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    Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category

    Obama Eats A Burger — And Reaffirms His Masculinity

    ObamaThe scene from yesterday’s  NBC White House special that stood out to me most was that of Barack Obama ordering burgers and French fries at popular East coast chain Five Guys.

    It struck me as odd and carefully orchestrated, particularly since many articles during Obama’s presidential campaign pointed out the healthfulness of his diet.

    When discussing  nutrition, it is imperative to also examine the cultural implications of food, particularly as they apply to gender, class, and ethnicity.  These are intangible, yet pervasive, factors that affect who eats what.

    This slightly dense, yet fascinating, essay discusses the masculinity of meat and its political symbolisms. A highly recommended read.

    I am not chastising President Obama for eating hamburgers.  Nor am I making the point that our eating habits are always a reflection of gender.  I am, however, pointing out the underlying messages in food choices (particularly in situations like this ones) as well as what I consider unfortunate cultural symbolisms that affect eating habits:

    • “A real man” eats beef, large portions, and does not care about calories or nutrition
    • Healthy eating is elitist
    • A “true American” supports his country by eating meat

    Thoughts?

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    A 24-ounce limited edition Jack in the Box eggnog shake contains 1,450 calories, 225 percent of the daily saturated fat recommended limit, and 3 grams of trans fat.

    (NOTE: Trans fat recommendations are set at 0 grams per day.)

    If this “special edition” shake is available after December 31, they should change its name to “The Resolution Breaker.”

    To put it in perspective, this beverage has more calories than an entire 12-inch Domino’s cheese pizza (with regular — not thin — crust)!

    And if you thought the 3 grams of trans fat were bad, check out some of the other options on Jack in the Box’s menu.

    A 10-piece order of mini churros delivers a jaw-dropping (and heart-stopping?) SEVEN grams of trans fat!

    An order of French Fries from the children’s menu may seem innocent with its 220 calories, but it also delivers 3.5 grams of trans fat.

    So, dear president-elect Obama, how about igniting heart-healthy change with a national trans fat ban?

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    In The News: Nutrition & The Presidency

    The Wall Street Journal published this rather unique article inspecting Barack Obama’s and John McCain’s physical appearance and nutrition habits.

    Apparently, Senator Obama’s lean physique (he weighs approximately 10 fewer pounds than the average American male his height) and healthy eating routine aren’t doing him many favors with some voters.

    “He’s too new … and he needs to put some meat on his bones,” says one interviewee.

    The article also cites the following quote from a Yahoo! message board: “I won’t vote for any beanpole guy” (cyberspace is just full of deep, critical thinkers!)

    In fact, the latest ad campaign from Senator McCain, comparing Obama to celebrities like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears (do McCain’s people know this isn’t 2004?) partially criticizes his healthy lifestyle.

    “In a memo to reporters explaining the ad, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis wrote, “Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day” (in reference to a recent visit to Chiago where the Illinois senator made “three stops to local Chicago gyms in one day.”)

    The article also shares the following tidbit about the 2004 election:

    “Sen. Obama’s chief message strategist Robert Gibbs served as Sen. Kerry’s press secretary during the cheesesteak debacle [in which Kerry was “labeled effete” for ordering a cheesesteak with Swiss cheese, rather than CheezWhiz]. A few days later at the Iowa State Fair, famous for its deep-fried Twinkies and beer booths, Mr. Gibbs noticed Sen. Kerry buying a $4 strawberry smoothie. He made a frantic call to campaign staffers: “Somebody get a f-ing corn dog in his hand — now!””

    What I find most discouraging is the number of people that perceive healthy eating as “elitist” and “not of the people.”

    And here I thought the “real men eat steak,” “salad is for girls,” and “quiche is for chicks” contingency was slowly becoming extinct.

    If denouncing broccoli and stuffing your face with an oversized hamburger is the way to win America’s votes, then I sure am glad I never pursued a political career.

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