Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Obama’s shape can be an asset in reducing America’s obesity levels

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Originally published on on Fri, 08/01/2008 – 11:31am

The MSM has come up with glorious theories for why Obama isn’t ready to be president. But perhaps the stupidest one comes from Amy Chozick at The Wall Street Journal: Obama is too fit to be president.

What is amazing, and sadly not surprising, is that the article doesn’t mention the president who was the most obsessed with exercise: George W. Bush. Even when he was the Governor of Texas, Bush was known for taking a long lunch/exercise session in the middle of the day.

So by that logic, Obama is too fit to be president, but Bush is OK and not even worth mentioning.

The logic of the WSJ article is that Obama can’t relate to the ever growing (literally) U.S. population because he is in shape.

Being in shape is something to strive for, perhaps being a (gasp) role model. While Bush was obsessed with exercise, apparently at the expense of exercising his brain, he never shared that as even something to strive for. Something Bush could have heralded as a possible good thing, and he was quiet about it.

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t have the luxury of taking a long lunch and exercise session, such as Bush has done. They don’t have the money to eat as well nor the time to properly plan such a program. The Wall Street Journal reporter doesn’t seem to understand that.

I do take some of this a little more personally since I work hard to keep in decent shape. I used to be larger and lost a bunch of weight for health reasons. It’s a struggle to eat, but not too much, and to get a decent amount of exercise in my day.

This is part of why I praise Mike Huckabee: not for his political views, but his huge weight loss and subsequent efforts to keep in shape. I have actually read his book, “Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork: A 12-Stop Program to End Bad Habits and Begin a Healthy Lifestyle.” I have even suggested that the next president pick Huckabee to be Secretary of Reducing Obesity or some other such title.

We have had a growing (pun intended) obesity problem in this country. And a president who works at keeping in shape and a First Lady who has pretty much collected dust can’t be bothered to inspire others to be in better shape.

If Obama gets elected in November, I heartily suggest he and Michelle, along with the VP and the VP’s spouse, be involved in motivation to help improve the country’s health.

But the next president should also realize that simply getting Americans off their couches and exercising isn’t enough. We need an extensive overhaul of our food program and priorities. It is said that the tax system encourages behavior, such as charitable giving. Well, our food system needs to encourage behavior as well. Our obsession with using corn in products from beef to soft drinks is doing a lot of damage to our mid-sections, since corn is a starch. Health costs, food costs, and productivity costs can all be reduced by implementing long-term solutions.

If you don’t think government can be an inspiration, the city of Oklahoma City is one of the fattest cities in the nation. Fortune magazine crowned the city last year as the fast-food capital of America, and the state is 9th in adult obesity at 26.8% of adults being officially obese.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, is trying to get the city residents to lose 1 million pounds. According to the official Web site, the 20,823 registered participants have lost 115,579 pounds, about a 5.55 pound weight loss per person since December 31.

So it’s time we had a president who can be a role model and care about the health of our country. The Obamas have two small children, crucial when you consider that the statistics say a child born in 2000 has a 1 in 3 chance of having Type 2 diabetes in their lifetimes, at the rate we are going.

Improving the health of the citizens of this country will take a lot of work. Having a successful role model as commander-in-chief is a nice touch.


Written by democracysoup

August 1, 2008 at 11:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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