Michelle Obama seems to always be in the proximity of a camera as she touts the supposed benefits of her “Let’s Move” campaign and her support of associated dietary restrictions.
Though unpopular when compared to her recent Republican counterparts, the first lady still enjoys an approval rate far higher than that of her husband. For that reason, it is understandable that a sycophantic press devotes much of its White House coverage to her social activism.
In attempting to make the case for her anti-obesity campaign, however, reports suggest Michelle cited a dubious study showing the supposed benefits of her intrusive policy initiatives.
According to Reuters, the first lady embraced a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report showing that obesity among preschool kids had dropped by a staggering 43 percent over the past decade. The only problem, however, is the fact that no other experts came to anything close to the same conclusion.
Subsequent studies of the associated data indicate that the study’s results were at best an anomaly that bears no resemblance to reality. In fact, the work of other researchers has shown the obesity rate among this age group has actually risen during the last 10 years.
When viewed in the context of numerous contradictory studies, Michelle Obama’s reliance on one favorable report strikes many as disingenuous.
According to Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center Director Dr. Lee Kaplan, individuals “need to have a healthy degree of skepticism about the validity of this finding.”
Albert Einstein College of Medicine epidemiologist Geoffrey Kabat explained that the small sample size used in the study gives rise to the distinct possibility of “chance fluctuations.”
The CDC itself ceded that fact, issuing an exceptionally large margin of error along with its findings. Kabat concluded that an increase in obesity could not be ruled out using the statistical information provided. Furthermore, the study’s lead author is reportedly declining interviews and has released a statement admitting the potentially misleading results of a study using such a small sample of participants.
Experts across the nation have reported, at best, modest declines in obesity rates among young children. There has also been precious little information suggesting any legitimate change in behavior among preschoolers.
Nevertheless, Michelle Obama used this specific study in an attempt to legitimize her call for more government intrusion into the nutritional choices of ostensibly free Americans. In pursuit of her specious goal, she is apparently not bound by the confines of reliability.
–B. Christopher Agee