First lady Michelle Obama says banning big servings of sugary drinks isn’t anything she’d want to do at the federal level, but she offered some kind words for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to do just that. She later issued a statement backing away from taking a stand on New York’s controversial proposed ban.
It was a telling example of the fine line the first lady walks as she tries to improve Americans’ health and eating habits without provoking complaints that she’s part of any “nanny state” telling people how to eat or raise their children.
Asked about Bloomberg’s proposal during an interview with The Associated Press, Mrs. Obama said there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution for the country’s health challenges. But she said, “We applaud anyone who’s stepping up to think about what changes work in their communities. New York is one example.”
And asked whether the nation’s obesity epidemic warrants taking a more aggressive approach, such as Bloomberg’s, she said: “There are people like Mayor Bloomberg who are, and that is perfectly fine.”
Mrs. Obama later issued a statement saying that she hadn’t intended to weigh in on the Bloomberg plan “one way or the other.”
“I was trying to make the point that every community is different and every solution is different and that I applaud local leaders including mayors, business leaders, parents, etc., who are taking this issue seriously and working towards solving this problem.”
“But this is not something the administration is pursuing at a federal level and not something I’m specifically endorsing or condemning.”
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