Tales from the Trail

Obama spared bedroom banishment by signing hungry kids law

December 13, 2010

President Barack Obama escaped banishment from the marital bedroom by signing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 on Monday, and delivering on an issue that his wife has fought hard to advance.

“Not only am I very proud of the bill, but had I not been able to get this passed, I would be sleeping on the couch,” Obama joked at the signing ceremony at the Harriet Tubman Elementary School, offering a rare, if humorously intended, glimpse of the presidential marriage.OBAMA/

The first lady, who has led a White House push to get American children eating better and exercising more, played along with the joke, but said, “all kidding aside, my husband worked very hard to make sure that this bill was a priority in this session.  And I am grateful to you.”

At which point Obama chimed in, “because I would have been sleeping on the couch.”

Michelle, hesitating to allow the conversation to intrude into such delicate territory, conceded she did not have to deploy the couch option.

 ”We won’t go into that. Let’s just say it got done, so we don’t have to go down that road.”

Childhood obesity, the flip side to childhood hunger that stems from a poor diet, has been a growing problem in the United States and is getting worse.

The U.S. military says it is failing an increasing number of young people who are trying to sign up because they simply fail to meet basic fitness standards.

“From military leaders who tell us that when more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight, they tell us that childhood obesity isn’t just a public health issue; they tell us that it is not just an economic threat — it is a national security threat as well,” the first lady said.

Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (President Barack Obama and first lady at bill signing ceremony)

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