According to a new USA Today/Gallup Poll, Obama is the man Americans admire most. And that fixation has focused recently upon his fitness, which some say even contributed to his victory in the election.
Those who doubt Obama's pro-organic positions are referred to an array of nutritional news stories, blogs, photos and video streams of him eating, golfing, playing basketball, working out at the gym, etc. This past week, one of the largest Internet searches was sneaking a peak of the hearty and shirtless president-elect on the beach at his $9 million Hawaiian holiday getaway. There's even a Website committed to every possible link between food, drinks and Obama, Obamafoodorama.blogspot.com, including Barack's favorite trail mix and his beer of choice, the "audacity of hops."
While many admire Obama's physique and others commend his athletic ability, critics are busy lambasting some of his present actions as not what he pitched on the campaign trail. They say proof is in his personal consumption practices, which include periodic binges of fast and fatty foods and nicotine fixes. Further political evidence is found in his choice for agriculture secretary, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, whom many frown upon for his support for big agribusiness, genetically modified crops and ethanol subsidies.
To be honest, I'm not sure if Obama is fit enough to be America's next nutritional guru, but I would remind him (especially as a relatively young president) that his health disciplines can help shape our country's youth like few others in the past, especially in a processed and fast food nation, in which there are more food additives than grains of sand at the beach, not to mention that obesity now affects one-third of all youth.
Here's something else of which I am quite certain: that we should not be a tenth as fixated upon Obama's nutritional plan (or even Oprah's fluctuating weight) as we should be on our own. Whether Obama sneaks a few puffs or Oprah splurges on bagels and cream cheese, we should be more self-reflective than judgmental and examine our own eating and exercise habits, and not just those our culture admires. In an age where organic foods are making mainstream news, gaining an upper hand on dinner tables and restaurant menus, we all need to fight to be fit and provide better models of well-being, instead of waiting for another "government bailout" in the form of universal health care to rescue us from our declining health.