Fighting childhood obesity

Tim Bledsoe

Just recently, I read two articles about government-related spending that I feel compelled to comment on.

One article talked about how the current high unemployment is affecting the number of teachers that are being hired by schools.

The other article told about $119 million in grants from the U.S. government to fight obesity in the United States.

I am probably one of the most politically liberal members of my family, but even I have to speak out against such clear wasteful spending by our government.

What is the great unknown about obesity?

I do believe that a very small percentage of obesity is caused by real medical problems, but the overwhelming cases are simply due to overeating and a gross lack of exercise. How in the name of common sense can parents and grandparents expect their children to stay in good shape when the “in” thing to do is to stay in front of the television, the computer and the cell phone?

If the government is truly concerned about obesity, then taxpayer dollars need to be spent to greatly revive the physical education part of school life. Our local and national governments are trying to create geniuses out of our children at the expense of little to no physical education.

What happened to the common-sense balance of physical education and mental education that was so prevalent during the 1940s through the 1970s?

In closing, I will say the answers to the questions about obesity have very, very common-sense answers. The difficulty is going to be whether parents and grandparents are going to take charge of this growing problem and to force their children to get some physical exercise.

Tim Bledsoe, North Augusta, S.C.