Senator Bond might not support President Obama’s vision of healthcare, but he is supporting a health push initiated by the First Lady.

Michelle Obama is tackling obesity, which threatens the health of one third of America’s children. And Senator Bond is backing her, saying government leaders have ignored the problem too long.

Bond points to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study that says low-income families who rely on food stamps are eating too much food high in saturated fat and too little milk, fruits, and vegetables.

Bond says the federal government spends more than 8 million dollars a year educating the public on healthy eating habits, but it seems to be having little impact on food stamp consumers.

He says the system needs to be reformed to push good nutrition in the home.

“Our nation’s neediest families are not getting the nutrition necessary for good health,” said Bond. “While it is critical that we ensure needy families receive the assistance they need to buy food, we should also empower these families to make nutritious food choices, particularly when the science has proven that poor nutrition leads to obesity and other life-threatening health conditions.”

Bond urges Mrs. Obama to empower families to make healthier food choices by turning our nation’s food assistance programs into nutritious food assistance programs.

Below is the letter Bond sent to the First Lady.

Mrs. Obama

Congratulations on the launch of the “Let’s Move” campaign. The issue of childhood obesity has long been a concern of mine. As you recently noted, children who eat a balanced diet feel better and live more productive and happier lives. You rightfully pointed out that childhood obesity must be addressed – this epidemic threatens the health of our country.

Much of the discussion regarding the “Let’s Move” campaign has been directed toward school programs. I agree that there is room for improvement in the School Lunch program, but it is important to remember that good nutrition starts at home.

Currently, the federal government spends more than $8 million every year developing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) MyPyramid to educate the public on healthy eating habits. Sadly, a recent USDA report confirmed that low-income families who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, do not follow the USDA’s MyPyramid. This alarming report indicated that these families are eating too much food high in saturated fat and too little milk, fruits, and vegetables. This means that our nation’s neediest families are not getting the nutrition necessary for good health.

SNAP is a safety net that millions of families depend on and is even more important during this economic crisis when many Americans are out of work and are struggling to provide for their families. While it is critical that we ensure needy families receive the assistance they need to buy food, we should also empower these families to make nutritious food choices, particularly when the science has proven that poor nutrition leads to obesity and other life-threatening health conditions.

As the new task force on childhood obesity begins to examine federal policy to encourage wellness and nutrition, I urge you to consider encouraging nutrition and healthy living through the SNAP program. America needs a real national nutrition policy, one that encourages healthy food choices for healthy families.

Thank you for your leadership in addressing this important issue which impacts America’s future. I look forward to working with you to empower families to make healthy choices and build a healthier America.

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator Kit Bond

Jessica Machetta reports [Download / listen, Mp3]