The White House shindig for Superbowl 45 featured a menu you might find at the average party for the "Big Game." In the beer department, Yuengling from Pennsylvania and Wisconsin's Hinterland Ales were representing the two teams fighting it out on the gridiron. Munchies included chips & dip, Buffalo wings, German potato salad, twice-baked potatoes, brats, kielbasa, cheeseburgers and of course (Chicago-style) deep-dish pizza.
Ironically enough as J-Lo and Marc Anthony were tailgating with the Obamas, eating all the delicious foods listed above, TV viewers were being force-fed a new PSA starring Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys.
Today the First Lady and her advisers launched a three-day campaign for her crusade. She will speak with school children in Georgia, meet with the National Restaurant Association with the intent of reducing the amount of fat, sugar and salt in the foods prepared in restaurants, and pop in to "Live with Regis and Kelly" on Wednesday. Mrs. Obama wants us all to be more active and also would like everything from menus to marketing changed in restaurants, saying;
"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."
The First Lady's motivation is easily understood when you see the statistics on obesity in America. But can we leave restaurants alone? Growing up in the late '60s, dining at restaurants was a rarity in our family. If we were going out to dinner, it was something special and usually included the opportunity to eat foods we typically would not get at home, especially in the dessert department. This was a genuine treat. If government "standards" are foisted upon the restaurant industry, that may all change and not for the better.
Good nutrition and the support for an active lifestyle are great ideas, but shouldn't that be a choice?