Congratulations to Barack Obama on his second-term victory. I have waited until this moment—a time when no future elections face him—to tell you that our President has been preparing his whole life to understand and implement a healthy diet for our ailing nation. I believe this is one of his greatest missions. The American people are fat and sick, and over-tested and over-treated. Unimpeded by political consequences, our 44th President no longer must bend to the pressures of the pharmaceutical, medical, and food industries. Because of his understanding of the truth and his flexibility, he is now in a position to support our country in becoming strong, productive, and healthy again.
My Encounter with Barack Obama
Barack Obama was introduced to the McDougall Program as a teenager during his years at Punahou High School (1975 to 1979). At the invitation of Brad Yates, the school’s health education teacher, I spoke annually at this top private school in Honolulu, Hawaii. After one of my lectures, a group of four young men sitting in the front row of the auditorium approached me. One of the students was introduced to me as Barry Obama. As a young black man he stood out from the rest of the white and Asian student body. Hopefully, I made a lasting impression on his thinking.
My lectures at Punahou High School focused on how meat and dairy products sickened people, causing obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. I explained to my attentive audience that protein and calcium deficiency are myths promoted for the benefits of the profitable food industries. The students had many questions, but they seemed accepting of my bold ideas. Many changed their own diets, and those of their families, after hearing my words of dissention.
Obama’s Life Among Starch-eaters
Throughout his life Barack Obama has been heavily exposed to diets based on starches with the addition of fruits and vegetables. In addition, those diets had little meat and no dairy foods. Born (August 4, 1961), and raised, in Hawaii, he experienced the food habits of the Chinese, Filipinos, and Japanese living mostly on rice, and Hawaiians living on taro and breadfruits. He also spent several years (1967 to 1971) in Indonesia, where rice was the staple food and 98% of the calories people ate came from plant-food sources. In 1988 he spent five weeks in Kenya. Even today, the Kenyans ingest mostly starchy grains and vegetables. The favorite dish in Kenya is ugali, made from cornmeal. As a world traveler and a student of history, Mr. Obama understands that all large successful populations throughout human history have obtained the bulk of their calories from starches, such as rice, corn, beans, and potatoes. He also knows that these people were always trim, strong, and hard working.
Even though Barack Obama says he enjoys a steak once in a while, his lifelong education has led him to recognize the importance of a healthy diet. In the video clip below, he responds to a question about the implications of how we eat. He, for example, knows:
1) The environmental consequences of eating animals: “…because it takes more grain to produce a pound of beef than if they [the people] were just eating the grain. What ends up happening is that it puts huge pressure on food supplies.”
2) The financial penalties of poor health: “…if we reduce obesity down to the rates that existed in 1980, we could save the Medicare system a trillion dollars. We would reduce diabetes rates. We would reduce heart disease.”
3) That our children are being harmed: “…just making sure there are more fruits and vegetables in school lunch programs, that would make an enormous difference in how our children’s diets develop, that would make us healthier over the long term.”
4) The worldwide implications of our diet: “…it [a healthier, less animal-food, diet] would cut our healthcare costs and maybe it would help people elsewhere in the world, who are in less wealthy countries, feed themselves as well.”
Hear Obama’s Own Words About our Diet in America
Michelle Obama Stands With Her Husband
Michelle Obama is also a proponent of a healthy diet, expanding the White House organic garden, and launching a campaign in February of 2010 against obesity called “Let's Move!” Her newest book, American Grown, is all about the planning, planting, and harvesting of the White House garden. On January 31, 2012 she served Jay Leno on the Tonight Show a platter featuring apples, baked sweet potato “fries,” and a vegan pizza made with eggplant, green peppers, and zucchini. The Obama daughters, Sasha and Malia, attend an exclusive private school in the Washington DC area that serves vegetarian meal alternatives.
Michelle Obama Serves Jay Leno
a Low-fat, Starch-based Meal
Our President: Out of the Closet
Election campaigns are over for Mr. Obama; therefore he no longer has to eat meat in public. This act always seemed staged to me, an effort to indentify with the average American. New, world-changing photo ops will have him eating the foods that he was raised on, such as traditional Indonesian rice and vegetable dishes. To move the country forward and heal our nation, the President should be photographed eating Jay Leno’s vegan pizza.
My wife Mary would be happy to help the White House chef plan the Obama family’s daily menus. They would be eating cosmopolitan meals: Irish oatmeal for breakfast, Italian Minestrone vegetable soup for lunch, and Mexican bean burritos for dinner. At the next White House dinner the Obamas can make a policy statement by serving dignitaries a healthy menu of “McDougall lasagna,” baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, salad, and peach pie. This kind of publicity will give Americans clear directions for solving widespread obesity and sickness. It will also demonstrate an understanding of the global warming effects of livestock production, and a solution to growing food shortages worldwide.
If Barack Obama were my student again, I would ask him to:
Encourage members of congress to reintroduce and expand upon the 1977 Dietary Guidelines for the US. Unfortunately, the meat and dairy industries stopped these valiant efforts long ago, resulting in threats to our financial stability and national security.
Call upon his surgeon general, Regina Benjamin, MD, to update and implement the 1988 Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. By identifying animal foods as the cause of, and starches as the solution to, America’s health problems, this document was supposed to have changed medical history (like the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health did). Unfortunately, industry fought back and won.
Rein in the food industries. Start with insisting on truth in advertising. Make the meat and dairy industries provide warning labels that their products cause obesity, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. Make them publically admit that protein and calcium deficiencies are myths.
Remove all prejudicial affiliations with food industries. Currently the USDA, which writes the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is staffed with people who have been working with the dairy, meat, egg, and processed food industries. Their agenda is the reason Americans are confused about what to eat.
Require congress to stop subsidizing unhealthy farming. Estimates are that $200 billion is spent annually to support the production of food. (That is approximately $1500 per household.) Through this convoluted system 63% of subsidies go to the meat and dairy industries, with less than one percent for fruits and vegetables. This ratio needs to be reversed for a healthy America. Subsidies and taxes control behaviors.
Have congress place a food tax on meat, dairy, and other unhealthy foods. Similar to the fitting taxes levied on tobacco, our country needs a “fat tax.” The revenues can then be spent on education and to support more universal and fair health care.
Have congress amend the “food stamp programs” to pay only for starches, vegetables, and fruits. These entitlements currently prohibit purchase of alcohol and tobacco. Add meat, dairy, and other junk foods to these exclusions. People now sickened by the foods, soon require government-supported healthcare.
Develop campaigns to feed our children proper diets. Current USDA policies have left our children hungry by asking them to fill up on low-calorie green and yellow vegetables, rather than starches. There are insufficient calories in these non-starchy vegetables. The school lunches are still filled with damaging dairy, meat, and other junk.
Require all government supported nutrition programs to serve starch-based meals. This includes the diets served to children at public schools, our military, and other government supported businesses that provide food.
Have doctors prescribe diet-therapy in Obamacare. Over 75 percent of our healthcare costs are due to chronic diseases; most can be cured with diet. People with heart disease, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and obesity need good food first, not medications or surgeries. As part of the plan, medical doctors and dietitians must be trained in, and required to offer, diet-therapy.
Allocate funds for a massive reeducation campaign. The meat, dairy, and junk food industries have been allowed to unabatedly brainwash Americans (both lay and professional) for the past half century. Demand equal money and time to compensate. All manners of public education are needed to reverse the harms done in the past.
There is much to be done and such a short time to fix our nation. Clearly, Barack Obama understands the importance of a starch-based diet. Just in case he would like some help, I am only a phone call away.
2012 John McDougall All Rights Reserved
Dr. McDougall's Health and Medical Center
P.O. Box 14039, Santa Rosa, CA 95402 http://www.drmcdougall.com