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.USA Today reports that nutritionists, who deal with the issues every day, are more supportive:
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.
"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."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 morally deficiency obscures the large issues of public health policy that need to be discussed.
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.