Political Debate over Michelle Obama's Childhood Obesity Program

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • Sarah Palin took a food stance recently, by showing up with dozens of cookies at a school in Pennsylvania, to thwart the efforts of an edict from the local Board of Education against sugar in the classroom.  Problem is, the school was a private school and not a public school and the school was not in the midst of a ban, just some gentle prodding to reduce the presence of sweetened foods on campus somewhat.  This tone of encouragement is the sort of middle ground approved by those who do and don't want a nanny state; namely offering gentle hints and recommendations, rather than a full out ban.  So Palin's efforts looked a bit ridiculous in this particular scenario,

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    Glenn Beck has also been having an open season on the notion of government trying to control what we can't.  He spends a significant time on air suggesting that "choice architects of the Obama administration think you're incapable of controlling yourself or making healthy decisions." (They believe) "left to your own vices you're going to be a fatty....eat too much."  Well we are and we do ---aren't we and don't we???  Last time I looked, we are in the midst of the highest statistics of obesity and diabetes type 2 in our human history, and its not going away.  Though our intellect and basic nutrition knowledge clearly tells us that we are eating too much...of the wrong foods.....too often...we don't seem to be able to stop or to stop, lose weight and maintain that weight loss.  This is not meant as a criticism; it's simply a statement of fact. And yet many criticize the government for taking on a problem, namely obesity, and politicizing it.  Hence, the Let's Move platform of Micelle Obama has had its loud critics, despite the fact that she is trying to promote child health.  The problem, say some experts, is that you cannot get us slim without changing our very inherent culture of free-wheeling food, a 24 hour a day availability mentality that exists inside and outside the home.  And free choice is central to the American way. 


    During World War Two, the government successfully mounted a two-pronged approach to changing the American diet.  The incentive?  Rationing was necessary in order to provide food to the men fighting abroad.  So a campaign that provoked psychological modification techniques and nutritional educations was launched and the goal was to encourage eating patterns to change to showcase patriotism.  Since the end of the war, the government has released new nutritional guidelines every 5 years, but there are no longer patriotic stakes, and free will has become a championed cause.  Frankly, experts also realize that food has now also become an emotional tool, and the battle to change that behavior is extremely challenging.  The even bigger challenge is that we have become victims of our palates - we love the taste of soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies and soft, doughy donuts and burgers that drip with grease and mayo dressing and buckets filled with fried chicken.  How do you make even crisp delicious snap peas and crunchy carrots and sweet, tart strawberries compete with that???  Yes, we all possess the knowledge of what makes sense, health-wise to eat most of the time, and what should be delineated as a treat for special occasions.  Why we don't follow that formula is a whole separate discussion.


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    What do you think??


Published On: December 29, 2010