Is This “Healthful?”

Yesterday, the New York Times Dining section ran a piece headlined, “Michelle Obama’s Agenda Includes Healthful Eating.” Which reminded me of when, back in January, MSNBC got its hands on the Sidwell Friends School lunch menu and reported that the Obama girls were dining on, among other offerings, “various salads,” “Philly cheesesteaks” and “baked fries.” In yesterday’s Times, we get this:

[In] the November issue of Parents magazine, [Mrs. Obama] and her husband described their decision to ditch juice boxes and processed foods.

“A couple of years ago — you’d never know it by looking at her now — Malia was getting a little chubby,” Mr. Obama told the magazine.

Um, Dad? Did you have to tell that story? (Not the first time, mind you, that the president has said in a magazine what arguably should have been said just among family— in the name of not putting more and unnecessary public pressure on his young children, not to mention encouraging more School Menu-type media coverage). And, Times? Did you have to repeat that story?

This focus on what a 7- and 11-year-old girl are eating (and thank goodness they’re not “chubby” “now”)? I’m not sure how “healthful” it is.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.