Tag Archives: Childhood Obesity

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Fall 2010 Kitchen Garden Harvest

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Robin Scheppe

First Lady Michelle Obama, with students from Bancroft and Tubman Elementary Schools and members of the Culinary Olympic Team, participates in a White House Kitchen garden harvest on the South Lawn of the White House, October 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

The rain stopped and the sun came out just in time for the First Lady’s Fall 2010 Kitchen Garden Harvest. Joined by more than 25 students from Washington, DC’s Bancroft and Tubman Elementary Schools, the First Lady and several world-renowned chefs spent the afternoon in the White House garden digging up sweet potatoes, clipping herbs, picking tomatoes, and admiring the pumpkins before sitting down to enjoy a fresh salad from the garden.

The school-children were paired with chefs Daniel Boulud and James Kent as well as several White House chefs. Armed with large baskets and wheelbarrows, they scoured the garden for peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce and other fall vegetables. The First Lady joined them, rolling up her sleeves, to dig up enormous sweet potatoes, including a near record-breaking four pounder, and to pick deep purple egg plants. The children and the First Lady also admired the two pumpkins growing in the garden – just in time for Halloween.

First Lady Michelle Obama, with students from Bancroft and Tubman Elementary Schools and members of the Culinary Olympic Team, participates in a White House Kitchen garden harvest on the South Lawn of the White House, October 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

First Lady Michelle Obama, with students from Bancroft and Tubman Elementary Schools, look participates in a White House Kitchen garden harvest on the South Lawn of the White House, October 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

First Lady Michelle Obama, with students from Bancroft Elementary School, watch closely as a sweet potato from the White House Kitchen Garden fall harvest is weighed on the South Lawn of the White House, October 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

In less than an hour, the children and chefs brought baskets brimming with vegetables and overflowing wheelbarrows to weigh-stations where several hundred pounds of food was collected and washed.

The festivities continued when the children joined the famous chefs to slice and dice vegetables for a garden salad meal.

The White House garden is part of the Let’s Move! Initiative which seeks to end childhood obesity within a generation through improved nutrition and increased physical activity.  In the spring of 2009, the First Lady and students from the DC area broke ground for the garden and since then nearly 1,600 pounds of food has been harvested. The produce is used in the White House but is also donated to local area food banks. The White House Garden has inspired communities across the country to plant similar gardens at schools, in abandoned lots, and in community spaces.

Connecting chefs, gardens, and schools has been a critical component of the Let’s Move! initiative.  Through the Chef’s Move to Schools program and the Healthier US Schools Challenge hundreds of schools and communities are improving the health of America’s children. What are you waiting for? Plant a garden at your school or in your community and have a harvest yourself.

Robin Schepper is Executive Director of the Let’s Move! Initiative, Office of the First Lady

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Filed under Change, Childhood Obesity, Children, Education, First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama, Students, Uncategorized

First Lady Michelle Obama Challenges Restaurants to Offer Healthy Options

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Kori Schulman

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the National Restaurant Association’s Fall Board Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. September 13, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


“So today I’m going to talk about food, which is something that all of you here today know a little bit about,” said First Lady Michelle Obama to an audience representing forty percent of the nearly one million restaurants in the United States, from the biggest chains to the smallest diners, at the National Restaurant Association Meeting in Washington, DC.

The First Lady discussed Let’s Move!, her nationwide campaign to solve the problem of childhood obesity in a generation, so that kids born today can reach adulthood at a healthy weight. Let’s Move! is about attacking the problem from all different angles – from giving parents the information and the resources they need to making sure every community has access to fresh and nutritious food. Today, the First Lady called on America’s restaurant owners for their help, challenging them to offer healthy, accessible menu options:

That’s why I want to challenge every restaurant to offer healthy menu options and then provide them up front so that parents don’t have to hunt around and read the small print to find an appropriately sized portion that doesn’t contain levels — high levels of fat, salt and sugar.

These choices have to be easy to make and they have to give parents the confidence to know that they can go into any restaurant in this country and choose a genuinely healthy meal for their kids.

Now, again, I know it’s easier said than done. It’s not easy to come up with choices that are both healthy and palatable for kids. And it may mean putting in some real effort and creativity to make this happen.

Let’s Move! is committed to helping increase the demand and making it easier for restaurants to do what’s right:

And we’ve started by requiring chain restaurants to provide calorie counts on their menus and menu boards. And I am grateful for the support we’ve received from the NRA to get this done. And I want to encourage restaurants that aren’t providing calorie counts to join us in this effort.

And because so many of the calories our kids consume come from school, we’re also working to get more nutritious food into our lunchrooms and our vending machines. And, again, the NRA has been playing an important role in these efforts as well.

As part of “Let’s Move,” we’re setting a goal of doubling the number of schools that participate in the Healthier US Schools Challenge by next year. And we’re working with schools and food suppliers to offer more fruits and vegetables and to cut down on that fat, sugar and salt.

And, finally, we’re working with mayors and other local officials to make our cities and towns healthier and to highlight restaurants that agree to serve smaller portions and promote more nutritious options.

In closing, Mrs. Obama encouraged everyone in the room to join her in these efforts to help make sure that every family that walks into a restaurant can make an easy, healthy choice.

We can make a commitment to promote vegetables and fruits and whole grains on every part of every menu. We can make portion sizes smaller and emphasize quality over quantity. And we can help create a culture — imagine this — where our kids ask for healthy options instead of resisting them.

See, after all, that’s one of the core ideals this industry was founded on. I recently learned that the term “restaurant” actually comes from the French word for “restore.” And when the idea of the restaurant business spread across the ocean, some of the first true restaurants in this country emphasized their ability to make people healthier and to cure what ailed them.

So today, you are all the heirs to that legacy. And you face a similar opportunity both as business owners — but also as parents, not just to fulfill your obligations to shareholders, but to fulfill the obligation we all have to the next generation.

Read full remarks here.

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First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign and NFL’s Play 60 Campaign Team up to Tackle Childhood Obesity

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama throws a football during the NFLs Play 60 campaign to fight childhood obesity at Brock Elementary School September 8, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Obama joined NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former NFL coach Tony Dungy to promote the Play 60 campaign and the NFLs newest efforts to support Lets Move (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images North America)

First Lady Michelle Obama and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Campaign and NFL PLAY 60 are teaming to fight childhood obesity.  The announcement brings together two leading youth health and wellness initiatives.

The announcement was made today at Woldenberg Park in New Orleans during the NFL PLAY 60 Youth Football Festival, part of the NFL’s celebration to kick off the 2010 season. Making the announcement were the First Lady, Commissioner Goodell, Super Bowl winning coach and current NBC Sports broadcaster Tony Dungy and former NFL players.

The First Lady’s Office and the NFL will work to promote the joint goals of NFL PLAY 60 and the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity and help the nation’s youth lead healthier, more active lives.

Among the highlights:

  • Through its two primary in-school programs — the PLAY 60 Challenge in partnership with the American Heart Association and Fuel Up To Play 60 in partnership with The National Dairy Council — the NFL will support the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) program with a goal of encouraging 200,000 students to participate in the program this year. The First Lady’s Office supports programs like both the Play 60 Challenge and Fuel Up to Play 60 programs as great ways for kids to be active and healthy.

The PALA program enables people of all ages to receive Presidential recognition for leading healthier lifestyles. For more information about the President’s Challenge programs, visit www.presidentschallenge.org. Americans can earn PALA recognition by performing regular activity beyond their daily activity goal of 30 minutes a day for adults or 60 minutes a day for youths under 18 for at least 5 days per week, for a total of 6 weeks.

  • The NFL and the First Lady’s Office will develop and share co-branded content.  Among the elements will be a Public Service Announcement that will promote Let’s Move! and Fuel Up To Play 60, a joint program of the National Dairy Council and the NFL. The message will be produced in conjunction with the Ad Council and will debut in November.

NFL PLAY 60 and the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign pledge to build upon the work already begun over the past year and announced today in the years ahead.  The NFL, for example, will build this fall its 100th site for children to play through NFL Play 60 as part of its NFL United Way “Hometown Huddle” day of service.

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Today’s announcement follows other recent joint efforts between the NFL and the White House:

  • President Obama last month honored the New Orleans Saints for their Super Bowl victory and spoke of the role the team has played in helping New Orleans recover from the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. The team also held a NFL PLAY 60 football clinic on the White House lawn with local Washington, DC-area youth.
  • In June, the First Lady introduced Brees as the 2010 co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Former New England Patriots great Tedy Bruschi also was named a member of the 2010 Council. Drew Brees has been the national spokesman for NFL PLAY 60 for the last three years.
  • President Obama and the First Lady joined the NFL and players from the Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins in helping kids learn the value of good health as part of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll in April. This year’s Egg Roll was themed “Ready, Set, Go!” promoting health and wellness. All activities, including youth football clinics led by the NFL and NFL players, encouraged children in attendance to lead healthy and active lives as part of the Let’s Move!  initiative.
  • Last season, President Obama filmed a PSA at the White House with Brees, Pittsburgh Steelers S Troy Polamalu and Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware promoting PLAY 60 and the White House’s “United We Serve” campaign. The PSA ran during NFL telecasts on Thanksgiving weekend in airtime donated by the NFL.

Remarks by the First Lady at “Let’s Move!” Launch Event with NFL in New Orleans, Louisiana

Remarks by the First Lady at “Let’s Move Back to School” Event in Slidell, Louisiana

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First Lady Michelle Obama Teams Up with Major League Baseball

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Tony Clark

First Lady Michelle Obama poses for a picture with Christina McCray of the Boys and Girls Club of America, Jordan Antwon Lewis from Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), Adam Jones #10 and Nick Markakis #21 before the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays at Camden Yards on July 20, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images North America)

On behalf of Major League baseball players, I was honored today to stand with the First Lady at Camden Yards as we kicked off a new partnership with the Let’s Move! campaign.

As we gathered with local RBI and Boys & Girls Clubs of America youth, I was struck by the First Lady’s wisdom and courage to confront childhood obesity and her ongoing commitment to making a difference. I’m sure there are other, politically safer, social issues to champion, but this is not a problem that can be solved simply by pretending it does not exist. Nor is this a problem we can afford to ignore.

The Major League Baseball Players Association is excited about the Let’s Move! campaign because it promises to actually do something about a serious problem facing our youth, rather than just talk about it. Today we kicked off a new public service campaign featuring 30 MLB players, one from every Club, that will run in stadiums, online and on media with the Ad Council later in the summer.

Today’s event is just the beginning. Major Leaguers are looking forward to working closely with the First Lady and Let’s Move! to find ways to educate children and their parents about how to exercise, eat right, and make healthy lifestyle choices.

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As a parent, I know first-hand the challenges kids face. I understand the powerful lure of television, computers, cell phones, and video games. But, you can’t get in shape just by moving your thumbs. It’s time for all of us – kids and parents alike – to get unplugged and get off the couch.

The Players Association is committed to the goal of Let’s Move! – to raise a healthier generation of kids. As professional athletes, our members understand not only the importance of health and nutrition but the reality that there is no quick fix. We’re a part of this fight not just today but for as long as it takes to curb childhood obesity. Together, we can achieve a goal we all share – a healthier, fitter and inevitably happier next generation. Let’s get moving.

Tony Clark is the Director of Player Relations, Major League Baseball Players Association

Visit LetsMove.gov to learn more

Remarks by the First Lady at a “Let’s Move!” Baseball Clinic with Major League Baseball at Camden Yards

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First Lady Michelle Obama Answers Your Questions on Let’s Move!

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Kori Schulman

Let's Move!To launch the new LetsMove.gov, the First Lady answered some of your questions in her first live video chat with AOL Health. AOL called on their readers to submit questions for Mrs. Obama in the days leading up to the chat. In addition to the thousands of questions received in advance, even more of you engaged in the live event. Here is what you missed:

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Watch the full video above or jump directly to the following sections by clicking the links below (questions are paraphrased):

There were thousands of questions submitted through AOL Health and Facebook, and unfortunately we couldn’t get to them all during the chat. We’ll be answering more of your questions throughout the week on the LetsMove.gov blog so be sure to check it out.

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First Lady Michelle, Rachel Ray, and Marcus Samuelsson: Cooking as a Way of Life

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Rachel Ray


I recently had the privilege of joining the First Lady and hundreds of chefs on the South Lawn of the White House to launch the “Chefs Move to Schools” initiative, a part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Campaign. I grew up in the kitchen at an early age cooking alongside my mother. My grandfather grew all the food we ate: leafy greens, fresh fruits and vegetables and more.

To see hundreds of talented chefs all about to embark on a meaningful, very real journey into their community to give back and teach hundreds upon thousands of kids is truly remarkable. Understanding what good nutrition means and the basics of cooking are some of the most important tools kids need for the rest of their lives. Knowing how to put together a good, nutritious meal really improves the quality of one’s life.

I believe that chefs can be real leaders, in their communities, and beyond. Cooking is a way of life I was simply born into. Through this program, I hope that every child in America has the opportunity to experience those same joys of food and cooking that I did – and still do – with that very special chef in their community.

Rachael Ray is a Child Nutrition Advocate and participant in the Chefs Move to Schools Initiative

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Ed. Note: As of today, 2,330 chefs and 688 schools have signed up to be a part of the Chef’s Move to Schools initiative. See all of the participating chefs and schools across the country on this map and learn more by visiting LetsMove.gov.

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First Lady Michelle Obama: United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Patrick Corvington

First Lady Michelle Obama helps fill care packages during a Congressional Service event at the Kennedy Recreation Center in Washington, D.C. June 8, 2010. (by Lawrence Jackson)


All across America children are excitedly counting down the days to summer vacation; summer is a time each year when children and families can relax, play, and explore their creative interests together. We are, however, keenly aware that summer is also the time when the healthy habits and knowledge that our children developed during the school year are most likely to stall.

Research shows that many of our young people suffer learning set-backs and develop unhealthy eating habits during the summer break. Children can lose more than two months’ progress in reading achievement over the summer, and inactivity during the summer months can cause children to gain weight three times faster than during the school year.

This summer, the Corporation for National and Community Service is launching the United We Serve: Let’s Read, Let’s Move. initiative to change that – we’re focused on strengthening our kids’ minds and bodies.

The goal of Let’s Read. Let’s Move. is simple, yet transformative. With partners including the Departments of Education, Agriculture, Interior, and Health and Human Services, as well as the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, we are expanding opportunities to engage young people in summer reading and physical activities, as well as providing access to healthy, affordable food.

Yesterday afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off Let’s Read. Let’s Move. during a service event with over a dozen Members of Congress and their families. Watch a video of the First Lady’s call to action and read the remarks.

United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move. needs your help. Keeping our kids fit for school and fit for life requires us all to work together, and there are plenty of ways to make a difference. We’re already hearing about people across the country cleaning up walking trails and playgrounds, tending to communities gardens, organizing book drives, and reading to young children. I encourage each of you to consider how you could make an enduring difference in your own community.

Visit Serve.gov to find a volunteer activity in your community.

Patrick Corvington is CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service

Ed Note: Food banks across the country are facing severe shortages, just as summer leaves more children without school nutrition programs. As part of the second annual Summer Service Initiative, Federal employees are stepping up to meet the challenge. Learn more about Feds Feed Families.

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