Fox News Host Thinks Healthy Food For Preschoolers Will Give Them ‘Mental Problems’

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Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 7.44.55 AMFox News is very reliable, in that they can always be counted on to have a strange and vaguely horrifying opinion about the most innocuous of subjects. This time, the topic is providing healthy food to preschoolers and schoolchildren, and the ‘vaguely horrifying’ part is the suggestion from one of the show’s hosts that making sure kids eat well is going to cause them ‘mental problems’. Okay!

This shitstorm started over the fact that the New York Board of Health recently revised some of their guidelines for day cares. Raw Story notes that these updates limit the amount of time a day that’s to be spent doing sedentary activities, and modifies the juice allowance for two-year-olds to just four ounces of juice per day, compared to the old limit of six ounces. There’s still water, there’s still milk, but no–taking away two ounces of juice (also known as “sugar water”) and getting kids to move around during the day is apparently what’s turning kids anorexic, according to Fox host Andrea Tantaros:

“I think they are well intentioned. They want to get kids healthy, but we’re hearing reports of kids being hungry at the school, that this is causing mental problems. […] We’re raising a generation of people with eating disorders. It’s absolutely true, it’s been documented. It’s this hyper-focus on everything we eat.”

Bonus points, by the way, to Bill O’Reilly, who somehow managed to provide a voice of reason during this discussion to say that having kids play hopscotch instead of letting them mainline Hawaiian Punch isn’t going to ruin their lives.

For all the program’s references to a ‘nanny state’, Tantaros is really the one giving very little credit to care providers, as if these people are so stupid that they’re going to hand out meals and start activities by explaining how each one is related to their students’ waistlines. It’s not clear why Tantaros thinks that when day care providers hand out the new, smaller juice allotment, they’re going to say, “Here is your juice, which is smaller now because Uncle Sam thinks that you’re a fat-fatty-fat-fat.” It seems more likely that a care provider will say something more along the lines of, “Here’s your juice, stop pulling Sandy’s hair and don’t stand on your chair BOBBY SIT DOWN and if you throw your cup on the floor again you’re not getting it back.”

Kids deserve healthy food, and concern-trolling that feeding them right is going to harm them is ridiculous. Having guidelines in place to make sure kids are getting the kinds of food and nutrition they need to support their growth and development, and the activity to do the same, does not equate to slamming their body image. It doesn’t take much to explain to a toddler that juice is yummy and something they can have more of another time, but something our bodies don’t need very much of and that juice is “all done” for today. In fact, it would be a lot easier to explain this to a toddler than at least one Fox News host that I can think of.

(Image: Raw Story)