Betsy Hart

"Shrek is a good model, especially for children who can benefit from more exercise," a Health and Human Services official responsible for Shrek's new job told the Associated Press. "He doesn't have a perfect physique."

Doesn't have a perfect physique? Shrek is fat. In fact, he is morbidly obese. He is a heart attack waiting to happen. Fat is never "fit" despite what some folks would love to believe. Is it really hard to understand that he should not be held up as a health model in an anti-obesity campaign? Or, is this partly about making obese kids feel OK about being obese? Because if that's the case, well, even the feds can't have their cake and eat it, too.

Would we want kids who smoke to feel good about that habit?

The Chicago Sun-Times recently put it this way about Shrek's new job as a health advocate: "Shrek Shills Dietary Dreck -- Dump him." Exactly.

He's lovable in the movies, and I myself swoon at his accent. But only the government could come up with the idea of obese Shrek as a "Health Advocate." Once again, our tax dollars at work. Sigh.

Betsy Hart

Betsy Hart is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service. Her column on cultural and family issues, “From the Hart,” is distributed each week to hundreds of newspapers cross the country. Betsy’s first book, "It Takes a Parent: How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting out Kids – and What to do About It," was released in September, 2005, and was a top seller for its publisher, Putnam Books.