Fox Nation needs to go on a misinformation diet

Blog ››› ››› TOM ALLISON

We know that Fox is no fan of the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, falsely claiming last month that their voluntary recommendations to the food industry meant that "the first lady's task force is cutting into our diets and our rights," but their distortions are getting absurd.

The Fox Nation posted the headline, "First Lady's War on Obesity off to a bad start." Well that was fast, considering that the First Lady and the White House Task Force's recommendations were only published in May. Let's take a look at what evidence the Fox Nation cites to support their claim that it's already "off to a bad start."

They link to an article posted on Yahoo! News that reported "Americans are continuing to get fat, with obesity rates nudging upwards in 28 states over the past year, a new report shows." So, the task force releases their recommendations in May, but because their proposals didn't curb obesity rates by the end of June -- not to mention during the 11 months preceding the guidelines -- the White House's obesity policies are failing. Perhaps Fox would have preferred that the Task Force's proposals included a DeLorean equipped with a flux capacitor to go back in time and tell Americans to put down the cheeseburgers.

Second, near the end of the article (I know that's a lot of reading for the Fox Nation audience), we learn that "Some glimmers of hope have also appeared on the horizon," including, "First Lady Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move' program." Further, Jeff Levi, executive director for Trust for America's Health, the report's publisher, refers to recent federal policies as "promising programs."

Third, the Trust for America's Health report that the entire article is based on, that Fox Nation interpreted as bad news for Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign, praises the First Lady as having "a unique ability" to improve the problem of childhood obesity, and notes: "While countless U.S. government reports have called attention to the problem of childhood obesity, this is the first time that there has been a call to action from the White House.

Also quoted in the article is Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who comments: "[N]ow with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign, we have a federal partner who can engage with us. Our long-term vision of a healthier America won't be realized overnight, but working together we can create a country where healthy living is easy and affordable for all."

In summation, a new report from a public health advocacy group says that obesity rates are going up, but there's reason to be optimistic because of recent federal program and Fox interprets this as a big trouble for of Obama's efforts. Oh, and not to brag, but the article also notes: "The District of Columbia was the only region to experience a decline in obesity rates."

Posted In
Government, The Presidency & White House
Network/Outlet
Fox Nation
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