The PJ Tatler

How Your Tax Dollars Fund Childhood Obesity

A recent survey indicates that 95% of parents think their overweight children “look just right”. Cue Michelle Obama’s latest national panic attack: We don’t know what fat looks like anymore! But before you allow the Feds to implement yet another government-mandated solution, read on. “African American and low-income parents had the most inaccurate perceptions” of what a healthy child should look like. These populations are also the ones reaping the benefits of federal programs like WIC, the Women, Infants and Children special supplemental nutritional program administered by the USDA.

According to a 2013 Time article, the answer to “Why Obesity Rates are Falling” was WIC “…which provides nutritious foods and information on healthy eating and health care referrals to low-income pregnant women, promotes breastfeeding and offers whole fruits and vegetables instead of fruit juice.” How far did those statistics really fall? A whopping 1%. The minority big enough to protest against on Wall Street is also a cause for celebration among fans of tax-subsidized food programs. If only every American’s standards were so low.

How does WIC produce fat kids 99% of the time? By providing a budget that allows for a greater consumption of sugars, carbohydrates and fats than fruits and vegetables. The monthly food package for a child ages 1-4 permits for 128 fluid ounces of juice, 2 pounds of bread, 1 dozen eggs… and $8 worth of fruits and vegetables in cash vouchers. For a whole month.

That’s right, you don’t even get the food directly. You get a cash voucher and hope you can access fresh fruit and veggies, which can be hard to find in low-income areas often dubbed “food deserts.” Even if fruit and veg are accessible, they are some of the most expensive items at the food store. (I’m still waiting for my coupon for brussel sprouts.)  In fact, according to the journal Pediatrics, “high prices for fresh fruits and vegetables are associated with higher Body Mass Index (BMI) in young children in low- and middle-income households.”

The Feds have created a culture of obesity currently fed and later medically supported by your tax dollars. I guess those low-income and minority babies aren’t good enough for Michelle O’s salad of the week. Save those greens for the middle class. They’ll need the energy to get to work.