A Nutrition Lesson for Michelle Obama.

Big America!
Big America!

Nice try

The first lady, Michelle Obama, chose to be known for the national issue of childhood obesity, and basically intending to battle the nation's obesity epidemic. When I first learned about Michelle Obama's efforts, and the bill that was passed (see below), to change the eating habits and foods of kids in the United States, I slumped over in my chair and shook my head. I began thinking where I had heard this tune before. Blah, blah, blah. Yes, we've been making the effort to do something about obesity for years- the same years in which the rate has been climbing. Same tune, different face, more publicity. It's like five different remakes on a song that wasn't good to begin with- pure torture!

The Bill: Technically called the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, the bill reauthorizes the federal nutrition program, a $4.5-billion measure that expands free school meals, making them healthier as well. I'm all for feeding hungry kids, and even that's a better issue than feeding kids who need to eat less.She explains she does not tackle other school issues such as newer or enough textbooks or more money for school programs. She righteously points out that if kids are not well fed, no text book will help or they will not be involved in and thrive in school programs. So she doesn't like the trickle down effect- what Democrat does? But when they get "well fed" where are the textbooks and programs such as music and P.E? There's still those problems.

Not to get off topic and head into the direction of the sad state of schools in our nation...How about spending $4.5 billion on correcting our food quality in general so that it effects all meals, not just school meals? How about bribing the food makers of the most popular brands, or the FDA with $4.5 billion to stop adding caramel color to foods or banning high fructose corn syrup and addictive flavor enhancers like MSG? How about supporting our farms, giving them a fighting chance (I live near dying farming communities- it's a reality)?

it is also known that families earning less than $15,000 a year are more likely to be obese. With the job losses, rising costs on basics like milk and gas, and unemployment rates the average income has plummeted. How about talking to your husband about that one. We will only see and inevitable climb in obesity if this connection is correct.

In 2008 when Barack and Michelle came to the White House, the obesity rate was 33.8% according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). In 2010 it climbed to 35.7%. Michelle has been actively involved in reducing these rates and still they climb Most notably among men and children. Women's rates have held steady evade decade or so.

This...
This...
Or that
Or that

Colors and chemicals

As a mom, Michelle should be as appalled as I am- Popular pudding snacks for kids advertise the extra calcium in the snacks, but when you read the ingredients, Yellow number 5 (color additive) slipped in the back door with his buddy, high fructose corn syrup. Have some diabetes and behavior disorders to go with your calcium enriched strong bones. Can anyone tell me why we need yellow number five in vanilla pudding, or in marshmallows? Vanilla beans are brown so if my vanilla pudding has to be brownish, so be it. Why is Blue or Red coloring in Jams and jellies- what other color would those fruits be naturally? If a blueberry isn't blue, I'll just shut my fat mouth now.

True Story: I once babysat a kid about 9 yrs old when I was in high school. She was positive that raspberries were blue. She actually did not know they were red- seriously. All this was because of a candy she liked that was flavored "blue raspberry". I'm sure it had better (more addictive) flavor enhancers than the real thing.

Why do we need so many color additives and preservatives in our food? Regular spices, sugar and oils aren't good enough? We need the processed versions of these such as hydrogenated soybean oil, MSG, or high fructose corn syrup- pure killers. Michelle, please stop hitting the snooze button on your brain and read the ingredients in popular kids' foods. Hey it's been a few years since you had a baby in the house Michelle, but I was shocked to see high fructose corn syrup in toddler snacks!! And while you're out there fighting the good fight, did you notice that some Quaker oatmeals have caramel color in them?

I've got kids, I'm busy like the rest of the people in America, and I don't have time to search for these horrible and addictive additives in common foods. We, well Michelle, says we can eat healthy for cheap. Yep, we can if we have the time or money. It costs extra for healthy frozen pizza compared to junk frozen pizza. Now you can make a pizza from scratch for fairly cheap, provided you have the time or the staff (Michelle). Some people do, not me. I've got an arthritic condition, I'm not rolling out pizza dough any time soon. Same with something like Mac and cheese- If you don't have time, money, or both, you are eating poorly.

Personally I am sick of the Americans being blamed for this obesity epidemic. I hate that Michelle is going to them instead of making the popular food companies accountable. Yes, I am not entirely blaming them as I am the food makers that slip crap ingredients into healthy types of foods. I bought instant oatmeals for years before noticing added colors.

Ingredients like MSG are proven to make people eat more. A child has a breakfast snack of a popular breakfast cereal or toaster treat with a bunch of crap in it, then they go to school and get a free Michelle Obama approved school lunch. They are likely to eat more at lunch and even if it's healthy food, they will still be taking in extra calories. Hold on, let me Google this...yep, extra calories equal weight gain. Not to mention even "healthy" options have doubled in sizes over the years.

You want to change the eating habits of kids, stop putting addictive additives in the food to begin with. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) should be attacked, not the schools. The thought that these impurities are allowed (and approved) in our foods should have come to Mrs. Obama's attention, but her attention is solely focused on the political gain and name of it rather than the issue itself. It would not benefit their agenda to go after the FDA. You can't tell me she never thought of how the food additives might be effecting our kids.

Snack for Todlers, popular brand, and notice "High Fructose Corn Syrup"

ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, ULTRA LOW LINOLENIC SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SALT, AMMONIUM BICARBONATE, NATURAL BUTTER FLAVOR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, VANILLA EXTRACT,
ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, ULTRA LOW LINOLENIC SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SALT, AMMONIUM BICARBONATE, NATURAL BUTTER FLAVOR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, VANILLA EXTRACT,
Lisa Ling
Lisa Ling

Thank you Lisa Ling

Lisa Ling is a dynamite journalist with integrity, tackling the tough topics, and this is one of them. Recently there was a show (Our America) about childhood obesity and the main theme was the shocking claim that younger generations will likely not live longer than the generation before them. This is a wake-up call!

Another interesting tidbit was that despite healthy snacks at schools (Micehlle's program), all of the kids bring their own stuff. Lisa ling sat down with these kids who have healthier lunches and choices brought into schools and the kids stated they eat that food then bring their own junk food. They're literally eating more than they normally would. This is a wake-up call to Michelle Obama!


It's been going on for a while...

I ran across research and mainstream articles that state how certain food additives are causing obesity and overeating.

Here is one from 2006- well before Michelle and this was common knowledge before she took on her project.

http://banmsgnow.info/2008/12/creating-obesity-with-msg-the-slow-poisoning-of-america/

The Real Issue

Does anyone find it interesting that there is more nutrition information available than ever, people know more than ever, nutrition information on food labels are more detailed than ever, more healthy foods are available than ever, and yet we're fatter than ever? Am I the only one who made this connection?

I used to do work in research psychology and you have to know people, not nutrition, to change things in this type of scenario. I happen to have education within both of these areas. Food and obesity is all psychologically related, not nutrition related. We know that teaching people about nutrition is not enough. We know that a political influencer will not attempt to tackle the big gus like the FDA or Food companies that own us. Michelle, if you haven't caught onto the real issue, I don't know what else to tell you. But ok, I'll continue...

How do we change? We tackle the real issues. If the First Lady doesn't know than who possibly could? She admittedly stated it was her daughters' pediatrician that told her they needed to change their habits to be healthy. This conversation with their doctor got her attention and was enough to change her habits...then (later) she started to learn about nutrition. Something has to make everyone change- this was her experience but somebody else's may be different. It's not simply about learning about nutrition.

So here's a couple of the real issues: First, this country got into bloated debt with banks and lenders lending money to those who could literally not afford to have a house or a loan for anything substantial, and yet they lended. We have to know that humans since beginning of time, if you're religious folk, have made decisions based on temptation. If it's there, we'll bite. We can't get rid of all junkfood but we can ban certain addictive additives in the ingredients such as MSG and high fructose corn syrup. These make us eat more, studies show. We can simply put plain old sugar or honey, salt and non-chemicals in our foods.

Second we know that kids like junkfood, It's easy and available and even adults are attracted to it. Some rogue researchers have also proven that you can still lose weight on junk food. How? By eating less of it - calories are calories. They always have been, always are. The issue now is that people are eating foods with addictive ingredients that make them eat more. We need to eat less and that's it. We move less and now we certainly need to eat less. If you want to eat less, you'll have to choose foods, even junk foods, that don't have the additives in it.

I'm surprised the smart First Lady didn't catch on to these connections here. Like I said before I ate corn chips and chocolate milk in high school and luckily it didn't have added chemical ingredients.Not super healthy, but not any added ingredients. I didn't overeat so I didn't have excess weight.

Very real issue: people eat more for psychological reasons or even habit, but rarely is it something out of their control like genetic or physical issues. Our society is fast and fat- make another conneciton there too if you want.


The root of the cause

By the root of the cause I am referring to the fact that many of these children don't stand a chance to change bad eating habits if their parents aren't setting the example. The first lady's bill focuses on school lunches and I hate to break it to the lady, but eating healthy one meal a day isn't going to be enough of a caloric deficit to make a difference. Lisa Ling also showed us they are still bringing and eating the crap at lunch. Maybe she can argue it's a good start, but we've been "starting" obesity programs and awareness for many years now, and where's the progress?

I was a high school student and I ate corn chips and chocolate milk almost every day for lunch, but I wasn't overweight at all. I had ice cream treats after volleyball practice at the nearest Dairy Queen, but majority of my meals were healthy because my mom prepared healthy food for our family. Kids have access to crappy food if they want it, so taking better care to minimize the crap in that food overall would be more beneficial. Everybody, including the First Lady, is pointing a finger in all directions except the FDA and Food companies as to what is allowed in our foods. Looking back at my corn chips and chocolate milk- not healthy, but no extra preservatives and coloring in them. Sometimes I'd have a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, but now that bagel has more than doubled its size in the last 10 years.

When you look at the French or other European countries, they regularly eat fats like cheese and cream in their foods. However they do not have Big Gulps or Super sized everything and monster portions with added corn syrup in toddler snacks to get them hooked on that flavor early. If we fight with nutrition, it needs to be portion sizes. Many countries have already banned additives like MSG. We need to teach kids what a serving size of Cheetos looks like, not what a serving of an apple looks like. Packaged foods and home cooked meals are not often taking serving sizes into consideration. Kids should get used to what portions look like.

Dear Mrs. Obama,

With all due respect, I believe you are missing the rotund white elephant standing in the middle of the room. What does all bad food have in common? Bad ingredients. Who allows the bad ingredients in these foods our children are eating? The government and the FDA regulates it. Who is at fault? (Please see think about the last answer). You are not at fault, but please use your glorious famous face and our $4.5 billion dollars for something effective.

As a "main street" parent, I can't walk into the grocery store without encountering at least 80% of the food offered as having "unacceptable" ingredients in it. Not only that but I can't look for just one ingredient like MSG, but I have to look for his nicknames like "natural flavor" and "hydrolyzed vegetable protein". You must think I have so much time on my hands in the grocery store to scrutinize every label with my tired and bored 5 yr old and my 1 yr old sitting in the basket screaming. I'm bombarded by unhealthy crap everywhere around me. Being normal weight is hard work. Use that pretty face and petty change ($4.5 Billion) in the governments pocket to coerce the FDA and foodmakers to knock this crap off!

You're just another case of someone not in our shoes, pretending to be!!! Stick to style, which is what most of the media and people are interested in about you anyway.

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Comments 13 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

You nailed the problem, Laura, with this outstanding treatise on obesity and MSG and nasty food additives. All your points make sense. Will it make a difference to Mobama. Probably not but thanks for reminding the rest of us.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Interesting points and you had put the ideas so well together, voted up and awesome.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 years ago

Bravo! This hub needed to be written and you nailed it. I wish you would mail it to the WH. As for Michelle Obama, her program is a bomb. Kids who were interviewed hated the food and use it throw in the garbage. They have made a game out of it, like "food basketball." Voted, up, useful, interesting and awesome.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

drbj~ Mobama can't hear me above her own high position. She is full of it. I watched a show with her on it, talking about her obesity iniatives (after I wrote this) and it completely confirmed my points.

I read your Gengis Kahn hub the other day but didnt get a chance to comment- well done and hopefully I'll get back over there. Seems lately I have time to read but no time to comment- the life of a mom to little ones. Woe is me...

DDE~ Thanks so much for the vote up and compliment.

breakfastpop~ well any mom knows that you send a kid to school and/or only offer them "healthy" food, they will trade it or throw it away and eat some junk somehow. I offer my kids a variety and that even means junk sometimes and mostly, luckily, I can afford some of the "healthy" junk. I see these programs pushing healthy food and thats ok, but kids also need to learn how to eat junk food in moderation and recognize a serving of chips. Then there's the issue with what we're putting in food. I'm just glad I'm not Michelle plastering my face all over a flop program.


kidscrafts profile image

kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

Excellent article! Bad habits are difficult to change for some people!

For sure one good meal a day is not enough if you continue to have bad habits at home.

Voted up, useful, interesting and awsome!


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

kidscrafts~ thanks for stopping by and all the awesome votes!


Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment

Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

You are so welcome Linda! And thank you!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 3 years ago

Amen. I drive 12 miles for water because I cannot trust what comes out of my faucet. Our air, water, and food are compromised. I have tried to eat well for decades. I was spiralling into sickness and I have felt death - not that I hold to this world. Through additional supplements such as chlorella, spirolina, vitamin D, arginine, etc. I have made a turn-around. Our food is compromised. It takes 50 peaches to equal the nutrients of two peaches of fifty years ago. Factory farming? Animal abuse. Our sick chickens are coming home to roost.


vandynegl profile image

vandynegl 3 years ago from Ohio Valley

Oh I love this article! I am a huge fan of trying to get people to WAKE UP and realize that they need to become educated on what they are putting into their bodies as well as their children's. It is crap. We shouldn't take a first lady's word for it and even I don't trust the FDA. Unfortunately, people are naïve and believe what the "expert" tells them. I was also shocked when I studied nutrition and learned about all of those additives. It was easier years ago, when food came from the right places. Now, we just have to pay more for the healthier stuff....and like you said, families who live in poverty are more likely to be obese.

Thank you for your bluntness on this topic! I'm sharing it!


Jared Miles profile image

Jared Miles 3 years ago from Australia

I think izettl, that you are educating people on a very important and very current issue. I'm very big on nutrition, and its importance, but I'm on a team by myself around my friends and relatives. Sure, being healthy required hours of personal research, and a complete grocery overhaul, but I didn't find it difficult. Sometimes, you've just got to start, you know?

Right now in Australia the government is considering implementing a 'fat tax', or a tax on unhealthy foods. As vandynegl said above, and as you noted, if you're poor you're more likely to buy unhealthy food - so why tax it more?

Thank you for spreading the word about this important issue, I'll be voting up and sharing.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Mickey Dee,

I totally agree. They ate pies and cakes back in the mid 1900's and before, but the difference is we moved more- walked to places, worked for our food or for a living, and didn't have as many chemicals and preservatives in our food.

Vandyneg,

I bet it was huge eye opener learning about nutrition. I just try and eat as plain and close to the real thing as possible. It's such an effort to find real and good food and it shouldn't be like that.

Jared,

I agree about that tax- it's silly to blatantly tax the poor. And eating right either takes more time (at least for me with small kids) or does cost more money for healthy convenient foods. You are right though, that once you get in the routine, it is easy.


Sanxuary 2 years ago

They would be headed in the right direction if the Government tested are food, provided real test results and the truth and got out of bed with Corporate interest. You mentioned food labeling, in my state they will not have GMO products listed on the label because they convinced the voters it would be to expensive to label them. I never new people were this stupid, as you stated everything is already labeled. Did you know a meat free diet will often reverse coronary heart disease. Does milk really stop osteoporosis? Did you know America consumes more milk then any Nation on Earth and has the highest rate of osteoporosis? I could list countless untested or controversial chemicals in our food that is consumed each day. The point is obesity has no cure when the causes or possible causes of it can not be questioned, tested or even argued by anyone who can not buy the FDA or elect its own Corporate officials to manage it. Eat less poison is not the answer to obesity.

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