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This week, the national media reported that presidential candidate Jeb Bush is spitting mad that the National Institutes of Health has awarded $2 million in grants to develop a video game that aims to show parents how to effectively get their kids to eat (and like!) healthy foods. He calls it a waste of scarce resources. The game’s developer has angered political conservatives for years, receiving threats and hate mail and sparking pending federal legislation that would prevent the government from funding games that teach “food parenting practices.”
What does this have to do with Philadelphia? Well, everything, if you consider that the National Constitution Center is coincidentally hosting a panel tonight at 6:30 pm called “Should the Government Regulate What We Eat?” It’s part of the center’s new feature exhibition, “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government’s Effect on the American Diet.” And while this week’s partisan controversy deals more with funding than regulation, the issue is a) sure to come up tonight; and b) part of a broader conversation that has people like Sarah Palin mocking Michelle Obama for her anti-childhood obesity initiatives and bringing sugar cookies to a Bucks County school fundraiser immediately after calling Pennsylvania a “nanny state run amok” for proposing to limit the sugary treats served at public school holiday parties.
The Dalai Lama was supposed to come to Philadelphia at the end of this month to receive the National Constitution Center‘s 2015 Liberty Medal. A few weeks before his arrival, however, we got the bummer news that the 80-year-old spiritual leader had to cancel to fulfill a doctor’s orders to rest up for a few weeks.