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CNN slams psychiatrist who fat-shamed Michelle Obama: Childhood obesity battle

 President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia Obama go for a bike ride.
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia Obama go for a bike ride.
Photo by Pool/Getty Images

Remember when the First Lady was regarded as sacred, with the media confining their coverage to complimenting her clothes and politely publicizing her platform? In an era where Twitter trolls attacked Robin Williams' daughter after the tragic loss of her father, First Lady Michelle Obama was fat-shamed by a Fox News psychiatrist. Now CNN is defending the First Lady, reported the Huffington Post on August 17.

The weight loss wars began when Fox News psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow participated in a panel that focused on the First Lady's efforts to improve the fitness and diets of the nation's children and families. He observed a video of Michelle Obama.

"And how well could she be eating?" demanded Ablow in response to the video. "She needs to drop a few. Let’s be honest."

CNN host Brian Stelter fought back on behalf of the First Lady. "I watch Fox News every day, and I learn a lot about conservative politics ... but may I strongly suggest that you not take its medical advice," he said.

Stelter revealed that he struggled with his weight when he was young and only recently lost 90 pounds."I think we need all the help we can get to reduce obesity in this country," he added. "So I really wish talking heads would not 'controversialize' something as simple as nutrition advice."

The First Lady has made a point of keeping it simple. Her "Let's Move" campaign focuses on helping children learn to eat right and exercise more. When it launched, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum creating the first Task Force on Childhood Obesity.

The campaign includes improving school lunches and expanding access to healthy and affordable food. It also features ways to boost physical activity to help children achieve their weight loss goals safely.

The campaign and other efforts to curb childhood obesity focus primarily on children and schools. Now new research indicates that the most effective approach involves parents, reported the Waxahachie Daily Light on August 16.

Researchers at the University of Buffalo studied children who were ages two to five. When their parents improved their diets and exercise habits, the children lost the most weight.

The First Lady has emphasized that she and the President both follow healthy diets. They work out regularly and encourage their daughters to join them in exercise activities.

But the childhood obesity epidemic also needs more attention in a different area. The Children’s Hospital Association and 25 children's hospital have created a new set of guidelines for treating and screening children for obesity, reported Healio on August 16.

"Childhood obesity represents an unprecedented challenge to child health and the services provided by pediatricians due to life-threatening conditions resulting from obesity," said the CEO and president of the association. "Our clinicians have taken an important step in addressing the conditions at first line of defense — the primary care pediatrician."

The guidelines highlight the fact that conditions previously occurring only in adults are now impacting even young children. The recommendations include guidance for identifying and treating lipid abnormalities, abnormal liver enzymes, hypertension and polycystic ovary syndrome in obese children.

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