Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” anti-obesity campaign celebrated its first birthday last month with nationwide events orchestrated by the White House. Its goal is worthy: Obesity affects 12.4% of children ages 2 to 5, 17% of those ages 6 to 11 and 17.6% of those ages 12-19. It takes a toll on the joints and is associated with several risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, abnormal lipid patterns and Type 2 diabetes.
But mimicking her husband’s approach to policy-making, Mrs. Obama’s initiative is grandiose, unfocused, poorly conceived and driven largely by intuition rather than data.
Let’s Move calls for drastically reshaping the diet and exercise habits of American kids — affecting everything from the composition of their school lunches to where and how they exercise to the measurements their health care professionals take. Mrs. Obama championed a child nutrition law, signed last December, that lets federal bureaucrats decide what kinds of foods may be sold on school grounds, including in vending machines and at fundraisers.