Now that people know some of what’s in Obamacare, the majority would like Obamacare repealed or replaced.
Now, onto the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act…
Most conservatives in the commentating class, including The Motley Monk, have directed their attention to the law’s new standards regarding school lunches. What they’ve been overlooking, however, is how the law has delegated to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) bureaucrats sweeping authority to make determinations about what constitutes “healthy” and “hunger-free” kids.
Thus it was last Friday that the USDA quitely published a notice in the Federal Register that those USDA bureaucrats hoped would pass beneath the radar. In this context, “notice” means “pay attention because we’re about to pull a fast one over the stupid public.” (Hat-tip to Jonathan Gruber.)
Guess what those USDA bureaucrats are now proposing? A data collection scheme that will inquire into the “nutritional quality of foods offered, physical activity, sedentary activity, and barriers to” healthy food and exercise in childcare facilities and family daycare homes.
And that’s not all. The USDA also wants to weigh and measure the height of the children in those facilities.
While the notice states “Children will be asked to cooperate with study staff who will weigh and measure them for the Standing Height and Weight Form,” more important is all of what’s going to be involved in this scheme:
- Sponsors will be asked to complete the Sponsor Pre-visit Cost Survey, the Sponsor Pre-visit Cost Form, and the Sponsor Cost Interview.
- Directors will be asked to complete the Provider Web Survey, the Center Director Pre-visit Cost Survey, the Center Director Cost Interview, and the Overhead & Equipment Cost Worksheet.
- Food preparers will be asked to complete the Menu Survey, the Reference Portion Measurement Form, the Table Waste Observation Form, and the Food Preparer Cost Interview.
- Provider staff will be asked to complete the Infant Food Intake Form.
- Children will be asked to cooperate with study staff who will weigh and measure them for the Standing Height and Weight Form.
- Parents will be asked to complete a Parent Interview and the Child Food Diary for a childcare day, a non-childcare day, and a subsample will be asked to complete a third diary which could be either a childcare day or a non-childcare day.
- All respondents will be asked to respond to or complete each instrument only once with the exception of parents who will be asked to complete a Child Food Diary on 2-3 days.
Talk about the federal government extending its intrusive arm into public education! Now USDA bureaucrats are seeking to extend that intrusive arm into daycare facilities that participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which provides federal funding for meals and snacks. The will be interrogating the people working in those business from the top to the bottom of the hierarchy.
The phrase “will be asked” certainly sounds benign enough. But, should those who are being asked decide not to fork over the data (pardon the pun), the USDA bureaucrats can threaten to turn off the spigot of federal dollars, implicitly threatening the survival of those businesses.
People may be thinking, “Oh, it’s just a silly survey. Stop being paranoid, Motley Monk. The government has no interest other than gathering data about how many kids are unhealthy and starving.”
Perhaps. But, just what is the USDA going to do with those findings? Demand that those who own those businesses feed pre-school children as the government demands? slim those children down to meet government standards? force those children to exercise according to the government diktats?
Let the discussion begin…
To read the USDA notice, click on the following link:
To read about the CACFP program, click on the following link: