Michelle Obama: America's Moms Are 'Confused and Bewildered,' 'Defeated' by Grocery Shopping

February 28, 2014 - 7:56 AM
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First lady Michelle Obama, flanked by enlargements of a proposed nutrition label, left, and a proposed alternate label, speaks at the White House in Washington on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CNSNews.com) - Apparently it's not the price of the groceries, but the nutrition labels on food packages that make grocery shopping such a difficult and trying experience for the moms of America.

In pitching new, improved nutrition labels at the White House on Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama tried to identify with women who do the grocery shopping for their families. Her message was aimed at mothers who want to buy healthy food and depend on labels to help them do that:

"So there you stood, alone in some aisle in a store, the clock ticking away at the precious little time remaining to complete your weekly grocery shopping, and all you could do was scratch your head, confused and bewildered, and wonder, is there too much sugar in this product? Is 50 percent of the daily allowance of riboflavin a good thing or a bad thing? And how on Earth could this teeny little package contain five whole servings?

"This stream of questions and worries running through your head when all you really wanted to know was, should I be eating this or not? Is this good for my kids or not? And if it is healthy, how much of it should I be eating? But unless you had a thesaurus, a calculator, a microscope, or a degree in nutrition, you were out of luck. So you felt defeated, and you just gave up and went back to buying the same stuff you always buy.

"And that's a familiar scenario for far too many families and parents trying to do the right thing for their kids -- and it's simply not acceptable.

"As consumers and as parents, we have a right to understand what's in the food we're feeding our families. Because that's really the only way that we can make informed choices -- by having clear, accurate information. And ultimately, that's what today's announcement is all about."

Among other things, the revised nutrition label shows the calorie count in large, bold print; it includes the amount of "added sugar," and it reflects more realistic serving sizes.

"Now, I know there will be many opinions on what this label should look like, but I think that we all can agree that families deserve more and better information about the food they eat," Mrs. obama said. "So this is a huge deal, which is why everybody is here. (Laughter.) And it's going to make a big difference for families across this country."