Thursday, May 20, 2010

Does Liberal Education Policy Cause Childhood Obesity

The quality of public school breakfasts and lunches is oft bemoaned in the media.  As a recipient of such meals, I can attest to their questionable nutritional value (although they were all very tasty).  The typical narrative is that poor public school food choices contribute to childhood obesity.  The logic here is sound.  Taking in more calories than you expend leads to weight gain. 

However, there is a relationship between liberal education policy and childhood obesity that requires examining.  First, schools are required to provide meals to children and are then asked to do so at the lowest cost possible.  Easy to prepare and cheap food that still tastes good is often the least healthy, most caloric-dense food available with high levels of fat and preservatives.  Second, liberal policy mandates that students whose parents' income falls below a certain level be allowed to consume this food either very cheaply or for free. 

What does this amount to?  Poverty-stricken (often minority) students are given free or cheap food that is blamed for causing childhood diabetes and related ailments.  A class-action lawsuit against liberals should be inevitable since one could interpret their educational policies as an attempt to destroy the lives of poor minority children.

Is there an alternative?  Yes.  Take the value of the school-provided breakfast and lunch and give a non-transferable gift card redeemable only at a local grocer to qualifying families.  It is not too late for the left to halt their war on the poor.

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