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NYT Questions Michele Obama’s Food Beliefs

Buried in the ‘Research’ section of the New York Times:

Studies Question the Pairing of Food Deserts and Obesity

Published: April 17, 2012

It has become an article of faith among some policy makers and advocates, including Michelle Obama, that poor urban neighborhoods are food deserts, bereft of fresh fruits and vegetables.

But two new studies have found something unexpected. Such neighborhoods not only have more fast food restaurants and convenience stores than more affluent ones, but more grocery stores, supermarkets and full-service restaurants, too. And there is no relationship between the type of food being sold in a neighborhood and obesity among its children and adolescents.

Within a couple of miles of almost any urban neighborhood, “you can get basically any type of food,” said Roland Sturm of the RAND Corporation, lead author of one of the studies. “Maybe we should call it a food swamp rather than a desert,” he said.

Mind you, this is being reported by the New York Times. (It’s almost as if one of their reporters took at trip up to Harlem and noticed that it has one of the best and cheapest grocery stores in the country — Fairway.)

Some experts say these new findings raise questions about the effectiveness of efforts to combat the obesity epidemic simply by improving access to healthy foods. Despite campaigns to get Americans to exercise more and eat healthier foods, obesity rates have not budged over the past decade, according to recently released federal data

More heresy! You do not speak against the Queen!

Mrs. Obama has made elimination of food deserts an element of her broader campaign against childhood obesity, Let’s Move, winning praise from Democrats and even some Republicans, and denunciations from conservative commentators and bloggers who have cited it as yet another example of the nanny state.

Speaking in October on the South Side of Chicago, she said that in too many neighborhoods “if people want to buy a head of lettuce or salad or some fruit for their kid’s lunch, they have to take two or three buses, maybe pay for a taxicab, in order to do it.” Mrs. Obama has also advocated getting schools to serve healthier lunches and communities to build more playgrounds…

[But] Helen Lee of the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, [has found differently]. For data on where children lived and went to school and how much they weighed, she used a federal study of 8,000 children. For data on the location of food establishments, she used a data set that compiled all the businesses in the nation and included their sizes and locations

She used census tracts to define neighborhoods because they tend to have economically homogeneous populations. Poor neighborhoods, Dr. Lee found, had nearly twice as many fast food restaurants and convenience stores as wealthier ones, and they had more than three times as many corner stores per square mile. But they also had nearly twice as many supermarkets and large-scale grocers per square mile. Her study, financed by the institute, was published in the March issue of Social Science and Medicine…

Wait. There’s more!

Dr. Sturm’s study, published in February in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, had a different design. With financing from the National Institutes of Health, he used data on the self-reported heights, weights, and diets of more than 13,000 California children and teenagers in the California Health Interview Survey. The survey included the students’ addresses and the addresses of their schools. He used a different data set to see what food outlets were nearby. Dr. Sturm found no relationship between what type of food students said they ate, what they weighed, and the type of food within a mile and a half of their homes.

He has also completed a national study of middle school students, with the same result — no consistent relationship between what the students ate and the type of food nearby. Living close to supermarkets or grocers did not make students thin and living close to fast food outlets did not make them fat. The study will be published soon in Public Health…

So who hacked the New York Times? And have they been reported to Obama’s Attack Watch yet?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “NYT Questions Michele Obama’s Food Beliefs”

  1. untrainable says:

    To call what Moochelle says in a political speech a “belief” is a stretch. The only thing these people truly believe in is that they are entitled to power, that they are better than the rest of us and that we are incapable of intelligent decision making. Progressives will say whatever they need to say to get what they want. Truth is not an absolute, it is a point of view and facts are only facts if they back up the template. The true power of the progressive movement is their ability to rationalize abhorrent behavior into something good.

    As for the claims of food deserts causing obesity, in my mind they are akin to the claims that global warming causes record snowfalls, or unemployment payments stimulate the economy, or soaking the rich will create jobs, or that you can spend your way out of debt, or that electing a black man will end racism. The survival of these people in the real world is entirely dependant on the gullibility/stupidity of those they choose to lie to and steal from.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      UT, you reminded me of something that my parents fought against since I was a child, so that I would not fall into certain kinds of traps.

      The emotional satisfaction from a superficiālis statement vs. the de facto argument. The superficial statement only requires emotions while the de facto part requires thinking, burning calories to rummage through the cluttered garage of old VHS tapes, workout machines and broken sports equipment to get to the needed information. Then recognizing that information and processing it in an effective way to give it meaning to the situation.

      I have, in the past, had occasion to argue with people who, when confronted with what they just said, versus their own actions regarding an identical set of circumstances, the disconnect becomes obvious yet, often, they could not recognize it. Even when laid out bare, “Didn’t you just say that X, Y and Z? But when you had to deal with X and Y and you told yourself you couldn’t do Z because of thus-and-so, does that not still apply? If it made sense to you then, why doesn’t it make sense to you now?”

      Often the response is rapid eye-blinking and more words to take up space, rambling, a faster and more hazardous trek down the slippery slope and no resolution. In the end I’m made out to be the bad guy with a few stragglers and fellow-listeners tagging along for the fun of it, because their emotions are all astir.

      Thus, superficiālis statement wins based on popular appeal and the de facto argument loses based on it costing too much work to process. I am then made the bad-guy, the idiot, the hard-liner who “can’t see reason” and so forth.

      I recently had this type of discussion with a co-worker about fracking. He was convinced the papers were all correct and he, himself had felt some minor earthquakes in his home region of Idiot, Pennsylvania, so thus, the paper’s assertion that fracking causes earthquakes had to be true. I asked what the credentials the quoted “scientists” had who were quoted in the paper…I read it and it simply said, “scientists have reported that…”. And so on.

      But you can’t win. From 1946 to now, we as a society have been conditioned to believe our hearts instead of our heads. But this is not new. Otherwise Wm Shakespeare would have been out of a job and we’d all wear varying shades of gray clothing. (see Quaker). However, starting in the 40’s, more and more people were “getting in touch” with their emotions and what was it just in the 80’s? “Men getting in touch with their feminine side?”. Um….seems to me that that’s an entirely unnecessary thing or attribute when it was men who designed and built some of the most aesthetic machines I’ve ever seen. Ferraris, Jet aircraft, gorgeous ships, especially of the sailing variety and on into the fiberglass recreational boats we use today.

      “Feminine side” PHAGH!

      The left uses words as a magician uses slight-of-hand. To distract, to get your focus shifted away from that which is real. Problem is that magic works because the audience wnats to be fooled. It’s the same with the left-wing but it’s also an attribute of mental laziness. I never take a person I meet on “face-value”. I look through the veneer that everyone has and examine more closely to determine if I can trust them or not. It’s now instinctive and has been for a long time. But it’s a learned thing. It’s why kids are the most gullible. But in the past 40 years or so, it seems that people have grown up to be just as gullible as they were when they were kids.

    • untrainable says:

      My favorite X,Y,Z refutation is what I call “The Orange Juice Argument”. It’s an attempt to address causality vs emotion with an argument so outrageous that even a low grade moron should be able to see how silly their argument is.

      “This morning on a major interstate highway there was a 10 car pileup. When asked about their breakfast, 8 of the 10 accident victims had consumed 1 glass of orange juice with their morning meal. Therefore…we can state absolutely that orange juice causes car accidents. And don’t even ask about eggs or oatmeal!

      As for the touchy feely crap that we’ve all been forced to endure, it only served to confuse and confound and toss critical thinking out the window. And what did we get in trade for our common sense? A load of emotional excuses, and the ability to lay blame on the straw man of the moment. The progressive mantra is born… Not My Fault. Well, as Breitbart was so fond of saying… “SO?” So it’s not your fault. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to take action to fix it, or are you going to whine until someone else does it for you? All too often these days people would rather wait for big brother to do for them.

      As for being in touch with my feminine side, we met once, she punched me in the face, and we haven’t spoken since. [bitch]

    • tranquil.night says:

      “The progressive mantra is born… Not My Fault.”

      Yep. Victims of a screwed up system. Trading liberty for vanity. The results are always the same. Like this random act of journalism confesses people aren’t preyed upon by food corporations they make their own choices. But then; controlling behavior is what it’s all about for the Statistic masterminds anyway. And what more direct a way than in the interest of public Health yeah?

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    How many said stores are black owned? How many only sell liquor and Slim Jims? Where’s the real outrage?
    Michelle has dropped how much weight?

  3. canary says:

    Electric car batteries weight 600 -700 lb.s costing $12,000 – $15,000

    ConsumerAffairs: Batteries Add More Than Weight to All-Electric Cars

    04/18/2012 | By James R. Hood


    Have ya seen the new tiny little fuel run car out with 11 air-bags? Hope it comes with helmets.

  4. GetBackJack says:

    If the government would conduct itself properly, in defense of the Republic, it would catch Michelle., tie her to a gurney in a secure lockdown facility and in a darkened room subject her to ultraviolet light …

    … whereupon she would burst into flames, because …

    …. this female apparition is a vampire sure as God made little green apples.

  5. wirenut says:

    Thank’s Rusty! PHAGH! Seems to sum this up quite nicely. Like hork’n up a hairball dredged in phlegm.
    My cat and I have the same reactions to progressives.

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