LA Times' Andrew Malcolm can't even write accurately about food polls

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Laura Bush's former flak really is a piece of work. Not content with making stuff up about political polling data (that appear to be his job description at this point), Malcolm is now making stuff up about polls regarding food. And of course the misinformation comes with a nasty, get-Obama spin. (It's called ODS.)

Here's the Times headline:

Michelle Obama's healthier eating plan runs up against a fat reality; Americans don't wanna: Gallup

All I'm gong to say is good luck finding any evidence from Gallup that American don't want to eat healthy. Instead, all you'll find from Gallup is research that suggests most Americans have access to inexpensive fruit and vegetables, yet most people don't eat enough of either. It's Malcolm who takes that information and invents the claim that Americans purposefully don't want to eat healthy, and suggests they resent any government-led effort to improve our nutrition. That's not what the polling suggests.

Secondly, look at this goofy logic, as Malcolm strains to create an Obama gotcha:

Last week Obama, whose chosen cause is fighting childhood obesity, told the nation's restaurants they need to change their recipes and offerings to make them healthier -- less sugar, cream, salt -- and more vegetables and fruits -- even if that means deleting a most popular dish or two and hurting sales. She also praised inner-city Detroit liquor stores that were offering vegetables along with their bottled, fermented fare.

But now comes a new Gallup Poll of more than 176,000 Americans showing that, in fact, it's not access to vegetables at all that's keeping citizens from downing the recommended 48 servings of fruits or vegetables, or whatever the recommended daily dosage is this month.

Um, that doesn't make much sense. The First Lady urged restaurants to offer healthier choices, especially for children, but Malcolm claims she being thwarted because most Americans are able to purchase fruits and vegetables. (i.e. From grocery stores, etc.) What exactly is the connection between that and Obama's plea that restaurants offer healthy fare on their menus?

My nagging question for the Times: Does anybody edit Malcolm's musings?

Posted In
Food Insecurity
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