Yes, it’s true. The first lady, famous for her battle against childhood obesity and leadership of Let’s Move! and Chefs Move to Schools programs, occasionally indulges in a meal of a burger and french fries.
Mrs. Obama enjoyed that very meal for lunch earlier this week, along with a chocolate shake and Diet Coke, at the Shake Shack which just opened in Washington D.C.
And some top nutrition experts have applauded her for it.
Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietitian in author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Feeding Your Baby and Toddler, said it’s okay to indulge in your favorite foods occasionally. “A healthy lifestyle is all about balance and inclusion, not deprivation and misery,” she told Nanci Hellmich of USA Today.
Another dietitian, Robyn Flipse, author of Fighting the Freshman Fifteen, expressed a similar sentiment in the article, calling Mrs. Obama’s openness about how she eats and exercises “the most valuable nutrition news that’s been published in decades.”
In a 2010 interview with USA Today, the president’s wife confessed that she loves burgers and fries. “I don’t want to live a life where I can never have them again. And if we told families and children that was the answer, we’d never get there” with Let’s Move.
The fact is, Mrs. Obama and her family stick to the new MyPlate guidelines the vast majority of the time, enjoying fresh-picked vegetables from the White House garden and other nutritious foods on a daily basis. But as she said in that 2010 interview, she and her family “are not 100% perfect” in their dietary habits—as once again exhibited by her recent excursion to Shake Shack.
The message here, most nutritionists seemed to agree, is one of moderation. Every now and then, most of us just have to have a burger, including the first lady.
Just don’t do it too often and you'll be okay.