retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times this morning reports that First Lady Michelle Obama has been involved in talks with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) over the past year “in a bid to get restaurants to adopt her goals of smaller portions and children’s meals that include healthy offerings like carrots, apple slices and milk instead of French fries and soda.”

According to the piece, “The discussions are preliminary, and participants say they are nowhere near an agreement like the one Mrs. Obama announced recently with Wal-Mart to lower prices on fruits and vegetables and to reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt in its foods. But they reveal how assertively she is working to prod the industry to sign on to her agenda.”

The Times story notes that the restaurant negotiations reflect the Obama’s administration’s approach to the obesity issue - to work hard to keep it front and center, but to use gentle prodding rather than regulatory threats to get industry buy-ins.
KC's View:
Michelle Obama’s imprimatur is like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, at least when it comes to obesity issues.