Group wants to ban photos of Obama eating unhealthy foods

WASHINGTON - President Obama, please put down that cheeseburger.

That is the message that one physicians group wants to send to the president on Thursday.

According to a press release by the Washington-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the non-profit group is planning to file a petition on May 10 that suggests a ban on White House photo opportunities that show President Obama and his top aides eating unhealthy foods like hot dogs and cheeseburgers.

The group compares processed meats, like hot dogs, to cigarettes, and will ask the White House to issue an executive order banning staged official photo ops that depict the president, the first family, the vice president, and members of the president's cabinet with unhealthy foods known to cause cancer and obesity.

The petition claims that such pictures "drown out the government's health messages, such as the USDA dietary guidelines, contributing to ignorance about health and nutrition."

You can read the petiton here:

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said that Obama has been caught on camera in several staged events involving unhealthy foods including eating hot dogs at a basketball game with British Prime Minister David Cameron, serving sausages with Mr. Cameron, taking a motorcade with the vice president to Ray's Hell Burger in Virginia, eating cheeseburgers with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and stopping at a D.C. burger restaurant with a reporter.

"The White House would never set up a photo op of a president with a cigarette, so why show him eating foods that cause cancer?" says PCRM director of nutrition education Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. in a press release "Hot dogs, hamburgers, and other unhealthful foods kill more Americans each year than tobacco, and they cost taxpayers billions of dollars in health care. The president can eat what he likes in private, but at orchestrated public events, our leaders are role models."

The group said a recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health showed that a daily serving of processed meats, like hot dogs, sausages, and bacon, increases the risk of premature death by 20 percent.

The White House will receive the petition on Thursday. There is no word yet on whether they will respond to the group's request.

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