Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Obesity is the Hot Topic

The recent articles on obesity in the Post have sparked some interest and good analysis.

Andrew Sullivan jumps into the issue here by linking to Ezra Kline's piece in the American Prospect. As Kline notes, lots goes into this problem.

"Only in December did the U.S. Department of Agriculture modify the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program to assist low-income families in buying fresh fruits and produce," reports The Washington Post in their feature on obesity. "The addition was blocked for a decade by politics and by industry sectors worried that WIC's food packages would contain less milk, eggs and cheese."

The WIC is a federal program that "provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk." In other words, it's a health program for expectant mothers and young families. And for decades, the program was blocked from encouraging families to buy fruits and produce and instead used to push saturated fat, cholesterol, and more cholesterol milk, eggs, and cheese. Charming.

Time to get our priorities in line, where outdoor activity is mixed with healthy diets, no?