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Defending Michelle Obama

Against the fat-acceptance crowd.

2:42 PM, Feb 9, 2010 • By SONNY BUNCH
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Michelle Obama recently kicked up a mild fuss by discussing her children while talking about childhood obesity. Per ABC News, Obama said at an event kicking off her childhood obesity awareness campaign: "I didn't see the changes. And that's also part of the problem, or part of the challenge. It's often hard to see changes in your own kids when you're living with them day in and day out ... But we often simply don't realize that those kids are our kids, and our kids could be in danger of becoming obese."

Defending Michelle Obama

The first lady was espousing what should be a relatively uncontroversial position, that parents needs to pay attention to their children and ensure that their health is maintained. Part of maintaining health is ensuring that children eat right and remain active in order to stave off obesity. As studies have shown, childhood obesity can lead to any number of adult diseases: heart disease, diabetes, and other serious problems can arise if you let your kids sit around the television/computer screen and chow down on Oreos. 

This is not to say that the government should be involved with regulating what children are allowed to eat, of course. As Nick Gillespie says in this video while going toe to toe with a food cop hellbent on regulating kiddie calorie counts, "Kids have parents." The first lady is simply doing what any good parent would do and using her example to show the importance of maintaining at least a little vigilance on the health of your children.

Needless to say, this didn't go over well with the fat-acceptance crowd. The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance released a statement saying that "When important figures such as parents, teachers and peers in children's social environment endorse a preference for thinness and place an importance on weight control, this can contribute to body dissatisfaction, dieting, low self-esteem and weight bias among children and adolescents." 

These complaints are ridiculous: Parents would be considered negligent if they weren't concerned with their children's basic well-being, and -- regardless of what the pro-obesity folks may think -- carrying around a ton of extra weight as a child simply isn't healthy. It's best to nip this problem in the bud when children are as young as possible so they don't grow into obese adults.

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