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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wildcat columnists take on the issues –

    F is for fat

    In an attempt to curb childhood obesity, some schools have taken to sending “”obesity report cards”” home with children who have a high Body Mass Index (BMI). Critics suggest that the report cards can lead to eating disorders and social stigma, while advocates claim that the report cards help to address a national health crisis. Are the report cards an effective way to combat obesity, or a mere Band-Aid for a much larger problem?

    Obesity is the second-leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. This is a public health concern that should be addressed with at-risk individuals at the earliest stages possible. Though sending home the BMI scores is an assertive approach to addressing a child’s health situation at an early stage, it appears irrational for schools to send out these reports if they are exacerbating the obesity problem by not offering healthier meal alternatives or physical exercise. Minimal educational information about the BMI scores should be sent directly to parents to avoid misinterpretation by children and adolescents. Techniques on how to appropriately discuss the situation with the at-risk children should also be provided. Obesity is a serious health (not image) concern, and the BMI report cards are not aimed at destroying a child’s self-esteem. Ultimately these controversial report cards are at least creating a much-needed dialogue about childhood obesity.ÿ

    Lila Burgos is an international studies junior. She can be reached at

    While childhood obesity is a serious dilemma in this nation, giving obesity report cards to children is a mistake. How can children do anything with this information when they do not even control what they eat? Everyone remembers the common cafeteria fare – pizza with a side of iceberg lettuce drenched in ranch. What irony that schools are telling children on their report cards they need to eat healthier, when schools themselves do not even provide nutritious meals. Furthermore, children are already viewing their obesity grades and turning to extreme dieting out of ignorance and despair. So, why don’t we put more money into school lunch programs? Why don’t we spend more time educating children about what a wholesome diet consists of? Thus, instead of perpetuating a cycle of unhealthy dieting followed by depression and crash binges, we can teach our youth how to have a healthy relationship with food.

    Jessica Wertz is a senior majoring in psychology and family studies and human development. She can be reached at

    ‘Surge’ protection

    According to The Washington Post, President Bush made it clear Monday that a surge of at least 20,000 additional troops would be sent to Iraq in an effort to stabilize the war-torn country. In a recent poll, only 17 percent supported an increase in U.S. forces, while 6 in 10 said the war is not worth fighting. Is President Bush’s plan too little too late? Or, will the extra boots on the ground stymie the sectarian violence?

    Let’s get one thing straight: Bush has botched the Iraq war from the beginning, especially by ignoring pleas from the generals to increase troop levels from the outset. And now he has the chance to make up for some of those mistakes. A “”surge”” in soldiers is not an inherently evil idea. Increasing the number of troops on the ground has the potential to both protect Iraqi civilians and create a more stable environment in which economic and energy development teams can operate. Without direct human aid to the Iraqi development programs, no amount of military presence (or withdrawal) will make Iraq a better place for Iraqis. But an increase in troops must be done right, and if Bush only commits 20,000 troops, at least 15,000 fewer than the brass now request, we will suffer the same surge in violence that accompanied the timid troop increase last summer.

    Stan Molever is a philosophy senior. He can be reached at

    The word “”surge”” sounds powerful, like the storm surge that destroyed New Orleans while President Bush was out riding his bike. But this “”surge”” of troops is more like spitting into the wind of Hurricane Baghdad. It is far too little and far too late. Nobody truly believes that Bush’s cynical, half-witted ploy will succeed – not our generals, not our allies, certainly not the American people. Even hardcore war cheerleaders can see their fantasy drifting away like so many corpses in the Tigris River. It’s time to admit it out loud: The war is over, and we lost. This “”surge”” is nothing more than Bush juggling like a clown, hoping to keep the balls in the air until he can spend his retirement blaming Democrats for his blood-drenched failure. The real question is: How many more young Americans will have to lose their limbs or their lives so Bush can save face?

    Shane Ham is a first-year law student. He can be reached at

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