Dear Mrs. Michelle Obama, I am a dietetic intern with Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina writing on the subject of your reappearance on the popular reality show, The Biggest Loser. I understand the concern over adult and childhood obesity, and implementing effective strategies to combat it. However, The Biggest Loser is not an appropriate platform to do so. The Biggest Loser uses fat shaming techniques to compel the contestants to lose large amounts of weight. I have seen contestants yelled at, insulted, belittled, and told by their trainer to exercise to the point of physical pain and emesis. This is absolutely not a healthy or sustainable message to promote.
I just graduated this spring from UW-Madison’s Dietetics program. For three years while I was in school, I worked for the Kids Center at the Madison Veterans Affairs Hospital. Back in February 2013, I was given the authority to completely revamp the menu at the VA Kids Center. You must understand that this decision was momentous! For the past seven years, the Kids Center had been operating with a menu inspired by the Great Depression era and pre-World War II rations. Mmmm, there’s nothing like a warm bowl of white rice for breakfast. There was an incredible amount of eggs in these meals. Egg salad, fried eggs, boiled eggs, and scrambled eggs were the pièce de résistance! Let me tell you, these kids did not enjoy all these eggs with their meals, particularly menu items like egg salad. The overwhelming majority of menu items lacked any creativity or zest. They