Shocking news from the futurists:
One in five children is predicted to be obese by the end of the decade.
Uh oh. Someone wants more of my money. And who is that someone?
… Wednesday’s report [by the Institute of Medicine] spotlighted the government’s VERB campaign, a program once touted as spurring a 30 percent increase in exercise among the preteens it reached. It ended this year with Bush administration budget cuts.
VERB encouraged 9- to 13-year-olds to take part in physical activities, like bike riding or skateboarding. Slick ads, at a cost of $59 million last year, portrayed exercise as cool at an age when outdoor play typically winds down and adolescent slothfulness sets in.
The demise of the program “calls into question the commitment to obesity prevention within government,” the panel concluded.
[Emory University’s Dr. Jeffrey] Koplan was more blunt, calling it a waste of taxpayer money to develop a program that works and then dismantle it.
We all know the government is the only effective way to stop kids from being fat. Why do the fiscal conservatives hate fat kids? Sometimes I wonder how I sleep at night? Of course, I also wonder, if we encourage children to ride a bike or a skateboard, how will they accomplish what they’re now so wonderfully motivated to do if they don’t have a bike or a skateboard? There are poor parents in America who believe food, clothing, and shelter are more important. Their kids will be at a disadvantage, no? How much
government taxpayer money is enough, so we don’t miss anyone?
Specifically to Dr. Koplan’s point, it’s a waste of taxpayer money to develop a program. Notice that I used his sentiment, but put the period in the correct place. It’s amazing what can happen when political principle meets grammar. Taxpayers save money, which is especially useful to me since I don’t have children targeted by that $59 million. I’d rather we spend it wisely. If that means I hate fat kids, so be it.
Or here’s an idea. When I was a kid, my brother and our friends liked to play football. You know what held us back? No field to play on. Fields existed in ready supply at neighborhood schools, as you’d expect, but we weren’t allowed on. If we’re going to have public provision of education, and all of the facilities apparently necessary, why not open them to the public paying for them. Liability blah blah blah. Football is a violent, dangerous sport etc. etc. etc. I know. Bikes and skateboards are dangerous, too. Solve the barriers imposed on money already spent on mostly idle property instead of creating new programs. It’s a suggestion.
Or government could leave parenting to parents.