A Texas state senator has proposed a law that would require schools to grade children on their weight.
(Just a side note: while I am not obese, I'm on the chubby side, and one of my mortal fears is that one day I will recognize myself in one of those "from the shoulders down" shots. You know the ones I mean - where they are reporting on the TV news about a weight related item, and they know we can't rely on our own imaginations (or our own mirrors, for most of us) to conjure up a fat person so they show some poor unsuspecting schlub who was probably just raised in a house with poor eating habits (like me!) and haven't been able to break the lifelong habit. I hate those shots.)
There are so many reasons why, as Americans, are fat, and I don't think this state senators plan would make a dent, even if it did pass, which it probably won't.
But there are policies that would benefit the general population, family friendly policies that would allow for a less ridiculous pace of life, that would encourage lifestyle choices that could impact our fattiness. Family leave, for example. There is evidence that breastfeeding can reduce the likelihood of obesity later in life - I think this is because the baby learns to recognize when it is hungry and when it is full, something that isn't quite as easy when the baby is on a tight, measured feeding schedule, where they are supposed to eat X number of ounces every X number of hours. From my own anecdotal experience, my diet improved dramatically when I was nursing, because I had a strong motivation to eat well - my babies were getting their nutrition from me.
And of course, parents themselves need to take responsibility for what is in their house. We don't have soda in my house because it's a complete waste, nutritionally. It doesn't help you, and it certainly can hurt you. And I don't just cart my kiddlywinks to their various activities, I have physical activities of my own - I swim 2 to 3 times a week for 2 hours each time.
I would also think the state senator might take a look at some of the other issues she mentioned: that many of the students in Texas don't have health insurance. Or how about taking a look at school lunches - they tend to be of minimal nutritional value.
I'm not preaching from the altar here - I am far from perfect on the food issue myself. Too often, I rely on more processed food than I would like (because of time issues), and I have perfected the art of ignoring side dishes - we often just eat a main course with a salad on the side - less veggies than I would like to serve, but I just can't get my act together.