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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.



    1. annie said on August 5th, 2008

      Amusing posting…so you can’t be popular by eating good nutrition? I thought it was often the overweight that got bullied not the average person?

    2. Meredith (in Toronto) said on August 6th, 2008

      It seems that the ideal is eating the average American diet while managing to stay a normal size. Quite the paradox.

      I just find it amazing that American politics can come down to stuff like this. In Canada I’ve never heard a thing about our politicians’ eating habits. Then again, when you essentially stretch out a campaign over two years instead of our four to six weeks, I guess people get desperate for things to talk about and analyze.

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