ObFo: Huckabee Scolds Fellow Republicans, Defends Let’s Move!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on February 25, 2011

If you want to know anything about the Obama White House relating to food, from the administration’s agricultural policy to what dessert is being served at the next state dinner, Obama Foodorama is the blog you’re looking for.

Yesterday ObFo had two interesting posts on Let’s Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to combate childhood obesity.

The first post relates to the far right’s frequent attacks on Mrs. Obama’s program, coming from folks like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Bachmann.  I’ve often written here that such attacks have only to do with the messenger and nothing to do with the message.  (Take this thought experiment:  would anyone on the right be attacking Laura Bush, for example, had she adopted childhood obesity as her cause and offered up the exact same proposals?)

Well, recently stepping up to the plate to defend Mrs. Obama was none other than former Arkansas governor and 2008 (2012?) Republican presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee (who himself successfully battled obesity, losing over 100 pounds).  Noting that Mrs. Obama’s message is actually right in line with the right wing emphasis on personal responsibility over governmental intervention, Huckabee said, “Rather than us condemn Michelle Obama, I think we ought to be thanking her and praising her for what she’s done.”   Yay, Mike!  Read all of Huckabee’s comments at ObFo here.

On a related note, ObFo has a recap of White House chef (and TLT’s favorite food hottie!) Sam Kass’s recent speech about the accomplishments achieved in first year of Let’s Move! and what’s ahead for the future.  You can read that here.

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jenna Food w/ Kid Appeal February 25, 2011 at 9:24 am

re: making a dent in childhood obesity issue – “Kass has miles to go before he sleeps. As does the First Lady, and all of America, for that matter.”

so true. i hope every parent, school teacher, principal, school food director, community member, school board director. is thinking long and hard about that statement. i hope more folks are saying, crap, i do need to do something to help solve the problem. classroom teachers need to find space in their day to allow kids to think about food choices. journaling about food, writing letters to community. science teachers need to be reading labels with kids, assessing ingredients. math teachers could be asking kids to bring in labels from their after school snacks and graphing them according to healthy, decent, whoa! stop charts.

principals need to encourage and support teachers to utilize classroom time to teach academic skills with nutrition education as a vehicle. school board members need to influence food service departments to find ways to get better food on the line and down the hatch. principals, school boards and food services managers need to work together to make that happen.

agree with Kass, schools need help from the community to make real food in the lunch room a reality for students.

the solution doesn’t lie with one entity along that chain. it will take collaboration between all those moving parts to develop a feasible and effective solution.

we all have miles to go before we can put this issue to bed.

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bettina elias siegel February 25, 2011 at 11:34 am

Jenna – Absolutely. No one person or entity can fix a problem this big. That’s why when my district recently mentioned at a meeting using reduced student BMI as a measure of its success with improved school food, wellness, PE, etc. I said, great, I hope you can show that, but if you can’t, it’s not necessarily a sign of failure. There are just too many influences on a student to lay obesity at the steps of the school.

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