- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 22, 2011


@-Text.noindent:Several months ago, first lady Michelle Obama unveiled her signature program to combat childhood obesity (“It takes a vittle,” Comment & Analysis, Dec. 15). Mrs. Obama plans to unleash all the mighty forces of the federal government to the tune of approximately $8 billion for a program called “Let’s Move.”

@-Text.normal:To assist in this weighty task are three White house advisers - Melody Barnes, Nancy Ann De Parle and Ezekiel Emanuel - as well as White House chef Sam Kassand and Federal Trade Commission chief Jon Leibowitz. There are also three Cabinet-level officials - Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

With the use of her bully pulpit, Mrs. Obama has asked grocery chains to sell more fresh produce in urban stores, modeled home gardening, advocated for more sidewalks to encourage outdoor activity and enlisted sports stars as fitness models.

In so doing, she certainly has brought much-needed attention to the importance of appropriate childhood nutrition and physical exercise for a lifetime of good health. But to say, “We can’t just leave [children’s nutrition] up to parents” is patently absurd, economically irresponsible and insulting.

With The Washington Times reporting daily on economic doom, government shutdowns, higher taxes and high unemployment, it seem obvious we should be saving, not spending more. Children’s dietary needs are a matter for parents and guardians, not the federal government.

@-Text.noindent:HELEN KOELLE

Silver Spring



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