mechanisms for the association between food insecurity and obesity, including an association between food insecurity and binge-like eating …" The obesity epidemic is not a reason to cut back on food programs, they conclude, but rather a call to spend even more.

To the billions we already spend on shoveling food at those who need to reduce their intake, we will now spend God only knows how much more encouraging them to exercise and "make healthy food choices." And the deficit gets more obese every day.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

Mona Charen Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate