What could be a fast-food restaurant slogan now describes your local school’s lunch program. In November Congress passed a bill that reversed Institute of Medicine recommendations for reducing childhood obesity. It effectively endorsed pizza as a vegetable while also refusing to curb the volume of potatoes and sodium used in school lunches – decisions that were roundly criticized by the news media.
One side pointed to freedom of choice in making the decision, the other side pointed to lobbyists, and nobody directly addressed the point. Policy creates the landscape of possibility. If the current landscape is contributing to an adverse outcome – a dramatic rise in childhood obesity for instance – then it makes sense to try something else. Otherwise we’re left with the perverse practice of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.