Friday, February 12, 2010

Dude You Got Nothing on Michelle Obama

I don't really recall reading scathing opinions directed towards Laura Bush and her reading initiative. After a Google search, I couldn't find anything let alone a piece quite as hackish as Paul Campos' clear attack on Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative:

What Michelle Obama is doing this week is launching the next big government “war” on a supposed social crisis. On Tuesday, President Obama signed an executive order directing government agencies to work with private industry to combat “childhood obesity.” The First Lady took to the airwaves, issuing dire warnings that one third of America’s children are dangerously fat, while launching a website which makes the alarming claim that, “for the first time in our history, American children may face a shorter expected lifespan than their parents.” The goal of the campaign, Mrs. Obama emphasized, is to “eliminate this problem of childhood obesity in a generation.”

All this is dangerous nonsense.

The rest is distortions and assumptions with a heavily weighted (pun intended) bias. Does TNR really have any purpose to publishing this slop? The program is about eating healthier and getting outside. Hardly controversial.

From the Let's Move homepage:

Let's Move! has an ambitious but important goal: to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation.

Let’s Move will give parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools, help our kids to be more physically active, and make healthy, affordable food available in every part of our country.

Personally I think this is a great idea. I come from a family history of childhood obesity back when no one knew they could do anything about it. I have witnessed the various members of my family and extended family struggle with their weight. The problem doesn't just subside over the years, it can cause further issues such as Type II Diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and heart conditions. Addressing the problem head on, early on is better than just saying "well kids are fatter nowadays, everyone loves a Ho-Ho," which is essentially the Campos argument.

It is apparent that Campos just wanted to tell everyone how much he dislikes Michelle and her parenting, however after reading his rant, dude has got nothing on her whatsoever.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

Update: A reader writes to Andrew Sullivan, excerpt:

Campos is off-base. If changes in diet and exercise have benefits even if there is no weight loss, is that an argument against trying to achieve weight loss? Of course not.

One of the studies he cites about interventions to achieve weight loss clearly documented that the children did not decrease caloric intake. Is it a surprise that they did not lose weight? The increase in obesity rates is leveling off. So obesity is not a problem? Weight nomograms are arbitrary? No kidding, it is a nomogram. The issue is that more children are now overweight/obese by those nomograms than they were 20-30 years ago.

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