I have politics on my mind. And, I am a dietitian/nutritionist (which you probably already know). I watched both the Republican Convention and Democratic Convention. As I reflected on some of the speeches, I thought I would look into what Michelle Obama would focus on if she becomes the First Lady for a second term. In her first four years in the White House, she took on the noble cause of childhood obesity. I figured she would opt for something pertaining to my field once again, and apparently this is the case. She indicates she would focus on impacting the “quality” of food at the grocery store. This is further clarified to mean she would focus on decreasing the fat, sugar, and sodium content of food found in our grocery stores across the United States.
This is an interesting idea. How would this actually happen? Will the government start regulating all companies to comply with a lesser amount of fat, sodium, and sugar in our food supply available to Americans? We are a global economy, will imported foods be banned at large and small grocery stores if they do not comply with the fat, sodium, and sugar guidelines which will need to be implemented?
This also begs the obvious questions regarding access to less healthy foods. Will the government ration or block our access to these foods? Do you want to have these foods banned by the government, or do you want to make your own choices about what you eat?
I am not sure Mrs. Obama has the expertise to take on this challenge and this sounds like a logistical nightmare. Would I be thrilled if Americans decreased fat, sugar, and sodium in their diet, well of course! But what of education to learn to make the right choices? I would like to see more energy focused in that arena rather than making more rules about what to eat. In order to both implement and sustain a healthy dietary pattern, it starts with understanding what to eat and what eating patterns constitute a healthy diet. I vote for more nutrition education and freedom to make one’s own food selection-hey, even I need a chocolate bar occasionally. And ironically, what’s in a dark chocolate bar is not all bad from a nutritional standpoint.
What do you think? Should the government change the food selection available at the grocery store through more regulation?