It’s well known that to be a presidential candidate you need to be trim and full of vigor. Think of all the talk about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s weight when he was being encouraged to run last year.
Regardless of party affiliation, a candidate needs to be in shape to handle the stresses of the campaign trail. President Obama stays fit through regular basketball games and Mitt Romney jogs three miles a day, no matter his schedule. But what do you do if your politician of choice is contributing to making you fat?
Romney made his millions through venture capital and among the investments his company, Bain Capital, made? Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin Donuts, and Outback Steakhouse. None of these chains are known for whittling your waist, but they’re all very well known as powerhouse ways to make a great financial return.
This got me thinking … I live in Massachusetts and I remember Romney first as the guy who ran the Salt Lake City Olympics and then as my governor. He and his family were always trim and looked healthy and athletic. Yet, he has no problems investing in companies that arguably contribute to the American obesity epidemic.
I do understand the difference between making a financial decision to increase profits and a personal decision to live a healthy life, but his financial decisions do impact the rest of us. We have no problems scarfing down two-thousand calorie meals at any of these restaurants.
It got me thinking: how would this possibly affect the Medicaid and Medicare budgets? Is Romney going to encourage the USDA to promote healthier school lunches like the Obama administration is doing? Did Bain Capital ever do an assessment of introducing healthy foods to its chains to see if people would buy them? I bet they did and I bet they decided it wasn’t worth it. They could make better returns with hamburgers filled with pink slime instead. But that’s just a guess on my part.
We’re moving towards the general election now that Romney is all but the nominee to run against Obama. I hope someone during the debate cycle asks the question of how Mr. Romney reconciles his own personal value of health with what his companies’ investments are doing to the American obesity problem.
The state of our country’s health is one of the biggest problems we face. Should obesity become a voter issue for 2012? What do you think?
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