Thursday, December 23, 2010

More on Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama and Food

I'm not alone in criticizing Sarah Palin's snide criticism of Michelle Obama's efforts to improve child nutrition. The Huffington Post reports that Mike Huckabee, who could compete with Palin for the Republican presidential nomination, took exception with Palin's comments:
"With all due respect to my colleague and friend Sarah Palin, I think she's misunderstood what Michelle Obama is trying to do," Huckabee said Tuesday during a radio appearance the "Curtis Sliwa Show."
...
"Michelle Obama's not trying to tell people what to eat or not trying to force the government's desires on people," Huckabee said. "She's stating the obvious, that we do have an obesity problem in this country."
The Huffington Post article cites these alarming statistics from the Centers for Disease Control:
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.
Closer to home, Dave Burris also noted the difference between coercion and encouragment and offered a national security argument:
Tom -- I agree. It's a childish approach, especially considering they misrepresented what Michelle Obama said.

Not only that, but there are some who would argue that
childhood obesity is a national security issue.

I'd be the first one to stand up against the government dictating what we can and can't eat, but I'll also be one who stands and applauds an effort to encourage parents and kids to make better choices.

2 Comments:

Blogger downwithabsolutes said...

Thank you for posting on this topic, Tom. As you know, I underwent a serious shift in my own personal health about two years ago. Though I'd always been cognizant of proper eating and exercise, I'd never applied that knowledge out of sheer (and admitted) laziness on my part.

I finally found the "perfect" time to get started (though, when ISN'T it the perfect time to take care of oneself?) and I dove in.

I am now a teacher. I am tasked with ensuring the mental and physical health of my 24 students while on my time. I make physical education and nutrition a priority in my class. It may not be outlined in the Reading and Math standards of my grade level, but I'll be damned if I send my students out the door everyday without letting them know the importance of good health.

There wasn't nearly as much competition when I was growing up. We didn't have computers, TVs, and video games in every room of my house. We didn't have endless supplies of sugary soft drinks. And my father always emphasized physical activity, though I was somewhat slow on the uptake!

That being said, we're faced with a set of irrefutable facts: Our country is getting bigger at an EXPONENTIAL rate. It's alarming and if we continue to trend the way we are, then this is absolutely, unhyperbolically a national security issue.

I read Sarah's comments last week and it took me a while to cool down. It upset me so. There is much to be cynical and many bad things to be said about the Obama Administration. However, my cynicism is turned off when I read about Michelle Obama's attempts to stave off childhood obesity.

Sarah Palin's comments do nothing to advance the argument. In fact, all they really do is seek to sow the seeds that the Obamas are effete, culturally elitist liberals seeking to enforce their lifestyle choices on us. Palin is smart enough to know the words she's using to rile her base.

I'm glad to see Mike Huckabee -- a man who's had his own weight issues -- speaking out and telling it like it is. Michelle Obama never said dessert isn't allowed. In fact, in my world, dessert is always allowed -- as long as it's combined with 30 minutes of intense cardio per day! It's all about striking that balance, and I'd glad to report I've found it!

10:48 AM, December 26, 2010  
Blogger downwithabsolutes said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:48 AM, December 26, 2010  

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