Two U.S. Senators recently introduced legislation that would allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to regulate foods and beverages outside the cafeteria--going beyond just school lunches and breakfasts, which should already comply with dietary guidelines. [Note to the U.S.D.A: You may want to double check those deep-fried chicken nuggets.]
This is always a thorny issue. Our friend Rebecca Scritchfield spoke out recently against punitive taxes on soda and sport drinks at her blog because they cast too wide a net, in her view. She argues that our problem is inactivity and lack of health education--not the food itself.
As corporate wellness professionals, we are always emphasizing the need for participants to make better choices. After all, their lives are their own. And if our experience in the corporate world is any indication, a widespread health education campaign would have a much more meaningful impact on kids' eating habits than heavy-handed efforts to ban their favorite sodas.
So what do you think? What's the best way to combat childhood obesity?