On Tuesday, the same day Michelle Obama delivered her “Let’s Move” fourth anniversary speech, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released results on the condition of childhood obesity in America, which includes statistics through 2012, three years into the Let’s Move Program.
JAMA’s conclusion: “Overall, there have been no significant changes in obesity prevalence in youth or adults between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012. Obesity prevalence remains high and thus it is important to continue surveillance.”
In her speech at the White House on Tuesday, first lady Michelle Obama proposed new federal regulations, which includes setting guidelines for the types of food children can eat for breakfast at schools. Moreover, she is introducing new marketing standards for schools, which will eliminate advertisements for unhealthy foods and beverages.
Obama said that back in 2010, when she initiated her Let’s Move program, which demands that children exercise several times a day and eat “healthy” nutrition at schools, people “warned me” that it was “controversial” to take on childhood obesity. Obama said that people, much to her surprise, actually “thought kids and parents should deal with these issues privately.”
Michelle is very happy with the results of Let’s Move because schools have fundamentally “transformed their menus.” She also said that they could not have done it “without the hard work of so many administrators and chefs, nutrition professionals and others.” Let’s Move now has schools “serving more fruits and veggies, more whole grains, and more lean protein. And starting next fall, they’ll be offering only healthy snacks and beverages in their vending machines, as well.”
According to the first lady, as a result of the Let’s Move program, not only are the schools getting the message, but so are commercial restaurants. She proudly affirms that the bad habits we had back before her signature program took effect seem like “ancient history.” Michelle reminded her audience of teachers, advocates, and community leaders, “Today, big chain restaurants have whole menus of healthy choices. Entire organizations are working to plant school gardens. And water just surpassed soda as the most commonly consumed beverage in America. Yay! Go, water. Drink up.”
Obama claims her revolutionary program has made Americans recognize that eating healthy and getting exercise is good for them. She said:
And this new approach to eating and activity is not just a fad, and it’s no longer just a movement. Instead, here in America, healthy habits are becoming the new norm. And nowhere is that more clear than in our schools, which have been a core focus of Let’s Move right from the very beginning.
Michelle Obama told her audience that childhood obesity is now “beginning to fall” but that we still have a “long way to go”–and ended her speech with a “wrap” song (as in vegetable/tofu wrap):
If I’m gonna help my brain come to fruition, I’m gonna have to feed it quality nutrition. We love the cookies, but they’re not sufficient. We need veggies to make our bodies efficient. Roll my chicken in a wrap. Don’t jam it in a nugget (laughter). Get hyped for healthy snacks; fresh food–we love it.