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).
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.