Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let's Move

I first addressed Ms. Obama’s
Let's Move campaign February 28th. Thanks to a recent road trip, I have come to the realization that the First Lady has a long road to travel, but at least she has taken the first steps to educate America on healthier habits (eating and physical activity).

Read On:
Let me share with you stop by stop what I witnessed firsthand:

- Campus #1 – Visited a prototype of a new campus C-Store being operated by one of the leading foodservice contract management companies in America. Impressive! It had a separate aisle for organic foods and a refrigerated section for healthier selections like salads, fruit, etc., but both sections paled in comparison to all the snack foods and soda that were being merchandised. My mission was to study the frozen foods section. One out of the four freezer windows had plenty of vegetarian and organic options, but I learned that the most popular items were Bagel Bites (200 calories per 2 piece serving, 50 calories from fat, 4 pieces per package), individual DiGiorno For One frozen pizzas (790 calories, 320 calories from fat) and a box of six White Castle sliders. I wonder what the average college student’s preferred beverage of choice would be for these items. Beer? Sounds like a separate research project.

- Campus #2 – While waiting for my interview, I sat in a campus café watching students inhale their food between classes. Read a recent Technomic snacking report that indicated people have increased their snacking and 35% indicated that their snacks were healthier. I must have witnessed the other 65%. I also noticed a table tent promoting the campus’s Burger challenge: a free T-Shirt plus your photo on the campus’s Burger Wall of Fame if you and a friend can clean your plate in 30 minutes – a 13 lb. burger. I wonder if any of the contestants actually ask for a side of French fries.

- At the Marriott Courtyard in the Baltimore harbor, I observed families of four tackle the $10.95 all you can eat breakfast buffet. In the February blog as referenced above, I indicated that if we were going support Ms. Obama’s campaign, it needed to start at home, thus I quoted an American writer: “Parents teach, institutions instruct.” I did not witness any teaching going on in the restaurant of the Marriott, but I will correct myself, parents were on holiday away from home, so they were entitled to a break.

Time for my closing thought. America, we need to start walking the talk if we are ever going to win the war on obesity. Our First Lady has pointed us in the right direction. We need to start taking those baby steps down the long journey ahead.


  1. Success fighting obesity is not hiding in a forest of deprivation. It will not come from battling the pleasure factor (note the historically ineffective campaigns against alcohol, drugs, pornography). It is sitting directly in front of us...Success fighting obesity will result from getting kids up off the sofa.

    Improved recreational opportunities, REAL phys ed in schools...the establishment of a culture of physical activity is the answer.

    The sedentary life that results from technological advances will always stay ahead of the # of cals and fat grams we can cut from out diet.

    Does our future lie with enjoying the benefits of food and physical activity as nature intended or sitting plugged into our PC & IV?

  2. My won observations: A relative was recently in the hospital and my wife and I were there a lot over the w/e. ALL the snack machines, as well as the cafeteria, offered ONLY high-fat, high-sugar items: candy bars, chips, etc. There was nary a piece of fruit or a healthy snack of any kind available anywhere on-site. What are they thinking? This was a NEW and VERY PROGRESSIVE hospital in every way except in their guest dining. Sad and pathetic. It all starts at the lowest levels. WE must begin DEMANDING better selections. But dont take away my bacon...

  3. Part of the problem is eating healthy is expensive. I get a salad at the cafeteria and it costs $9.00. Compare that to a value meal. The cost of baked chips exceeds the cost of regular high-fat chips (generally) because those who care will pay more. But if you don't have the dough, so to speak, it takes ALOT of planning (plan to carry carrot sticks from home).