“As the anchor of CBS Evening News, I was constantly referencing new studies about childhood obesity. The problem seemed to be getting worse and worse even though it was getting more and more attention.” She “constantly” reported on it? No.
A quick Nexis search of CBS News transcripts for “Couric” and “obesity” found only 21 Evening News segments on child obesity over her almost five years from September 2006 to June 2011. You can’t really call four stories a year “constantly referencing” studies on a problem.
Several were promotional stories on Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, like a January 20, 2011 report lauding how Walmart was giving her “new muscle” against obesity. On February 9, 2010, Couric and reporter Seth Doane lauded Mrs. Obama’s role modeling:
SETH DOANE: Since she moved into the White House, this First Mom has tried to set a good example, from getting kids to help her plant vegetables to hula-hooping with the best of them. Today, Michelle Obama formalized her mission to put an end to childhood obesity within a generation.
A fair number of the child-obesity stories weren’t on eating, but on food marketing. Couric led the November 8, 2010 broadcast with this study:
COURIC: Good evening, everyone. In a perfect world, American families would gather each night about now for a healthy home-cooked meal. But for an increasing number of people, dinner is often fast food. Three years ago, the big chains promised to help fight childhood obesity, but a report out today suggests they`ve done the exact opposite.
It is the most comprehensive study ever into fast food nutrition and marketing. It shows that out of more than 3,000 possible kids meal combinations at the major chains only 12 meet nutritional guidelines for preschoolers. Twelve out of 3,000. And last year, children between the ages of six and 11 saw 26 percent more ads for McDonald`s than they did just two years earlier. More now from Ben Tracy.
The most memorable line came on November 11, 2008, when Couric boosted a story at the top of the broadcast about California banning school bake sales: “And step away from the cupcake. With childhood obesity soaring, the old-fashioned bake sale is now against the law.”