Michelle Obama, Thank You


I read this New York Times article, “Childhood Obesity Battle Is Taken Up by First Lady,” which details Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign – America’s Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids.  Thank you so much for doing this, Michelle Obama!

What struck me as I was reading the article was that, while kids are the focus of Mrs. Obama’s efforts, much of what she said applies to adults too, especially to diabetic adults.  Take this quote for example: “The truth is, our kids didn’t do this to themselves,” Mrs. Obama said. “Our kids didn’t choose to make food products with tons of fat and sugar and supersize portions, and then to have those foods marketed to them wherever they turn.”

I know that as adults we bear responsibility for our choices, but you know — when there’s a pile of donuts in the office, or fifty different candy bars to choose from at supermarket check-out, it’s pretty hard to resist, even for someone with a lot of willpower.  In other words, if the sugar and fat and Jupiter-sized portions are at our fingertips, and these things are among the primary causes for the rise of diabetes, then please don’t blame diabetics for the fact that they are diabetic, any more than you would blame a child for being overweight.

The key is to have healthy choices available, and not to have junk food marketed to us wherever we turn.  And we must do our best not to have junk food in the house!  I find that if I have apples in the house, I will grab one as a snack without thinking twice.  If I don’t have them around, I begin to look for other things, and if there are cookies in my kitchen – even if I don’t eat them – the fact that they are within arm’s reach drives me a little crazy.

Another New York Times report says the Obama administration will begin a drive this week to expel Pepsi, French fries and Snickers bars from the nation’s schools in hopes of reducing the number of children who get fat during their school years.  Once again, I say thank you!

When my son began first grade in 2006, there was a vending machine outside of his classroom – not near his classroom – but directly across from the classroom door.  What that meant was that when the kids opened the door to step into the hallway, the first thing they saw was the word Coke.  There were six-year-old kids who sat down with a Coke before the bell rang.  My son knew there was no chance he would get a soda, and for the most part, he accepted it.  But there were days when he was angry and jealous of the kids drinking Coke.

A group of parents worked to have the vending machine removed from the school.  We were successful, and I am happy to say that since its departure I have not seen a soda can in the classroom.  It won’t be easy, but we must teach our children, and ourselves, that drinking water is not a punishment -and neither is eating a carrot instead of a cookie.

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12 years ago

I cut up vegetables and put them in the fridge in a glass of water to keep them from drying out.  That way when I want a snack, something healthy is at my fingertips.

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