April 28, 2003

Some lawmakers want children to not eat junk food

"One in seven primary school children is obese," says this story out of New Zealand. Last week, health officials wanted to add provisions regulating food sold at schools, banning food advertisements at certain times of the day and controlling the quality of food sold within 1km of schools, to a new health law to meet concerns about child obesity. Some area parents and children believe such laws are unnecessary, but that parents should take more responsibility over what their children eat. It is now up to the government to determine what provisions will be written into the Public Health Bill.

I am definitely against governmental interference in controlling what a person chooses to place into his or her own body, whether physically destructive or not. However, I always draw that line at legal maturity. Laws for the protection of children are often necessary to force adults in making the right decisions to safeguard the health of their children. Having previous published the WHO concerns about sugar and obesity, as well as the recent study that showed obesity was linked to cancer occurrences, obesity in childhood to the extent of 14% certainly flags the issue as one of importance. But as this story suggests, there is also a correlation with the fact that children do "not exercise enough and spent too much time watching television and playing on computers or video games." I am more comfortable with regulations that would limit children's access to sedentary pastimes and required more physical actives than I am to any legislation that dictates what one can feed one's child.

Posted by Tiger at April 28, 2003 01:05 PM