As I wrote previously, children do not have the power to make choices about the life style they wish to have. When you were a child, did you have complete freedom to eat or study or play any which way? I didn't think so.
Look at the latest study from the Chicago public health officials. It shows that child obesity rates are higher than the national average. The highest rate was a whopping 29.2 percent for sixth graders who were followed by the ninth graders at 24.4 percent. And the other grades weren't that much different. So you have close to 25 - 30 percent of students in this system classified as obese.
Across the nation "only" 17 percent of children and adolescents were in that classification.
And we talked before that changes had to come from the child's environment. When you are a child living at home, you eat what's being offered. Or you make such a scene that your Mom will give you anything to shut you up. Now that's making a "wise" choice.
So Michelle Obama is on the bandwagon promoting healthy choices and more activity. Now that sounds fine and dandy on paper.
She goes on to tell students that they have a choice over what they eat perhaps like this little girl.
But that's the exception. Usually your choice is "do you want fries with that?"
How can you expect a child to even begin to make a healthy choice when the only ones presented are bad for them all around? Is it the lesser of two malnourishing foods?
So now that we have food taken care of, let's turn to the other side of her equation. She is telling children that they have the choice of either playing video games or get up and move their bodies. "These are all choices that will determine who you will become and what you can achieve."
Maybe that's the ideal. And there are plenty of kids who have the chance to go outside and play without someone having to stand guard. It really hurts like crazy when you and your friends are having a good time and someone starts shooting stray bullets. So you have this choice.
Or you can live outside the poverty-striken neighbors and play like this.
Notice that there is grass and dirt and really good stuff to mess around with. Just you and a couple of friends playing for hours until dinner. You must live in a really nice suburb.
As an aside, Michelle admits to the occasional cinnamon roll. But it's OK because it's part of her diet and exercise plan. Do you know of any child that can make that kind of choice?
So we end this discussion with the image of food choice that Michelle has in mind. Little Tommy mulling over which food to eat and appearing to be happy either way he chooses.
And Chicago, Michelle's home town, has one of the largest percentage of child obesity, 25 - 30 percent in a nation that already has a deadly 17 percent. If she can't turn Chicago around then how does that play out around the country?
Kids do not have a chance of choosing wisely. But kids have the right to have healthy people around them to serve as role models.
Your investigative reporter~Jessica