First Lady Michelle Obama recently did a series of ads on the Disney Channel to promote the “Magic of Healthy Living” with some of the stars the Disney Channel including Brenda Song and Nick Jonas.
Encouraging kids to eat healthier, turn off the TV and go outside is commendable and I applaud Mrs. Obama for doing it. However, I can’t help but think that this ad campaign won’t help anything.
Part of the reason for the obesity crisis lies in poverty. Many parents just can’t afford healthier food. This is sad to say, but for many people, greasy fast food winds up on the table, not because of parental laziness, but because of necessity.
In many impoverished areas, there are no playgrounds, parks, swimming pools or rec centers for kids to go to.
Unfortunately, the schools don’t do anything to help matters. I’ve covered this before in The Vindicator, but it bears repeating: school lunches are in general, awful (and I mean this from a nutrition perspective not taste).
Greasy pancake wrapped sausage on a stick, pizza, and sugar filled alleged fruit juices are the norm. It doesn’t help that many schools resist reforming this state of affairs.
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver constantly faces an uphill battle when trying to show schools that they can make healthy food that the kids will actually eat without breaking the bank. The Huffington Post recently reported that the Los Angeles Unified School District shut him out entirely.
To make matters worse, schools are slashing recess and physical education so there is more time to prepare students for tests since funding rides on test scores.
It’s great that Michelle Obama wants to help. However, simply going on TV and telling kids to get active and eat healthy won’t help if reality prevents them from doing that. She has a lot of influence she can use to change the current reality. As does everyone.
Call your city councilman. Ask why the school’s food is so nutritionally disgusting or why no one’s turning all these vacant lots and abandoned buildings into playgrounds and swimming pools.
The problem of obesity can be fixed but it will take everyone. A couple of ads won’t do it.