Michelle Obama takes to the Times to battle science and politics. Her topic is her "Let's Move" campaign and she includes this teeth-grinder:
Opposing healthy kids would be like opposing hot dogs and apple pie motherhood and the flag baseball. However:
To achieve this goal, we have adhered to one clear standard: what works. The initiatives we undertake are evidence-based, and we rely on the most current science. Research indicated that kids needed less sugar, salt and fat in their diets, so we revamped school lunch menus accordingly.
Ahhh! Fine, salt may be problem, but for my money this is like saying that kids face a health crisis from measles, polio and poison ivy. High salt consumption is probably a marker for high consumption of fast food and processed food, which tend to be high in sugar and other carbs; take out the salt and you still have unsalted crap.
And fat? Please give me a scientific break - the 2010 USDA guidlines were questioned by Dr. Willet, our Harvard savant, when they came out and have since been undermined by yet another huge meta-study.
Sugar and refined carbs are the problem; BS will not be the solution.
Speaking of BS, Michelle tackles Big Stats head on with this dubious claim:
Today, we are seeing glimmers of progress. Tens of millions of kids are getting better nutrition in school; families are thinking more carefully about food they eat, cook and buy; companies are rushing to create healthier products to meet the growing demand; and the obesity rate is finally beginning to fall from its peak among our youngest children.
Whether that reported drop merited the breathless headlines it generated or was merely a statistical blip remains a Frequently Unasked Question.
Michelle wanders into the field of politics with this claim:
But unfortunately, we’re now seeing attempts in Congress to undo so much of what we’ve accomplished on behalf of our children. Take, for example, what’s going on now with the Women, Infants and Children program, known as WIC. This is a federal program designed to provide supplemental nutrition to low-income women and their babies and toddlers. The idea is to fill in the gaps in their diets — to help them buy items like fresh produce that they can’t afford on their own — and give them the nutrition they’re missing.
Right now, the House of Representatives is considering a bill to override science by mandating that white potatoes be included on the list of foods that women can purchase using WIC dollars. Now, there is nothing wrong with potatoes. The problem is that many women and children already consume enough potatoes and not enough of the nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables they need. That’s why the Institute of Medicine — the nonpartisan, scientific body that advises on the standards for WIC — has said that potatoes should not be part of the WIC program.
The Evil House, probably backed by the Evil Koch Brothers. Left unmentioned - the still Democratic controlled Senate recently fell in line and put pototoes on the approved list:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The ubiquitous white potato has scored another victory on Capitol Hill.
House and Senate panels this week endorsed the inclusion of fresh white potatoes in the federal Women, Infants and Children nutrition program. The Agriculture Department doesn't allow them in the program because they say people already eat enough of them. Other fresh fruits and vegetables are allowed.
The potato industry has aggressively lobbied for inclusion in WIC, saying it's not as much about sales as perception that potatoes are less nutritious than other vegetables.
The Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday adopted an amendment by Maine Sen. Susan Collins to an agriculture spending bill that would include white potatoes in WIC. That followed House subcommittee approval of its version of the bill earlier this week, also allowing potatoes into the program.
Susan Collins is a moderate Republican and servant of Big Potato, but Dems still control that committee.
I wonder how Michelle overlooked that.