Last Updated:July 31 @ 07:13 pm

Restaurant chains bow to Obama pressure

By Darlene Superville

Washington (AP) - Encouraged by Michelle Obama's campaign to reduce childhood obesity, the company that owns the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and four other popular restaurant chains is pledging to cut the calories and sodium in its meals and overhaul its kids' fare.

Darden Restaurants Inc. was unveiling the changes Thursday, with the first lady on hand to lend support.

The company will pledge to reduce the calories and sodium in all its meals by 10 percent over five years, and by 20 percent over 10 years. For children, French fries and sugar-sweetened beverages will become the exception and not the rule.

All kids' meals will automatically come with a side of fruit or vegetables and eight ounces of 1 percent milk unless an adult requests a substitute, Drew Madsen, president and chief operating officer of Orlando, Fla.-based Darden, told The Associated Press.

"We think it's the most comprehensive health and wellness commitment in the industry," he said.

Darden's restaurants serve more than 400 million meals annually at more than 1,900 locations nationwide. Its four other restaurant chains are LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52. The Capital Grille and Seasons 52 do not have children's menus.

Darden's promise is part of a trend by the restaurant industry to serve healthier food.

Since the beginning of the year, McDonald's, Burger King, Chili's, IHOP, Friendly's and more than a dozen other large and small chains have said they will begin replacing the French fries in children's meals with fruit and removing enticing pictures of less healthy items from their menus.

Diners have become more health conscious and are asking for improvements, such as for their meals to be cooked without butter or with less salt or to be prepared any way but fried. Then there's Mrs. Obama's campaign to bring down childhood obesity rates.

One in three U.S. children is overweight or obese, putting them at greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or other health conditions. Mrs. Obama has said she wants to help today's youngsters become adults at a healthy weight by eating better and getting more exercise.

In a speech a year ago to the National Restaurant Association, the first lady asked members to "actively promote healthy foods and healthy habits to our kids." Consumers, she said, spend half their food dollars on meals outside the home and eat one in three meals at a restaurant. She suggested serving low-fat milk and healthy sides like apple slices or carrots and making French fries available only upon request.

White House domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes said Darden's announcement amounts to a "full-throated endorsement" of the types of changes Mrs. Obama has asked the nation's restaurant owners and operators to make.

In a National Restaurant Association survey of chefs, two-thirds of those working in the kitchens of family dining, fine dining and fast-food restaurants said their customers were ordering healthier items and paying more attention to nutritional content than they did two years ago.

Similarly, chefs ranked healthful children's meals as the fourth-hottest restaurant trend, behind locally grown and sustainable foods.

The government soon will begin requiring restaurants with 20 or more locations, along with bakeries, grocery stores, convenience stores and coffee chains, to include clear calorie counts on their menus.

Mrs. Obama participation in Thursday's announcement, scheduled for an Olive Garden restaurant in the Washington suburb of Hyattsville, Md., will be her latest appearance with retailers and others in support of her anti-obesity efforts.

In January, she stood with Wal-Mart, the nation's largest grocer, as it pledged to reformulate thousands of products it sells to make them healthier and to push suppliers to do the same.

This summer, the first lady applauded as Wal-Mart, Walgreens drug stores and several regional grocers committed to help eliminate "food deserts" by opening or expanding in rural and urban areas without easy access to healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.

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92 Comments

  1. mcrankComment by mcrank
    September 15, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    What a load of BS.

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    • TRUTHTELLERComment by TRUTHTELLER
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

      Hey Mcrank,

      It is a load of BS, but not in the way you think.   All of you know me here and know that I am Constitutional Conservative.  I firmly believe that the government and big butt have no business telling, ordering, or edicting the kind of food we eat or it’s composition.  All of this is about Socialistic/Communist control, not diet.

      The above being said, restaurants, chains in particular, put way too much salt,  sugar, and too many refined carbohydrates, in their foods.  Children and those with high blood pressure, heart conditions and are prone to diabetes, are particulairly sensitive to these foods.

      Over the last few years, more and more restaurants have become aware of this and have been slowly reducing sodium and sugar contents of their entres, as well as offering more salad combinations and fresh vegitables on their menus.

      This is a good thing and is being done because, the restaurants are responding to  CONSUMER PREFERENCES.  Businesses sell products that the consumer want’s to buy.  This is the American, Captialistic way of doing things.  It also makes them the most profit. 

      These changes have been going on long before the Obummers came on the scene.

      Where the BS comes in, is that Obummer and big butt are taking all the credit for it, according to Melody Barnes.

      The imposter in the White House and his wife, have themselves, accomplished nothing positive for the country, in all the years they have been on the scene.  The only way the Obummers can get any traction, is to take credit for the accomplishments of others.

      I applaud the restraunt industry, for responding to consumer’s desires for healthier foods.

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    • Comment by LuLu
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

      The above being said, restaurants, chains in particular, put way too much salt,  sugar, and too many refined carbohydrates, in their foods.  Children and those with high blood pressure, heart conditions and are prone to diabetes, are particulairly sensitive to these foods.

       
      The solution is very simple. Don’t eat there and don’t take your children there. Whether or not to eat too much salt or sugar should be YOUR decision, not the government’s. No constitutional conservative would support government pressure on private business.
       
      Someone has really pulled the wool over your eyes if you think for one minute that these restaurant chains are voluntarily making these changes because of consumer demand. They are responding to intense government pressure to change recipes that have made their businesses successful. Don’t be so gullible.

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    • cgretiredComment by cgretired
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

      Truth Teller, that is just so much **** and you know it.   You said it.. it has been going on for years now, not just the issue with obesity, but the control of restaurants in America. 

      Parents need to be parents.  Government needs to be out of our faces.  What in hell makes that jerk’s wife an expert in anything except perhaps leading O by the nose-ring.

      No, we don’t need restaurants being told what to do or how to feed us.  Someone said it already.  If you go to a restaurant, you eat what you want to eat and pay for it.  If not, hell, stay at home.

      Mrs. Obama, why don’t YOU stay at home and leave the rest of us alone.

      CGr.

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    • TRUTHTELLERComment by TRUTHTELLER
      September 15, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

      LuLu,

      I don’t speak from a standpoint of gullibility.  Cooking (chefing) has been an avocation of mine for many years.  I have spoken with many chefs, employed both by chains, and in private restaurants.

      All of them, together with their bosses, unequvically,  have become very aware of the health risks involved in over consumption of sodium and sugar.  All of them have clearly stated that pressure from their CUSTOMERS, not the government, has caused them to make changes. (Of late, this has changed)

      You say, don’t take your children to salty restaurants.  A few years ago, it didn’t matter where you took your children , or even yourself to a restaurant.  The lowliest eatery or the finest restaurant, had too sugary and salty foods.  You couldn’t get away from it.

      Now, here in California, at least, there is a choice at almost every restaurant.

      Over the last couple of years, however, as you noted, the government and many Socialist politicians have taken to edicting rules and regulations for food reciepes in restaurants and that, is where I draw the line.  I repeat, government has no business dictating the content of my food.

      The free marketplace was doing just fine, until the Obummers came along.  Many restauranteurs were adding healthy dishes to their menus and reducing salt and sugar VOLUNTAIRILY, long before the Socialists came along, and demanded it. 

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    • Comment by LuLu
      September 15, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

      Nonsense. If you don’t want to eat what a restaurant offers do not visit the restaurant. If you don’t want your children to have any salt then prepare their food yourself.
       
      I don’t care how many chefs you know or how expert you think you are. We do NOT need the Obama’s interfering with private business and any REAL constitutional conservative would know that. Maybe you think we are gullible enough to believe a constitutional conservative would applaud this interference from government. Wrong!

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    • TRUTHTELLERComment by TRUTHTELLER
      September 15, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

      Cigretired,

      You’re hitting me over the head for something we both agree upon.  NO part of government should tell me what to eat, or how to make what I eat.

      I, am simply saying that starting several years ago, long before any of this furor began, restaurants were responding to CUSTOMER DEMAND and beginning to change their menus to include more healthy choices.

      Had the government kept their big noses out of it, the marketplace would have and was, making dietary changes on it’s own. 

      Now, everyone concerned is rightfully angry  at the unnecessary and illegal arm twisting and regulating.

      The government screws up everything it touches.  I wish they would just leave us alone.  But, that’s not going to happen until after 2012, G-d willing.

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    • TRUTHTELLERComment by TRUTHTELLER
      September 15, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

      LuLu,

      I have been a Conservative, most of my life.  I have paid a heavy price for that, with my liberal Jewish family.  The name calling and taunting never stopped. But, it didn’t do any good.  My love of our beautiful Constitution has been an unending affair, since I was a teenager.

      I have been a Republican all my life, even before I knew what all encompassed being one.  I have, on many occasions, disagreed with my fellow Republicans, because I felt on those occasions, they veered away from their Constitutional responsibilitys.

      I live my Conservatism.  I served six years in the military, (Viet Nam), have been a life long NRA member, attended young Republican meetings in my area, Joined he California Minuteman group and went down to the Mexican border, armed only with a pair of binoculars and a walke-talke, to spot illegals and dope smugglers. 

      Try doing that sometime, with dope dealers and coyote smgglers walking armed with AK-47s just a few yards from your hidey-ho.

      I am, in no way, condoning or symphizing with liberals/Socialists/Communists, who are regulating the food industry.  It’s about control with them and has nothing to do with health.  I have stated this in all of my previous posts. 

      What I am steadfastly in agreement with, is allowing the free market place to work.  Which it was doing, long before the government regulation fiasco came along.

      I repeat, no government, or for that matter, no person, has the right to tell me what to eat, or how to prepare it.   

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 15, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

      “I have paid a heavy price for that, with my liberal Jewish family.”

      You too, huh? Except I didn’t totally wake up and smell the coffee until I’d been a registered Democrat for 35 years.

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    • MorganComment by Precious
      September 16, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

      Truthteller. I just respectfully disagree that this has been going on for a long time. I do agree with your assessment that it is socialist/communist control though or at least an attempt at it.

      None of this was even thought of until Michele Obama started this “Let’s Move” program and Childhood obesity program to the tune of $500 million dollars. As another poster said, restuarants serve what people want.

      Parents should be in control of what their kids eat and if they don’t lke the menu at a certain restaurant, then don’t take their kids there. The government/Michele Obama shoult butt out (no pun intended)

      I would be interested in knowing if the CEO of these restaurants are not ardent supporters of the Obama administration financially.

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    • teapartyproudComment by teapartyproud
      September 21, 2011 @ 6:44 am

      @precious, you’re not really being honest here. Truth teller is telling the truth. There have been moves toward healthier food in restaurants before Mrs. Obama got her nanny-state self involved.
      This country was founded on the idea that you have the freedom to make your own choices, good or bad. The part that so many have a hard time with, is that you live with the consequences of those choices, again good or bad.
      If she really wants to help, how about getting rid of the EBT cards and food stamps and giving “needy” families healthy food. When you want free stuff, you give away your right to choose. as in “beggars cant be choosers”.

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    • MorganComment by Precious
      September 21, 2011 @ 11:28 am

      teapartyproud…I’m only stating what I perceive. Now I will concede that some of the finer upscale restaurants may be taking steps to modify their menus, but I still contend that they are being forced to now by Michele Obamas healthy food drive, so perhaps I mis stated my position.

      I don’t frequent those kinds of restaurants as was mentioned in this article like Olive Garden, the steak houses etc.. I like the small family restaurants, kind of like the “diner” on Andy Griffith show. We have a few of those around where I live and serve good food, and I can’t see where their menus are really changing.

      I can sure agree about getting rid of the EBT cards and food stamps though. Years ago, they had what they call “commities” and people could go there and get cheese, Rice, all sorts of staple items. None of this buying steak and lobster with an EBT card..

      I have heard that some fast food restaurants are even honoring the EBT cards now. What kind of nonsense is that???

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  2. newsjunkyComment by newsjunky
    September 15, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    My suggestion to Mrs. Obama is that she starts sliming down herself before dictating to anyone else.  She could lose some weight on those gigantic hips and huge backside that’s so evident in all her clothes.   When you eat whatever you darn well chose and then spend your time giving instructions to McDonalds, The National Restaurant Association, the school administration, etc., it’s about time that you and your husband start practicing what you preach!

    When you lose all those calories that you’ve accumulated from your waist down instead of just consentrating on those muscular looking arms, then maybe you can garner some respect from me.  In the meantime, you can stop policing my refrigerator and what I prefer to eat while dining out!

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    • djwiiiComment by djwiii
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

      Toptally Agree.  She should take some of that FAT off her hips.  She already looks like a fat grandmna.  Who is she to tell the rest of us how to eat?? I resent the HELL out of it!

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    • mcrankComment by mcrank
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

      Obama like his big boo-tee gurl—she be phat and all that!  Sisstah got it goin’ on, he says.  Lawdy  Lawdy

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    • MorganComment by Precious
      September 21, 2011 @ 11:31 am

      When you eat whatever you darn well chose and then spend your time giving instructions to McDonalds, The National Restaurant Association, the school administration, etc., it’s about time that you and your husband start practicing what you preach!

      Bravo, News….Right on. I’m sure you saw the article that told about her trip to a new hamburger joint that opened up in DC. She ordered a cheeseburger, fries, a milkshake and something else, I can’t remember. I guess it’s do as I say and not what I do.

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  3. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    September 15, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

    zeig heil,zeig heil!

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  4. MichaellabordeComment by Michaellaborde
    September 15, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    These resturant chains will be looking for breakes, tax cuts, etc. from Obama and his socialist. Opt out signages will be poured out to them just like big labors needs.

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  5. LAPhilComment by LAPhil
    September 15, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

    Just one more case of this administration sticking its nose into private enterprise and telling a business what it should and shouldn’t do. Go to hell, Michelle Obama. Mind your own business, and tell your husband to do the same.

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    • MorganComment by Precious
      September 21, 2011 @ 11:33 am

      It’s this kind of regulations that is strangeling business from growing or starting up and hiring people.

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  6. onewildmanComment by onewildman
    September 15, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

    I’ll never eat at any of those places again. The olive garden has gotten money for close to 30 years. NO MORE!
     
    IMPEACH OBAMA NOW! ! ! ! !

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    • nancyjComment by nancyj
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

      I will continue to eat at those restaurants.  I will just add back what the woman who would be queen wants out.
      So sorry that they caved for such a loser as her.
      Did you know that she has 22 attendants for her reign?  All the other ladies who were actually 1st ladies had one only.
      What a jerk! 

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    • nancyjComment by nancyj
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

      I will continue to eat at those restaurants.  I will just add back what the woman who would be queen wants out. So sorry that they caved for such a loser as her. Did you know that she has 22 attendants for her reign?  All the other ladies who were actually 1st ladies had one only. What a jerk! 

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

      nancyj:
      I almost expect her to say “Let them eat cake”. But of course that wouldn’t be healthy for the peasants, would it?

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    • GHUComment by GHU
      September 15, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

      It’s no surprise to me that  the Darden Restaurant group is following the liberal/ progressive propaganda of the  Obama White House on this. According to Life Decisions International, the Darden group of restaurants also is a big supporter of Planned Parenthood (along with many other companies). Isn’t ist wonderful that they are concerned about children’s weight but could care less if they are killed through abortion! Check out:
      http://www.lifenews.com/2011/09/12/pro-life-group-lists-companies-backing-planned-parenthood/?pr=1 

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  7. bippybellitoComment by bippybellito
    September 15, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

    Any Food Chain that bows to pressure from a hypocrite like Michelle Obama doesn’t deserve my business.  Shame on Olive Garden, Red Lobster and the rest.  Very disappointed with Capital Grill.  I always enjoyed theif food and ambiance.  Now that it is tainted with the stench of Obama’s corrupt administration, I think I’ll pass.  To those of you still visiting these places, notice the stench.

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  8. skycruiserComment by skycruiser
    September 15, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

    So they will reduce calories and sodium gradually – so our taste buds will adjust?  That only works if we also reduce those flavor enhancing items at home as well.  Otherwise, we can go into a Red Lobster after a month or so, take one bite, and ….bye!  There’s nothing you can take out of those amazing cheese rolls without destroying them.  I try to eat healthy at home, but when I go to certain restaurants I want to be treated to something special – healthy or not.  I appreciate knowing what’s in what I eat and the nutritional value. I may (or may not) read it. It’s not forced on us. (no little [agree][disagree] boxes to check before ordering).  But, when you remove the flavor from the food, and my choice, say goodbye to this customer.

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    • nancyjComment by nancyj
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

      I sure agree with you.
      This is just her little way of helping the non President to ruin yet more businesses.
      So sorry they didn’t just tell her to shove off! 

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  9. jenniComment by jenni
    September 15, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

    Absolutely nothing wrong with encouraging people to exercise and eat healthy….but now parents not only buy the kid meal, they also have to order fries separately……but here again, they don’t have to go to that restaurant. That’s our FREEDOM of choice.
    But this is where we need to see some backbone: “The GOVERNMENT soon will begin REQUIRING restaurants with 20 or more locations, along with bakeries, grocery stores, convenience stores and coffee chains, to include clear calorie counts on their menus.”
    We have got to work very hard in the coming months toward obtaining a limited constitutional government!

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  10. danforthComment by danforth
    September 15, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    I am by no means an Obama fan but how can anyone be against healthier food?  These places are killing us people!  They should be forced to fully disclose what they are hiding in that food and then no one in the world would eat it.  Have you been to a Wal-Mart lately and looked around? There is not a healthy weight person to be found.  We’ve got to start somewhere and if the Obama’s do only one good thing while in office and encourage us (and themselves) to ATTEMPT to eat healthier, it’s not a bad thing.
    Don’t be so angry that you can’t applaud something positive when it happens.
     

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    • RWComment by RW
      September 15, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

      Danforth, when the government pays for my food, then the government will tell me what to eat.
       
      I find it highly offensive for the government  to tell restaurants what to serve and how to serve it, to PAYING customers, but those good for nothing louts on food stamps (and not all of them are, mind you) get to eat any damned kwap on MY nickel! Go educate the poor on how to eat, take Cheetos and Doritos and bacon OFF the SNAP program. But leave me, my money and my entertainment the hell alone, MooShelle!
       
      MY nickel, whether it be in Olive Garden, Burger King or my own kitchen…MY WAY! MY FOOD.
       
       

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    • URKiddinMeeComment by URKiddinMee
      September 15, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

      Danforth, you MUST be a liberal troll on George Soros’ payroll whose main job is to elevate my blood pressure with your posts! YOU take care of your kids and I’LL take care of mine. And until “Mooshell” trims her OWN fat ***, she has ZERO credibility with me! And, aren’t they expecting your input over at the Huffington Post?

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    • pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

      Maybe Barack should cut out the burgers and fries he seems to always be eating. Michelle also doesn’t show a lot of restraint when she is eating out or when she throws parties. I say take the plank out of your own eye first. I shop at Wal-mart and have seen people of all shapes and sizes. What a silly thing to say that nobody shopping at Wal-mart is healthy weight. You must never actually go to Wal-mart and be basing your assumption on the “people of Wal-mart” pictures. What an elitist comment.

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    • Comment by LuLu
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

      You really don’t get it do you, Dan.  No one is against healthier food. People with sense are against the government forcing restaurants to change their menus and recipes.
       
      Eat healthy, but do it when and how you decide to do it. Surely you don’t need Obama to tell you what to eat, or do you?

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    • nancyjComment by nancyj
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

      Wouldn’t you think the Progressives would give up???  They have been wrong on every single thing that they have done or talked about doing.
      This is just another perfect case!
      Wake up danforth. 

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    • SAnnComment by SAnn
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

      This is not ‘one good thing’ this is control over how people live. After all I doubt if the Obama’s eat healthy or their children at every meal and personally I could care less how they do it with the exception that my tax $$ cover their food and I want control over their choices as they are trying to control my choices. 

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    • danforthComment by danforth
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

      Hellloooo! Earth to angry people…Michelle Obama did not FORCE Olive Garden to change their menu, she just worked with them on ways to offer healthier choices. And fyi Txgoatlady…I just returned home from a Wal-Mart in my home state of Texas and that was the reason for that reference.  I am not a troll or lib or any other names.  I’m a strong conservative who is applauding a fellow human being (MO) for working for the greater good.  I pray everyday for 2012 and the end of their one term. (and I’m also praying for rain, if anyone cares to join me…we sure could use it!).

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

      Did Olive Garden ask her for her input?

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    • danforthComment by danforth
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

      Yes, LAPhil, I’m pretty sure that Olive Garden did ask for her input or they wouldn’t be having a JOINT presentation on all the new changes in their food.
       

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

      How sure is pretty sure?

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    • onewildmanComment by onewildman
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

      Danforth I think you are in left field on this. I can’t believe that any restaurant would ask them for any help in changing their menu. Is she a chef? I doubt it’s any different than the people attacking Happy Meals. This is about denying freedom of choice by taking away your choices.
       
      IMPEACH OBAMA NOW! ! ! ! ! !

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    • danforthComment by danforth
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

      Only sure enough to say pretty sure.
      Imagine this scenario.  Olive Garden: “Mrs. O we are making some slight changes to our menus to get some good press for our stinky, unhealthy restaurants.  Would you like to join us on stage and make it look like you influenced this decision?”  MO:  “Yes! I would love to deflect some attention off of my good-for-nothing husband and his abysmal attempt at governing the country”.  Just saying…it could happen that way.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 15, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

      Danforth, it seems like your sarcasm is actually defeating your own argument. That scenario could just as well have been presented by those who are disagreeing with you here.

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    • pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
      September 16, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

      Danforth, here is your actual comment:

      “Have you been to a Wal-Mart lately and looked around? There is not a healthy weight person to be found.”

      So you are telling me that you didn’t see a single person at Wal-mart who was healthy weight? Your statement is an absolute. I have a hard time believing that you have never seen a person of healthy weight at Wal-mart. You make it sound as though people who shop at Wal-mart are all a bunch of fat slobs. I shop at Wal-mart; therefore, I am allowed to take offense. Apparently you shop at Wal-mart as well. Are you a fat slob? That would be the next logical statement based on your absolute. 

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    • MorganComment by Precious
      September 16, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

      Danforth. People were weight concience long before the Obama’s took office. We don’t need them to tell us how to eat or what to eat. I don’t eat in restaurantes very often but almost always I have to add salt and pepper in order to enjoy the flavor of my meal.

      I’m 30 years older than Obama, and I have found that most restaurants leave the sugar, salt etc out of the meals, at least the ones I eat in.

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    • danforthComment by danforth
      September 16, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

      Txgoatlady-have you heard of the term ‘hyperbole’?? Of COURSE there are SOME normal weight people at Wal-Mart and I happen to be one of them.  But when you look around these days anywhere in our country, there is an explosion of folks who can’t fit into plane seats or booths at restaurants, it didn’t used to be that way.  I think that a large part of this is because people just don’t realize all that is hidden in their food…it is much cheaper for restaurants and food manufacturers to flavor their food with fats and sodium and fillers than to use fresh, real food.  People can’t avoid it if they don’t even know it’s there!  I do NOT advocate for the government to tell us what to eat, all I have been saying is that it is not a bad thing for the 1st Lady to applaud a company for making healthier food.  Pick your battles people….mountains, not molehills.
       

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  11. agrneydgrlComment by agrneydgrl
    September 15, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    I’m sorry, but if I want healthy I can stay home and cook.  The government already ruined movie popcorn by making them quit using coconut oil only to find out the benefits of coconut oil.  They have ruined the taste of french fries.  I could ALMOST go along with this if I went out every night for dinner.  I really doubt, that the few times I do go out, that it will make that much difference in my health  The govdernment should stay out of our restaurants, cars, etc.  Their job is not to monitor what we eat.  They don’t even do a good job doing the job they are suppose to be doing.  First ladies should not have an angenda.  Look what Laura Bush’s agenda has done to help ruin education.  They were not elected to office so stop trying to manage our lives.  Maybe, they should be investigating one of the underlying causes of childhood obesity, like high fructose corn syrup. They can get rid of it and use sugar instead. It is at least natural and can be assimlated by the body. Studies have shown that obesity rates started going up after they started putting that poison in our foods.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 15, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

      Excellently stated, agrneydgrl!

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  12. SchonGirl1Comment by SchonGirl1
    September 15, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    I think it is ridiculous how biased some of you are. Quite frankly, I try to boycott Darden Restaurants Inc. because they give money to Planned Parenthood (which is a bit more laudable than avoiding them because they are going to alter their menu). I do applaud them on trying to offer healthier selections, however. I have been rather disgusted when I have gone into Red Lobster before and can barely find anything that isn’t drenched in grease. In general, I avoid mainstream eateries anyways.

    newsjunky – For your information, Michelle Obama works out at least twice a week and cooks many meals at home for her family. She isn’t forcing an opinion she is not following. She is just encouraging Americans to be more healthful. I am rather offended that you would even say Michelle Obama is fat, because it is quite obvious that she is simply curvy (and this is coming from a curvy Hispanic fyi).

    I think everyone on here needs to GET OVER the fact that Obama was elected to the Presidency three years ago and accept that his wife has a platform just as any other President’s wife has in the past. I’m sure none of you ever complained when Laura Bush pushed for literacy and encouraged you to read to children. Of course not! But Michelle Obama is black and God forbid a black woman try to dictate to white folks how to do things! It’s just revolting how ridiculous you all sound… just because the Republican party lost the damn Presidential race three years ago. 

     

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 15, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

      If I could give you less than one star, I would.

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    • RWComment by RW
      September 15, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

      Mrs. obama nor her mother, Mrs. Robinson, cook one single meal at the White house. The obamas have a large  kitchenstaff, including a sous chef, a pastry chef and various and sundry people who do 12 hour shifts to serve them at all hours of the day and night. There is yet another staff, on call, for state dinners and guests.
       
      The color of their skin has not one whit to do with our distaste for her toxic, controlling, hypocritical, and aristocratic behavior. She’s not a ***** because she’s Black, she’s a ***** cuz she wants to be. She acts as though she is better than any other woman. SHE wasn’t elected, remember? Or should  we remind her. SOMEHOW, she ignores the fact that her younger one appears to be obese. Maybe she SHOULD stay home and make dinner for her family, ya think?
       
      Now, not only does Mrs. o offend me, you have managed to offend me, as well, and for the same reason.

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    • Comment by LuLu
      September 15, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

      Now, now, Schongirl. Only racists play the race card.
       
      All the posters are saying is that Michelle’s platform is bigger than it should be for someone who is telling others what to eat. It has nothing at all to do with the ethnic heritage or color of her platform.
       
      And no one is interested in your ethnic heritage either so there’s no need to bring it up. We all live with the same economic mess and the police state that the Obama’s are turning this country into, black, white, brown or purple.
       
      I recommend that you do some reading on the state of the economy in this country and compare reality to the promises Obama made before he took office. People are upset at the results, not the color of the man who is running the country into the ground.
       
      If you can’t do that, then you should go back to the liberal boards where racism is welcome.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

      You both obviously noticed the way SchonGirl1 tried to make this a race issue. And they call Republicans racist!

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    • Comment by LuLu
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

      I’m sure none of you ever complained when Laura Bush pushed for literacy and encouraged you to read to children. Of course not! But Michelle Obama is black and God forbid a black woman try to dictate to white folks how to do things! It’s just revolting how ridiculous you all sound… just because the Republican party lost the damn Presidential race three years ago. 

       
      One more thing for you racist girl.  Encouraging reading does not interfere with private business. It’s too bad your mother, father or a teacher didn’t insist that you have some classes in reading comprehension. If they had you might not be making such a fool of yourself today.

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    • jamessheridanComment by jamessheridan
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

      Whats the matter? Ashamed that Obama is HALF WHITE? Where’s your race card for that?

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    • onewildmanComment by onewildman
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

      schonGril1, If you believe that **** you just wrote then I have some Beachfront property in the Gobi desert. She doesn’t cook and she cant be working out twice a week she is to fat and the calories she puts away would negate any benefit working out would provide. She has a fat butt, enough for two people and that is not just curvy.
       The only way kids are going to weigh less is get up and go outside and use some energy. Sitting on your butt playing video games is a bigger threat to being over weight than eating at McDonald’s. I grew up eating there and not reach my ideal weight until I was 25 and I lift weights and have done so since I was 12 years old. I’m 53 now and working my way down to my ideal weight again only twelve pounds to go. All I have done is exercise more I have lost 18 pounds since May and have 18 more to go. Exercise, exercise exercise. The only way to loose weight and keep it off.
       
      IMPEACH OBAMA NOW! ! ! !

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    • newsjunkyComment by newsjunky
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

      SchonGirl1

      Obviously, I’m not the only one on this site who thinks she’s totally overweight, instead of “curvy” as you stated.

      Quite frankly, I don’t care how many times she works out when you are overweight yourself, you don’t preach to other people, not where I come from anyway.  I’m sorry that you’re offended, but if that’s all it takes, then I can surmise you’re extremely sensitive.  However, it’s regrettable that you brought race into this matter, and the fact that you were also a “curvy” Hispanic.  If I were as sensitive as you, I suppose I’d be offended also, as you are obviously suggesting that we are all racists.

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  13. MrTComment by MrT
    September 15, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    WHEN Michelle Obama gets thin…………..then she can offer suggestions on how to eat, but never is anyone to interfere with what I choose to do or what a restaurant chooses to offer.  If I don’t like it I go somewhere else.   

    Anyone see this about Michelle’s remarks about the flag on 911? http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/robbins-report/2011/sep/13/michelle-obama-all-just-flag/#.TnAt0PB5Ua0.facebook

    why isn’t this getting reported?  

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 15, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

      Just read the Washington Times article. It actually was reported, as I heard someone talking about it on the radio earlier, but I only caught bits of pieces of it. This woman is totally disgusting.

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    • Comment by LuLu
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

      I saw it yesterday. I watched the video and I cannot tell what Michelle Obama is saying. I don’t think anyone else can either.
       
      For all I know she could have been telling The One that his fly was unzipped.

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    • onewildmanComment by onewildman
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

      LuLu, People can read lips and it did to me look as if she did make the remark “all this for a flag’ in fact it looked as if she said fu$king flag. I watched it several times.
       
       IMPEACH OBAMA NOW! ! ! ! ! !

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    • Comment by LuLu
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

      Are you claiming to be a lip reading expert now, Wildman? Some people are psychic. Maybe that’s how you know what she said.
       
      I am definitely NOT a Michelle Obama fan and I know she is capable of feeling that way and saying those words. But we make ourselves looks stupid when we grab onto something that isn’t clear and requires lip reading in order to claim that’s what she said. She has made plenty of outrageous statements very clearly. Let’s use those instead of hurting our own credibility by lipreading. Geez.

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    • onewildmanComment by onewildman
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

      LuLu I’m not claiming to be an expert at lip reading. I did grow up in a big family and my siblings read each others lips all the time growing up to avoid the “Don’t make me pullover and spank you” routine. I do know it is possible to read lips and that the CIA the FBI and many other agency’s have people who specialize in lip reading.   
       I didn’t say that I was absolutely sure. I said that is what it looked like to me. Like you LuLu I find completely believable she is capable of making a statement like that. 
      One other note. I know that when you sing in a group and don’t know the words you can mouth the word”watermelon over and over and no one will notice you are not singing the same words.
      IMPEACH OBAMA NOW! ! ! ! !

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  14. lizazComment by lizaz
    September 15, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    These restaurants will make perfect marxist businesses if the king gets reelected in Nov 2012.  They’ll do whatever the king and queen say to do….hopefully there will remain some places to eat out who have common sense and a spine.  Long live the king! (until nov 2012, that is) (painfully ridiculous!)

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    • TRUTHTELLERComment by TRUTHTELLER
      September 15, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

      They Olive Garden chain, will do anything the king says to do, because they are looking for tax breaks and payoffs from the king for cooperating.  Corporations will take tax breaks, any way they can get them.  It is good for the bottom line.

      I don’t fault them, for trying to reduce their already oversize tax burdens, but I do fault them for capitulating to the scuts in the White House, which harms the country in the long run, and simply delays the inevitible corporate tax hikes, that the scuts have in mind for them anyway.

      If you keep feeding the tiger, he will eat you last, but, eat you he will.

       

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  15. nancyjComment by nancyj
    September 15, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

    She can’t pull this nonsense without the FDA.  Maybe it’s time to eliminate that department.  We don’t want to pay for it anymore.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

      I think it’ll be OK once we eliminate this administration next November.

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  16. jamessheridanComment by jamessheridan
    September 15, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

    Regulate, regulate, regulate. Just one more liberal democrap that believes it’s their job to run (and ruin) your life.
    She needs to get that big ugly face out of the spot light. All she’s doing is scaring the children.
    Take a look at all the hormones in our livestock and agricultural products. That’s why there is a weight problem in this country.
    Moose-chell already owes tens of millions for all the tax money she squanders roaming all over the world for no reason other than because she thinks it’s free.
    Send her to life in a fat farm!

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  17. Marc JericComment by Marc Jeric
    September 15, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

    That does it for me – no more meals at the Olive Garden or the Red Lobster!

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  18. americanoneComment by americanone
    September 15, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

    I wonder if Muslim Michelle eats only salads when she is running around the world on my dime and being entertained by American haters.  I mean she is not the model of thinness.  We know she eats what she doesn’t want Americans to eat (does she count calories when she is eating off my dime?).  And if the stupid restaurants cave in to her commie demands and cut back on kids’ foods what **** does she think these kids eat when they are home.  Restaurants don’t come close to fattening these kids as when their mothers feed them at home.  Hitler would have loved Michelle and her slave barack.

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    • pinelandflComment by pinelandfl
      September 15, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

      Darden bowing to Obama has changed my opinion of the chain. Will certainly limit my visits.

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  19. freeman1485Comment by freeman1485
    September 15, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

     Why do these people keep on listening to this woman, she is a do as I say not as I person. If she tried to gget into a size 6 dress it would out at the seams. telling everybody what to eat while she could not pass up a big Mac or a Taco bell if her life depended on it.
     What we have is person who spent her life living off the taxpayer and is still sucking them dry. The law degree she has taxpayers footed bill. she suck more when she worked as consultant for the medical firm that supplied aid to Chicago’s welfare recipients. Then when bumper head was elected to the Senate she received a big raise more tax money down the tube.

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  20. jb80538Comment by jb80538
    September 15, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

    I had a friend years ago that was a hog farmer. He asked me how to fatten a hog quicker than anything…

    Feed it lowfat milk, they’ll always get fatter quicker.

    By giving our kids 1% milk is essentially the same thing and not good for you nutritionally.

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  21. Allen SComment by M Allen
    September 15, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    The restaurants won’t like it when they lose customers because the food tastes awful.  MO needs to mind her own business.  The government has NO right telling me what I can eat or not eat.  Just another way to dictate and take our freedoms away. 

    We the People are awake now to what is happening in WDC but no one seems to be able to do anything about it.

    Well, God can and We the People need to get back to the way God wants us to live; not what man says but what the Bible says, not religion but what the Bible says.      

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  22. sistertereseComment by sisterterese
    September 15, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    At first I thought, well, what’s so wrong about having these restaurants serving healthier meals, and then I read all the posts here.  Now I’m MAD!  I don’t go out much, but I can tell you I will not eat at any of these restaurants–never cared too much for Olive Garden anyway. 

    I don’t care how much Ms. BO weighs or what she eats, or how she looks.  What I DO care about is anyone in government regulating private life.  And that is exactly what this is.  I think that these folks suffer from grandiosity in a regal way.  Yes, “Let them eat bean sprouts” is apropos!

    I say, ‘SAY NO TO BO IN 2012!”

         

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  23. Jack ReacherComment by Jack Reacher
    September 15, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    What Ms. Ghetto Onion Butt needs to worry about is the quality of bread and water… Because that is what her criminal husband is going to be eating for many years after all the investigations are concluded.  Once in prision, “Obama” will be turned into “Obaby”

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  24. donComment by don
    September 15, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

    As a person that grew up during the 1940-1950 era I am most amazed that we did grow to be not just good people but we grew up to be GREAT CITIZENS.  And what makes us so GREAT is that we did it in spite of our lack of government rules and regs.  We grew up and were taught to respect one another as people and the kids did say yes sir or yes mam to help our neighbors.  I truley do not know how we did it to listen to people today.  I never heard my parents tell me or my sibs to shut the hell up as you hear today. If you are not taught to respect yourself how are you ever going to respect others. So MIZ obama  try to at least mi9nd your own business and back out of the peoples business.

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  25. riverkingComment by RiverKing
    September 15, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

    To Darden Restaurants: My biggest restaurant problem heretofore has been selecting which of the three Olive Gardens nearest my home I should visit this time.  I’m afraid you may be solving my problem for me.

    Fortunately, we are blessed with a number of excellent Italian restaurants in North Texas.

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    • TRUTHTELLERComment by TRUTHTELLER
      September 15, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

      Here in Los Angeles, we have a multitude of restaurants, that are not chains and serve food, at least as good as the Olive Garden. 

      I think this chain, is going to learn a valuable lesson in business profit and loss.  Capitulating publically, to Obummer and big butt, I believe, will cost them dearly in customer loss.

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