Let’s “Fix” Childhood Obesity Because What Could Go Wrong?

As I mentioned yesterday, in order to prove the power of Big Government at his State of the Union message, President Barack Obama threw out the claim, as if it were a proven fact, that Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign had helped to bring about the first decline in childhood obesity in thirty years.

This gave us a perfect example of how lovers of Big Government make their case that Big Government is helpful by fabricating successes. But the childhood obesity cause also demonstrates another problem with Big Government. By defining a problem and demanding a one-size-fits-all solution, Big Government virtually guarantees that, even if it manages to help, it will also do damage.

For example, here is a recent Huffington Post story about obesity among Hispanics: “Child Obesity Epidemic Disproportionately Impacts Hispanics.”

New findings that one-third of the world’s adults, 1.46 billion people, are overweight or obese is shocking, especially as it coincides with efforts to improve food stability in struggling nations.

Here in America, just like the trend in adult obesity, where Hispanic Americans have a higher rate of obesity than non-Hispanic whites; Hispanic children are more likely to be obese than their non-Hispanic white counterparts.

Sounds bad doesn’t it?

This writer admits that Food Stamps are unlikely to encourage healthy eating. She is understating the problem. As I’ve mentioned, Food Stamp recipients are more likely to be obese than people who qualify for, but do not receive food stamps.

But even that claim ignores some problems. What gets overlooked in the anti-obesity campaign is that there is more than one way to be unhealthy.

As the Monitor reported:

While much focus has been on reducing obesity rates in the Rio Grande Valley, a recent study found that Hispanic children in the “healthy weight” range suffer from higher rates of chronic malnutrition than overweight or obese Hispanic children.

According to the study, conducted by scholars at the Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, Hispanic children, ages 2 to 19, suffer from chronic malnutrition at higher proportions, and are more likely to be overweight or obese, than non-Hispanic white children.

However, the study also found that Hispanic children in the “healthy weight” range experience malnutrition at higher rates than overweight or obese Hispanic children.

So do you want to “solve” childhood obesity? At what cost? Big Government is prone toward projects and campaigns that demand a great deal of attention, time, and energy be spent on one simple problem. That isn’t always helpful. People might be better off deciding their own priorities rather than following government “advice” to adopt the priorities that the government has decided upon for all people in a group.

Pretend for a moment that the ridiculous claim that Michelle Obama lowered obesity rates is true: How do we know she didn’t also increase malnutrition among Hispanic children?

By encouraging participation in propaganda programs, Obama is making Americans less able to prosper and run their own lives.