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Posted at 07:33 AM ET, 02/16/2012

Michelle Obama, trimming the fat and winning fans

I have been thinking about first ladies. At a dinner party, I heard someone say that his Republican mother likes President Obama because “his wife cares about helping those fat kids.” I had heard something similar from a retired teacher who hates politics. Not exactly a poll but enough to make me think.

Childhood obesity is at the root of our health care problem. We are headed to a world depicted in the movie “Wall-e,” where kids who start out fat end up in mobile Barcaloungers that come not only with dual cup holders for their Big Gulps but holders for their fast food as well. What the movie didn’t show is that these mobile loungers won’t be taking them to the mall but to dialysis and an early grave. Obesity equals diabetes, which is skyrocketing among kids.

Into this crisis Michelle Obama has stepped. She has worked with responsible industries to cut the fat and offer more sugar-free choices. Schools, educators and kids to get them off the couch. The press to highlight the issue from her substantial pulpit.

My instinct is that it’s good. Democrats like the focus on systemic change. Republicans see the nanny state, but everyone knows the pain of being a fat kid. No one wants that. So cheers to Mrs. Obama for making a difference.

By  |  07:33 AM ET, 02/16/2012

 
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