Obamas Getting Tough On Obesity?

This week we learned, ”People who drank two or more soft drinks a week had an 87% increased risk — or nearly twice the risk — of pancreatic cancer compared to individuals consuming no soft drinks,” says Noel T. Mueller, MPH, lead research associate at the Cancer Control Program at Georgetown University Medical Center.  This from the recently published study in a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention?

The study was done to test a theory that high glycemic beverages like soft drinks and commercial grade fruit juices are a major contributor to pancreatic cancer.  The study found that commercial grade juices, though extremely high on the glycemic scale, do not effect pancreatic cancer risk.  So what could be the difference?

Oh yeah, juice contains a natural sugar.  Soft drinks contain a synthetic one, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  Coincidence?

HFCS of course is the brainchild of one of the wealthiest corporations in the world, Monsanto.

This week we also learned that the Obama’s have announced a new child obesity initiative with cheflebrity Jamie Oliver, Let’s Move.  This would be exciting if it weren’t such an utter fraud.  While Oliver is genuine, Mrs. Obama made her announcement with USDA chief Tom Vilsak (legendary Monsanto lobbyist) and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin (a Burger King consultant) at her side.

Also standing with the first lady was Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, a career politician with absolutely no experience or training in social services or nutrition.  Ms. Sebelius has degrees in political science and public administration, the academic equivalents of basket weaving.

With a stroke of his mighty pen, President Obama signed an executive order that outlines the ever expanding federal government’s role in a problem that affects one-third of the school-age children in the country.  An issue that he claims as, “one of the most urgent health issues we face in this country,” with all of the sincerity of a fox offering to guard the hen house.

While proper exercise is another key factor in childhood obesity the chief cause is diet.  Between diet and exercise, diet is the most important.  If children enjoy a proper diet then the amount of exercise they receive in an average school day would suffice. But a diet of processed foods containing HFCS and hydrogenated oils requires much more exercise to negate the negative effects of that diet.

That’s why the Obama’s Let’s Move serves as little more than a diversion from the real issue.  The people the President has appointed to make the decisions about what is and is not healthy are not qualified to make these decisions.  People like Sebelius, Benjamin, Vilsak and many others do not base their policies on what is best for the country but what is best for their corporate masters.

If President Obama were genuine he would not have traded our children’s well-being for campaign contributions.  He likely did not chose his appointees because of careful examination of the facts but more likely to repay the people who financed the most expensive Presidential campaign in history. Clearly they where not chosen based on qualifications.  Holding a press conference vowing to end the obesity epidemic while surrounded by the very people championing the chemicals causing that epidemic is at best  hypocritical.

food revolution

3 Responses to Obamas Getting Tough On Obesity?

  • susan irby says:

    All interesting points, Stuart. To their credit, however, at least they are taking a national stand on even adressing the nation’s obesity problem which will at the very least bring the issue to the forefront of people’s minds. In this case, some effort is better than no effort. As well, many of the people you cited with no experience have to be a part of the effort just by their very position… Director of Health and Human Services, for example. Further, a person’s college education does not solely determine whether or not they are qualififed to speak or act on a health, nutrition platform. I, for example, majored in Journalism which has nothing to do with nutrition. However, since that time, I have immersed myself into studying and researching the diet, various foods and beverages, exercise and how each impacts overall health and weight.

    I say, while perhaps not a perfect plan, at least they are making a positive effort to increase awareness of the obesity epidemic and initiate some form of a plan to begin the process of reducing the rate of obesity and number of obese Americans.

    • Thanks, Susan, unlike the people making the decisions in Washington you actually are qualified. I would love to see you head the department of Health and Human Services. And how about Alice Waters leading the USDA?

      But you are absolutely right, any attention drawn to this problem helps. Parents need to be given the proper tools and information to help them raise healthy and happy children.

  • Asking “Is it okay to be fat?” makes as much sense as asking if it’s ok to be short, or tall, or thin, or blond, or brunette, or blue-eyed, or brown-eyed, or Asian, or Native American, or Black, or blind, or paralyzed, or different in any way from what is considered the “norm”. After all, we have just about as much control over fatness as we have over all the other ways we are different from one another. Of course it’s ok to be fat, just like it’s ok to be thin, or anything in-between fat and thin. The best way to make it mainstream acceptable to be fat is for more and more fat people to learn how to accept themselves as fat, learn to love themselves, and demand the respect and dignity we all deserve as human beings.

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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