“Preservation of a Natural childhood”

Yes that’s really the name (also known as Initiative # 29) of an innocuous sounding, yet insanely stupid idea from Colorado legislators.

The initiative states, in relevant part:

Beginning January 1, 2019, Initiative 29 prohibits retailers from selling or permitting the sale of a smartphone to a person under the age of 13, or to any person who indicates that the smartphone will be wholly or partially owned by a person under the age of 13. Retailers must verbally inquire about the age of the intended primary owner of the smartphone prior to the sale, document the response, and file a monthly report to the Department of Revenue (DOR) that lists the type of phone sold (smartphone or cellular) and the age of the intended primary owner at the time of purchase.

Seriously? The Initiative prompted Greg Pulscher over at FEE.org to comment and his words are insightful and spot on.

Again, seriously? Is there nothing more threatening to the health safety, and welfare of Colorado children than cell phones?

How about obesity? Colorado doesn’t seem to be sure whether it’s children are really getting fatter. One state website notes:

According to the Colorado Child Health Survey, the state’s childhood obesity rate was 14.8 percent in 2004 and 14.6 percent in 2014.
“If Colorado wants to remain the leanest state in the nation and become the healthiest, we need to start with our youngest residents,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, chief medical officer and executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Fortunately, we have dedicated parents and partners across Colorado who are working with us to make sure Colorado kids can get the nutritious food and physical activity they need.”
But, as usual, when we dive into the data we see why Colorado might be getting concerned:
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As is the usual case- governments begin to care when a disease threatens white people. Here we can see the number of overweight/obese white, non-hispanic children at 22.7%. If this number grows then this will be a “state calamity.”
Similarly, rich people don’t see this as a problem, yet:
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As we might guess, all of the markers for economic success show a negative correlation with weight.
Yet, another state website seems to indicate Colorado children are getting fatter.
Obesity is a complex, serious and costly public health problem that’s on the rise everywhere in the United States, and Colorado is no exception. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.
Yes, there are far more important things Colorado could do. But it won’t, not yet.