Michelle Obama eats burger, nutritionists approve

Thursday 14 July 2011 00:00 BST
(AFP/ Saul Loeb)

American First Lady and anti-obesity advocate Michelle Obama splurged on not only a burger and fries on Monday but washed it all down with a chocolate shake. While the media is lambasting her fat-laden luncheon, nutritionists beg to differ, noting that an occasional 'pig-out' is part of a healthy lifestyle.

Obama, who has been promoting healthy eating with her national Let's Move campaign to fight childhood obesity, stepped into a Shake Shack diner in Washington, DC, and indulged in a meal (plus Diet Coke) tallying up to around 1,700 calories.

American newspaper USA Today cites the caloric intake of her meal as "the amount some women should eat for the entire day."

UK's Guardian said Obama deserved a "grilling" for her burger splurge. Meanwhile, gossip news site Gawker called her a "hypocrite," adding "Why isn't she eating organic free-range slime and hippie grain dirt or whatever the hell she forces children to eat in school, hmm? Hypocrite. Fraud!"

"[This is an] unfortunate invasion of privacy for Mrs. Obama," said Alice Lichtenstein, professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts School of Medicine in Boston, in an interview with ABC News in the US. "She has kept her weight constant and engages in regular physical activity. An occasional indulgence is fine. For many people, that is what helps them keep on track most of the time."

Recent research also backs up Obama's fast food splurge, noting that an occasional treat is actually good for you. In a study published this year in the journal Nutrition Research, findings claim that people who ate candy and chocolate in moderation may weigh less, have lower body mass indices and waist circumferences, and have decreased levels of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

Read more on the burger debate: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/12/michelle-obama-shake-shack-burger_n_895498.html

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