‘Let’s Move!’ to the Zoo

Although Michelle Obama apparently thinks it’s a great idea for everyone to be open to other opinions, it’s clear that she is not. 

Recently, she advised Eastern Kentucky University students to pursue people with differing points of view. Yet, despite her flexibility in the areas of politics and religion, Nutrition Nazi Michelle Obama has not loosened the governmental vise grip she has around the neck of any establishment that serves food.

The big surprise this summer is that freedom from schools that have abolished every last morsel of fun from the lunchroom does not include escaping Mama Obama’s incessant haranguing about the benefits of veggies.

Instead, as the hot weather approaches, Michelle’s plan is to impact the eating habits of kids by recruiting providers of summer adventures to “join the call to action,” which demands decreasing obesity among children by frustrating their efforts to have a fun vacation.  Almost as determined as her husband is about preserving the right to late-term abortion, Mrs. Obama is rolling out plans to transform zoos into places where what’s on the menu is not much different than what’s on the animals’ menu.

Moreover, with the way things are progressing, French fries may soon find themselves on exhibition in museums – in the fried-food antiquity wing. That is why, rather than focus on offering her scandal-ridden husband comfort, the first lady has decided instead to make it her mission to expand her “Let’s Move!” initiative to include not only zoos, but gardens, science and technology centers, and museums.

The newest arm of the “Let’s Move!” venture will be called the “Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens” project because the first lady believes museums, gardens and zoos possess the power to “influence real and sustained behavior change” in the eating habits of kids who are only there to see dinosaur bones, tulip exhibits and chimpanzees.

Fret not, little kids, there is still something to be grateful for: Thus far, Michelle hasn’t made her way down the punch list to “Let’s Move! Mr. Softee to the Junkyard.”

Nevertheless, the hope is that 90 percent of the museums, gardens and zoos that offer food service will “already offer or will change their menu to offer food options that reflect healthy choices.” Or else!

Let’s Move! demands…sorry, hopes museums, gardens and zoos  will abide by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) nutrition standards, which include limiting “deep-fried entrée options to no more than one choice per day” and offering fruit or a “non-fried” vegetable as side dishes “instead of chips or a cookie.”  Yippee!

So far, 624 institutions are in goose-stepping compliance. Mrs. Obama’s goal is to recruit 2,000 institutions in the first year.  Then, giving new meaning to feeding time at the zoo, Michelle is certain that once there she’ll be able to herd 200 million famished visitors toward vegetable-filled feeding troughs.

In addition to policing brown bags and sniffing out candy apples, the program the first lady is promoting maintains that smelling flowers on nature walks at botanical gardens or walking up and down the hills gazing at gorillas and giraffes at the Bronx Zoo no longer suffice as exercise.

Instead, the first lady hopes that “With their impressive reach and great potential for impact, museum and  gardens [and zoos will] launch community efforts to create a healthier generation using interactive exhibits, outdoor spaces, gardens and programs that encourage families to eat healthy foods and increase physical activity.”  Think: Cucumber seesaws, heirloom tomato bouncy balls and spaghetti squash rope climbing.

It’s all very exciting for everyone except the children who will be tormented by the changes.

Nevertheless, Mrs. Community Organizer, via “Let’s Move!” expressed her community-minded point of view by stressing – you guessed it – community: “Museums and gardens are core community institutions. They are trusted in their communities and have the capacity to influence real and sustained behavior change,” in their communities, for their communities, and for the overall communal benefit of the larger collective community.

So with summer approaching, the Obamas will drink stout and sample Dublin Coddle in Ireland and will most assuredly indulge in fried shrimp baskets and ice cream on their million-dollar vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.  However, if Mama Obama has her say, the cash-strapped Americans who are forced to take cheap staycations will not have the luxury of sending the kids on a day trip complete with summer favorites like hot dogs, soda pop or soft-serve.

Instead, while visiting museums, gardens and especially zoos, “Let’s Move!” monitors may be on site to make sure nobody rides the zoo shuttle or rests their tired feet too long.  Then, after working up a good sweat, Americans can join the monkeys and elephants at feeding time for a Michelle Obama-approved lunch of protein-packed peanuts, fiber-rich grubs, and chlorophyll-laden grass.

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