Why Michelle Obama Should Stay Out of Restaurants

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Michelle ObamaEarlier this week, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the National Restaurant Association with stern advice about the fare they should serve up -- less butter and cream, fewer fries.

“I’m not asking any of you to make drastic changes to every single one of your recipes or to totally change the way you do business,” she said. “But what I am asking is that you consider reformulating your menu in pragmatic and incremental ways to create healthier versions of the foods that we all love."

She also gave them advice on advertising.

“It’s not enough just to limit ads for foods that aren’t healthy," she said. "It’s also going to be critical to increase marketing for foods that are healthy."

A little bossy don't you think?

It's part of her ongoing mission to improve the nutrition of children in this country, which is admirable. She's brought a lot of awareness to the problem of school lunches and childhood obesity, and I am right there with her in the outrage about our nation's unhealthy eating habits.

But she should stay out of restaurants.

Restaurants are where we go to take a break, to celebrate special occasions and occasionally get some relief from cooking. They should be places to enjoy, those in which we do indulge sometimes. While I may never fry cheese in my own home, I might go wild and get my kids some while dining out some night. Big deal.

We don't rely on restaurants for our basic nutritional needs, rather they fill in here and their in our otherwise healthy diet.

If you do rely on restaurants to provide most of your meals then perhaps their menus could be problematic -- but that's an individual problem of eating out too often that individuals need to address, not one for restaurants to solve. Their job is to attract customers, after all.

And most restaurants have upped efforts to offer healthy fare. If you order right, you can go into most any restaurant in the country and get a healthy meal if you look for it ... if you order it. Just because the fries are more tempting to you than the cottage cheese shouldn't really be the problem of restaurants.

It's different in school cafeterias where our children eat regularly. Those choices should be regulated and as healthy we can make them, because, like at home, that fare is standard part of their diets.

Restaurant food doesnt' have to be, and when I do choose to dine out, if I want heavy cream in a dish, then I want heavy cream.

Do you think Michele Obama has any business telling restaurants what to do with theirs?


Image via whitehouse.gov

in the news, family meals, food, eating out

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Amanda Seevers

I agree, im all for having healthier options but to suggest not to advertise unhealthy food is a bit much


People just need to make a choice not to go out to eat every night


Also she should be addressing place more like Mcdonalds  (over restaurants) or other fast food places, they dont need to eat a double quater pounder meal which is as many calories some people need for a day

RanaA... RanaAurora

While I'm the first person to say, "I go out to eat food I didn't cook -- not to diet," I would love it if I knew that the foods out there were still healthier choices, that I could indulge in without destroying an entire week of walking 3 miles a day.  I mean hell... the kid's alfredo at Olive Garden has over 1,000 calories. The KID'S. Imagine what the adult one has!


I DO agree with her too that we need to ADVERTISE healthier options. Though people refuse to admit it, we are very affected by advertising, and could really use a point in the right direction.

Carey... Carey2006

NOPE.....but I'm sure if she is saying something about her hubby isn't too far behind so look out!

SAMNM... SAMNMAYASMOM

Pot, Meet Kettle! Who are YOU to tell HER to stay out of the restaurants? Anyway, I absolutely agree with RanaAurora.

nonmember avatar Allboys

I don't "lay off the butter" in my own home so I don't want my favorite food haunts to either. I am not over weight and neither are my children. We eat sensibly even with butter and cream. I GASP even make Alfredo with real cream and butter. We don't have it every week or even every other week but when we do we love it. That's the point isn't it. Enjoying good food in a sensible way butter and all.

nonmember avatar No! Vember

This is what she is saying:

You people in Group A, should act in a certain why,,, that I'm suggesting...

So that people in Group B, can act in a certain way.

But... what makes her, you, anyone can influence Group A or B?

And... why is an unelected or elected official telling anyone how or why to act. The Congress makes the laws restricting actions!

nonmember avatar Whoever

No, she has no business taking that tone. What would make more sense is if she could honestly say that when she takes her kids out to eat, she does __, __, __. Like, choose a restaurant that has healthy choices; don't buy off the kids' menu; ask for the food to be prepared a certain way; share and/or skip certain courses. That sends the same message without saying "I'm the First Lady so you'd better do A, B, C." And I believe this is true no matter what kind of restaurant we're talking about. As for the comment about McD's, it's easier to get a low-cal meal at McD's than at most restaurants. You don't compare the double quarter pounder to a salad at Applebees. Compare it to the Alfredo with garlic bread. (What's with all the hate at McD's anyway? I am sure that if you compared their regular cheeseburger to those in 100 other eating establishments, McD's would be one of the lowest calorie choices.) And perhaps most importantly, the gov't should get the log out of its own eye (school lunches) before picking at the specks elsewhere.

nonmember avatar Whoever

Another thing. If she thinks she has a right to tell private citizens what to do, why doesn't she address her comments directly to the populations who are most obese? "You people need to cooking fried chicken and eating pork fat." "You people need to stop keeping your kids up late and giving them bottles 24/7 until they are 3."

Phils... PhilsBabyMama

She didn't TELL them what to do.  She asked.  While you may go to restaurants to "take a break" many people in the U.S. eat out more often than they eat at home.  Of course, personal responsibility is key, but I don't think it's out of line for her to talk about one of the things contributing to our country's obesity epidemic.

nonmember avatar Tom

Yes, how DARE she pipe up about how disgusting the American diet is.....who does she think she is, 1st lady?

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