Beyonce's choice: $50 mil or kids' health

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I've been taking a break from blogging, not to get away from it but to concentrate on a 9,000-word speech and accompanying slide show I'm giving in February. I don't know if you've noticed but Klout sure has, dropping me from 61 to 57, so far. I wish I knew what that meant.

Anyway, I've been roused from my pause to highlight a petition drive started by Nancy Heuhnergarth of the New York State Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Alliance, whose understanding and advocacy of our common issues always draw my admiration and attention.

The issue is Beyonce's $50 million deal to pimp for Pepsi while being a spokeswoman for Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign, which seeks to promote health and fitness among young people.

It is just not possible to have it both ways. Sugary sodas are tied (at best) for the least-redeeming consumer food-like product on sale anywhere. They contribute absolutely nothing to nutrition, health, or fitness, and are a disproportionate contributor to the globesity epidemic.

It's unfathomable that a Let's Move celebrity spokeswoman could be involved in pushing such a product.

I'm not saying that Beyonce shouldn't have taken the money, because, honestly, I don't know I'd have the rectitude not to sell out my principles for $50 million. I want to think I would, but who wouldn't? Want to think that, I mean.

"Resolution" of this obvious conflict is not going to come easily. Beyonce ain't gonna give up the cash, and the White House can't possibly ask her to leave her role with Let's Move, for fear of acknowledging, even implying, that Pepsi's main products aren't healthful. That is impossible to say in corporate America.

But as with all things, we — you and I — can bring about change merely by saying that we want it. Witness the pink-slime revulsion that arose from a petition effort last year. If enough of us say that this arrangement is untenable, it will be.

To state the obvious, I've signed the petition, and I ask you too.

Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
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