Two seemingly disparate news stories from last week are really two sides of the same coin. These events appear different from one another in a number of respects. One is national news, the other tabloid gossip. One is provocative, and–as are all things political in the new era–controversial. The other just a little sad. Yet they both speak to how much recent attention the media has given to food and health issues, and in particular, to the “obesity epidemic.”
A Hutt of Size
First was the announcement of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, a war on childhood obesity. The much-discussed initiative has well-intentioned aims, but it is difficult to see it as anything other than as an another indication that government is in the parenting business for good. That the nation as a whole is becoming increasingly unhealthy is something upon which most Americans will agree. Still, it is a testament to how seriously the problem is perceived by Americans, that a growing portion of the electorate apparently believes that the government knows best what’s in the interest of the children. Haven’t we already been told that it takes a village?