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FAT CHANCE

What’s this? The British Department of Health has issued a new policy recommending public officials not use the word “obese” when describing chubby children. Will Cavendish, director of health and well-being within the office, frets the term is a “turnoff” for parents.

Nonsense, says Tam Fry, board member of Britain’s National Obesity Forum, who condemns such hypersensitivity and recommends that “obese” remain in the public lexicon.

“It’s a nasty word, but, by God, it should sound alarm bells in parents’ minds. I find this whole approach from the Department of Health a bit prissy,” she tells the Daily Mail, a British newspaper. “The Americans have gone back to using the term because it’s the kind of shock word that makes parents sit up and take notice.”

SLOGGING ALONG

Lucky the candidates have another six months before voters step into the polling booth. Despite all the media hubbub following President Obama’s revelations about same-sex marriage, it’s been a sluggish campaign in recent weeks for him and Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, say American Enterprise Institute analysts, who based their conclusions on a dozen timely political polls.

“President Obama does well or is competitive on some issues that have been traditional Republican strengths, such as foreign policy and taxes. Romney does better than Obama on handling energy and gas prices. Though voters hold significant doubts about both men, most troubling for Romney is that nearly 7 in 10 say they are only somewhat or not at all confident that he has the right set of goals and policies”, note Karlyn Bowman, Andrew Rugg and Jennifer Marsico in their analysis.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s favorability rating (42 percent) lags the president’s (45 percent). Ann Romney isn’t well known at this early stage of the campaign, while Michelle Obama is a formidable asset for her husband, with 60 percent rating her favorably.

Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney by large margins as someone better able to address women’s issues. A CBS/New York Times poll, however, finds only 6 percent of women say women’s health issues will be the most important factor in their vote.

POLL DU JOUR

• 91 percent of military family members say the most important reason to join the military is “to serve the country.”

• 89 percent are registered to vote.

• 82 percent think that the all-volunteer force works.

• 81 percent volunteer in their community.

• 73 percent support their family service member’s continued military service.

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