On Feb 9, 2012, the second anniversary of her Let's Move! campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Little Rock Air Force Base (LRAFB), home of the mighty C-130 Hercules, on the second stop of her four city tour. Obama is sojourning across the nation in an effort to promote fitness and nutrition and to unveil a new Department of Defense (DoD) initiative highlighting healthy food on military installations. LRAFB is part of a six base pilot program testing out new, healthier menus heavily featuring vegetables, whole grains, and top grade meats. For years, the DoD has been criticized for serving low quality food in the form of MREs and in the dining halls on military bases. So low quality, in fact, that rumors have circulated suggesting the DoD only purchases and serves "Grade D" meats which are certified for use only on military installations and in prisons. This and similar rumors are false, of course, and the DoD has been striving to upgrade the quality and taste of the food served to the members of our nation's sword and shield for many years. The pilot program being conducted on LRAFB and the other bases is in support of this change.
The First Lady's visit to the base included a tour of the dining facility and a brief talk to the service members trying out the healthy menu. During her speech she noted, "[a]ccording to a recent Army study, more than a quarter of our nation's 17- to 24-year-olds are too overweight to serve in our armed forces today." This is a very weighty (huzzah for wordplay) and depressing statistic. In 2010, a report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found Arkansas to be the 8th fattest state when measuring adult obesity. Well, if LRAFB was included in the statistic, I'm willing to bet Arkansas should be rated somewhere around the 3rd or 4th fattest state without the military population. So, while Little Rock definitely needed her visit to set things straight, she probably would have reached a fatter demographic by giving her talk at a high school or junior college. Haven't you seen Transformers, lady? Military dudes are fit. Most of them can do more than the 18 girl pushups you did on Jimmy Fallon.
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Prior to leaving the dining hall, Brigadier Gen. Eden Murrie, director of Air Force Services (picture) told Obama that "we are working hard to make healthy sexy." Now while I'm sure Gen. Murrie is highly respected and lauded in her career as a navigator (doubtful), she probably has never been consulted for her insight regarding the issue of sexiness.
Recent reviews have claimed the changes to the dining hall and menu are fast, neat, average.