Monday, June 06, 2011

Food Pyramid Morphs Into $2 Million Plate

Last week, President Obama went to Ohio to distract from the dismal economic reports of the week. He went on the premise of highlighting the success of the auto bail-outs. While he was in town, he mentioned he enjoyed two chili hot dogs with onions. And French fries.

Innocent enough for most Presidents. This President, however, is married to the First Lady who has determined that her premiere issue will be childhood nutrition. She wants to use her megaphone to bring awareness to the growing childhood obesity epidemic.

Both are guilty of indulging in the kinds of foods everyone enjoys but they do so in public. Again, not a big deal for regular mortals but for them it is pointing to a disconnect. If Michelle Obama is trying to educate families and children on healthy eating, shouldn't the First Couple do so publicly? Shouldn't they show that it can be done with a bit of effort?

Under Michelle Obama's watch, the USDA revamped the food pyramid - tossing it aside - and has replaced that with a plate design to show the recommended food distribution of a healthy diet. And, it came with a price tag of $2 million.

U.S.D.A. Spent approximately $2 million to develop and promote the new logo to replace the food pyramid. The campaign is being used to convey several health messages such as eating smaller portions, drinking water over sugary drinks, minimizing salt intake and switching to low-fat or fat-free milk.

Are you a viewer of Jamie Oliver's television program? The one where he is re-educating American public school systems on proper nutrition and showing ways of preparing healthy school lunches for students that they will actually eat? Well, he is currently shown in Los Angeles and what is his number one biggest obstacle to healthy reform? The cafeteria workers union. Yep. Union workers are protected over school children by the Los Angeles school board.

Now, let's see. Who was a driving force in the election of Barack Obama? Unions. Couldn't Michelle Obama, if she is so committed to nutrition reform efforts, look into the road blocks here? Instead of demanding restaurants serve smaller portions and healthier foods, maybe she could focus on her own initiatives closer to the true problems.

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