First Lady Fights Fat in Kids

Yesterday, Michelle Obama announced a national campaign to get kids to eat right and get in shape

February 10, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama wants America's kids to eat right, exercise more and keep their weight in check. Obama introduced the Let's Move campaign yesterday. The goal of the program is to reduce childhood obesity, or being overweight, for kids today and in the future. "We're determined to finally take on one of the most serious threats to our [children's] future, and that's the epidemic of obesity in America today," she said.

Obesity is a big problem in the United States. Nearly one in five kids, ages 6 to 19 are overweight. During a person's lifetime, carrying too much weight can lead to serious illnesses, which can lead to higher health costs for everyone.

Let's Move will get families, communities, schools, politicians and newspapers, magazines and TV to join together and "solve the problem of childhood obesity in a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight," Obama said at a press conference. The plan includes getting food stores to sell healthier foods and schools to serve healthier, less fatty, meals. Obama wants schools to offer regular gym classes and for communities to build places where kids can play safely.

Cut the Fat

Many health experts blame the rising population of obese kids on diets that contain a lot of fat and sugar and that are light on fresh vegetables and fruits. Also, American kids aren't exercising enough to burn up those extra calories.

Mrs. Obama is not only speaking about better diets as a First Lady but also as a mom. She and her kids, Sasha and Malia, discussed the need to eat better and to keep track of what they eat. The changes include serving smaller portions at meals, saving dessert only for weekends, and instead of drinking sugary sodas, switching to water, milk and fresh-squeezed juices. "The point is that small changes make a difference," she told CNN. The First Lady has also set an example by planting a White House vegetable garden. She hopes the garden will inspire people to plant one, too.

Obama summed up her plans for her Let's Move campaign by quoting President Franklin D. Roosevelt. "We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future." And if Obama's plan works, our future will be in excellent shape.


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