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michelle obama
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Michelle Obama And The Elusive Concept Of Moderation
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Michelle Obama And the Elusive Concept Of Moderation

First Lady Michelle Obama’s program, the Let’s Move Campaign has pit her against a formidable foe: childhood obesity. With the number of children who are overweight or obese skyrocketing, Mrs. Obama is trying to make some of the basic changes become second nature. But, instead of touting impossible to follow diets or expensive gym membership, she is leading by example, including the occasional splurge. But, to Mrs. Obama, who has never made a secret of her love for burgers and fries, there is no such thing as a forbidden food, only a food that should be eaten occasionally. According to the nutritional experts, she is giving her daughters as well as those who follow her example a valuable lesson in the concept of moderation.

It could have been any other American woman in the country and no one else would have even batted an eye. But, this was the health conscious First Lady of the United States, walking into the new Shake Shack and ordering a burger, fries, a chocolate milk shake and a diet soda. A collective gasp from those who have watched her every move, including digging up part of the White House lawn for a garden, went up. Surely, Mrs. Obama wasn’t planning on eating this meal, which altogether would equal roughly 1500 calories, or the daily amount recommended for certain women. But, according to the experts and her supporters, there was nothing wrong with the meal or the amount she was eating.

Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietician and author said that it is obvious that Michelle Obama is not eating burgers and fries daily nor is she likely to even eat these kind of things weekly, so every now and then, as a splurge meal is not going to be a problem. She gets calcium from the milkshake, protein and iron from the burger which are pluses but on the downside, there is a lot of fat and calories as well as sodium in these kind of meals.

The experts agreed that it was a good thing to show her daughters that the occasional splurge is okay but worried what the message might be to everyone else who may not see the other meals that the Obamas are eating on a regular basis. Too many people will focus on this one meal and say that Michelle Obama has toned arms and looks good, and she eats these things so I must be able to do so as well.

Meal plans that are too strict as well as parents that are too calorie conscious with their children may be contributing to the rising numbers of eating disorders, now being seen in children who are as young as eight years old all across the country. Girls, in particular are feeling the intense drive to be thin and may talk about dieting in terms that are unhealthy and may represent dangerous, disordered thinking when it comes to food and nutrition.


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