by Sharon Rondeau

(Jul. 4, 2015) — After Barack Obama took office in the White House in January 2009, legitimately or not, his wife Michelle set out to launch a national campaign aimed at reducing childhood obesity.

Michelle developed the “Let’s Move!” initiative designed to engage children and their caregivers in leading healthier lives and “pursue their dreams” involving changing certain eating habits. The Let’s Move! website states:

At the launch of the initiative, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum creating the first-ever Task Force on Childhood Obesity to conduct a review of every single programs and policies [sic[ relating to child nutrition and physical activity and develop a national action plan to maximize federal resources and set concrete benchmarks toward the First Lady’s national goal. The Task Force recommendations focus on the five pillars of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative:

  1. Creating a healthy start for children
  2. Empowering parents and caregivers
  3. Providing healthy food in schools
  4. Improving access to healthy, affordable foods
  5. Increasing physical activity

Both Barack and his wife believe that “elected officials from all levels of government” can influence children’s choices in order to prevent obesity. One of the challenges Michelle Obama believes has impacted the increase in obesity among schoolchildren is that “Thirty years ago, kids ate just one snack a day, whereas now they are trending toward three snacks, resulting in an additional 200 calories a day. And one in five school-age children has up to six snacks a day.”

Michelle also cited larger portions of food and sweetened drinks served at restaurants as a cause of increasingly overweight American children.

With the Obamas’ support, the 111th Congress passed the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” in December 2010 designed “to reauthorize nutrition programs, and for other purposes” which included changes to “National School Lunch Program.”  CNN reported that Barack Obama signed the bill, described as “a sweeping overhaul of child nutrition standards Monday, enacting a law meant to encourage better eating habits in part by giving the federal government more authority to set standards for food sold in vending machines and elsewhere on school grounds.”

The bill is considered Michelle’s “signature” legislation, with one CNN anchor claiming that Michelle Obama “signed the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act into law.”  In June 2011, Michelle sponsored a “Recipes for Healthy Kids competition” lauded by Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Grants are also made available for the creation of “school breakfast programs” as well as increased participation in existing programs.  Summer food service programs also receive funding under the legislation.

On Tuesday, Michelle’s “Let’s Move” program encompassed the White House grounds when 50 Girl Scouts “camped out” on the front lawn until thunder and lightning forced the participants inside.

Families whose children do not qualify for free or reduced lunches are reportedly paying more for school lunches than before Public Law 111-296 was passed.  Similarly, Americans who do not qualify for federal health care subsidies under Barack Obama’s “signature” health care law known as “Obamacare” report paying higher premiums than before under health plans which were canceled.

Michelle touted the new school lunch program as providing more fruits and vegetables, lower sodium levels and fat, more whole grains, and fewer empty calories to America’s public school children in an 850-calorie count.  However, some school systems have reported that more food is being discarded than before the new regulations took effect and that children’s appetites are not satiated by the foods served, resulting in difficulty concentrating.

On October 2, 2012, The Washington Times reported, “Students nationwide are boycotting new federal school lunch rules, reverting to brown-bagging it in a mini-revival of individual freedom among the milk-drinking crowd.”

In response to a 2014 Republicans proposal to allow school systems to withdraw from the current school lunch program if they can show it has not been cost-effective, Michelle said that “the new standards are working” to reduce the number of overweight and obese children and that “the last thing that we can afford to do right now is play politics with our kids’ health.”

But Michelle Obama is a fan of the very foods she has banned from public school cafeterias.  In an article dated November 30, 2008 in the Rockford (IL) Register Star, Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia are described as “frequent visitors” to a Des Moines, IA restaurant, Baby Boomers Cafe, specifically for its “chocolate-chunk cookies.”

The article, titled “Obama’s Fave Cookie Can Be Your Fave Cookie, Too,” begins, “Want an example of the change Barack Obama is bringing to the country?  Check out cookie sales at Baby Boomers Cafe.  Ever since word spread about the president-elect and his family’s fondness for Baby Boomers’ chocolate-chunk cookies, the small downtown restaurant can’t make them fast enough.”

The writer, Amy Lorentzen, related that Baby Boomers owner Rodney Maxfield reported a surge in cookie orders after the Obamas’ “affection for the confection” became public. According to the article, while the Obama family spent time in Iowa the previous month, “Obama’s staff ordered about a dozen cookies for the family.”

Comments about Baby Boomers’ chocolate-chunk cookies acknowledge that “Obama loves these cookies.”  Another comments reads, “Going for more than one gets a little greasy for the belly.  We did have the chocolate chip cookies that are rumored to be enjoyed by the Obama girls.  They were good.”

Des Moines’ Channel 13 reported that “Baby Boomers’ chocolate chip cookies became famous the world over after word got out they were a favorite of the Obama family.”  At the same time, in April 2012, Baby Boomers closed its doors in Iowa and moved to Denver, CO.

In a January 2009 interview with Fox News, Maxfield said of his popular confection, “You have two and then you decide to have four. It’s a good cookie.”


Join the Conversation


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Vegetarianism is an affront to logic. Humans are made of meat. Therefore it only makes sense that meat would be the only thing that can ACTUALLY be broken down into amino acids and then used to create the proper proteins that the body needs. ALL herbivores have either HUGE digestive tracts (relative to their body size), or tracts incorporating multi-chambered stomachs, in order to execute the chemical processes necessary to convert plants to assimilatable amino acids and proteins. The LACK of those amino acids manifests in many bodily imbalances. The cells make thousands of proteins each second. If a necessary amino acid is not present, the cell doesn’t go looking for it, it uses something else. This creates issues, as one could imagine, if repeated too often. All developed countries have been slowly removing protein from our diets, in a ways that might not be obvious. Many chemicals and additives make many meat proteins unusable to our bodies, Not entirely, but enough to be an issue. As with anything with the O’s, the motivations are always obfuscated. Read about the CFL and LED lightbulbs for a real lesson in why we always need to do research, when someone proposes ludicrous measures for “saving” some resource. Exercise for people with poor protein intake will eventually be harmful. If your body is “burning” (using) protein for building itself, especially under high activity, but lacks sufficient protein, it will rob Peter to pay Paul and try to pay Peter back later. This causes health issues. MO was a football player, H-she should know this.

  2. Not to suggest a connection, but worth mentioning that in history there have been examples of politicians who were totalitarian with quirky ideas about nutrition.

    Adolf (who needs to mention his last name?) became a vegetarian and said “meat eating is a perversion in our human nature” followed by “Christianity is a symptom of decay” because it did not urge vegetarianism.

    In other words, free people can decide for themselves WHAT and WHEN to eat, WHAT to drink, WHAT to snack on.

    Michelle, well meaning or not, seems pedantic and condescending to others, while permitting herself and her children culinary freedoms from which she would gladly disenfranchise all others.

    Her party is rife with elitism, a trait shared by Republican nomenclature.

    Independents and good citizens of both parties are sick of such dogmatism.