Clinton: I’m Trying Hard To Lower Childhood Obesity

Filed under: In The News — @ October 9, 2006

As I have said many times before, I really don’t like talking about politics in a health and weight loss forum. Most of the issues that are dealt with here are political only in the diet and nutrition world, but not generally in the realm of governmental politics.

But sometimes these two worlds inevitably collide and that’s exactly what this Washington Post story about a new deal to limit junk foods sold in school vending machines does with a vengeance.

It seems five of the top junk food vending machine companies–PepsiCo, Mars Inc., Kraft Foods Inc., Campbell Soup Co. and Dannon Co.–have vowed to take their high-carb, high-fat products out of the schools in favor of “healthier products.”

The voluntary agreement was made possible by the ever-present elder statesman himself, former President Bill Clinton, along with the American Heart Association (AHA). They wanted to help make the nutritional choices for kids better while they are in school because many blame these foods on the rise in childhood obesity rates (I do not blame the junk food companies, but rather the parents for making poor nutritional choices and for not educating their own children to discern between what is good for them and what is not).

Am I the only one who sees what a smokescreen this is?

bq. What is going to happen as a result of this need I remind you VOLUNTARY agreement Clinton helped bring about? It’s VOLUNTARY which means any of the parties involved can most certainly back out at any time and Clinton still can say, “Well, at least I TRIED to tell them this would be good for the American children, but they wouldn’t listen to me.” Either way, he comes away looking spic-n-span squeaky clean in all of this even if NOTHING changes at all. That’s not leadership, that’s politics as usual!

Here’s an analogy that makes my point.

bq. An agreement like this one from Clinton and the AHA is like having a nonsmoking section in a restaurant that allows smokers to puff away without the use of a smoke vent. You can ban smoking all you want in the nonsmoking section, but you and I both know that doesn’t keep the smoke from traveling into that section, thus rendering the distinction between the two sections completely irrelevant. The same goes for what Clinton and the AHA have brokered. This deal won’t stop childhood obesity. Not by a long shot!

Click here to read more about why this voluntary agreement is just a public relations stunt and will do nothing to help lower childhood obesity rates in America.

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