ACSH staffers were among the first to report on the first lady’s media faux pas in the current issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, in which she stated:
Recently I was on a sort of cleanse and I was just eating vegetables. The cleanses are good for a short period of time. I can’t live my life on a cleanse. But they help me clean out my palate. Because when you start adding things like sugars into your diet, you start craving them. And the more you eat, the more you crave…So maybe I’ll do a cleanse for two days.
Obama Foodarama , a blog about the president and first lady’s food initiatives, yesterday cited ACSH’s Jeff Stier’s take on Mrs. Obama’s “cleansing” routine and quoted a White House official who tried to clarify matters. The official said the “cleanse” consists of eating as many fruits and vegetables as Mrs. Obama wants, while eliminating fats/oil, dairy, meat, caffeine, sugar and starch from her diet for a few days to “clean out her system.”
“We hoped the White House’s clarification would have backtracked on the First Lady’s so-called ‘cleansing diet’, but to me, this clarifies only that it is a bigger problem than we initially thought,” notes Stier.
Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move!” anti-obesity campaign has become national policy, and the first lady has become something of a national spokesperson on the topic. “She has made nutrition her issue, and she told a reporter about her cleansing diet. She may deny that she’s advocating such a nutritional regimen, but she’s a role model and when she speaks to the press about it, many people may start to follow in her unhealthy footsteps,” notes ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan.