Friday, February 5, 2010

Michelle Obama and the "Health Care" Debate in America

Today on the front page of The Drudge Report was a headline that read

"MY FAT DAUGHTERS: Michelle Obama Takes Fire for Discussing Malia, Sasha During Obesity Event..."

Now what person in their right mind would not be curious about such a headline, true?

So... I clicked on the link, and found an article from ABC News about a recent experience Mrs. Obama had at a doctor's office regarding her two daughters; Malia, who is 11, and Sasha, who is 8.

It seems The First Lady was speaking at a kickoff event for her campaign related to childhood obesity, and she personalized the issue to some degree.

"We went to our pediatrician all the time," Obama said. "I thought my kids were perfect -- they are and always will be -- but he [the doctor] warned that he was concerned that something was getting off balance." "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," she added. "But we often simply don't realize that those kids are our kids, and our kids could be in danger of becoming obese. We always think that only happens to someone else's kid -- and I was in that position."

Mrs. Obama said the doctor suggested she first look at her daughters' body mass index (BMI). The minor changes she subsequently made in their daily habits, Obama said, made all the difference.

Call me a cynic... but in my opinion, there we have it.

Doctors hold an interesting position in our lives. Certainly there are times when we need a doctor. However, there are many times we do not need a doctor at all, yet modern society has come to dictate that regular check-ups are not just acceptable, but needed.

Of course, a visit to the doctor is no longer as simple as a thermometer under the tongue, a look into the eyes, nose, and ears, check the blood pressure with a manual device and a wristwatch, and step on the scale.

Now there's latex gloves, special covers for everything, and often we are hooked up to machines that cost. As the saying goes... "It ain't what it used to be, back in my day..."

Herein lies part of the reason for the expense of "health care."

So... back to the point. Should we need a visit to a doctor to know what type of 'behavior' our children need in order to be healthy. I think not.

After all, isn't this the president who helped create and sponsors the "Play 60" initiative?

I'm not even a parent, but I'm smart enough to know - get 'em outside and get 'em playing. Play with them. Get 'em active in sports through school, buy 'em a bike. All the things my parents did in an effort to get me the heck out of the hose so they could have some sanity on the weekends (just kidding, love you Mom and Dad!).

Seriously, though... my parents did these things for good reason - it gave me something to do, and kept my body growing healthy and active. And although we had an Atari system at some point when I was a teenager, we kids were not obsessed with it. We were taught priorities, and video games were about next to last on the priority list if we could be outside playing.

However, today we have a raging debate in our nation about the means by which we are to pay for "health care," and in my opinion this particular situation plays right into the hands of the "nationalize it" agenda. The more we need the advise of a doctor, the more we need health care... and if we need health care that much but it's expensive, well then we'd better reform it so everyone can access it...

Call me a cynic...

The article goes on to discuss behavioral change versus dieting for weight loss, and the effect such statements by The First Lady might have on her daughters. I agree that such statements, if not discussed and then heard through the media, could be frightful to a preteen girl who has enough going on in her life without knowing the whole world thinks she's fat because Mom made it a topic of discussion. Good grief.

In my opinion, either some doctor has just put the fear of God into the mind of a parent. And not just a parent... the parent, the wife of The President, a woman who has a pulpit beyond comprehension... or... Team Obama has created a situation in an effort to personalize the need for "health care" in a way that they believe will help move their agenda forward.

Call me a cynic...

According to the ABC News article:

The first lady's comments have stirred up the Web and medical world, and have drawn both criticism and praise. Some say Obama should not have personalized the issue and brought up her daughters. Even if it is for the greater public good, critics say, it does not bode well for their self-image. Others say the first lady used that example only to connect to Americans who may find themselves in a similar position.

Additionally, The first lady's office would not comment on the criticism.

I have added in this post a couple of pictures of the Obama family, and to look at the Obama girls, I'd have to say they look perfectly healthy. As far as their "BMI" I'd say they look a lot like my brother and I did at their age - healthy. Not chubby, not fat, not too skinny... healthy.

Of course, I'm not a medical professional.

Generally speaking, however, there is no way on God's Earth those two young ladies are obese, and honestly the very idea of a parent becoming concerned about a "BMI" related to those two girls is beyond my comprehension, unless...

Again, call me a cynic.


LL said...

You're a cynic.

I don't take ANYTHING the Obamas say seriously. Literally if Dear Leader said the sky was blue, I'd rub my eyes if it turned out to be.

Kids grow and have grown spirts and periods of less growth when they are a bit chubby in anticipation of that next growth period.

Feed children good food instead of fast food and the weight will drop off.

Opus #6 said...

Those girls are thin as a rail. If I were them I would be mortified.

Just a conservative girl said...

I am one that has found the conservative "talk" about this petty and sad.

Malia is like a rail, but Sasha is more "heathy" looking one may say. I am not saying that she is fat, I am just saying that she still has the baby weight that virtually all kids have.

She has two kids, moms talk about their kids. That is what they do.

I am surprised that ABC made hay out of it. But this is just more of "I hate everything Obama". I was really hoping that we would lift the debate from the awful Bush years. Guess not.

Soloman said...

All -

I just posted a follow-up to this post, that breaks down more thoroughly why I sincerely believe this is a move based on Rules for Radicals.

LL - Thank you, you called me a cynic.. lol!

I, however, do take what they say seriously - as I'm sure you do too.

I have learned - as I am sure you have as well - not to take anything they say at face value.

And I agree about the difference between good food and fast food. I'd have to bet in the Obama's case this is not a concern. They're probably being fed the healthiest diet possible, right?

Soloman said...

Opus -

I'd definitely hope that Mobama sat down with them and told them this is all part of Mommy and Daddy's grand master plan for the world that Mommy called them fat for the whole world to hear....

Soloman said...


I haven't really followed any other commentary on the subject.

I hope my comments didn't come across as petty, because that's certainly not my point.

In fact, I think if anything it's the Obamas who are petty, as I think they're using their daughters to further their agenda, as I discussed here and in my follow-up post.

Just a conservative girl said...

I wasn't talking about you. I have just seen this topic around the blogosphere........she is bad mother, how dare she, and that kind of thing. Some went as far as calling her obese, which is silly. Some even brought Oprah into the mix. Like I said, sad and petty.

She was making a statement about her kids like moms do.

Childhood obesity is a problem in this country; and you may be right about the speading the wealth and healthcare debate stuff.

Soloman said...


I understand what you mean when you say "She was making a statement about her kids like moms do." That's natural.

Of course, she must remember that her speaking about her kids is different than other moms, because when she talks about her kids, the next day some classmate might come in to school and say "My Mommy said your Mommy called you fat yesterday."

That's a lot to deal with on both ends of that equation.

I also agree with you about the overall tone of discourse. I have tried to avoid the "I hate all things Obama" attitude on a personal level, because politics aside they seem like a nice enough family. I try to base my commentary on policy differences.

Of course, there are times when those lines will cross... and when they do, so be it.