Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Michelle Obama and health initiatives

I was pleased to hear First Lady Michelle Obama encouraging Americans to eat healthier and exercise more often, targeting school children in particular. I also agree with her incentives in breastfeeding. I actually let out a big sigh upon hearing these initiatives, followed by a “Finally!”

Since moving to the United States for the third time in 1997, I have been bothered by the large number of obese individuals, and particularly sad to see overweight teenagers and twenty-something’s. That is supposed to be the best decade of one’s life, when young people have a wide number of physical activities and start their romantic lives. Instead, they are bogged down by weight. We all know the cause of this epidemic: the urban sprawl and cheap food. That is, riding cars everywhere and sugar-fat-salt based fast food accessible to all.

I missed seeing ads on TV educating the population, which are common in Brazil, and I missed seeing those in power taking the initiative to stop the insanity. It seemed no politician wanted to anger Kraft, Coca-Cola or MacDonald’s. There were an infinite number of diet ads, magazines and books, but no real government led movement to teach the population to stop killing themselves.

The most appalling to me were the school cafeterias. I still feel very guilty of those times I gave my daughters money to buy lunch at the school cafeteria because I lacked time to prepare something for them when I was running late for work. How could schools sell soda, hamburgers and pizza for children who were developing? Why not adopt the big soup kitchen method Brazil has employed so effectively by cooking grains, vegetables and bean based meals in big pans for school lunches?

I applaud Michelle Obama, and I hope that if Barack Obama is re-elected, we will see an improvement in the country’s general health in the next 6 years. See picture below of Brazilian school children eating healthful meals:

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February 16, 2011 - Posted by | Difference between cultures, Health

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