Nor will the task force change the way most families eat. For decades, our federal government already has offered far-reaching programs for nutrition promotion, food subsidies and disease prevention, and as Mrs. Obama points out, these problems are not going away.
On the other hand, we now have an abundance of government Web sites representing the growing nanny state for personal lifestyle support.
It's worth a tour of the ".gov" cybersphere to see just how involved our federal bureaucracy is in our daily lives. The subject of nutrition alone already enjoys millions of dollars in government Internet attention — never mind the countless publications, pamphlets and educational programs.
In addition to Mrs. Obama's new LetsMove.gov Web site, we can learn what and how to eat at teamnutrition.usda.gov, mypyramid.gov (another USDA site), healthymeals.nal.usda.gov (yet another USDA site), nifa.usda.gov (the National Institute of Food and Agriculture/Families, Youth and Communities), cnpp.usda.gov (Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion), and USDA's Food and Nutrition service at fns.usda.gov, among others.
Clearly, there is nothing about eating that the U.S. government isn't already telling us, so maybe that's not the problem.
Mrs. Obama is a concerned mother, and she sets a strong example for those who ought to implement many of her proven and effective parenting strategies. I applaud the use of her platform to urge Americans to face the childhood-obesity issue as a way to do a better job of parenting, period.
That's because it's not only an obesity crisis we face; it's a parenting crisis and a crisis of adulthood that has convinced too many Americans that our federal bureaucracy has an appropriate role in teaching us not just how to eat, but how to live.