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USA Today reports that the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which promotes not just what it calls "higher standards of ethics and effectiveness in research," but also advocates veganism as a way of life, has filed a petition with the White House calling for "an executive order banning staged official photo ops that depict the president, the first family, the vice president, and members of the president's cabinet with unhealthful foods including processed meats that can cause cancer and obesity."

According to the story, "Since taking office, President Obama has posed for the cameras in staged events eating hot dogs at a basketball game with British Prime Minister David Cameron; serving sausages with Mr. Cameron; taking a motorcade with the vice president to Ray's Hell Burger in Virginia; eating cheeseburgers with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev; and stopping at a D.C. burger restaurant with a reporter, among other similar instances, with healthful foods largely neglected. His predecessors, including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan have also posed with unhealthful foods at official photo-ops."

The Physicians group says that "the Petition for Executive Action argues that White House food-oriented photo ops receive massive publicity, akin to product placement in movies, and drown out the government's health messages, such as the USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans, contributing to ignorance about health and nutrition."
KC's View:
Give me a break.

It amazes me that anyone would argue that this White House, which probably has done more to draw attention to the obesity crisis than any other administration in history, needs to be more vigilant on this issue.

The smart argument, it seems to me, is for intelligent eating. it is okay to have a burger from time to time. Or fries. Or even dessert. You just have to practice some level of moderation, make surer you compensate for the indulgent foods by eating healthier products, and get enough exercise. But this kind of absolutism is absurd ... if they want to practice it in their own lives, that's fine, but I don;t think we need to make veganism a national policy imperative.

Besides, the next thing they'll want is to ban the White House Easter Egg Roll.