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.”
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?