Michelle Obama’s 1700 Calorie Meal

The First Lady is coming under fire for hypocrisy in her meal choices.

The First Lady is coming under fire for hypocrisy in her meal choices.

WaPo 44 Blog (“Michelle Obama orders 1,700-calorie meal at Shake Shack“):

First lady Michelle Obama ordered a whopper of a meal at the newly opened Washington diner Shake Shack during lunch on Monday.

A Washington Post journalist on the scene confirmed the first lady, who’s made a cause out of child nutrition, ordered a ShackBurger, fries, chocolate shake and a Diet Coke while the street and sidewalk in front of the usually-packed Shake Shack were closed by security during her visit.

According to nutritional information on Shake Shack’s Web site, the meal amounted to 1,700 calories.

These stories are mildly amusing and I understand why they’re written. But Mrs. Obama is 47 years old and demonstrably not obese. One can simultaneously advocate physical fitness and indulge in the occasional fatty meal.

Frankly, the only part of this story that bothers me is that she was allowed to cut in line and inconvenience the ordinary citizens who were waiting in 97 degree heat for their chance to sample one of these tasty burgers. But even that’s annoyance at our system of treating our politicians like royalty, not Mrs. Obama’s actions. She’s rather at the mercy of the Secret Service and their zeal; it would be unreasonable to expect her to stay cloistered at the White House until her husband leaves office. Although, perhaps she could have waited to visit Shake Shack until it after its DC grand opening.

via Taegan Goddard

FILED UNDER: Health, US Politics, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I agree with you. While there are health nuts who *never* touch junk food, the majority of healthy eaters enjoy occasional treats. The key word is “occasional.” It’s okay to eat meals like this a handful of times a year, for example, overindulging on Thanksgiving.

    Obese people did not get that way from overindulging a few times a year; they got that way by eating meals like this on a regular basis.

  2. john personna says:

    Don’t think my breakfast burrito was quite that, but never really felt like lunch.

    Lol, the 2x patty 2x cheese 2x pastrami burger I attemped a couple weeks ago might have been a contender.

    (I hike a lot, and am pretty low BMI)

  3. labman57 says:

    The issue is not whether or not you “pig out”. The issue is how often you do it.
    But let’s not let common sense undermine the hyperbolic rhetoric.

  4. Dave says:

    She is not “demonstrably not obese”. The standard used these days is the awful “body mass index”, which doesn’t take body type or structure into account. To tell you how bad it is: Michael Jordan had a BMI of 29 (1 point below obese) during his playing days.

    The BMI sampling is what the government (and FLOTUS) are using as an impetus to make our food choices their business. She may not look obese, but by the standards she has embraced, there is a strong possibility that she is.

  5. DavidL says:

    FLOTUS is fat. I, for one, do not take diet advice from fat people Do you?

  6. Shocking. Usually when I, the very shockable Captain Renault, do something other people would accuse me of hypocrisy for, I don’t do it in public for everyone to see. Like everyone else who considers him or herself most righteous, I enjoy my not quite all or nothing indiscretions in my home

  7. john personna says:

    I’d take Michelle over DavidL in any sport you can name.

    (There’s a difference between a big girl and a fat girl.)

  8. Franklin says:

    @DavidL: You’re either misspelling ‘phat’, or you are blind.

  9. Axel Edgren says:


    It burns this thing called calories.


  10. This is not newsworthy. I’m no fan of the Obamas but what they eat and where is none of my business.

  11. John P says:

    @Captain Renault:
    Please explain. I see nothing hypocritical about the gesture. Do you not understand the difference between one meal with a lifestyle?

  12. LaurenceB says:

    Not to prolong this silly discussion, but didn’t anyone else notice that she ordered both a milkshake and a Diet Coke? That seems like she meant to share the meal, doesn’t it? Does anyone drink both a milkshake and a Diet Coke?

  13. john personna says:

    Maybe it dawned on her that it was not a day for a Diet Coke.

  14. John P says:

    @LaurenceB: Sort of a non-starter Laurence. It’s like questioning whether or not the burger had lettuce. For some folks they get Diet Coke because the like the taste and are not making a statement about their dieting habits.

    Although it is routinely shown that people who drink diet sodas are consistently heavier and consume more calories per meal than those who do not.