The ‘Science’ Behind Michelle Obama’s Hated School Lunch Rules Ends Up Being a Fraud


Michelle Obama is famous for two things, saying she was never proud of America and forcing kids to eat the worst lunches in education history. But now we have discovered that the “science” Obama cited to support her lunch rules has turned out to be a fraud.

The studies in question had been published several years ago by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and were authored by Cornell University food scientist Brian Wansink. But this month the JAMA had to admit that a large number of Wansink’s studies were nothing but fake science and the magazine retracted them. That makes a grand total so far of 13 of Wansink’s 28 studies being retracted as fake science.

Cornell announced that Wansink has resigned his post effective at the end of this term. But, naturally, the damage has been done not just to Wansink’s reputation, but to Cornell’s, as well, not to mention to the discipline of food science.

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Wansink’s admits to a wide range of fraudulent behavior:

As Ars has reported before, the retractions, corrections, and today’s resignation all stem from Wansink’s own admission of statistical scavenging to find meaningful conclusions in otherwise messy dieting data. The result is that many common dieting tips – such as using smaller plates to trick yourself into shoveling in less food and stashing unhealthy snacks in hard-to-reach places – are now on the cutting board and possibly destined for the garbage bin.

Prior to the scandal, Wansink made a name for himself publishing studies indicating, generally, that such subtle environmental changes could lead to distinct eating and health benefits. He helped cook up the idea for the now ubiquitous 100-calorie snack packs, for instance. And he served up the suggestion to have fruit bowls placed prominently on our kitchen counters.

Via American Thinker, JAMA reported the most recent articles retracted:

Thus, JAMA editors retracted the six articles.

One had appeared in JAMA in 2005. The study claimed to find that large serving bowl sizes at a Super Bowl party were linked to more snack eating.

Three had been published in JAMA Internal Medicine. A 2012 study claimed that hungry people go for starchy foods first over vegetables. Another study in 2013 claimed similarly that hungry grocery shoppers go for more calories but not necessarily more food. And a study from 2014 was reported as finding that the more distracting a TV show, the less viewers watched how much they ate and thus ate more.

The last two retracted studies were from JAMA Pediatrics. One from 2008 suggested that kids who are told to clean their plates by their moms were statistically more likely to request more food. The other, published in 2013, claimed that kids made healthier school lunch choices if they pre-ordered their meals rather than made decisions in the lunch line, where they can smell less-healthy entrees.

It turns out these studies lie at the heart of Obama’s hated school lunch “reform” rules put into place by fiat during the Barack Obama presidency.

So, once again we see that Democrats are frauds.

Now, I said she was famous for two things above. I guess it is really three. She is also famous for marrying Barack Obama. Otherwise she has no real accomplishments on her own.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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