Obesity and Politics Don’t Mix

Before we get to the topic o’the day, I’ll just mention that Sskar has bought a tasty-looking dish to the potluck table–might be the perfect dish for any New Year festivities this weekend. Check it out!

If you don’t wish to read me rant, please feel free to skip it and come back tomorrow when I’ll be perkier. I promise. :) The last thing I want to do is to turn this into a political blog, but there are times when political figures do things that cross over my line in the sand and I just can’t help myself.

In this case, it’s Sarah Palin’s latest jab at First Lady Michelle Obama. Apparently, Palin was preparing to make S’mores for her family (and all of America via her “reality” TV show), when she quipped: “This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert.”

Not funny, IMO, but not detestable all by itself. The thing is, it’s the second shot she’s taken at Mrs. Obama’s participation in the effort to fight childhood obesity. Palin also said recently, that Mrs. Obama “is telling us she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat.”

Oh, where to start, where to start….

First of all, Mrs. Obama didn’t say WE shouldn’t have dessert. What she said was:

“In the afternoon, there was no way we’d be allowed to lie around the house watching TV. Our parents made us get up and play outside. As I tell my kids, dessert is not a right.”

She’s describing HER background and HER (and one assumes the president’s) dinner table philosophy. I’ve been all through the Let’s Move sight (twice!) and I haven’t found a single mandate against dessert. I did, however, see lots of suggestions and encouragement intended to engage everyone–parents, kids, school administrators, community leaders, and health care providers–in helping kids make better food choices and increase exercise.

I’m tempted to write that Sarah Palin says kids should eat junk food regularly or that Sarah Palin doesn’t care if children have heart attacks and die. But that’s not what she said, and I don’t twist people’s words. Not intentionally, anyway. One thing I can be reasonably sure of: I wouldn’t try to score “cute-sy” political points on the backs of the nation’s children.

I’m not the only one who was bothered by Palin’s comment. Mike Huckabee, of all people, has jumped in to defend Mrs. Obama:

“Michelle Obama’s not trying to tell people what to eat or not trying to force the government’s desires on people,” Huckabee said. “She’s stating the obvious, that we do have an obesity problem in this country.”

He added: “The first lady’s campaign is on target.”

I never thought I’d be agreeing with Mike Huckabee, but there you have it. (Interesting that he and Palin are currently considered among the front-runners for the 2012 Republican presidential slate.)

I’m excited about programs like Let’s Move and the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act of 2010. This push for better health for our kids is important for them, and it’s important for the health of our country. Like so many others, I have concerns about specific aspects of the programs that will be unveiled over the next few years, and I have no problem with discussion and debate over how to achieve the goals most effectively. But we ought to be able to do it without misrepresentation and potshots.

Or else it might seem like some sort of personal vendetta.

{end rant}

There, I feel all better now. Especially since I just heard a news blurb that we should “expect temps in the 70s.” Must go check this out!

14 thoughts on “Obesity and Politics Don’t Mix

  1. Rants are good sometimes. I tend to agree with you. I think that Mrs. Obama taking a stand and at least doing something. It’s a start and that is important.

  2. It is a pity that politicians have to get nvolved, but I think they do, we’ve shown as a general population that we can’t look after ourselves. That said, I hope that the governments do a better job of giving nutritional advice than history has shown.

  3. Cammy, thank you sooooooooooooooooo much for this post! I try not to let politics enter my blog too BUT it sneaks in there & I am sure most people can guess which way I lean. But in these days of really absolute craziness in Washington DC & politicians that will sell their souls to the devil whether they believe it or not just to get back at the other side.. UGH!

    I love that the first lady is trying & you can see it is about moderation & moving & lots of other things. HECK, I think the fact that we have such an obesity prob proves that parents just don’t get it right a lot of the time & watching Jamie Oliver;s show, they don’t even know the facts…

    Love this Cammy!

  4. Yep, I avoid politics too. Funny how people can get worked up about that stuff. I’m just going to say I side with you and Michelle on this one:)

  5. Honestly? It’s Sarah Palin. What else would you expect other than snarky jabs delivered with a ‘folksy’ grin. I pay no attention to her or her tactics at all. If enough people do the same, she will disappear (and please let it be soon).

    I think the government giving us guidelines is just something that should be done. People obviously aren’t getting the information enough on eating healthy, so one more source can’t hurt.

  6. Go Cammy Go!!! Rant away, and OMG, this is SOOO worth ranting over. sigh. I’m Canadian, but we read ALOT about Sarah Palin in our news, and comments like that just make me cross my fingers that she goes away….far away…sometime soon! (and trust me, we have our own dough heads here too….)
    Have a great day!!!!!

  7. Another Canadian chimes in: You go, girl! I totally agree with you.

    BTW, I can’t even stand watching the commercials for SP’s “reality” (oh-so-far-from) show. I switch channels.

  8. From your post: “I wouldn’t try to score ‘cute-sy’ political points on the backs of the nation’s children.”

    Well said!

    I really like your blog and am glad I found it through Ellen–looking forward to dropping by more often :).

  9. Unfortunately, politics kinda gets me worked up (understatement). And Sarah Palin, well, she now just makes me laugh. Her comments about Mrs. Obama are clearly motivated by politics. SP has no clue about nutrition or public health or… I’m gonna shut up now before I start ranting.

  10. Well, this is your blog, not my blog, so I’m feeling like winding up here.

    No, I won’t. Your fine example prevents me.*

    *If it weren’t for that, I would point out that Mrs. Obama is probably not going to be asking for Ms. Palin’s parenting advice so that she too can produce a reality show teen who gets pregnant before she leaves high school. Somehow I can’t picture the Obama girls in a custody battle before they turn 20. But, you know, they are getting shortchanged in the S’more department.

  11. The international community laugh AT Sarah Palin, not WITH her. Well said, Cammy, and everyone who chipped in.

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