Obesity is a major problem in the United States, and children may be this deadly epidemic’s most helpless victims.
The Nemours Center for Children’s Health Media, a nonprofit organization dedicated to children’s health, estimated that approximately one in three children are obese. These kids are at risk of developing life-threatening diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Nationally, obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
First lady Michelle Obama developed the Let’s Move campaign to try to fight childhood obesity. Her aim is to get children to eat more vegetables and get off their couches.
Obama’s cause is admirable, but she has come under fire recently for banning junk food from school vending machines and suggesting that children skip dessert.
Then the Obama family was caught having cheeseburgers, wings and pizza on their White House Super Bowl menu.
Obama said this is not hypocrisy because she never mentioned a total elimination of junk food.
But Mrs. Obama, what about the attempt to ban junk food from schools’ vending machines?
The criticism for the anti-obesity campaign and Obama’s contradictory actions came from many conservatives, including Sarah Palin, a Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008.
Palin attacked Obama by eating s’mores in the “Sarah Palin’s Alaska show” in December, saying, “This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert.”
Along with Palin, the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh also attacked Obama.
Limbaugh said he heard Obama ate ribs packed with 1,500 calories and 141 grams of fat per serving.
Even though the criticism is a typical case of conservatives against liberals, Obama’s double standards and attempts to eliminate childhood obesity is a paramount issue.
While advocating for a cause, Obama must follow what she asks others to do.
In this case, if Obama said no to dessert, then it should mean no ribs and no junk food for her either. She failed to demonstrate this and thus could potentially impede the anti-obesity campaign.
While it is true that she does not have to live on roots and berries like Limbaugh suggested, she should at least be careful with her calorie intake because all eyes are fixed on her and her family’s eating habits.
America needs to re-vamp its eating habits, but we need a good example. Obama has given great exposure to the issue; however, she has failed to show the way.