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First Foodie vs. New York Nanny

By • June 8, 2012 • 2 Comments

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When it comes to the legislation of health and nutrition, two names come to mind: Michelle Obama, the first foodie of the United States; and Mayor Bloomberg, the so-called Nanny of New York City. Recently, Bloomberg has received a lot of flak for his ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. Critics wonder whether this sort of regulation is the best way to affect change in the diets of New Yorkers. Michelle Obama, on the other hand, has gotten great press for her new cookbook and continuing garden projects. They are using very different tactics to solve the same problem - obesity and malnutrition. So who's methods are more effective? Well, according to an article in The Economist, this round goes to the First Foodie. 

What is it about Michelle that makes people want to put down the soda and pick up the carrots? Well, the article suggests it has something to do with the fact that she is, "...battling obesity on multiple fronts: exercise, healthy eating, teaching city children to garden, family dinners. Not incidentally, "American Grown" is a remarkably happy book, full of photogenic vegetables, delicious recipes and people who enjoy farming and gardening. Contrast this with Mr. Bloomberg's strictures."

The point is well taken. Dangling a carrot (in the case of Michelle, an "organic, lightly poached, tarragon-dressed carrot) can do much more than brandishing the stick. That isn't to say that Bloomberg's plan is misguided or even that it will not work. Certainly, it will do something to reduce liquid calorie consumption in NYC. Maybe, though, Bloomberg should incorporate a carrot into his plan - something to earn him a better nickname than "Nanny."

Stick or Carrot? from The Economist. 

Comments (2)

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almost 2 years ago Waverly

I appreciate both of their approaches. The problem will never be "solved". We can, however, shine the spotlight on it for the sake of educating the public. Michelle Obama does this eloquently and in the style of Alice Waters, goes to the garden. If education were the only issue, there would be hope. Instead, there is a major problem with the food supply - the availability and the cost of real food vs. processed food. That is a political battle. For now, we can now only try our best to bring our children up with real food - lots of fruits and vegetables and very little sugar. Good luck with that.

Stringio

almost 2 years ago blanka.n

Mayor Bloomberg is a a wonderful mayor for NYC. When he banned cigarettes I was appalled but looking back he was right. Now he's gone a little too far. The FIrst Lady had a wonderful approach by teaching us all good nutrition through gardening. Her new book looks absolutely lovely and I'm tempted to go on Amazon right now.