The Pyramid of Cronies; Michelle Obama Should Target Government Subsidies of Junk Food

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 3, 2014 | Go to article overview

The Pyramid of Cronies; Michelle Obama Should Target Government Subsidies of Junk Food


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign has moved beyond her original goal, which all could applaud, of encouraging children to exercise and eat what's good for them. Now the first lady has introduced a scheme from her husband's administration to micromanage the trip to the supermarket. Otherwise, she says, Americans are too dumb to figure it out on their own.

Mrs. Obama describes Americans as befuddled by the array of choices in a modern, well-stocked supermarket. "So there you stood," she says, "alone in some aisle in a store, the clock ticking away at the precious little time remaining to complete your weekly grocery shopping, and all you could do was scratch your head, confused and bewildered, and wonder if there's too much sugar in this product?"

Help us, Mr. Government Man (or Lady), or we'll be stuck in this aisle forever, trying to figure out whether butterbeans have calories.

Under the first lady's scheme, the government will redesign packages and labels to tell everybody what they should and shouldn't eat. "You as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store," she says, "pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it's good for your family. So this is a big deal, and it's going to make a big difference for families all across this country."

Mrs. Obama is working with the Agriculture Department on a rule to limit marketing of "unhealthy" foods to schoolchildren. The federal government will be the arbiter of what's healthy, not parents and teachers. Advertising at the football stadium would have to reflect the first lady's dietary preferences. If Coca-Cola sponsors the scoreboard, it can advertise Diet Coke, but not the real thing. Deciding whether one is actually healthier than the other is as arbitrary as a pass-interference call. …

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The Pyramid of Cronies; Michelle Obama Should Target Government Subsidies of Junk Food
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