Our Views: First lady talks diet

First lady Michelle Obama had her work cut out for her in arguing for dietary moderation in America’s epicenter of indulgent cuisine.

She acknowledged that during a speech about healthy eating habits delivered during her visit to New Orleans this week.

“I eat a balanced diet and I work out every single day of the week,” Obama told the National Council of La Raza, a civic and cultural group representing Hispanic Americans. “But let me tell you something, while I am here in New Orleans today . . . there is no way I am leaving this city without a good meal.”

Even so, Obama’s suggestion that Americans make healthier food choices and get more exercise is especially worth heeding in a state where obesity rates exceed the national average.

Obama mentioned that safety concerns can be a big factor in limiting outdoor exercise for some youngsters, suggesting that residents of high-crime neighborhoods can be particularly vulnerable to obesity.

These points aren’t new, of course, but the first lady’s stature should give them more prominence. Obama’s New Orleans speech also included references to her husband’s controversial health care plan, widely known as Obamacare.

We don’t expect Americans to agree on Obamacare anytime soon, if ever. But the first lady’s suggestion that Americans also have a big responsibility for improving and maintaining their own health is pretty basic stuff. That’s not a conservative or liberal argument, but simple common sense.