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February 09, 2011

You Don’t Like Jalapeno Poppers, You Just Think You Do.

You will not be surprised to learn that Mark Bittman (discussed yesterday) is not the only person better equipped to make decisions about what you should eat than you are. You can add to that growing list First Lady Michelle Obama. 

What equips Ms. Obama to substitute her judgment for yours?

She’s Michelle Obama.

Her latest initiative is to work with the National Restaurant Association to try and convince restaurants to offer foods she thinks you should be eating in quantities she thinks are appropriate.

Of course, she’s not forcing them to do anything.  She’s just suggesting it might be a good idea.  Like when she suggested restaurant menus should provide nutritional information.  Okay, so when they didn’t do it, it wound up in the health care legislation and is now mandatory and is costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Total Coincidence.

It’s kind of like when your boss suggests it might be a good idea for you to buy the Girl Scout cookies her daughter is selling. It’s not like you have to.  You can choose not to.  It’s up to you.

By the way, you’re up for a review next week.

You said you wanted how many boxes of Tagalongs?

Why is she talking with restaurants and not simply using her powers of persuasion on the public at large?

In a speech to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), she explained:

And as America’s restaurant owners, you’re responsible for one-third of the calories our kids get on a daily basis. The choices you make determine what’s listed on the menus, what’s advertised on billboards, and what’s served on our plates.”

Okay, this we did not know. Prior to the First Lady’s campaign, we had been under the mistaken impression that parents were responsible for the calories their kids get on a daily basis and that they chose what would be on their plates.

You know how people talk about how powerful the “NRA” is?  We used to think they meant the gun rights guys.

As it turns out, McDonalds, The Cheesecake Factory, Applebee’s and the others didn’t become successful by offering the kinds of meals, in the portions desired, by individuals exercising their freedom of choice.

As Michelle Obama points out:

“That’s how business works, I understand that. But I’ve yet to meet a single parent who doesn’t understand the threat of childhood obesity. I’ve yet to meet a single parent who’s not eager to buy healthier products. They just need more information. They need easier access to those products.”

Somehow, one of the most competitive, dynamic, and responsive industries in the world let them down.

Er, her down.

J.

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February 9, 2011 at 09:39 PM in Current Affairs, Health & Fitness | Permalink

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Comments

I go to the supermarket. I see lots of fruits and vegetables. They are low priced. I buy them. My children eat them. What more information do I need?

Posted by: TheOldMan | Feb 10, 2011 12:26:24 PM

So every parent she's met understands the threat of obesity, every parent she's met is eager to buy healthier products, yet she thinks that the problem is a lack of information?

Or else she's concerned about the stupid parents she hasn't met, but is sure they're out there.

Posted by: Michael | Feb 10, 2011 5:18:44 PM

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