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A Nutrition Lesson for Michelle Obama.

Updated on June 19, 2013
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.

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"

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.

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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