twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Sarah Palin Opposed to First Lady's Anti-Obesity Campaign

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This
Guest blogger Kate Tuttle: Michelle Obama, following in established First Lady footsteps, has adopted a couple of issues to focus on as an advocate during her husband's time in office. For both Laura and Barbara Bush, the issues were education and literacy; for Hillary Clinton, it was women and children's health. In other words, being married to the President and working on the behalf of relatively uncontroversial feel-good issues just kind of go together. So there's nothing really shocking about Michelle Obama planting a vegetable garden at the White House, going on "Sesame Street" to talk about healthy eating with Elmo or promoting her "Let's Move!" campaign against childhood obesity. Except to Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin
On Laura Ingraham's radio show last week, the former Republican Vice Presidential candidate slammed Michelle Obama's anti-obesity program, warning that it smacks of government intrusion into parental decisions over how to feed and raise children.

A quote: "Take her anti-obesity thing that she is on. She is on this kick, right. What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat. And I know I'm going to be again criticized for bringing this up, but instead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician's wife priorities, just leave us alone, get off our back and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions and then our country gets back on the right track."

Now, I've read the stuff on the Let's Move website (which has sections on food and nutrition, exercise and other health-related topics). I'm not seeing any kind of massive government takeover of the food industry, and certainly not of individual families' kitchens. What I do see is middle-of-the-road, common-sense advice and information for parents, as well as some policy recommendations for better product package information (so that, for instance, junk food cannot hide its true caloric and sodium loads by misleading consumers about the size of a "portion") and a call for partnerships with pediatricians so that children's doctors get more involved in supporting families to raise healthier kids. Nobody's advocating taking away parental authority over kids, although I have to admit, there are times when I wish I could intervene whenever I see a family of supersized kids whose parents clearly are contributing to their lifelong poor health.

Another kid-focused political food fight is in the works, this one on Capitol Hill, where Congress is prepared to vote this week on a bill authorizing an expansion of eligibility for free and reduced school lunches -- particularly needed in today's economy, where an estimated 20 percent of children (35 percent of black children) are living at or below the poverty line. (Those figures are from 2008, so they are certainly understated.) The bill also sets new guidelines in place to ensure that school lunches are nutritionally sound. Given that many children receive inadequate meals at home, making sure that what they get at school is good for them seems to be eminently sound public policy. Even the relatively conservative FOXNews organization argues that school lunch programs are essential to helping break the cycle of poverty.

Palin's just using this issue to make political hay -- and I think this one might backfire on her. If there's one thing everybody agrees on, it's that our kids deserve the best lives we can prepare them for. As divided as our country is right now, it's hard to picture anybody but the most extreme Palin fan really buying her argument. As this piece in the Huffington Post makes clear, it may be poor politics for Palin to attack Michelle Obama, who remains more popular than her husband (a common situation for First Ladies), and especially for a program that aims to help children's health, an issue with which it is difficult to ... well, take issue. But Palin works in mysterious ways.

I'm eager to see where she takes this -- and whether or not anyone will follow.

next: Putting Baby on Auto-Soothe
111 comments so far | Post a comment now
online payday loans December 10, 2010, 9:27 AM

Easily i’m not against that which you saying but i’ve got to exclude that you aren’t valid within this issue. Why in the world man convertd a great deal in course of time? Can’t we simply coincide on all causes? We’d comparable condition in our business.Decoding the challenge want some concentrated analysis

pay day loans December 10, 2010, 9:40 AM

I’m really thankful to the author of the post for making this lovely and informative article live to put us. We really appreciate ur effort. Keep up the nice work… .

annon December 10, 2010, 3:56 PM

Palin will say and do anything to stay in the news. McCain should be kicked for opening up pandoras box and letting that woman out,now look what we have to put up with. Everyone can “see” we are an obese society. Pailn should spend more time teaching her own children, like Bristol, to not eat anything that has High Frutose Corn Syrup in it and get some exercise before she is part of the obese group. Our government should insist on the FDA from using HFCS in any of our foods. Look what it’s done to our country. 65% of our population is obese. You go M. Obama, your on the right track, but more needs to be done and it needs to start with our schools. We need better lunches, exercise programs and most of all a good education! We’re not only becoming fat, now we are lacking in education. Fat and dumb, what a future!!!!!!

Cathy December 12, 2010, 1:46 PM

I am surprised how many of you don’t realize that Mrs. Obama cannot take on all aspects of the obesity problem. She can’t very well attack the schools, then people like Sarah would be right. That would be the government taking over in our schools. The obestiy program is geared towards the children and trying to get them to make proper choices when the parents aren’t around! Stop looking for things to argue against. Don’t think Lady Bird caught flack because she wanted flowers planted all over America!

payday loans online December 13, 2010, 1:08 PM

Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who had been doing a little research on that. Anf the husband actually bought me lunch because I stumbled upon it for him smile So ok , i’ll rephrase that: Many thanks lunch!

same day payday loans December 13, 2010, 2:00 PM

I’ve recently started a blog, the details you provide on this website has helped me tremendously. I appreciate you for all of your current time & work…

payday loan December 13, 2010, 2:23 PM

Whenever I visit this great site there’s something totally new and improved that i can learn from. Haha I’ve experienced your source code multiple times to know how you’re doing things to wear them my site. Thanks! I am able to coach you on about approaches to earn money online.

payday loan online December 13, 2010, 6:38 PM

I keep following what is this great update lecture about receiving boundless online grant applications and so i have been exploring the very best site to get one. Might you advise me please, where could i recieve some?

online payday loan December 13, 2010, 7:09 PM

Hello, Today within a new directory of blogs. I don’t know how your website came up, will need to have been a typo. Your site looks good, possess a nice day.

fast payday loans December 14, 2010, 7:06 AM

Thank you for spending some time to talk about this, Personally i think strongly regarding it and love learning more about this topic. Whenever possible, since you gain expertise, can you mind updating your site with extra information? It is extremely great for me.

fast payday loans December 14, 2010, 7:39 AM

When I visit this great site there’s new things and improved should study from. Haha I’ve been in your source code several times to know how you’re doing a bit of things so we could wear them my site. Thanks! I am able to coach you on about solutions to easy.

cash loans December 14, 2010, 8:28 AM

We are really thankful for the author in this post to make this lovely and informative article live to put us. We actually appreciate ur effort. Sustain the nice work… .

same day payday loans December 14, 2010, 8:51 AM

Certainly with all your thoughts here and I love your blog! I’ve bookmarked it to ensure I can return & read more later on.

Clt December 14, 2010, 10:47 AM

Palin is for anything the Obama’s are against and against anything they are for. I never heard of a more negative person in my life. Nothing wrong with kids getting the message to eat right and exercise. I was in elementary school in the 70’s and we learned about the “food pyramid” then. I think what the first lady is doing is great and should be a harmless issue. Palin is a 1/2 term governor who quit that job, why should her criticism of the first lady or president be treated like big news?

same day payday loans December 14, 2010, 12:59 PM

Thanks a lot for ones downright post.this is actually the words that sustains me on the right track straight through out my day. I’ve been searching around just for this site after being known them from the colleague and was thrilled once i was able to locate it after looking for reasonable length of time. As a demanding blogger, i’m hopeful to remarked further ones taking initivative and adding to the community. True wished to comment to show my appreciation to your website as it’s very intelligent to complete, plus some writers do not accumulate acknowledgment they deserve. I will be definite i’ll return to their office and definately will send most of my local freinds.

pay day loan December 14, 2010, 1:30 PM

Thanks much to your downright is the words that sustains me on target straight through my day. I have been searching around with this site after being known as them from your colleague and was thrilled as i was able to locate it after looking for while. As a demanding blogger, i’m hopeful to remarked further ones taking initivative and triggering the community. True planned to comment to indicate my appreciation for your website because it is very intelligent to perform, and some writers tend not to accumulate acknowledgment they deserve. We are definite i’ll be back and can send a few of my friends.

online payday loan December 14, 2010, 1:41 PM

Easily i am not saying against what we saying but i must exclude that you aren’t valid about this issue. Why that is known man convertd a lot in course of time? Can’t we simply coincide on all causes? There were comparable overuse injury in our business.Decoding the situation want some concentrated analysis

nolaParent December 15, 2010, 8:10 AM

The healthier we are, the less of a burden we are on the healthcare system. Would Sarah agree with that?

Pharma10 December 17, 2010, 1:52 AM

Hello! cfaddaf interesting cfaddaf site!

Anonymous December 20, 2010, 10:09 PM

I really think the government has gone crazy. As a parent I don’t understand how the first lady can blame the children’s obesity on us. When my kids are at school most of the day and they don’t get up much and move their bodies. They are always sitting down at their desk doing work work work. For some reason the school teachings have changed and the children have to learn eeverything I mean everything before they are in middle school. Yes I understand that there are a lot of children that are over weight. And yes there are parents that don’t watch or care what their children are eating but the first lady can not make it sound like it is all of us. I think there needs to be more physical activity in the school and stop trying to push so much on them and let them be kids.

Back to top >>