You know you’ve said something really, really stupid when FOX News is at a loss for words.
Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist whom you might remember from his guest spots on “The Tyra Banks Show,” came for First Lady Michelle Obama during a recent appearance on FOX News’ “Outnumbered.”
During a discussion about Mission: Readiness, things went all the way left on the right-wing network.
The campaign includes military leaders pushing for Congress to keep new school nutrition standards supported by Michelle. Most of the hosts were harping on the fact that kids are refusing to eat the healthier options being served by their schools. Some even questioned why former generals would even have a vested interest in feeding kids more nutritious meals. We expect them to push back against anything The Obamas do because it’s FOX News. It’s what they do.
However, Keith drew an audible gasp from the mostly female panel when he commented on Michelle’s body, stating, “How well could she be eating? She needs to drop a few [pounds].”
No matter what their political leanings, the women on “Outnumbered” were not going to co-sign Keith’s comments. They were so stunned, in fact, that even the moderator was at a loss for words.
First of all, who asked Keith what he thought about Michelle’s body? Secondly, should her weight matter if she trying to encourage others to eat right?
Here’s the problem: Every body is different. Every body carries weight a little differently. Without knowing the particulars of Michelle’s physical health, the psychiatrist is, at best, making an uneducated guess about what weight the first lady should be to stay within a healthy range.
But let’s say for a moment that he was trying to be clinical in his assessment of Michelle’s health. At 5’11” (according to Google), Michelle would have to be at least 179 pounds to have a BMI of 25 and be considered Overweight. Even that is still not an accurate indication of how healthy the first lady actually is because muscle is heavier than fat, and let’s not pretend that Michelle isn’t fit.
Beyond that, Keith’s criticism that Michelle probably has french fries every now and then is irrelevant. Having the occasional treat is not a big deal when the majority of person’s diet is well-balanced diet.
According to Harvard University from 2004-2005, 40 percent of students in the U.S. were buying “competitive foods” being sold at their schools. These often include sugary snacks, fatty chips and other unhealthy options that are not offered as part of a standard school lunch. These are also high-calorie foods with abysmal nutritional value.
In 2010, ABC News reported that researchers from the National Cancer Institute found the number of kids ages 2-18 eating consuming empty calories was still around 40 percent.
Regardless of her weight, Michelle and the former generals are trying to make sue that kids are eating better than they have been. In 2012, the USDA issued new standards for school lunches with the first lady’s backing. Two years into the three-year plan many schools have changed their lunch programs for the better thanks in part to Michelle.
In short, Dr. Ablow, have a seat…and some kale.