I’m not even sure what to say about this story about new legislation being proposed that would have the federal government track the “Body Mass Index” of American children and spend lots of money and impose lots of rules to reduce childhood obesity. I certainly don’t want to be in favor of chubby kids, but I’m much more worried about fat government. There is no authority anywhere in the Constitution for this type of effort. There is no evidence that the federal government would have any success in this type of scheme (how’s that “War on Poverty” going?). And there is also a small issue of whether this is more properly an issue for parents rather than bureaucrats. To get your blood boiling, here’s an excerpt from the CNS report:
States receiving federal grants provided for in the bill would be required to annually track the Body Mass Index of all children ages 2 through 18. The grant-receiving states would be required to mandate that all health care providers in the state determine the Body Mass Index of all their patients in the 2-to-18 age bracket and then report that information to the state government. The state government, in turn, would be required to report the information to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for analysis. The Healthy Choices Act–introduced by Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee–would establish and fund a wide range of programs and regulations aimed at reducing obesity rates by such means as putting nutritional labels on the front of food products, subsidizing businesses that provide fresh fruits and vegetables, and collecting BMI measurements of patients and counseling those that are overweight or obese.