Michelle Obama: Gov’t Won’t Tell You What to Do Regarding Food, But…
Michelle Obama’s passion for healthy food is well-known to most Americans by this point. For the last several years, she has waged a ceaseless battle against the horrors of “food deserts” and childhood obesity by planting vegetables on the White House lawn, dancing with children at “Move Your Body” events, and chiding soldiers for their eating habits.
Now, the first lady has published a 271-page book on the topic, titled “American Grown.”
In the book, according to the Associated Press, Michelle “holds out the raised vegetable beds on the South Lawn as ‘an expression of [her] hopes’ for the nation’s children.”
“Just as each seed we plant has the potential to become something extraordinary, so does every child,” she says.
Amid a flurry of media appearances, Michelle is being asked whether there is any justification to Republican criticism of her childhood obesity campaign, that perhaps it is not government’s place to tell Americans what to feed their children. On Tuesday, she joined ABC’s Robin Roberts.
Roberts asked Obama about the criticism from some saying she’s trying to insert government into people’s food choices. Nodding as though she understands the concern, the First Lady responded:
…This isn’t about government telling people what to do. What we know we need to do is give parents, communities, families the tools and information they need to make choices that are right for them and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. … “Let’s Move!” is a way of giving people the tools and information and it really requires everybody to step up.
But perhaps a little disjointedly, she immediately switched to citing the way government can help by saying mayors should start “stepping up”:
We need our mayors stepping up, restructuring cities so that kids have safer places to play. We need our food manufacturers stepping up and really thinking about how to reformulate food products so that they are a little more healthy [and] affordable. We need big supermarkets to locate grocery stores in under-served communities. So, it’s a little bit of everything.
Watch her interview with ABC below (she discusses the government’s role around 2:40):
Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity efforts have contributed to the modification of the Olive Gardens and McDonald’s menus to include “kid-friendly,” low sodium options nationwide, and apple wedges and fewer french fries in every Happy Meal (whether it is asked for or not), respectively.
Back in February, a North Carolina student’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice, were sent home following an inspector’s determination that they were not healthy enough. Instead, she was given the school lunch of chicken nuggets.
The First Lady further stated that Americans would likely be seeing much more of her and the battle against childhood obesity in the coming months, as her husband’s presidential campaign continues to intensify.
“I’m going to be out there a lot…I love campaigning,” she said.
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