Michelle Obama kicked off her “Let’s Move” campaign to end childhood obesity today and she offered the frightening statistics that one in three children today are obese and this generation is on track to have a shorter life span than their parents. (Also, bizarre and frightening, obesity is now one of the most common dis-qualifiers for military service.) Obama cites two major lifestyle changes in the past twenty plus years – lack of physical activity and fast food being consumed too often – as the main culprits.
While childhood obesity needs to be addressed and I sincerely hope Mrs. Obama’s campaign has a positive effect on this disturbing trend, I wish she would have called out, by name, the worst offenders that are slowly killing not just our children, but everyone who Super Sizes.
Yes, it’s completely un-American to villify McDonald’s and Coke – but perhaps if the (self-titled) mother-in-chief of America told other mothers and fathers in no uncertain terms to keep the crap out of our kid’s mouths, maybe the message would be received as a positive for families versus a negative for the all-important American business model. How fantastic would it be if everyone suddenly refused to eat food that causes death and disease? Maybe more restaurants would follow Chipotle’s lead and stop cooking with tainted food and food products and use fresh, organic and local meat and vegetables if the first lady started outing the most heinous items on the value menu.
I realize Mrs. Obama would be lambasted if she told people to boycott Burger King; but processed, salty, fatty foods are the things that will kill kids and their parents. Change is hard, changing people’s shopping habits and dining habits are especially difficult. But if we can call out businesses that are profiting at the expense of our children and ourselves maybe we can turn fast food chains and soft drink companies with unhealthy practices into as big of a pariah as the tobacco companies. If Mrs. Obama could accomplish that during her husband’s term (or terms), she would be doing more to alleviate the health care crisis than all of those other people who receive our tax dollars to argue over the public option.