As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Michelle to Browbeat Food Marketers

First Lady Michelle Obama today will attempt to revive efforts to force food marketers to advertise only healthy foods to kids, starting down a path that could lead to new government regulations or laws defining what type of legal products legal companies can market.

From the White House:

The White House to Host Convening on Food Marketing to Children

Mrs. Obama will call on stakeholders to leverage the power of marketing to promote healthy products and decrease the marketing of unhealthy products to kids

On the heels of the First Lady joining the Partnership for a Healthier America’s launch of a new “Drink Up” campaign to promote water as the healthiest choice, the White House, led by Mrs. Obama and the White House Domestic Policy Council, will host a convening about food marketing to children. Let’s Move!, the First Lady’s initiative to ensure all our children grow up healthy, works to make the healthy choice the easy choice for American families.

Mrs. Obama will speak to key stakeholders engaged on the issue of food marketing to children, including food and media industry executives, advocates, parent leaders, government agency representatives and researchers. The convening’s goal is to create a constructive dialogue and collaborative process for developing real solutions that support families in making healthier choices, including leveraging the power of marketing to promote healthy products and decreasing the marketing of unhealthy products to kids.

First of all, what’s a convening? I looked it up in my Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and . . . it isn’t there, at least not as a noun.

I found it on the Internets, but it’s never used by anyone. Why don’t we call it a hootenanny or something?

Okay, back to my point.

Efforts to regulate what foods advertisers can run during Scooby-Doo were abandoned in 2011 when enough people objected that this was government overreach. But with the Obamas safely elected, there’s not going to be any Mitt Romney claiming Michelle wants to crush free speech and take your kids’ Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies away at the same time.

But Michelle is facing criticism from the food cops on the beat that her Let’s Move efforts or too symbolic, according to the Associated Press:

New York University food and nutrition professor Marion Nestle, who also was attending the meeting, said studies show that voluntary restrictions don’t work.

“Food marketing is the elephant in the room,” she said. “If you’re serious about childhood obesity, you’ve got to do something about food marketing.”

And no doubt, she agrees.

Make no mistake, we’re going to start out with “voluntary this” and “voluntary that.” But imagine you’re a food company, and the president’s wife asks you to voluntarily do her bidding. Are you going to mess with the White House and them then decide corn sugar causes global warming?

Mrs. Obama is the government. The government needs to lay off free speech unless companies are rolling TV ads telling people their houses are on fire and to get out.

Parents need to control their kids food choices. But the Constitution guarantees them the right to make bad choices, and to hear about their options.

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105 Responses to Michelle to Browbeat Food Marketers

  1. Moochelle acts as a lightening rod for her husband. When he is having public relations problems–and boy, is he right now–she comes up with something controversial to take the spotlight and heat off of him.

    Maybe my eyes didn’t pick up on it in your post, but this meeting is not open to the public or to reporters.

  2. Actually, I think they were just trying to steer you away from thinking about a coven of witches with the choice of words. A hootenanny was what they had to cancel at the WH on Monday evening.

  3. My Dearest Keith,
    You write wonderfully, have a great satirical mind, and bring much joy into many lives shirking their work to read what great American insight you’ve posted next.
    BUT, and I say this with the utmost respect, I’m afraid you are quite behind the times with this post sir.
    As evidence I cite your “But the Constitution guarantees..” claim.
    Don’t you read the “official” White House blog? The “Constitution” no longer applies. It’s just too “negative” and “restrictive”.
    By all means, keep the satire coming, but release yourself from the burden of suggesting that the Constitution, the rule of law, or virtually any precedent set over the past 237 years should bind anyone in the Obama administration, wifey included.
    Sincerely,
    Valerie Jarrett

  4. First of all, what’s a convening? I looked it up in my Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and . . . it isn’t there, at least not as a noun.

    My first thought! I said to the dog–Who writes this slop?

  5. If they’re going to regulate marketing, get rid of those scary Big Pharma ads. They’re not only turning us into a nation of hypochondriacs, but our doctors into drug dealers.

    Better yet, defund the Office of the First Lady and reopen the White House tours.

  6. Gotta agree with Geoff on this one.
    Obamas administration wants to write a law that will determine who is journalist. Carney said yesterday that Obama will take Executive Action on more ” gun control “, and now the Moochell wants to control the food industry by strong arming it.
    Just a continuing assault on our freedom.

  7. When I was a kid, my favorite cereals were Frosted Flakes and Sugar Crisp (re-named Honey Crisp because it sounds less unhealthy). I ate as much candy as I could get my hands on. But I was never fat. That’s because kids used to spend lots of time outdoors playing. We had gym class twice a week, and lunchtime was spent running around the playground. I guess Moochelle thinks her “Let’s Move” campaign isn’t enough. Since you can’t pass laws forcing parents to send their kids outside to play, she’ll take on the food industry. Sheesh.

    • You speak truth. I remember recess amd P.E. We had to wear P.E. uniforms and do calisthenics to a record that recorded the song “Go You Chicken Fat Go.” I kid you not. I was skinny too – and we ate gravy and bread every night for supper.

        • All summer it was outside play – kickball, badminton, volleyball, skate boards, roller skates, bike riding, swimming. In winter it was sledding, skating and skiing. In grade school we had outdoor recess. In Junior High and High School, it was PE.
          We were not permitted to be awarded our high school diploma with an incomplete or “F” in PE.
          Now along comes MooChow who thinks she invented PE and healthy eating. And who is determined to put her Let’s Move brand on all of America.
          I cannot wait until the disingenuous black royal couple exits stage left. They are too precious by half.

  8. While the idea of gov’t sanctioned experts deciding what our kids should eat & drink fills me with trepidation, your argument that any limitations on advertising to children is an attack on a free market is false.

    We already limit what can be advertised directly at children…alcohol, tobacco, firearms, etc.

    This is not a black or white argument. It’s one of degree. While almost all of us would agree that advertising AR-15s to six year olds isn’t cool, not as many of us have a problem with Froot Loops or Coca-Cola.

    The question is…do enough of America’s parents want America’s junk food producers to stop advertising DIRECTLY to their kids?

    If the answer is no…then we leave things as is
    If the answer is yes…why not pursue gov’t legislation or apply social pressure through parents groups or any of the other methods used to affect large-scale social/political change???

      • The holier than thou food police don’t care about the Keebler elves any more than they care how many jobs are lost once these companies start losing revenue for selling out to the nanny state. Mooch and her ilk think they know best for us. We’re too stupid to know how to feed ourselves, so they’re going to force the advertising companies to teach us the right way. Look for more preachy commercials scolding us for eating that Big Mac instead of the salad.

      • That is a totally legitimate concern..and one that a great number of my health/fitness friends tend to ignore.

        This is not a simple problem that will be solved with gov’t bans or taxes….but that doesn’t mean that some gov’t intervention isn’t warranted

  9. When a whole aisle in the grocery store is dedicated to dry, sugared/sweetened cereal aimed at those who don’t want to cook breakfast or who want something sweet to start the day, she’s got her work cut out for her.
    Just supposing here without any facts; cereals aimed at children are very profitable for these companies.

    If she really wanted to make some waves, she could go after the beer makers and ask that they quit producing TV ads that imply a certain beer will make your friends admire you and young, nubile women will gaze upon the drinker with desire.

  10. We’re on the fast march to totalitarianism my fellow Americans. These fanatics will never stop. They’ll keep marching on, snatching our individual liberties at every step along the way. What’s the end game? Total control over every aspect of our individual lives – enslavement to the federal government. Any company that surrenders to her demands will only receive a temporary retrieve. Your surrender only empowers them to grab for more control. The first time this phony was permitted to violate his constitutional oath on the small things, he progressed to ruling by executive order fiat. Damn those people who support these grifters as they destroy our America.

  11. I suspect that the new Mooch line of GE refrigerators will have an automated Mooch voice telling you what to eat when the energy saving light comes on. These refrigerators will also be designed to shut down within 30 minutes of having non Mooch approved food placed in them.

    Based on the 5 Year Plan these refrigerators will be the only refrigerators available for purchase in Amerika. Dl

  12. A total hypocrite!! Her husband smokes and both for sure don’t eat healthy foods. I’m fed up with her campaign and her desire to control what food companies market. That job belongs to the parents.

  13. I also grew up having recess and gym class daily,even outdoors in Chgo public schools. We didn’t have tennis courts either,but had after school physical activities. Food in the cafeterias use to be good,some homecooked,some catered. My parents told us kids what to eat, not government.now this ghetto queen in telling us what to eat and how to move. NEXT citizens will have to submit daily time sheets of what we ate,how we moved,how many times we have sex,go to the john. Why not send the drones now?

  14. Apologies to Keith and everyone. Now I feel like a real thread crasher. But this is interesting… re. the Clinton Foundation and the MB. Don’t know if there will be a Huma backlash == probably not as she is the golden muslim. On a more serious note, there is some talk that the MB and supporters have undue influence and place throughout the government.

    http://freebeacon.com/muslim-brotherhood-official-former-clinton-foundation-employee-arrested/

  15. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012. (CNSNEWS – http://cnsnews.com/news/article/101m-get-food-aid-federal-gov-t-outnumber-full-time-private-sector-workers)

    You want to eliminate fat kids, and the crap they eat, then limit what their moms are buying on food stamps and other programs. Quick, fatty, non-nutritious foods are the mainstay in many poor homes, primarily due to the ease of which they are made. Make it so those receiving food assistance, via whatever program, cannot “buy” the sugary, low nutrition foods that they buy. Then see how long it is before the poor rise up and demand a change in things. When you force people to actually do something, other than simply sit around and stuff their faces with chips, pizza rolls, and sugared soda, you will have a movement like you have never seen. Then perhaps the low info voter will finally notice what the hell the government is actually doing.

      • Not controlling the parents, controlling how tax dollars are spent. Which is the prevue of the government. Nothing says that taxes have to be spent on Cokes and Doritos.

        The parents are free to buy any foods that are allowed, and the foods allowed should be those that are not wasted calories, or crap. Nor should a person receiving assistance be able to stock up on t-bones, and lobster while those working are making due with 70% lean ground beef. After all this is the “fairness” administration isn’t it?

  16. This is total bull. I’ll admit that my kid actually watched a good amount of TV for a few years. Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and all that. He’s 13 now and hasn’t watched TV at all in a couple of years other than a few shows, (not cartoons anymore) that he watches on Netflix or Hulu on his laptop or Kindle Fire.

    When he was younger, he saw more than his fair share of all the fast food, cereal, and soda commercials. But, here’s the funny thing – he didn’t possess a driver’s license so he couldn’t get in the car and go buy that crap for himself. Even funnier, his PARENTS set a good example and don’t eat or drink junk, (at least not on a regular basis).

    So, at 13, this kid has never in his life had a sip of soda. He won’t even try it. He doesn’t like fast food, even though he occasionally tried it when younger. He would only eat the chicken nuggets and fries, no fast food hamburgers, and really only wanted the dumb toy. The only cereal he’s ever had is Honey Nut Cheerios. This kid eats yogurt and cottage cheese because that’s what we eat and it’s always available.

    Obviously, all those hours of junk food and fast food commercials had ZERO effect on him. And, more importantly, we did our job as parents. WE set the guidelines and the example that we decide on in our home and for our family. The government needs to stay the hell out of it.

    • Good for you. Of course, good for your son, too.
      Old fogeys like me never got the soda addiction; it just wasn’t available except for special treats at the drug store.
      mmm, an old fashioned vanilla or cherry coke….mmmm

      There were no fast food restaurants, breakfast cereal was oatmeal and cornflakes, and lunch was a fried egg sandwich (or leftovers from last night’s dinner).
      It’s not the same today. This new food stuff is everywhere, eat this, drink that, buy more, buy it by the case until it’s deafening.
      Why roast a chicken in the oven and wait two hours to eat when you can pop over to KFC and get some tasty fried chicken?

      Okay, I admit it; MrsObama has a point. My objection is the arm-twisting and subtle threats of government action that her crusades seem to have. The revamping of the school lunch program was doomed from the start and never took into account that children don’t eat like adults or even like food that appeal to adults.

  17. Off topic, sort of:

    Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, a huge Obama supporter/donor, is now ‘requesting’ that no guns be brought into the stores. What’s next – metal detectors? Mr. Schultz is one step away from disaster. Maybe it’s time to buy stock in Peets coffee?

    • Is that a common occurance?
      Somehow, it doesn’t seem likely that the patrons of a coffeshop would be totin’ firearms along with their briefcases, computers, and electronic stuff.

        • I am so tired of businesses, people, media, the dog on the street telling us where we can exercise our rights under the law of the country or the state and where we cannot. Starbucks is a business they have the right to refuse to serve. And they have the right to state their preference.

          But is it necessary to even discuss this. Mr. Shultz says Starbucks is a respite, one of three places where people come to relax — one of the other being home, and I forget the other. It’s just so darned tiresome.

  18. The thing that irritates me about all these “programs” is this: They are focused on finger pointing – finding some cockamamie “reason” to blame for people being fat or people smoking, etc., etc. In reality, it is a matter of lack of personal responsibility that is the core issue. Holding People Accountable for their own behavior! What a concept!

  19. With that big bottom of hers? She has the nerve? She probably thinks her bottom is sexy, but you can be sure its from the goodies that her 30 assistants serve her.

  20. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste
    your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to
    read?