Nichole Hungerford

Government Seeks to Track Body Mass of Children

Posted on May 15 2010 4:00 pm
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Not Government Approved


Is it prima facie Orwellian to have a bill proposed by the government called the “Healthy Choices Act”? Think about it. 

Let’s just assume that it isn’t for now. Let’s instead commit to judge the creepy statism of any particular legislation by the creepy statist measure it proposes to enact.

In this case, it looks like the “Heathy Choices Act,” the only thing the White House seems willing to let Michelle Obama undertake publicly, is again the big winner. Among the seemingly innocuous “for the good of the children” measures it will include, is a mandate on states receiving federal funding from the bill to annually track the Body Mass Index of children ages 2-18.

CNS News reports,

Section 101 of the bill amends the Public Health Services Act by stating that health care providers must record the Body Mass Index of all children ages 2 through 18.  “The provision relates to all children in states that accept grants under the bill,” a spokesperson for Rep. Kind told “However, it is important to note that no one is forced to come in for a doctor’s visit to get their BMI tested.  BMI will be taken at times when the child makes an otherwise scheduled doctor’s visit.”

Of course, with vaccination requirements and routine doctor’s visit, the BMI tracking will not be terribly burdensome to parents. This, however, is really not the issue. The troublesome nature of government BMI tracking is the prospect of even more government intrusion into our lives, especially with regard to the relationship between parents and their children. What it does is encourage the substitution of parental responsibility with government responsibility to children — a trend which only seems to become more widespread the more nanny-statist we become. What we want as a society, and what the bill claims to “facilitate,” is a nation in which all parents properly track their own children’s BMI and are concerned with their children’s diet. Yet, the BIM provisions of the bill clearly have the opposite effect. 

And suppose that little Jimmy gets a bad report from Internal Body Mass Index Services. What happens next? Will the government be coming into your homes to monitor what you are feeding your children everyday? Will Social Services come knocking at your door? Indeed, this is a society in which rate of Dorito consumption could easily come to define new terms of child neglect. Sketchy territory.

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