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The Physicians Committee

Kale to the Chief: No More Junk-Food Photo Ops
November 7, 2012

Congratulations to President Barack Obama on his re-election. The months spent on the campaign trail to achieve this victory must have been an impossibly difficult slog—from relentless travel to the barrage of fast food and greasy spoons. He even had to take on Frankenstorm. But now that the election is over, at least he doesn’t need to face campaign-mandated junk-food photo ops anymore.

Imagine if your job description included posing for endless photos while forcing down cheesesteaks in Philly on Monday, barbecue in Dallas on Tuesday, cheese pizza in Madison, Wis., on Thursday, and chicken wings in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday. Then to add insult to injury, the photos and videos go viral on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and blogs. It’s enough to make a president feel like Lindsay Lohan.

We’ve come a long way from the dignified presidential portraits of America’s founders. And surely, President Obama was sick to death of seeing himself gulping down endless junk food.

The medical side of this is clear: Eating red meat increases the risk of dying prematurely. Cheese is the No. 1 source of saturated fat in the American diet. And just one 50-gram serving of processed meat (about the amount in one hot dog) consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Grilling meat produces cancer-causing compounds. And President Obama had to eat these foods every day.

Of course, President Obama had to pose for these photos for political reasons, but now it’s time for dispensation. Politicians will always have to kiss babies and cut ribbons, but we can now officially take junk food out of the political picture.


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