I Still Have The First Lady’s Back…Do YOU?

Childhood obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years and in 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

Because of this and many more reasons, First Lady Michelle Obama has initiated several programs to help America’s kids.

Let’s Move! is a “comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let’s Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. Giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices. Providing healthier foods in our schools. Ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food. And, helping kids become more physically active.”

Seems fairly reasonable, right?

Well apparently this is anything but reasonable to the right-wing blogosphere, that exploded today upon the news the First Lady and Darden restaurants were working together to change kid’s menus and make food healthier at their places of business.

In just this one blog post by the Daily Caller, Mrs. Obama was called ‘the first hoe,’ ‘moooshell,’ and there were numerous references to her ‘fat ass’ as well as allegations she was trying to take away everyone’s french fries.

Then over on twitter there were numerous entries calling her various other names as well as accusing her of attempting to be the country’s food police.

Apparently attempting to help the children of this country makes conservatives angry.

Way back in 2007 I made a promise to Mrs. Obama. In a two-page spread in the Chicago Sun Times I told her that if she would support her husband running for President, we Moms would have her back.

The headline should read: WEANED

Little did I know how exhausting that promise would be.

Our nation’s First Lady has been attacked for everything from her clothing to her bi-partisan initiatives. She has been called every name in the book and then some, and has endured some of the most ugly racial comments I have ever seen. And her attempts at getting kids to exercise and eat healthy have been no exception.

It seems that no matter if she is helping military families or children, she is the target of some of the most hateful rhetoric I have ever witnessed.

It’s time we Moms, women, and men, stepped up our defense of Mrs. Obama and her projects.

For the record (and I’ll try to be as clear as possible for the idiots in the crowd) the First Lady isn’t trying to take away your junk food. Her agreement with restaurants like Olive Garden and Red Lobster is putting more options on the kids menu, not taking them away. You can still get your child a sugar and fat laden soda and fries, but you will also have the option for something like a fruit or vegetable.

There is no mandate to get rid of things like burgers or fried chicken or Cokes, just the addition of healthy choices.

The First Lady has never said you should never have junk food, ever. She has consistently and clearly said even she loves the occasional hamburger or piece of cake…but in moderation. She lets her girls have the occasional fry and chips and cookies…but in moderation and as part of a healthy, nutrition based meal.

She is not attempting to force you to feed your kids nothing but broccoli. She is not attempting to take your favorite, fat-filled food off the local fast-food menu.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the programs yourself. This comes directly from the White House press office:

Kids’ Menus – changes starting now and to be fully implemented by July 2012
· Guarantee a fruit or vegetable will be the default side for every kids’ menu item at those restaurants offering a default side on the children’s menu: Bahama Breeze, LongHorn Steakhouse and Red Lobster.
· 1% milk will be the default beverage, provided automatically if no alternate beverage is requested. Milk will be prominently promoted on the menu and made available with free refills.
· Food illustrations on the menu will promote the healthy choices for meals and drinks.
· Healthier menu options will be more prominently displayed when possible.
· Carbonated beverages will not be displayed on children’s menus.
· Improve the nutritional content of one or more children’s menu items to provide equal or less than 600 calories, 30% of total calories from fat, 10% of total calories from saturated fat and 600 mg of sodium.

Calories/Sodium Footprint Reduction – changes to be implemented by 2016 and 2021
· By 2016, reduce calories by 10% and over a ten-year period by 20%.
· By 2016, reduce sodium by 10% and over a ten-year period by 20%.

See? There is no taking away your fries. You, as the parent, get every opportunity to do exactly as you want with your kids and can make any decision you damn well please as to what lands on their plate. Want pop? Order it. Want DOUBLE the fries for your kid? Go for it. Mrs. Obama hasn’t taken any parenting decisions out of your hands and is certainly not trying to parent for you.

Now that we’ve cleared that up…I have a few questions for you. Why in God’s name would you be against this? Why do you have issues with a program attempting to give you more menu choices for your kids and offering additional, healthy options?

Do you hate fruits and veggies? Are you a fan of childhood obesity? Do you want only junk food offered to your children?

Or do you just hate the Obamas and everything they try to do, good or bad? Or is it even worse than that…do you hate a smart, beautiful, strong black woman telling you how you can help raise healthy children?

I look forward to your answers, because right now all I see is ignorance, hate, and sheer contempt for a woman who is rocking her role as First Lady…and you had better believe I still have her back.

Comments

  1. of course I support anything that has to do with getting kids back to fitness!! I have an entire site dedicated to helping busy moms get back into fitness and much of it involves getting your kids involved too. (www.momwod.com)

    I can’t speak for ANYONE but myself, but i think some people get so stuck in their “party” that they can’t see past anything else. Others might get upset that, like you mentioned, someone is taking something from them. Others probably just want gov’t to stay out and should let parents parent the way they want.

    for me… i’m for it. if she/gov’t thinks it’ll help EDUCATE parents on making better choices, then go for it!!

  2. I would say I’m more conservative than liberal, and I agree with this roger 100%. I think it’s great too have options. Just like charter schools. :)

  3. Antonio angelo says:

    I have no problem with the first lady making recommendations to restaurants but I have a huge problem with her or anyone else mandating anything. Words like by 2016 scare me. by then or what? The government shuts you down?

    What about spoilage, who is going to pick up the extra cost from fruit that goes bad because it is not ordered but has to be on hand?

    why 1% milk, is the milk lobby behind this, why not a juice do the cranberry growers support Rick Perry?

    I hated the racism I saw towards Condaleeza Rice a woman i had great respect for long before she was in the Presidents cabinet. I also hate the racism directed towards the first lady. She is not a bad person, she obviously has some views that I am opposed to but I have never attacked her on any level other than political.

    I feel a lot of the racism is blown out of proportion, is it really any worse than the crap bush endured and still does. When you are powerful you are going to be spit at, its part of the game. I know i have been called many things and threatened for posting my views and i have no power over anyone.

    I am glad you have her back ,but just because we disagree on what government should do doesn’t mean we hate or dislike anyone.

  4. Again, there is NO MANDATE. If it doesn’t happen by 2014 then nothing happens…this is an agreement not a contract or mandate.

    And I find that not much is worse than the loss of civil rights, which is the effect of racism.

  5. People are idiots.
    I have her back for sure. She’s being a wonderful first lady. I think part of it is misplaced anger, part of it is, well, they don’t like to be reminded how bad some of that food is.
    I’ve aken my 2 year old out a lot, and sometimes I am just dismayed at the offerings. Really, a vegetable as a side is more expensive?
    But one of our mainstays, Coco’s, has a good selection of sides. My son actually points o what he wants since their menu has pictures, and it always has a side of fruit ;)

  6. Antonio angelo says:

    she is the first lady, i think her civil rights are pretty well intact?

  7. No, anyone who is subject to racism can be discriminated against…be that institutionalized racism or not. But that’s not really what I was getting at… just because someone is prominent does not make racism against them any less disgusting or impactful

  8. What about spoilage? That’s the argument? Obviously that particular commenter has never worked in a restaurant and seen the massive amounts of food waste, of every variety. The milk is being promoted because it’s healthier than juice. Juice is empty calories with a shot of vitamin C. My kids won’t drink white milk, but it doesn’t anger me to see it as the default option.
    It’s terribly terribly sad that people are against healthy options. I can’t wrap my brain around it. Aren’t we supposed to want the best for our kids? How can anyone justify wanting fatter, sicker kids? I don’t get it. Are these people also against child car seat laws? “It’s my right to endanger my kids if I want to, dammit!” Yikes.

  9. I consider myself very conservative. I have never made any comments racial our otherwise against First Lady Obama. She is not the candidate and race is not the issue. I wholeheartedly support having healthy choices on menus! I try to limit junk foods at home and appreciate the option to continue that in a restaurant.

  10. And don’t forget the whole Michele is a fatty meme the uber-right keep throwing around, and portraying her with her fried chicken — racial stereotype much?

    http://most-popular.sandbox.politicsdaily.com/2011/02/17/michelle-obama-is-fat-elementary-school-gibes-as-political-comm/

  11. Well, in my opinion, you shouldn’t ever give your kids junk food, but even I fail from time to time. THAT said, Hell yea, I have FLOTUS’ back. This is the SILLIEST battle I’ve ever heard of. In my opinion, these changes provide parents MORE options, without the extra cost. Isn’t that tantamount to MORE parental freedom?? What about those of us who want to go out with our kids, and can finding NOTHING but hot dogs and chicken nuggets on the kids menu, when the full price adult menu has lots of healthy options? Or the “only soda gets free refills” option at a whole lot of restaurants?

    As far as the First Lady, I don’t remember so much brouhaha over the imperfect body parts of OTHER first ladies. Give me a break.

  12. OK, so I do remember some serious mocking of Nancy Regan’s “Just Say No” campaign…

    As a harried parent who has had to rely on restaurant food more than they wanted to, I LOVE this track. It means healthier eating on family vacations, and no more ordering an extra side of veggies from the adult menu just for the kid, or giving them all of yours. All I can say about the other side is that they have clearly shown that literacy is still an issue.

  13. I’ve always preferred Michelle to Barack and wish she would run for President. She’s everything he’s not. She’s not afraid to speak up and I don’t picture her capitulating just to make big business or pharma happy.

    As a matter of fact, she reminds me of another woman the conservative right has vilified unrelentingly, Hillary Clinton. The person who should have been President.

  14. Personally I can’t wait for the change. I hope it makes waiters stop questioning when my daughter asks for broccoli instead of fries. That’s not my doing. That’s having two kids (out of 3) who actually don’t like fries. It’s annoying to me that the option isn’t there. That asking for fruit or veggies is considered odd.

  15. I stood up to someone on this subject, and his reply was, “I’m fine with more choices. My problem is government pushing their views of a proper diet. If their [sic] is a market for more choices of healthy foods, the private sector will supply more options. The government however has no place interfering with what private business should our [sic] should not do.”

    I will never fully understand why government help — when it does not impose any limits – is a bad thing.

  16. because government “help” isn’t pure. when the government puts together things like food groups it is done with lobbyists not nutritionists.

    its like the cash for clunkers program. Millions of dollars wasted that removed millions of working cars from the economy in an effort to help big auto. cash for clunkers did not help the consumer. they ended up paying roughly the same amount for cars and in many cases bought cars before they really needed a new one just to get the perceived value of the 4000 dollars.

    but if you look at the data what happened is the car companies did not make the normal concessions they would make to sell cars. they didnt offer discounts or free upgrades they simply advertised the cash for clunkers. So people got 4000 for their old car that was worth around a 1000 then bought a new car worth 28,000 that they paid 31,000 for. the poor folks who normally purchase the 1000 dollars cars no longer had access to as many and prices on used cars went up.

    the only winner was the car company. the money could have been better spent. but hey its just government help.

    i realize the food program is free or at least appears that way. but nothing is really free the reason milk refills are not free is because milk costs more than soda. that cost will be passed on.

    restaurants will offer whatever fare their customers will pay for and they can make a profit on. They are not evil transfat dealers they are businesses. when people call for healthy options they respond.

  17. Restaurants also will offer the fare that gets them publicity. This is a PR victory for Darden.

    The program is voluntary.

    It is up to car companies, whether they want to offer discounts or upgrades, right? I mean, we wouldn’t want the government to tell them to be fair? Socialism!

  18. Blogger No Longer says:

    I still remember when that crazy from FOX NEWS (Michelle Malkin) referred to the First Lady as Obama’s “baby mama”. Unconscionable!

  19. Big ups to Michelle. I dont think parents take child obesity seriously. Kids get teased at school and it scars you. Parents should encourage kids to eat healthy!

  20. The same people who decry this sort of attempts at encouraging a healthy diet are the same people who don’t want the government paying for kids health care. Don’t they get that there is a connection between a healthy diet and childhood obesity and all the health issues that go with it? Don’t they get that we all pay for it in the long term?

    And if they are taking away free soda refills, bravo. And if they WERE taking away unlimited breadsticks or the like, I’d cheer. When I go to restaurants I seem to be seeing more and more families with morbidly obese parents!

  21. I’ve totally got her back. Offering more healthy options is a total win.

  22. while i love the first lady i would prefer to see the government shut up about what food people eat. If feel like it IS too nosy and none of the governments business what happens in my house or when i go to a restaurant.
    there most def should be healthy food options for kids but it’s not the governments job to do that.
    I would love it so much more if she would focus all that energy on creating walkable, safe, nature-filled playgrounds for every kid in america. That uses tax dollars to improve infrastructure and that is something the government should be responsible for.

  23. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Opera. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Thanks

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