Last decade saw the popularization of the idea that children's eating habits are a "public health" issue that must be regulated, rather than controlled by parents. This nonsense culminated in a lawsuit from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) against a fast food giant for handing out toys with kids' meals.

Naples News columnist Mark Strain tackled all this on Monday with a fantastic op-ed. He concludes:

Teaching and controlling our children are mandatory for conscientious parenting in order to raise children capable of functioning in a free society.

CSPI is moving outside their usual arena of making sure the consumer has access to accurate nutritional information about the food they choose to purchase, into a realm of advocacy that impacts free speech in the marketplace and more significantly seems to assume that the consumer is no longer capable of making choices at all. If a Happy Meal is nutritionally deficient irrelevant of the marketing audience, attacking that aspect would be a more understandable position for CSPI in lieu of supporting an inept parent.

If parents cannot control their children’s demands for foods which they consider unhealthy choices, then there is indeed something seriously wrong. It is neither the food nor the child’s desire for the food; it is the parent’s inability to be a parent.

We'd quibble with Strain's contention that consumer access (rather than hysterical hyperbole) is CSPI's "usual arena". But his points about parenting are dead-on. Ultimately parents, not distant regulators or judges, must raise their children to be discerning adults.