Michelle Obama penned an op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times, railing against House efforts to roll back some of her alleged healthy reforms. The First Lady cited as an example, efforts to allow the purchase of potatoes for low-income families utilizing the Women, Infants and Children program, known as WIC.
Right now, the House of Representatives is considering a bill to override science by mandating that white potatoes be included on the list of foods that women can purchase using WIC dollars. Now, there is nothing wrong with potatoes. The problem is that many women and children already consume enough potatoes and not enough of the nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables they need. That’s why the Institute of Medicine — the nonpartisan, scientific body that advises on the standards for WIC — has said that potatoes should not be part of the WIC program.
Banning potatoes from the diet of low-income families is in itself ‘overriding science’. A pair of studies in 2005 showed that there is a direct link between ‘food insecurity’ and obesity.
Researchers interviewed 201 primarily Hispanic low-income mothers who participated in the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and had infants younger than 6 months. One-third of the mothers reported food insecurity. Those mothers were more likely to restrict food intake, even when the child was hungry, while also pressuring the child to eat more, even when the infant was full.
Perhaps if they had better access to potatoes, they wouldn’t suffer from food insecurity and by extension, obesity.
As an added bonus to our readers, we present the following series of photos showing Michelle Obama growing potatoes in the White House garden.
And here is a quote from the First Lady indicating that French Fries are her favorite food…
“No, if I picked one favorite, favorite food, it’s French fries. Okay? It’s French fries. I can’t stop eating them. But eat your vegetables.”
Potatoes for me – fried or otherwise – but not for thee.