Photos of President Obama tucking into a burger sends the wrong health message to Americans, a doctors' group says. Should politicians give up junk food on the campaign trail?
By the time Newt Gingrich dropped out of the Republican primary earlier this month, it was clear that he'd gained a few pounds since launching his White House bid. Campaigning is hard -- the grueling hours, constant travel and frequent stops with little time for more than a doughnut or a burger quickly take their toll. For months on end, candidates suck down incredible quantities of sugar, salt, and fat like it's their job -- which, of course, it is. So many campaign appearances revolve around food that it's hard to imagine an election season without prayer breakfasts, fundraiser barbecues, or drop-ins at the local pizza joint.
Which is why it's remarkable that a group of doctors and activists have banded together to demand that President Obama forgo future photo-ops involving junk food. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) began circulating a petition yesterday in hopes that First Lady Michelle Obama's edicts on good nutrition will extend to the campaign trail. As a role model for Americans, the president can help stem the tide of unhealthy eating that threatens to make two-fifths of us obese by 2030 -- or so the logic goes.