When Michelle Obama took on childhood obesity in 2009 after her husband took office, she aimed high … too high for food manufacturers. In 2010 she said:
“Today, snacking between meals has become more the norm rather than the exception. And while kids 30 years ago ate just one snack a day, we’re now trending toward three — so our kids are taking in an additional 200 calories a day just from snacks alone.”
“We need you not just to tweak around the edges, but to entirely rethink the products that you’re offering, the information that you provide about these products, and how you market those products to our children.”
“This isn’t about finding creative ways to market products as healthy. As you know, it’s about producing products that actually are healthy — products that can help shape the health habits of an entire generation.”
Good stuff? Good stuff. But food manufacturers pushed back and the First Lady’s initiative, which originally focused on food, was relegated to “a jumping jacks campaign.”
“The real reason for the shift [from food to activity]: “Move more” is not politically loaded. “Eat less” is.
Everyone loves to promote physical activity. Trying to get the food industry to budge on product formulations and marketing to kids is an uphill battle that confronts intense, highly paid lobbying.
The political cost of fighting the food industry is surely the reason for the change in Mrs. Obama’s rhetoric.”
Mark my words … as Hillary Clinton positions herself as a presidential contender in the 2016 election, she and her family will be careful not to irk the monolithic food industry. Bill Clinton has already begun speaking about recrafting his “vegan” diet to include more “protein,” more eggs and seafood and other foods that Americans eat … that the food industry gets rich selling to us.