First Lady Begins Anti-Obesity Campaign

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First lady Michelle Obama kicked off her child obesity awareness tour with a schedule of appearances and speeches active enough to appropriately fit her campaign’s official title: “Let’s Move!”

In addition to making pit stops promoting healthier food options at schools in Philadelphia and addressing the National Governors Association to ask for its help in achieving the goals of her initiative, the first lady has also picked up support from a few key sources – her husband, President Barack Obama, who appointed a federal task force on childhood obesity and pledged federal funding, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is doling out $2 million in grants going toward healthier foods and increased physical activity for children.

One-third of all American children are overweight or obese, the White House says. The Let’s Move initiative that Michelle Obama unveiled on Feb. 9 preaches an increase in children’s physical activity, access to healthy food, access to nutritional information and personal responsibility.

Whether this effort will amount to more than a positive message remains to be seen, but here are some of the steps Obama has taken thus far: calling on the Food and Drug Administration to work with food and beverage producers, urging Congress to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, and getting schools’ food purveyors to pledge to cut down on salt and fat.

President Obama signed an initiative that will require the Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Education and Health and Human Services to work together to outline a plan to promote healthier lifestyles for youth.