First Lady Urges Ban on Unhealthful Food
by Charles "Chuck" Waggon
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 10, 2010 ̵ "I owe it to the children," First Lady Michelle Obama said Wednesday as she announced her ambitious plan to control "dangerous, fattening and unhealthy" foods.
"Food is the biggest killer of children," she said. "Not right away, but by the time they're 40 or 50 they'll start dying off because of the bad eating habits they began as children. It is vital, therefore, that we keep dangerous, fattening and unhealthy foods out of reach of children."
Her proposal includes an outright ban on Class I foods (those considered most deadly), strict federal controls on Class II foods (considered unhealthful if consumed in average quantities), mandatory warning labels on Class III foods (considered unhealthful if consumed in large quantities), and tax credits on Class IV foods (foods that are considered usually healthful).
"So say goodbye to Oreos," Mrs. Obama said. "These cookies, emblematic of my husband's family, contain way too much fat and too much sugar, plus the manufacturer intentionally makes them delicious in order to induce addiction and overindulgence. We are classifying them as Class I controlled food substances because they're simply too dangerous to be allowed in a home."
She said most foods produced by TreeHouse Foods will receive Class II and III designations. TreeHouse is the company that gave Ms. Obama a seat on its board of directors after her husband was elected to the U.S. Senate. The position allowed the company to channel about $250,000 to the Obama family during the two years she sat on the board.
She was forced to give up her position when her husband ran for the Presidency and found it necessary to criticize Sen. Hillary Clinton for her work on the board of Walmart, TreeHouse's biggest customer.
When a Fox News reporter asked her whether her former relationship with TreeHouse created a conflict of interest, Mrs. Obama simply said, "Absolutely not. It wasn't him who got the money. It was me, and I deserved it because I sat on three hours of board meetings every month and helped them all kinds of ways."
Mrs. Obama glanced at her watch and rushed out of the press conference, leaving her aide, Anna Recksiek, to answer questions. Newly named director of the National Organization of Food and Oral Obsession Department (NOFOOD), Recksiek said she was proud of her work on a new pamphlet, "U.S. Food Classifications and Regulations." She passed out copies to journalists.
Class I food substances, which are banned beginning June 1, include items that are made primarily of refined sugar and unhealthful fats. Examples are candy, Jello (thus, there's never room for Jello), donuts (including the holes), cake, cookies, pie filling, Oreos and chocolate milk. Grain-fed beef and all trans fats fall into this category.
Class II food substances are controlled. Citizens may acquire small quantities by obtaining a prescription through a federally certified nutritionist. Permitted quantities are calculated by a formula that takes into account the recipient's body fat index, height-weight ratio, age, average blood sugar level and family size. Included in this classification are such products as brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, dairy products, French fries, avocados, grass-fed beef, non-organic fruits, salt and pasta.
Class III food substances may be bought and sold freely but must be labeled with warning labels showing a bloated, anthropomorphic pig. Included are olive oil, fish, goat (the most commonly consumed meat in the world), venison, artificial sweeteners, whole wheat flour, most fish, brown rice, and organically grown fruits.
Class IV food substances can generate tax credits for low-income families. The following foods comprise the entire list of Class IV foods: organically grown vegetables (excluding Lima beans, which contain cyanide), pollock and whiting (ocean fish that have extremely low levels of fat and have the added benefit of having a consumption-discouraging bland flavor), tofu, soy milk, alfalfa sprouts and lawn grass sprouts.
Recksiek said her agency will create a computerized network to monitor the caloric intake of citizens.
"Our goal is to prevent any citizen from consuming more than 2,000 calories per day," she said. "America already uses more than its share of the world's resources. My dream is to see the day when American children have defeated the disease of obesity and have low percentages of fat, such as the children in India, Ethiopia, China and Bangladesh, where obesity is largely a disease that has been defeated."
Noah Eaton, who oversees the program, Federal Assistance for Supersized Teens (FAST) said members of federally recognized minority groups are exempt from quantity requirements during one holiday a year.
The day varies according to the minority group. Included are Yom Kippur for Jews, the first Sunday of Ramadan for Muslims, the first Sunday of February for Mormons, Kwanzaa for African-Americans, the first full moon of the year for Buddhists, Good Friday for Catholics, Navaratri for Hindis, Ostara for Pagans, and Election Day for Democrats, which she said recently attained minority status as increasing numbers of Americans continue to leave the party as it moves left.
She said minorities may not circumvent the law by taking part in more than one exempt day per year.
"An African-American Jewish Democrat, for example, must choose between Yom Kippur, Kwanzaa and Election Day," she said.
The director of the newly formed, Federal Food Law Enforcement Agency, Mack A. Roni, said he intends to focus efforts on the suppliers of Class I and II substances.
"It's the pushers who really are at fault," he said. "Until now they have had free rein to sell whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Mrs. Obama's plan not only includes food restrictions but limits corporations and businesses from dispensing unhealthful foods to individuals who obviously exceed body mass limits."
ObamaFare is a natural component of ObamaCare, said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
"I'm proud that ObamaFare includes no new taxes, as I promised," she said. "But it is vital for us to control what people eat in order to minimize the costs of medical care. ObamaCare is expected to eliminate private health insurance by 2015, which means at that point the federal government will take over all health care. We cannot justify paying for obesity-related health problems unless we put into place strict regulations to prevent people from getting as fat as hogs in the first place."
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Oren Jellow said by 2015 citizens who fail to exercise 60 minutes a day will be prohibited from subscribing to cable and satellite TV services.
"We cannot sit idly by and watch people turn themselves into fat couch potatoes," he said.
Constance Noring of the Toxic Hypoadiposity Index Network (THIN) said ObamaFare includes restrictions on advertising, which must contain warnings in connection with Class II and III foods.
For instance, MacDonald's commercials must include the words, "The advertised foods contain controlled substances that have been shown to increase rates of obesity, the leading preventable cause of death, as well as kidney stones, arteriosclerosis, renal failure, sexual dysfunction, muscle atrophy, stretch marks, varicose veins, eating disorders, reflux disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and constant snoring."
The 2,712-page bill that Mrs. Obama will present to Congress next month includes maps delineating neighborhoods where obese children are most likely to live, such as Wards 6, 7 and 8 east of the Anacostia River in Washington DC, where obesity accounts for more than 15 percent of preventable deaths in the city.
Anita Mehl of the Federal Housing Administration said her agency has determined that obesity zones typically have few nearby grocery stores, so she is asking Congress for $10 billion to build 5,000 new federal grocery stores in affected districts.
"We will not sell unhealthful foods," she said, "plus we will offer instant tax credits on Class IV foods, so residents of these generally poor districts will be able to take home cash with the grass."
A new federal task force, the Department of Gastronomy (DOG) has been charged with creating new Class IV foods because the list is so small that regulators fear Americans will continue to refrain from consuming them.
DOG Secretary Hart A. Tach said $12 billion in federal grants should generate adequate research to find ways to make tofu, whiting and lawn clippings into veggie burgers, artificial ribeye steak and French fry substitutes.
The Food and Agriculture Retail Trade group (FART) has opposed ObamaFare, saying it would put almost its entire membership out of business. Co-directors Chris P. Cream and Frye D. Tator said the proposed regulations would prevent citizens from buying the foods they enjoy and would put millions of their members' employees on welfare rolls.
"Outlawing delicious food will create an underground," Cream said, "just as prohibition created a network of outlaws who manufactured, transported and sold booze."
Conservative radio talk show host Brock L. Lee, who often substitutes for Rush Limbaugh when he is experimenting with his Viagra dose levels, said ObamaFare is typical of liberal proposals.
"The libs love to control people," Lee said, "and they love to increase the size and scope of the federal government. I predicted long ago that the left-wing lunatic fringe of the Democrat Party would try something like this. I, for one, enjoy eating at Burger King, and even though I love broccoli and cauliflower, I don't want to be fed a steady diet of it. This reminds me of George Orwell's books, 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' and 'Animal House.'
"We really don't need Big Brother looking over our shoulders to see what and how much we're eating."
Democrat National Committee member D. P. Frye pointed out that Orwell was a socialist.
"If you don't want socialism, you shouldn't be quoting Orwell," Frye said.
May Ann Naze of the Anti-Political Correctness Institute said one way to reduce obesity is to reinstate the tradition of name calling.
"Child obesity has tripled in the past 30 years," she said. "The increase has coincided with efforts to build up the self-esteem of children by constantly praising them, regardless of their achievements. Some kids nowadays have actually fallen for the marketing ploy that fat is beautiful. It's high time we started telling the truth. I well remember what got me to start losing weight. It was the day a boy told me I was so big I could sit next to everybody."
Eaton Wright and Liv N. Good, Harvard scientists who last month released a study that correlated exercise and obesity, said that lack of use of public recreational facilities contributes to child obesity.
"What we found is that kids did not want to visit many city parks because they were afraid of permanent and temporary park residents," Wright said. "To solve the problem, we suggest that schools adopt the Love Underprivileged Vagrants program, which teaches youngsters that most park residents are harmless victims of past conservative policies that criminalized drug use, restricted commercial application of reproductive organs, and punished citizens who are devastatingly handicapped by ADDD (Adult Duty Dodging Disorder).
"If kids can learn through LUV to play alongside these noble park residents, we will be well on our way to winning the war on obesity."
Quote of the Day
“I found out there was only one way to look thin — hang out with fat people.” — Rodney Dangerfield