Thursday, July 14, 2011

Michelle Obama's Milkshake and Fries

Michelle Obama has drawn predictable carping from her critics who pounced on her lunch of a burger, fries and milkshake as hypocritical, or at least counterproductive, given her high profile campaign to reduce childhood obesity. John Talty challenged her sincerity in the International Business Times:
It's time for Mrs. Obama to either put up or shut up on how she represents the fight against obesity.

She can truly get committed to the process and eat healthy, as she encourages people to do, or she can eat any way she'd like but without all of the pretenses.
USA Today reports that nutritionists, who deal with the issues every day, are more supportive:
"It's perfectly fine to indulge in your favorite foods every once in a while," says Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietitian in Boston, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Feeding Your Baby and Toddler. "A healthy lifestyle is all about balance and inclusion, not deprivation and misery. I would have preferred a cup of fat-free milk to the diet soda, though."

Milk shakes are a good source of calcium, but are loaded with fat and calories, Ward says. Burgers pack protein, iron and other nutrients, but tend to be high in fat, also.

Robyn Flipse, a registered dietitian in Bradley Beach, N.J., and author of Fighting the Freshman Fifteen, says, "Michelle Obama's openness about how she eats and exercises is the most valuable nutrition news that's been published in decades.

"The government's dietary guidelines are very clear on the need to establish eating patterns that are flexible and accommodate our personal preferences. Mrs. Obama provides a perfect example of just that when she enjoys the occasional burger and fries for lunch, while also demonstrating to her daughters the hard-to-grasp concept of moderation.
The mistake Mrs. Obama's critics make is to turn this into a question of personal virtue or strength of character. Turning obesity into a question of moral deficiency obscures the large issues of public health policy that need to be discussed.


Anonymous kavips said...

The whole premise of the original article is never answered? That was:

One of the first questions you have to ask yourself is whether Michelle Obama is hypocritical for ordering a meal that directly goes against the advice she gives children?

Hmmm. while at it he should also be asking these theoretical questions... Should someone who preaches abstinence, ever have children? Or, should someone who preaches "green energy" ever put gas in their car?' Or, should someone who voted 19 times to raise the debt ceiling during a republican president's term, being responsible for raising the debt ceiling up $4 trillion dollars, be a hypocrite for balking at it when a Democrat is in power?

Obviously someone needs to look at their "own party" if they are in search of a "real" hypocrite... If one reads fine detail in the RNC bylaws, one find that being a "hypocrite", is actually a necessary requirement before placing a Republican donation.... or putting a republican sign in their yard.....

In any regard, as Jesus himself said, there are huge logs in the eyes of all Republicans.. For them to worry about the speck in Democrats eyes... is in itself, hypocritical...

Therefore I guess this article you linked to, entitles it's author to be allowed a Republican sign in his yard....

10:30 AM, July 14, 2011  
Anonymous donviti said...

good post Tommy. I linked to it...

2:22 PM, July 14, 2011  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

Thank you. I could have gone further and noted the similar habit of criticizing environmentalists for not showing sufficient virtue, which is the point you made.

This is about policy, not about the personal habits of Ms. Obama or Mr. Gore.

2:27 PM, July 14, 2011  
Blogger downwithabsolutes said...

Thanks for this. Some in the right-wing have really been hammering Michelle Obama on this and I'm frankly quite tired of it. As someone who lost a ton of weight and still manages to indulge in such calorie-laden treats from time to time, I don't think leading a healthy lifestyle and consuming said high-calorie foods are mutually exclusive.

We do not have a 24/7 view into what Michelle Obama does on a daily basis, nor should we. We are not made privy to her exercise routines or the other foods and meals she eats on a daily basis. My guess is she's doing something right with that healthy body she's sporting.

I don't recall Michelle ever claiming anyone should stop eating these foods. Ever. She has stated, though, that much of the foods our kids eat today are potentially what's leading to the obesity epidemic in our country today.

This is really severe myopia from those on the right. There is nothing hypocritical in Michelle Obama's actions.

Nothing. I preached to my students the virtues of eating healthy on a daily basis. Every day our school would provide fresh fruits and veggies for students to snack on at the end of the day. I discussed the importance of these foods with my students. You know what, though? We often had birthdays in my class and you know what comes with those? Cupcakes. Every month or so we'd get a nice batch of fresh-baked cupcakes and who am I to turn them down? I stressed to the students that cupcakes are a perfectly acceptable option in any diet as long as they're treated as the special treat they really are.

I even do a chemistry lesson on making ice cream at the end of the year. I guess I'm a big-time hypocrite because I talk about healthy eating while shoving ice cream down my students' throats.

The whole debate is quite pathetic. I'm tired of the cynicism surrounding Michelle Obama's (what I feel are) good-natured efforts to raise awareness among folks about the dangers of childhood obesity.

12:44 PM, July 16, 2011  

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