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Petition Needs 25,000 Signatures by Friday: End Presidential Junk-Food Photo Ops

Sign PCRM's petition asking the Obama administration to exclude hot dogs and other obesity- and cancer-causing foods from photo ops that feature the president and other government officials.

Nearly 2,000 people have signed PCRM’s petition on the White House’s We the People website. If it receives 25,000 signatures by Friday, the White House will respond to the petition.

PCRM also filed an official Petition for Executive Action with the White House. The petitions argue that the photographs are better publicized than health messages like the USDA’s dietary guidelines, and are likely to add to ignorance about health and nutrition. PCRM filed a similar petition in the United Kingdom.

“The White House would never set up a photo op showing the president buying cigarettes, so why is it OK to show him eating a hot dog?” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Processed meats like hot dogs kill more Americans each year than tobacco does, and they cost taxpayers billions of dollars in healthcare. As a role model to millions of Americans, the president has a responsibility to watch what he eats in public.”

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has posed for the cameras eating a hot dog at a basketball game with British Prime Minister David Cameron, eating cheeseburgers with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and stopping at a D.C. burger restaurant to share a cheeseburger with a reporter, among other similar instances. His predecessors, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan, have also been caught on camera eating unhealthy foods, from ice cream to Big Macs.

Widely publicized photographs of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt eating a hot dog are credited with popularizing what once used to be a widely disliked food. Now Americans consume 7 billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year.



End Presidential Junk-Food Photo Ops

PCRM Online,
June 2012

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