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Nutrition ad mentioning Obama daughters is criticized *

August 12, 2009 |  5:45 pm

ObamaAD Nutrition experts, child health advocates and politics have been colliding in recent days on the Internet as people debate an advertisement on the importance of healthy school lunches that mentions President Obama's daughters.

The ad, distributed by the pro-vegetarian-diet group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has a photo of a young girl and states "President Obama's daughters get healthy school lunches. Why don't I?"

The advertisement, posted around Washington, D.C., is designed to grab the attention of Congress regarding the re-authorization of the Child Nutrition Act. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine wants to see more fruits, vegetables and low-fat foods on school lunch menus, as well as more vegetarian meals.

But, according to a Washington Post story Tuesday, the White House objects to the mention of Obama's daughters and asked the group to take the posters down. The group refused.

Reaction is mixed. Many people say it's not fair to bring the president's daughters into the argument. "The children of the president are always off-limits," Frank Luntz, Republican political consultant, told the Post.

A blog post on Moms Fighting Fat says: "As a mother, and considering President Barack and Michelle Obama's daughters are so young, I think the ad could do without using their names. Children often feel the weight of the world on their shoulders and I can only imagine the guilt they'd feel knowing they are eating better than most of their peers. Not that they aren't aware of such a fact already, but having it publicized in such a manner may do more harm than good to them ... However, at the same time, maybe the ad will get the attention of not just President Obama but other officials in Washington which would force them to take action."

A post on Vegnews.com argues: "The ads were specifically designed to get the attention of the White House, and perhaps more nutritious veg meals for children will be a result."

Congress will take up work on the act after the August recess.

* An earlier version suggested that a blogger on Moms Fighting Fat thinks it's OK to fight dirty. She, in fact, doesn't.

-- Shari Roan

Photo credit: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

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