Junk Food, Obesity, And Our Children

irst Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Kids' State Dinner in the East Room of the White House, July 9, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy), courtesy of Let's Move website Letsmove.gov

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Kids’ State Dinner in the East Room of the White House, July 9, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy), courtesy of Let’s Move website Letsmove.gov

I finally got a chance to take a few minutes to read Michelle Obama’s NYT Op-Ed last May 28, 2014, entitled The Campaign for Junk Food.  In it, the first lady shared the progress being made by the initiative Let’s Move, which has the big hairy audacious goal of ending the epidemic of childhood obesity. They targeted school lunches. They worked to have more fresh food retailers in areas where there were no groceries.  Sounds simple and straightforward, right?  Well, no.

We all know how grossly ineffectual our Congress is to do anything remotely sensible or fair.  And when they get involved in our nation’s health promotion, most of us would just roll our eyes up, throw our hands in the air, and shake our heads. It is a guaranteed long, tedious, and frustrating battle.  Where have you ever heard a Congress declare that pizza sauce should count as a vegetable in school lunches?  Or, that the recommended Food Pyramid Guide had been redrawn to favor some food industries?  At least, the old odd pyramid has finally been replaced by a plate! now, and with more emphasis on plant-based foods.  Have you heard about Congress threatening to roll back the more reasonable and sensible standards they had previously set, and allow more sodium, less grains, more sugar?  I think the better question is, whose payroll are they on?  Big company lobbyists? The corn people (HFCS a.k.a. High Fructose Corn Syrup)? The chips and candy people?

Government officials, including First Lady Michelle Obama who was on-hand for its launch this morning, hope the new graphic will serve as a simple "how-to" for making food choices by providing a clear breakdown of what our plates should look like. It replaces the old Food Guide Pyramid, first launched in the early 1990s, then revamped in 2005. courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

Government officials, including First Lady Michelle Obama who was on-hand for its launch this morning, hope the new graphic will serve as a simple “how-to” for making food choices by providing a clear breakdown of what our plates should look like.
It replaces the old Food Guide Pyramid, first launched in the early 1990s, then revamped in 2005.
courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

There is also the debate on what food stamps can buy.  I had listened to a Forum session where Michael Krasny had a lively discussion on “Should Food Stamp Users Be Blocked From Buying Junk Food?”  I wanted to stand and applaud Michele Simon for taking a stand against big processed food corporations that are making a killing in the food stamp benefit business, all at the expense of low-income families.  But, I was driving, so I could not very well do that!  Opponents claim they don’t want to limit people’s choices as it might lead to more hunger. Really? So you stem hunger temporarily with lots of sugar, chemicals, salt, fat, paid for by taxpayers, by the way. And then, you make these same taxpayers pay for the obesity, hypertension, diabetes, to name a few, that these same consumers of these low-nutrition foods have developed after eating this garbage over the years?  That’s supposed to make sense?

I can only hope Mrs. Obama will continue carrying this torch beyond her term as First Lady. I wish she could galvanize more influential people to drum up even more support for this so we can all collectively drown out the naysayers, the libertarians who want to be left alone, and more importantly, the big industries who have most of the politicians in Congress in their payrolls.  Is that too much to ask? After all, as the song goes, “Tomorrow belongs to our children.”

This entry was posted in Childhood Obesity, Food, Health, junk Food, Let's Move, Nutrition and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Junk Food, Obesity, And Our Children

  1. Yup, i’m happy it’s a very big deals now!!!
    One of my 5 years old patiens got gastric bypass surgery because he got 68 weight with 120 cm height.
    fyi, a child who babysit by their grandparents are more tend to be obese

    Like

    • likeitiz says:

      Only five years old! Does your patient have Prader-Willi Syndrome or something? Yes, I have seen some correlation with your observation about grandparents. There is no pressure to discipline. Also, in that generation, the definition of a healthy child is a fat child!

      Like

      • nope, he just simply pamperred by his grandparents, his parents is also the only child of his grandparents too and unfortunately he comes from a very-very wealthy family,
        he is the center of the attention in the family, he pretty much got every single thing he wants
        they even feed him with more than 5 cups of ice cream and many more high calories food daily …

        Like

  2. Yep, yep! Many people don’t like to hear (or be told) the truth, especially when it’s about them and their poor habits. We need more advocates like her.

    Like

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