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Next, Michelle Obama's health reform plan for the nation's restaurant menus and families dining out

Democrat first lady Michelle Obama addresses National Restaurant Assn on suggested menu changes 9-13-10

First Lady Michelle Obama, who has been unable to convince the Smoker-in-Chief to give up that dreadful habit, now has some health suggestions for other American families and for restaurant menus across the country. The goal is to eat healthier, although that might hurt restaurant sales and cause disappointed children.

Obama, who has made combating childhood obesity and inactivity her favored causes, addressed the National Restaurant Assn. (See the text below, along with photos of her husband not eating arugula.) She, of course, has her own personal chef brought in from Chicago and took full parental responsibility for guiding her daughters' diets because parents are crucial habit-formers and role models, even in food choices.

But Obama would like to see more healthy choices for Americans dining out, even if it means a restaurant deleting a best-selling menu item.

The Democrat suggested that Americans are "programmed" by taste and advertising to eat many things that the government and health professionals know are not healthy for their bodies. So she wants to facilitate a nationwide re-programming of personal tastes by having restaurants start serving less of what customers ignorantly want and more of what they should have.

One idea Mrs. Obama had is to serve apple slices as the default side dish with, say, hamburgers, instead of French fries, which she confessed to liking.

Also she'd like less butter and cream in restaurant dinners, not enough to....

...ruin the flavor but enough to make them healthy. A difficult balance, millions have learned.

Her other suggestions: Substitute whole wheat pasta for white. Smaller portions (presumably for smaller prices). Less mac and cheese, chicken fingers and cheeseburgers on kids' menus. More carrots.

Mrs. Obama expressed concern that Americans are now spending more money on food purchased and/or eaten outside the home, which many in her audience of restaurant business owners likely think is a pretty good thing.

The first lady doesn't mind ordinary families eating out on special occasions. But, she claimed, restaurant efforts to reduce calories and fats have been insufficient. And too slow. "We just don't have the time to waste," Mrs. Obama added.

"As humans, we are programmed to crave sugary, fatty, salty foods," Mrs. Obama told the group.

"And as people who work to meet those needs, I know it’s tempting to respond by creating products that are sweeter, richer and saltier than ever before. But here’s the catch. See, feeding those cravings doesn't just respond to people’s natural desires, it actually helps shape them. The more of these foods people eat, the more they're accustomed to that taste, and after a while, those unhealthy foods become a permanent part of their eating habits."

She said she understood that healthy meals sell less, which is not a good thing for any business. But she said the problem of obesity is so great, it must be addressed urgently by all means.

She said it's also important to change these national eating habits because they end up costing billions in additional healthcare costs.

Grab some cauliflower and savor her full remarks below.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Democrat president Barack Obama preparing for a meal out

Remarks on restaurant menus by Michelle Obama, as provided by the White House

MRS. OBAMA:  Thanks so much. (Applause.) Well, good morning. Let me start by thanking Michael for his work and for that kind introduction.

And I want to also thank Dawn Sweeny and everyone at the National Restaurant Association for having me here. It is a pleasure for me to be with you all.

So today I’m going to talk about food, which is something that all of you here today know a little bit about.

Together, you represent 40 percent of the nearly one million restaurants in the United States, from the biggest chains to the smallest diners. You know what Americans like to eat and what they don’t. You’ve seen how the ingredients we put in our bodies affecDemocrat president Barack Obama eating chickent the way we feel and the way we feel about ourselves. And you also understand the unique role that food, and restaurants especially, play in our own lives and in the life of our nation.

Restaurants have always been places to celebrate a special occasion or mark an important milestone, to bond with new friends and grow closer as a family. They provide a service to our communities unlike any other. And even as tastes and customs have changed over time, restaurants remain an incredibly dynamic part of our American story.

And today, one out of every two dollars spent on food in this country goes towards meals outside the home -– and that’s double what it was just 50 years ago.

And one-third of all meals today are eaten in restaurants.
 
So it’s clear that eating out has become part of our American way of life.
Democrat president Barack Obama eating pancakes
And while restaurants are still places where we go to mark a special occasion -– to celebrate a good report card, an anniversary, a job well done –- restaurants aren’t just for those who can afford to splurge anymore.

Instead, they’ve grown to fit every lifestyle and every budget.

And our eating habits have evolved over time as well -– both in restaurants and at home -– but not always in ways that are good for our health.

And that’s another reason I wanted to talk to you today –- about an issue that is near and dear to my heart not just as First Lady, but as a mother -– and that is the epidemic of childhood obesity in America today.

Now, I know you’re all familiar with the statistics: how one in three children in this country is overweight or obese. And you know the consequences for their health –- from hypertension and diabetes to heart disease and even cancer.
Democrat president Barack Obama eating a cheesesteak
And I know you’re all aware of the economic impact: the billions of dollars we spend every year treating obesity-related conditions -– costs that you pay in the form of rising health insurance premiums.

So it’s clear that we’re facing a problem that is really big. And it’s also clear that this problem has a whole range of different causes.

Our kids are spending less time outside and more time on the couch in front of the TV, video games, the Internet. At school, gym classes, recess, they’ve been eliminated or shortened.  Portion sizes in this country have ballooned. 

In some areas, families are having a tougher time getting regular access to fresh produce. And kids these days are consuming more calories and eating more fat and sugar than ever before.

And that’s why, earlier this year, we launched “Let’s Move!” This is a nationwide campaign with a simple but ambitious goal: We want to solve the problem of childhood obesity in a generation, so that kids born today can reach adulthood at a healthy weight.
Democrat president Barack Obama Eats some Kringle in Wisconsin
And “Let’s Move!” is about attacking this problem from all different angles. It’s about giving parents the information and the resources they need to make healthy decisions for their families.

It’s about giving grocery stores -- helping them to locate in underserved areas, so that every community has access to fresh and nutritious food. It’s about getting healthier food into our schools. It’s about helping our kids become more active, not just in school but at home.

But here’s the thing. Even if we give parents all the information they need and we improve school meals and build brand new supermarkets on every corner, none of that matters if when families step into a restaurant, they can’t make a healthy choice.
Democrat president Barack Obama eating a hotdog in front of his wife
And the truth is that while restaurants are offering more options and families take advantage of them more often, they aren’t always the healthiest choices.

Research has shown that kids consume more saturated fat and less fiber and calcium when they eat out. And the meals they eat at restaurants have twice as many calories as the ones they eat at home.

Now, as parents we know that many of our kids aren’t as healthy and active as they should be. And we desperately want to do things differently. But when stores and restaurants don't offer healthy options, or when parents don't have the information to make the best choices for their families, that's easier said than done.

And as America’s restaurant owners, you’re responsible for one-third of the calories our kids get on a daily basis. The choices you make determine what’s listed on the menus, what’s advertised on billboards, and what’s served on our plates.

And your decisions about how a dish is prepared, what goes into it and where is it placed on the menu, that can have a real impact on the way people eat.

And that's why we need your help. And we need your help now, because when you see research showinDemocrat president Barack Obama eating waffles at a restaurantg that obese toddlers already display some warning signs for heart disease, it’s clear that we just don't have the time to waste.

And that's why I’ve been so pleased to hear about what some of you are doing already both in working with us and on your own.
 
Here at the NRA, you’ve developed the Food and Healthy Living Initiative to give restaurants a strong foundation for making healthy changes. You’ve launched a website, Healthydiningfinder.com, to help consumers identify healthy menu options in their area.

You're keeping your members up to date with the latest information and statistics about efforts to address childhood obesity. And you’re working with other groups in the industry to meet the goal of doubling the amount of produce used in the food industry over the next 10 years.

And across the country, individual restaurants and chains are also focusing on our children’s health -- not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it also makes sense for their bottom line.

Right now, many restaurants are making a point to offer fresh produce and healthy choices aimed at kids and adults.  Others are serving more low-fat dishes, whole grain breads, fruit on the side. Some are even offering kid-size portions of the meals they serve on the main menu. And chefs across the country are partnering with local schools to help them make healthy choices.
Democrat president Barack Obama downs some fried chicken
But as positive as these examples are, the reality is it’s just not enough. Together we have to do more. We have to go further. And we need your help to lead this effort.

Now, what I do know is that in the restaurant industry creativity is your lifeblood. It’s what sets you apart from the competition, and it keeps customers coming back for more.

And today I am asking you to use that creativity to rethink the food you offer, especially dishes aimed at young people, and to help us make the healthier choice the easier choice.

First, it’s important to reduce the number of empty calories that our families are consuming, calories that have no nutritional benefit whatsoever. And believe me, I know this is easier said than done.

After all, we as humans, we are programmed to crave sugary, fatty, salty foods. And as people who work to meet those needs, I know it’s tempting to respond by creating products that are sweeter, richer and saltier than ever before.

But here’s the catch. See, feeding those cravings does just respond to people’s natural desires, it actually helps shape them. The more of these foods people eat, the more they're accustomed to that taste, and after a while, those unhealthy foods become a permanent part of their eating habits.
 
But here’s the good news: It can work the other way around just as easily. Just as we can shape our children’s preferences for high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, with a little persistence and creativity we can also turn them on to higher quality, healthier foods.

It starts with offering healthier options designed specifically for kids. And today, no matter what kind of restaurant you visit -- whether it’s Italian, French, Mexican, American -- most kids’ menus look pretty much the same. And trust me, we’ve seen a lot of them.

One local survey found that 90 percent of those menus includes mac and cheese -- our childrenDemocrat president Barack Obama shares syrup covered shaved ice with his daughters’s favorite; 80 percent includes chicken fingers; 60 includes burgers or cheeseburgers.

Some options weigh in at over 1,000 calories, and that’s close to the recommended amount that a child should have for the entire day. And I think -- and I know you all think -- that our kids deserve better than that.

That’s why I want to challenge every restaurant to offer healthy menu options and then provide them up front so that parents don’t have to hunt around and read the small print to find an appropriately sized portion that doesn’t contain levels -- high levels of fat, salt and sugar.
 
These choices have to be easy to make and they have to give parents the confidence to know that they can go into any restaurant in this country and choose a genuinely healthy meal for their kids.

Now, again, I know it’s easier said than done. It’s not easy to come up with choices that are both healthy and palatable for kids. And it may mean putting in some real effort and creativity to make this happen.

But what it doesn’t mean is providing just one token healthy option on the menu, or taking out one problematic ingredient and replacing it with another. And it is not about finding creative ways to market unhealthy food products as healthy.
Democrat president Barack Obama downs some pizza
Instead, it’s about producing products that actually are healthy; products that can help our children get into the habits that will last them a lifetime.
 
This philosophy also needs to apply to the rest of the food that you offer, because just as we eat out as a family, we also should be able to eat well as a family.

And as a mother of two soon-to-be teenagers, I know that many kids, especially tweens and teens, eat off the same menu that their parents do.

I'm not asking any of you to make drastic changes to every single one of your recipes or to totally change the way you do business. But what I am asking is that you consider reformulating your menu in pragmatic and incremental ways to create healthier versions of the foods that we all love.

That could mean substituting wheat pasta for white pasta in your regular recipes, or taking out an existing -- taking an existing dish and cutting the amount of butter or cream -- not enough to sacrifice flavor -- we all like flavor -- but just enough to make a meaningful difference in the amount of calories and fat.
Democrats  Barack Obama and Joe Biden eating cheeseburgers
It could mean serving 1 percent or skim milk. Or you could make healthy sides like apple slices or carrots the default choice in a menu and make fries something customers have to request -- which would hurt me deeply. (Laughter.) I'm a fry lover.
 
And no matter what you do, it’s also important, truly important, to keep portion sizes in check, because we all know that the size of a meal is just as important as the ingredients it’s made of.

But your role in helping address childhood obesity isn’t limited to what you put on your menus and how you label them for parents. It’s also about how you market those products to our kids.

Our kids don’t learn about the latest fast-food creations on their own. They hear about them on TV, advertisements, in the Internet, video games, and many other places. And as any parent knows, this marketing is highly effective.

As a mom, I know it is my responsibility, and no one else’s, to raise my kids. But we have to ask ourselves, what does it mean when so many parents are finding their best efforts undermined by an avalanche of advertisements aimed at our kids.

A study last year found that only a small percentage of advertising aimed at kids promoted healthy foods, while most promoted foods with a low nutritional value. And let’s be clear: It’s not enough just to limit ads for foods that aren’t healthy.   It’s also going to be critical to increase marketing for foods that are healthy.

And if there’s anyone who can sell healthy food to our kids, it’s all of you, because you know what gets their attention.  You know what makes a lasting impression.  You certainly know what gets them to drive their poor parents crazy because they just have to have something.
 
So I'm here today to ask you to use that knowledge and that power to our kids’ advantage. I'm asking you to actively promote healthy foods and healthy habits to our kids.

Again, I know many of you have said that you would offer and promote healthy options in a hearDemocrat president Barack Obama downs another sandwichtbeat if they were as popular as the healthy -- unhealthy options, because that’s how business works, and I understand that.

But I’ve yet to meet a single parent who doesn’t understand the threat of childhood obesity. I’ve yet to meet a single parent who’s not eager to buy healthier products. They just need more information. They need easier access to those products.

And I’ve heard from more companies over the year that the market is starting to move in a healthier direction. Folks are beginning to ask for more fruits and vegetables and for smaller portions. So when it comes right down to it, this is also about protecting your bottom lines and meeting the demands of your customers -- customers who I know you want to keep coming back again and again.

That’s why we’re committed to helping increase that demand and making it easier for you to do what’s right. And we’ve started by requiring chain restaurants to provide calorie counts on their menus and menu boards. And I am grateful for the support we’ve received from the NRA to get this done. And I want to encourage restaurants that aren’t providing calorie counts to join us in this effort.

And because so many of the calories our kids consume come from school, we’re also working to get more nutritious food into our lunchrooms and our vending machines. And, again, the NRA has been playing an important role in these efforts as well.

As part of “Let’s Move,” we’re setting a goal of doubling the number of schools that participate in the Healthier US Schools Challenge by next year. And we’re working with schools and food suppliers to offer more fruits and vegetables and to cut down on that fat, sugar and salt.
And, finally, we’re working with mayorDemocrat president Barack Obama enjoys a healthy Beers and other local officials to make our cities and towns healthier and to highlight restaurants that agree to serve smaller portions and promote more nutritious options.

So I hope that all of you will join with us in these efforts. Together, we can help make sure that every family that walks into a restaurant can make an easy, healthy choice.

We can make a commitment to promote vegetables and fruits and whole grains on every part of every menu. We can make portion sizes smaller and emphasize quality over quantity. And we can help create a culture -- imagine this -- where our kids ask for healthy options instead of resisting them.

See, after all, that’s one of the core ideals this industry was founded on. I recently learned that the term “restaurant” actually comes from the French word for “restore.”  And when the idea of the restaurant business spread across the ocean, some of the first true restaurants in this country emphasized their ability to make people healthier and to cure what ailed them.

So today, you are all the heirs to that legacy. And you face a similar opportunity both as business owners -- but also as parents, not just to fulfill your obligations to shareholders, but to fulfill the obligation we all have to the next generation.

So I hope that each of you will do your part to give our kids the future that we all know they deserve. And I want to truly thank you for what you have done, because you have done so much, and for what you’re going to do.

I look forward to working with you all in the months and years ahead. Good luck to you all and God bless you and your families. Take care. Thank you. (Applause.)    ####

Photos: J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press (Michelle Obama speaking to restaurant owners); Charles Dharapak / Associated Press (napkin, chicken wings, pancakes); CBS News (Philly cheesesteak); Getty Images (eating kringle in Wisconsin); Associated Press (hot dog, waffles, fried chicken, shaved ice, pizza); Charles Dharapak / Associated Press (cheeseburgers with Joe Biden); Associated Press (sandwich, beer).  

 
Comments () | Archives (784)

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It's comical to hear people talk about nutrition when they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Salt is not the enemy. Fats are NOT the enemy. Grains (no matter what type), processed carbohydrates, and sugar are the enemies. Cut out the grains and sugar and replace them with proteins, fats, vegetables, SOME fruit, and nuts & seeds and you would immediately erradicate a majority of obesity and diabetes in this country.

What is it with these Libs and their need to run my and everyone else's lives? I want them out of my home, my job, my menus and most importantly my and my family's lives. They do not know better than I do what is and isn't good for me and mine. If you are too stupid to know these things or even try to figure it out, you should never get married or have children for somebody else to have to take care of. ENOUGH ALREADY!

Moreover, who in the hell elected her food NAZI anyways? Why doesn't she start at home with the hubby and all of his bad habits?

Are you actually expecting us to believe Obama quit smoking? Are you actually expecting us to stand and cheer when Queen ME-Chelle tells us what we can and can't eat? There is no place for government in our eating habits - why dont the Obamas focus on the economic depression here. Maybe the Obamas can go vacation or throw more parties while the rest of us stay broke, unemployed, or on the battlefield.

this is madness! forget the fact that washington has no business regulating menu choices-her logic is simply wrong! limit butter and creams?! these are staples of french cuisine and michelle o. would be considered morbidly obese in france! what they do NOT have in many european countries is gmo crops/food-but let's not talk about REAL problems-esp. since the o no bamas more than likely get some form of "compensation" from Monsanto et. al. this woman and her "husband" are actually worse than marie antoinette@ the king-they at least let use eat cake! the hypocrisy of this anti-smoking smoker and this vile obese "healthy" "woman" is beyond belief.....

Michell should take her fat butt and butt out of our lives. No one elected HER!

Michelle should take her fat butt and butt out of our lives. No one elected HER!

Is this lady serious? "Less of what they want and more of what they should have (according to her)". That has been the theme of the (un)democratic party for the past two years. Hence the reason why they won't be in power too much longer.

She is a pathetic socialist who advocates destructive measures for our country.

Here's an idea for Michee Obama.....get OUT of OUR LIVES! Since when do we, as a free people, allow the president's wife to tell us how & what to eat? We don't need her telling us how to feed our kids either, much less ourselves. Your husband smokes and you wolf down lobster like it's going out of style (wonder if u enjoy all that with some melted butter??)....YOU lead by example and leave the rest of us alone!

MYOB! That will keep you occupied and you can stand the introspection.

LET THOSE WITHOUT GUILT CAST THE FIRST STONE.

If I remember correctly when your husband was running for President, you almost knocked him off his chair reaching over him to grab your plate of pancakes and syrup.

How do you have the nerve to tell me or anyone else how and what to eat??? Who died and left you First Lady of the food police.

Give me a break, if it wasn't for some of the cheap fast food items, because of your husbands policies causing so many millions of jobs to be lost and so many out of work, some families would starve on top of the job loss.

I think for now while this country is falling further and further into becoming a third world country you might want to shut the crap up and mind your own business................Please

Why the hell doesn't she get her own house in order (the president's eating and smoking habits, for example) before arrogantly telling us how to live.

Ms Obama, whose arms are thicker than my legs, wants us Americans to eat more healthy? Keep eating your lobster while on your vacations, but please look in the mirror before making such idiotic comments.

If she wants people to be healthy why don't she start at home by letting Barrack quit smoking.

Can you say hypocrites? They can eat whatever they want and smoke but Boehner and the rest of us can't.

How about shutting the hell up? That would be good.


The O'bama's are such hypocrites. Please just stay the H____ out of my life. You want to eat health, go right ahead, that is your right. If I do not, then that is my right.

Hey Michelle, stay out of our restaurants and quit telling me what to eat. And they call us conservatives the fascists! I can't wait until November. Let's neuter these people to the best of our ability, and then in 2012 this nightmare will finally come to an end. These people want to spend my money for me, take away my ability to see my doctor when I need to, and now I'm being told I can't enjoy a good meal at a restaurant? While they gorge themselves on lobster and Kobe beef at the WH, mind you. Simply unbelievable. This is what happens when people who can't think of anything beyond who won at the MTV Awards are allowed to vote, we get stuck in this mess.

Who is she to lecture us when everytime we see her she has an ice cream cone. She needs to stay out of parents business and quit trying to run other peoples lives.

"The first lady doesn't mind . . . . " Well I don't care if she minds or not. It's just flat out none of her business what, where and how often I eat. Am I her royal subject? She is the wife of an ELECTED official, and she has not been crowned.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Michelle Obama!
Stay out of my life!

Google Paleo Diet... eat good fats, grass fed meats, veggies and avoid all grains, legumes, processed foods and sugar. Exercise lightly and frequently, lift heavy things, and check out Tabatas... The End

Michelle Obama should take her own advice and lose the 30 pounds that are sitting on her buttock...

Hey Michelle, start your War on Obesity with your family ok? We'll make our own decisions, thank you. Now go away. Far far away.

I can raiswe my own childern with out her help. And I feed them without her help so take care of your kids and I will raise and feed them myself.

She should focus on herself and stop trying to control other peoples' lives.

Are we done with this experiment yet?

TELL THAT WOMAN TO TURN AROUND AND LOOK AT HER OWN BUTT IN THE MIRROR BEFORE SHE LOOKS AT MINE!

And why is it, exactly, that Mrs. Obama thinks Americans care about her prattling on about food?

Perhaps she can offer some handy job-hunting tips or something.

No one named Obama is qualified or competent to comment on anything...

Big Mama needs to do something about her Buick Roadmaster butt before she preaches to everyone else about their diet.

Leave our food alone MO! Encourage healthy activities and exercise. Most of the foods she is targeting are not necessarily unhealthy if a person also get the exercise they need. With the loyalty that the Obama's get from the poor oppressed welfare recipients ( who want to have everything paid for), they should be able to get these people off of their couches and getting themselves some exercise, losing billions of pound of collective fat, and help them become productive citizens who can help others through their charity and personal experiences. Leave my diet choices up to me. If I think someplace serves unhealthy food, I will go elsewhere.

Hey Michelle,

What we eat is none of your damn business. You were not elected so shut up! Not that we listen to the usurper in chief anyway.

How this, if you want to act Presidential, teach your husband how to properly hold a fork. See pic above! That should keep you busy for the rest of his term!


We are not a Communist country.
Stop telling me what to eat, how, when and where. She should mind her own business

I don't really want the First Lady telling me how much salt to use on my food. Threre is sufficient information available on how much salt or fat or carbohydrates we should have in our diets, much of it contradictory.

She'd be much better off concentrating on getting a NATIONAL VOUCHER PROGRAM for the inner city schools.

Question for other readers out there: When I watch day time television, prime time TV, and children's programming, I notice a that TV commercials showing healthy foods (Mott's, Kashi, Wheat Thins, etc.) are more likely to feature mostly white actors. Those commercials that advertise unhealthy foods (sugary cereals, High C, McDonalds) have the more diverse casting. Could advertising companies "know" that "only white people" buy "healthy products"? Or are my observations incorrect?

Our first lady is doing a good thing, so was NYC mayor Bloomburg. Keep on.

I wonder if she was as observant of her own diet when she and her 70 companions feasted & gorged on a taxpayer funded trip to Spain

"The first lady doesn't mind ordinary families eating out on special occasions. "

How generous of her. Too bad she couldn't take that sentiment a little further and allow us ordinary folk to eat what she eats. Or drive what she drives. Or consume as much electricity. I guess us little people must learn to make do with less in order to preserve resources for our betters.

Really? This woman is at least 30 lbs. overweight. She is taller, wider and heavier than he is. President Obama smokes. Every 5 minutes they are stuffing their faces with ice cream, hamburgers and lobster. I have never seen her working out. She needs to close her mouth and stop eating all of the time and also stop telling the American peple anything.

The shots of President Obamalamadingdong are a hoot!

The boy sure knows how to stuff his face.

Just remember kiddies.....after you eat your fresh veggies, go get daddy a cheese steak and bring his smokes!

Thanks!

We all thank Mrs Obama for her suggestions on the way Americans should eat, including when, how much what type of food and the additives we use or do not use. One day our collective Liberal minds will embrace a full agenda of the wisdom of the Obama's in regards, to not only food but hopefully: When and how we make love, sleep, eat, wash, drive our cars (electric only), how we vote and of coarse our bathroom habits. You will in the near future have complete control over our Govt. run health program. Thank you, O great ones !!!!

This has nothing to do with eating poorly as it has as much as once again trying to destroy the free market. They went after, big tabacco, big drug, big bank, big car, big insurance, now big restaurant and big food. Whose going to want to go out and eat if they force the restaurants to cook the food to taste like crap. Butters, salt, and sugars are what enhances a food's flavor.

And Michelle before you comment on someone elses's poor habits, look back in the mirror, you seem youreslf to have a extra bit of junk in the trunk.

She and President Obamalamadingdong need to just Shut Up.

So, after eating all that lobster and shrimp on vacation, mrs Obama is going to tell us what to eat? Hypocrite.

Question: How many of these circus clowns can you get packed into a clown car?

Answer: Only one if it is Michelle Obama

Yes, let's set up a new government agency that can deal with the restaurant industry or, better yet, expand on the FDA. Restaurants can be given acceptable menu combinations and contents, regulate standards and develop a screening and enforcement system run through the IRS to raise revenue and increase employment. Now that the gov. is involved in your healthcare, we can't have people eating whatever they want. If we regulate this it will reduce healthcare costs, pay down the deficit and help counteract the terrible policies of the last administration. If you are against this you obviously don't care about this country and you're probably a racist. Who cares if it affects the restaurant industry, they're all a bunch of "fat" cats who make too much money - you know, like big oil... big restaurant. Think of the children!

At the rate that her husband is going, there won't be any unhealthy food left for the rest of us soon, anyway.

 
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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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