Federal cats fighting obesity

Forget about national security. Forget about the national debt, the economic crisis and global warming. The federal government has finally found the cause of our troubles: Snickers. Yes, this delectable, hunger-fighting snack, along with many sugary drinks and seemingly unhealthy ingestible items, may soon be banned from all public schools. According to The New York Times, Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack insists that all school vending machines will be “filled with nutritious offerings to make the healthy choice the easy choice for our nation’s children.”This ban may stretch to include Pepsi products, all candy bars, french fries and numerous other unhealthy products. On the surface, this fight against childhood obesity seems a valiant effort from the Obama camp. Not to mention it may give the president a needed rise in popularity. Unfortunately, implementing this bill will not be as easy as taking candy from a baby.  The second part of the bill will force schools to offer healthier choices and less processed food. While this seems like a wonderful step towards teaching children to eat better, it also will increase food costs for schools. In a time where most public schools have trouble passing a basic budget, asking them to buy greens for kids seems insane. The federal government already spends more than $18 billion a year on school meal programs and is planning to add an extra $1 billion to provide for the bill. Even with the additional money, many school officials fear that their budgets will suffer.Schools and the federal government are torn between fighting the childhood obesity epidemic and having enough money to continue operating the schools at all. Personally, I find the whole premise of taking junk food out of schools to be completely ridiculous. If history tells us anything it is that banning a product only increases its use. During Prohibition, alcohol consumption increased dramatically, as did crime. In addition, banning alcohol and other products from college campuses does not seem the least bit affective in deterring use. The schools need to stop worrying about what food the children have access to and start doing what they were built to do: teach. Instead of wasting one billion dollars on feeding children rabbit food, spend the money on education programs to show children why they should partake in moderation.Schools and parents need to teach children that it is acceptable to eat chocolate or french fries, as long as it isn’t all they eat.Building a healthy lifestyle doesn’t start with healthy food devoid of taste, it starts with good food education.