Thursday, October 20, 2005

Cheeseburgers and the power of responsibility

As seen on CNN this morning, 'Cheeseburger Bill' puts bite on lawsuits. Apparently the threat to the fast food industry from class action lawsuits is strong enough to warrant a bill in the House. The article quotes Rep. Bob Filner (D-California) as stating " Congress has allowed the need of big corporations before the need of our children".

OK, I could understand maybe if by some stretch of the imagination these companys were slanging their wares on street corners to our innocent children on the way to school. You know "C'mon kid, all the cool kids are eating Big Macs" style.

However, I refuse to believe that Congress has put the needs of corporations before our children. If anyone has a hand in 13 year olds getting obese in record numbers, I think the statement should be edited to say parents have put the need of big corporations before the need of their own children.

How exactly does a 13 year old get their plump little fingers on a Big Mac anyway? Is there some blackmarket or playground trade in these items. No. They get scooped up from school by one parent or another, shuttled to the nearest drive-thru and given their mid-afternoon Happy Meal for the day before going home to play 9 hours of video games.

With the power of convenience comes the power of responsibility. Parents, how about we take a little more responsibility for the health of our children? The length of time it took for you to write a letter to Rep. Filner you could have written out a whole family health plan to work a couple of pounds off yourself and little Johnny.

And Congress, I know that this is a great opportunity to show that you care about our youth. But how about some more meaningful legislation? How about a comprehensive education reform bill giving power back to the states? Some of them might even make sure that athletics are not the first thing cut from school programs. Or even better, some states might get a voucher program together that will give parents the choice, and not just between McD's and Burger King.

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