Recent headline on the "Center for Consumer Freedom"'s blog: "News Flash: Parents Can Help Kids Overcome Obesity"
Well, duh — yet another foolish post from the bought-and-paid-for shill of the restaurant and food products industry that is wrong, even when it's right.
Of course parents can help kids overcome obesity! But they lacerate logic with their implication that, therefore, no other steps to address a grave and growing problem are necessary or warranted.
It's important never to lose sight of that with these folks, all assertions end with the same conclusion — actually, that's where their back-formed arguments start: No regulation is justified, ever, for anything or anyone related to their masters.
I, thankfully, am not so tethered. I don't think, for example, that regulations are where the fight against obesity, including child obesity, should start. Just like the CCF, I, too, think that personal responsibility is a better starting point, by far. This responsibility includes not only what I put in my mouth and what my child puts in his mouth, but training my child about nutrition, both through words and deeds.
If we don't start with personal responsibility, other measures won't amount to much.
Unlike the food-industry mouthpieces, I include the food industry in the circle of responsibility, and any fair, clear-thinking person must do the same. According to Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, food marketers spent $4.2 billion in 2009 to get us to think and act in certain ways about food. Who spends all that money without thinking they're getting value for it? The people who are saying that the only thing we need is more self-control are spending millions every day to overcome our self-control.
How 'bout they take some personal responsibility for that!
But no. Not only are they resolutely unwilling to do so, they work — through tsunami-style lobbying and a cadre of nameplates like the CCF — to shift the blame onto us, so we don't see their role. Pretty slimy, no? I think it's pretty slimy.
Finally, let's get back to the post in point: "News Flash: Parents Can Help Kids Overcome Obesity." Yes, they can. I know of no one who thinks that parents can't help their kids overcome obesity — it is the very model of non-news. But just because parents can help their kids overcome obesity, doesn't mean that parents don't need help, and it doesn't mean that there aren't collective measures — curbing the incessant marketing of unhealthy food-like substances to youngsters too young to make informed decisions, for example — that could help parents achieve this important goal.