Michelle Obama has made Let’s Move — an anti-childhood obesity program — her signature initiative as First Lady. President’s wives often take up causes that aren’t particularly controversial and pursue non-governmental solutions to widespread personal problems, but Mrs. O has taken a decidedly political approach to her pet project, bringing considerable pressure to bear to ensure desired outcomes (like more fruit and fewer fries in McDonald’s Happy Meals or lower sodium menus at Olive Garden). She has looked approvingly on the effort to create voluntary nutritional guidelines for foods marketed to children — “voluntary” guidelines that might very plausibly lead to more federal regulation of marketers.
Most importantly of all, she encouraged her husband to sign the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. The legislation gives government agencies considerable power to regulate what children are allowed to eat in public schools. Since the bill became law, a school in Chicago has forbidden kids to pack lunches and a school in North Carolina has forced a preschooler to order a cafeteria lunch because the lunch her mom packed her wasn’t “healthy enough” — and then billed the mother for the expense.
All of that gives the decided impression that Michelle Obama thinks the government should be able to tell people what to eat. Yet, she actually had the gall to say otherwise when intrepid 11-year-old reporter Topanga Sena challenged her about her anti-obesity crusade (h/t The Blaze):