i've written before about my disagreements with Mrs. Obama's War on Childhood Obesity. Children don't need war; they need many other things but not war.
Yes, it's great to get sedentary kids to move and to teach them about fruits and veggies and grilling BUT that avoids the root of the problem -- the pain behind compulsive eating. In my experience, if the average kid isn't encouraged to get off the couch and eats more fried food than broiled, he may well end up with a certain amount of extra weight but obesity, that's another (mental health) issue entirely.
i grew up with heavy food -- pancakes and waffles for breakfast, big sandwiches for lunch, meat and pasta for dinner. but my parents and my brother and sister weren't overweight. they ate as much as they needed to nourish themselves and then went about their lives. my mom played the piano, my dad gardened, my sister was cheerleader and my brother, quite the intellectual.
me, i ate. those are my memories. and when things felt stressful -- my parents hated each other, i had no friends, i only thought about food....i ate more.
it was the emptiness i fed. there weren't enough pancakes (always my #1 binge food) in the world to fill up my loneliness.
the key seems to be in helping us learn how to truly feed our empty souls, because the answer definetely is not in Aunt Jemima. nor, i think is it truly in outdoor activities in broccoli.