Friday, July 15, 2011

Fast Food, Healthy Children's Menus?

I saw this article the other day in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, about chain restaurants (few of which are fast food) that are trying to make children's menus that are more healthy.

On the one hand, of course, we should applaud such a move by restaurants, especially of the fast food variety. (Check out the book Fat Land to see how such unhealthy diets infiltrated schools and affected children's health.) Any step is positive.

On the other hand, I find it difficult to believe that even a move such as this will have much of an effect on children's health or diets.

Plus, it's worth noting that McDonald's, KFC, and many other fast food restaurants are not signing up to be part of this program, according to the article.

Resiliency of Farm Subsidies

Even amidst the debt ceiling talks, farm subsidies continue to be protected. This New York Times article discusses attempts by Presidents G. W. Bush and Obama to make cut particular programs, but each one failed.

I wouldn't be surprised if farm subsidies saw a few cuts, but I don't expect them to be very significant. Support for farm subsidies cuts across political party and region. In addition, farm subsidies actually represent a fairly small portion of the overall federal budget.