Home > Education, Food, FUSD, Nanny State > The Big Business Of Obesity

The Big Business Of Obesity

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Have you heard the news?  Flagstaff students are fighting weight issues! We have an epidemic of overweight children and once again our school district heroes have come to the rescue! Who needs parents or doctors when you have FUSD!

For those who have not been paying attention, the Flagstaff Unified School District has decided that medical examinations in the classroom should be part of your child’s education. I first complained about this last November when FUSD was making national headlines for sending “obesity letters” home to parents. Since then, they have taken even more steps to become parent and pediatrician to your child.

So what started the ball rolling? What made the district decide to start focusing so much energy on your child’s health? Here’s a hint: North Country Healthcare. There is money to be made in the health business and the district has something North Country Healthcare desperately wants to get their greedy hands on…patients.

In an article from last December, written by North Country Healthcare staff, we find them discussing the terrible problem of obesity in the district: North Country Healthcare: A national health crisis.

December was also the month North Country Healthcare was pushing for a mobile health van for district schools: FUSD Considers School Based Mobile Health Unit.

It’s easy to connect the dots. This has nothing to do with helping children and everything to do with making money and qualifying for federal grants.

North Country Healthcare Receives 7.4 Million Stimulus Grant.

School mobile health clinic a step closer.

I have learned that Flagstaff frowns on people who say anything negative about North Country Healthcare. Flagstaff liberals hate big business unless, of course,  that big business is loaded with federal money and is working hard to transfer parental responsibility to the government. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, it was the big drug and insurance companies who joined the fight to pass national health care. They know what’s best for you and your kids so shut up and get with the program. Based on quotes in some of the articles I linked to above, the district believes that parents know absolutely nothing about their own children. We can’t even tell if our kids are obese or not.

I hate to say it but FUSD never met a good distraction they didn’t love. They’ll focus on every trend or “crisis” that comes along while at the same time making sure education stays on the back burner. All North Country Healthcare has to do is pimp a program “for the children” and the district is stumbling all over themselves in their rush to sign on. I thought that maybe they were starting to learn their lesson with their sudden interest in magnet programs and curriculum, but seeing FUSD obesity news on the front page of yesterday’s AZ Daily Sun confirmed my worst fear: Education is still an afterthought. Nice to see my tax dollars going to good use.

Not long ago, The AZ Daily Sun reported that FUSD was losing students because there was a supposed mass exodus from Flagstaff. Then the census numbers came out and we learned that Flagstaff’s population is actually soaring.  Do the math, 2+2  actually does equal 4 and that does not bode well for FUSD. Clearly, with the population growing and the district losing hundreds of students a year (this year they could lose upwards of 1,000) people are sick and tired of the distractions. People are fleeing the district.

I receive a lot of emails from parents who have kids in district schools and they tell me that they want FUSD to focus on teaching their children. People expect teachers to teach healthy eating habits and exercise but they do not want anyone practicing medicine in the classroom!

A friend of mine recently defended the district by asking if I would be upset if a teacher or school nurse told me about a weird shaped mole on my child. I told him that I probably wouldn’t mind but I would be furious if every child in school was checked over for weird shaped moles.

I hope North Country Health Care is not reading this blog because if they realize that there is money to be made by checking children at school for moles, they will be stripping our kids down and looking them over before you can say “disgusting”!

Let’s not forget who is behind Flagstaff’s obesity panic in the first place. Follow the money. North Country Health Care sees overweight kids as giant piggy banks.


Categories: Education, Food, FUSD, Nanny State
  1. March 15, 2011 at 7:17 am

    thank you very much on sharing this wonderful article you’ve shared.

  2. March 15, 2011 at 10:27 am

    “…liberals hate big business unless, of course, that big business is loaded with federal money and is working hard to transfer parental responsibility to the government.” – And this very phenom. is why I no longer identify with liberals. It makes me sick, the welfare mentality! Also, ” They’ll focus on every trend or “crisis” that comes along while at the same time making sure education stays on the back burner.” How is it that parents aren’t up in arms about this? Why do we feel that school districts should be doing ANYTHING else but educating our children? Have parents gotten lazy about their OWN job as parents, that they just acquiesce their control and guidance to an INSTITUTION? I saw the obesity program letter come home with my 5th grader. It made me sick…. It also makes me sick that NOT ONE TIME have I seen a letter come home that doesn’t have a typo…we have not standards…ugh

  3. August 23, 2011 at 8:39 am

    The Page school district and community did something right, in this regard. There was a proposition to give ‘free’ dental exams at school, and it was turned down:

    ‘Page Unified School District Dumps Dental Plan’


    “An intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the Page Unified School District (PUSD) and Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) for the provision of dental services was rejected by the school board at the May 3 board meeting. The IGA failed with a three to one vote.”

    ” “Page has been designated by the Arizona state government as an Arizona Medically-Underserved Area,” Lees wrote. “It is also designated as a Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Area (for primary medical, dental, and mental health services) and a Federal Medically-Underserved Area by the United States Government.” ”

    By August, interested individuals in the community came up with a better plan:

    ‘PUSD and Canyonlands partner on free dental care’


    ” PAGE — The Page Unified School District School Board unanimously approved a partnership with Canyonlands Healthcare and Page Dental Center to provide students with free dental screenings and referrals at the school board meeting Aug. 2…

    “Canyonlands and Page Dental Care will provide a complete screenings for all K-3 students in PUSD, as well as education about proper dental hygiene and referrals to local dentists for care. ”

    The most important part of the article is not available for free on-line though. They explain how the structure of the IGA proposal would require any kid needing dental work after the van evaluaion would then have to go to a dentist who would, for standard of care, have to redo the evaluation… it would cost more and was unwieldy which is why they turned it down.

    The locals created a way to get at-risk kids the evaluation and direction they need for their dental health, gratis through local practitioners. I’m sorry I don’t have the paper handy as I dont’ remember the whole explanation – I was rolling my eyes as I started to read the article, and by the time I was done I was surprised that they had figured out a way to make it happen without involving huge bureaucracy, they created an end-run around it so that something could actually get done.

    My objection is using ‘free’ as a descriptor at all. ‘At no cost to the consumer’ perhaps, but there ain’t no free lunch and the sooner that is pointed out- early and often! – the better.

    In any and all interventions, and this includes public schools, it is important to bring the parents along with the children. Maybe, even more important to communicate with and involve parents as they are the number one relationship with their children, and the supply and support line. When parents don’t know enough to keep food in the house to feed their children, there is an uphill climb in educating parents so they have a clue as to how their children need help.

    I see a greater value in community resource centers staffed with mentors that welcome all members of the community to participate, than the current public school system with the narrow and exclusive mandate to ‘educate’ only those of certain young ages. Education happens from birth til death, 24/7, and it’s PAST time people recognize and value and support that.

  4. Melissa
    August 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I was just saying that if you want to invent something to make a lot of money it should have something to do with obesity and diabetes. That’s where the money is! Also, FUSD no longer feels that the arts are an important part of education. So the money is no longer spent for arts teachers and supplies.

  1. September 15, 2011 at 9:25 am
  2. February 15, 2013 at 9:26 am

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