Resistance to, if not outright rebellion against, implementation of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in the nation's schools is fast becoming notorious. The video elements of the uprising are, predictably, going viral. Kids, apparently, don't love it.
And yet the government in general, and the USDA in particular, are to be commended for trying to do something to address the ever-worsening problem of childhood obesity and the calamitous health effects attached to it. The government has long been told it should take such action.
Public health professionals, the likes of my colleagues and I have long emphasized that we were putting our children's futures in peril, potentially taking both years from their lives and life from their years with an evermore sedentary, evermore soda- and junk food-laden status quo. We have emphasized that schools were never the whole problem and could never be the whole solution -- but were either part of the one, or part of the other.
Economists have warned the government that the dollar costs of business as usual were unsustainable. The future health care needs of the kids who get evermore soda and French fries but ever-less physical education could hobble our economy permanently. A nation in which one in three has diabetes might not even be viable. America can't really run on Dunkin' without running itself into the ground.
And of late, the military has weighed in, with accomplished brass advising the government that epidemic obesity among the young was putting the nation's military preparedness in jeopardy. We were -- and are -- becoming too fat to fight.
Most recently, the government received independent reports from both the Institute of Medicine and the Trust for America's Health advising an array of corrective actions, including improvements in school food, such as those at the heart of the current turmoil.