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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,, 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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Stop telling me what to eat, how, when and where. She should mind her own business

I fail to see where Mrs. Obama has the qualifications, let alone the personal experience, to make suggestions as to 'healthy menus', let alone mandate or lecture. True leaders lead by example. Sadly, the examples we have seen in this family have been, shall we say, marginal.


It is inevitable for the Statist to control the choices of free men to engineer a uptopian society. They know that once they socialize the costs of our collective health, they mush also control the individual decisions that effect the collective.

Here's an idea! Why dont we all eat, smoke and drink whatever the Hell we want and we will do so without asking for any of the costs of those decisions to be bourne by the State? Fair? I think so.

Now, go try convincing the millions who are bound to Uncle Sam's plantation for a place to live and something to eat to agree to such freedoms and that freedom come with the costs of living with the consequences of those choices!

2 more years people! 2 more years to turn back the Obama debacle!

Hey Lady! Get out of my kitchen! Why don't you do something useful - like helping your husband create some real jobs for the LEGAL CITIZENS of our beloved USA? I've had it with you 'PHONIES' and 'IMPOSTERS'!

How on earth did the human race survive before MO came along to tell us how we should eat.
I can eat and live my life MY way. It is non of her worship's friggin business.

ME-Chelle, go back to your fake painting photo-op for your Marxist 'day of service'. Good Lord, who paints with bright orange while wearing a shirt that costs several hundred dollars and not even covering it with a smock? What an elitist snob.
Your desire to get into the salt has nothing to do with good intentions. It has everything to do with getting government control over the foodservice industry so that SEIU can unionize them.

This is an interesting article. She and her husband eats what they want but tells me I can't do the same. Its like eat what I say, not what I eat. I read an earlier comment with the word caviar on her diet. Caviar is heavily loaded in SALT, but she don't want you and me to know that. Whats next, salt police in the restaurants checking to see if you brought your own salt because it's no longer on the menu. Our little winy baby needs a life outside of mine. I spend most my time ignoring them and doing everything in my life opposite of what they say and its been working out really well. I encouraging everyone reading this to start doing the same

Freedom - Remember?

I agree too much salt is not healthy and restraint for individuals and awarenees and moderation should be the course of action of parents, however how will needed iodine be distributed to the masses. I would think thiroid issues with our youth would be more concerning to our nations health experts than too much salt. Also, by the way, there is not iodine in sea salt.

Thanks, Mish, but I can take care of my own diet and my kids'. If I need any help I'll call. When the phone doesn't ring, you'll know it's me. Geez, woman, what's next? Telling us what books to read? A mandatory exercise video? Whyncha get hubby to quit smoking? That would set a good example for a lot of folks.

Michelle Obama is so important. You can see it just by looking at her.

I'm unemployed, as are millions in this country and these imbeciles want to control my salt intake when I go out to dinner. Somebody tell Marie Antoinette that thanks to her husband's policies most Americans can't afford to eat out!

Geez. Realize nutrition differs for EVERYONE Ms. Obama. I'm 6ft3 and have a 33 inch waist and it is perfectly fine for me to eat 2 Giant Hardees Thickburgers and wash them down with an order of fries. I burn that right off.

That is why Choice is the only option. There is no one size fits all solution. In fact, when I DON'T eat heavy salt foods once a week or so my body lacks the proper amount due to all the water I drink.

Is this the best you can do, Michelle? With myriad problems in this country, you go after what we eat? We've seen the receipts from your own food orgies. I hope you very soon leave the public forum. Your behavior has been a disgrace to the office of First Lady.

When you go from being 4 axe-handles wide across the beam, to, let's say 2....then I'll listen to you, you phoney broad.

Dear Andy, How about you and Michelle mind your own business.

Do me a favor - don't do me no favors.

I think Mrs. Obamas' message is the right one, unfortunately, being married to a fried food-eating, chain-smoking Urkel gives her no credibility. She should go about saying things like, "please don't eat and smoke like my husband", but that wouldn't go off very well in democrat political circles, would it? about a war on that back side Michelle? Put down the lobster and pick up a copy of "Buns of Steel".

Have her better get her hubby off the smoke...

Salt is only a problem if you have high blood pressure or other ailments related to salt. if your body can process it its no big deal. why doesn't the first lady focus on the the cigarettes her husband smokes every day!!

The first lady doesn't "mind" if families eat out? Well, how nice of her. It's interesting to note that she also doesn't "mind" if these changes she's pushing for make restaurants lose sales or take items off that are best sellers. Like we needed any more proof of the Obamas' socialist tendencies? Hey, Michelle - why don't you worry about what YOU eat (and that husband of yours, who's obviously not "minding" you), and let us worry about what we eat. And how about letting the restaurants offer what sells - supply and demand - and butt out of that? If this is truly a cause you believe in (hard to tell from looking at you), then why not educate people about food choices? Oh, that's right, it's already being done, and that won't help you take over and control the restaurant industry, will it? Sheeesh, 2012 can't come soon enough!

I am a cardiologist, with 40 years experience. Recent data indicates that there is no danger to a high fat diet. In fact, it may be better than the alternative. As to salt, that is an issue only if you are a small proportion of the population porone to problems, otherwise it is safe.

Our concept of what is healthy eating is all wrong.

If you support Obama and his Regime, you support a Statist authoritarian who is an empty suit who speaks in platitudes who is beholden to the oligarchical collectivists and banking cabals. You are against freedom, liberty and our constitutional republic and the notion that all of our rights are inborn and are given by our creator. Some autocrat in Washington does not grant rights - the constitution simply enumerates them for added protection. The constitution also limits the Powers of the Federal Government yet an expansionist authoritarian view is used in modern times contrary to what Madison had intended. If you support Obama you support the biggest threat to our free will in our history, and when the last bastion of freedom in the USA falls, there is nowhere else to go.

The economy is in shamble and unemployment is double-digit and this woman is declaring SALT? Is this the best thing she can do? We are pretty lucky she wasn't born and her husband not in power during the spice trade era, otherwise our seafaring

And once these people make burgers and fries illegal, MS13, the Crips and Bloods will start selling it on the street. So, where have we seen this before? Prohibition? Drug war?
We need liberty for all!!!!

No salt allowed in the WH and let us see what happens.

Stay OUT of my kitchen Michelle!! I am 5'4inches, 122lb., 49 yr.old white female - if my Rump were as big as your Buttie I might take your advise, but it isn't so bug off!

I don't want the government telling me what to eat or what to feed my children. And I certainly don't want unelected government personalities telling me anything. So go home, take care of your family, and leave me alone.

Why don't you SHUT UP, Marie Antoinette!!! You are such a hypocrite as you eat more and more lobster, everywhere you go, which, BY THE FREAKIN WAY MORON, raises your cholesterol level, but since you and your pathetic husband dine out, on taxpayer dollars and visit more and more countries on our hard earned taxpayer dollars and KEEP EATING LOBSTER EVERY TIME YOU GET TO ANOTHER COUNTRY, YOUR CHOLESTEROL LEVEL IS GOING UP IDIOT! STHU Marie Antoinette Obama!!!!

I actually think for myself! I know! That is something this administration doesn't believe I can do! PLEASE! Let me alone!!!

Can't somebody muzzle this woman. Didn't like her during the campaign, like her less now. She should keep her nose out of other peoples business. Go on vacation again, and stay longer. Like till 2012 when you get kicked out of the White house.

What is it the abortionists love to chant? My body, my choice!!

Dear Marxist,
Save it--no one is listening, you hypocrite!
Some fine example you are.
Pssstttt---we can taste November from McDonalds----
Up-size it.

@SleepyzZ wrote: "Stay out of our bedrooms and stay out of our kitchens."

Spoken like a TRUE hypocrite!

Yet, Repubs such as yourself want to execute gay couples; outlaw abortion; and take away sex-ed and condom distribution in our schools .... how about YOU HYPRCOCRITES stay out of our bedrooms, eh?

She needs to go away and stop telling people what they should eat. But, as the elitist person that she is, she feels compelled to tell us small people how to live our lives. This current government is invading our lives like no other and it is all "do as I say, not as I do" hypocrisy. I welcome January 2013 when the trucks load this crew up and haul them out of town.

I eat healthy because I choose to, not because the government wants me to. We still have some freedoms in this country, but not for long.. If the government tries to force me to do anything, I'll just do the oppisite. Live Free or Die..

(I can't stand BO)

Although it's not setting a good example, we don't see what BO eats when he's not on the road. He has an image to keep as being a "common man." That's why he's always seen eating downhome cooking.

Why won't these two just shut up already?

Ah Michelle, my belle. Remember when you thought you'd be doing really incredible stuff as the first lady, drafting policy and effecting change? That's funny, cause now they have you doing silly little symbolic stuff, you know, stuff to make the 'little lady' feel important.

(Sitting down with a can of lard, a container of salt, some chicken, chocolate, bacon, cheese curds and gobs of butter & potatoes.) Michelle Obama keep your nose out of my choices. Take your Meal Dictatorship to Russia. This is America. I will do exactly what I please. It's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Take your obsession and stuff it around your own huge hips.

Iodine: How else are we going to get it (if they ban salt)... It's hard to get this important dietary mineral from ordinary food sources (oh, I forgot that michelle "O'besity" eats lobster every other day). Why do you think the Gov't mandated that Iodized salt be sold to the public back in the 1940's?

Here comes an epidemic of goiters and more obesity problems (from slow metabolisms).

This is scary stuff. Apparently, Americans are too dumb to realize that if we only eat fatty, sugary, and salty foods that we will be unhealthy. Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

This is why I can't be a liberal - the elites are convinced that we are too ignorant or too stupid to make our own choices about everything from our diets to our healthcare. Leave me alone. If I want to kill myself by eating only McDonald's then that is my choice. Nature has a way of working these things out via natural selection.

I like this quote the best:
"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."
It kind of reminds me of the quote from Henry Ford about choice of paint colors for his Model-T "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black".
You can have free choice as long as the government gets to choose for you. Despicable!

Two things came to mind while reading this:
1) there are groups of people who tend to be obese more than others. ie: the American Indian, & Mexicans for instance. I believe that is in part due to heredity (who can overcome that?) and income. Poorer people eat poorer foods. A bean burrito, for instance is more filling than an apple and less expensive. For the cost of two apples, I can purchase a bag of tortillas and feed my family.
2)This summer I took my grandkids to a restaurant and ordered healthier food for them and they didn't eat it. Unlike our 1st lady whose budget is limited only by how much tax we citizens pay, I cannot afford to throw away dinners to "teach them a lesson". I am the one who pays for this.
Restaurants serve what the people want. That is how private enterprise works. I am troubled that her motivation is to cut back on healthcare expenses. Does that mean weight related illness won't be treated under Obamacare?
Just asking.

If popular economic policy had not allowed megafarms, then more people would be eating locally-grown food, meaning less preservatives and thus healthier eating.

The other ingredient is time -- most people today have far less of it, especially with both parents working. It's feast or famine, so to speak; the unemployed have too much time on their hands, and the employed too little.

Whether you do a low carb diet or not table salt is deadly and it is hidden within the flavor of the food. (Not good for people with high blood pressure which causes strokes). You can tell you're eating a high fat food whereas sodium counts in prepared food can be undetected. (Just look at the sodium content of frozen prepared foods - just one serving is in the 1000's) Try not to eat pure table salt for a week or two (instead use sea salt or substitute) and then try to eat out at a restraunt. Your former high tolerance for salt will amaze you.

Ultimately, some people do better on low carb, some do better on a so-called "healthy-carb", which is essentially what she's proposing here.

Problem is, based on the evidence we have, there's more people who do better with less carbs, generally speaking. Some people do fine with what she's proposing, and it's pretty healthy (or healthiER) for them, but most need more meat, more butter (grass fed butter, BTW), eggs, and so on. In moderation of course.

The government is going to tend to put forth proposals that are going attempt to benefit the greatest number of people, in this case, people who can't probably afford to eat the things they probably should.

The concept of the Metabolic Typing Diet -- the idea that not all people are the same -- that some can eat more of this, others can't -- this is lost, because they'd be then promoting a diet that is not sustainable, because a lot of folks can't afford it.


What Michelle is doing, unfortunately, isn't going to stop childhood obesity. It might make a very, very small dent, but it won't stop it. What we need, overall, is more butter, more eggs, more meat, more veggies. Less fructose and high fructose corn syrup, less trans fats, less "low-fat" items, the legalization and regulation of "real", unpasteurized milk, and perhaps a locavore concept that connects poor people with farmers and perhaps volunteer opportunities that could hook them up with real food.

Obesity is a disease of poverty, period. And we all know that America is Joe Bidended in that sense. It's a tough thing, but Michelle is definitely doing some things right, although she misses mark in some other ways too.

First things first -- stop HFCS. Stop trans-fats, stop refined flours. No one needs those things. Then, legalize real milk (unpasteurized). Of course, no one could afford it. It just doesn't work. There is no flow chart.

Obesity is a disease of poverty, and we've got plenty of that here in the states. End the poverty, so people can afford the things they need to be healthy. Stop demonizing alternative medicine and vitamins.

What she's doing in a sense might be good, but she can't go further than discouraging trans fats, HFCS, and refined flour products (which tend to have vitamins in them, which is all about poverty and combating hunger).

The problem is not obesity, the problem is poverty. And people who can afford it should spend money on real food because the money they will save in health care costs is astronomical.

Obesity is a disease of poverty, period. Either involuntary or self-induced by refusal to buy real food.

Why isn't a pictures of Obama smoking displayed?
A little salt intake has a small effect compared to chain smoking like our President.

Will the Obama's ever just Shut up and mind their own business?

Elections don't have consequences...electing liberals has consequences.

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About the Columnist
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.
President Obama
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