Awkward. Michelle Obama Corrects Jimmy Fallon on Childhood Obesity Data

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined First Lady Michelle Obama in Des Moines, IA, to kick off a nationwide tour celebrating the second anniversary of "Lets"s Move". They were joined by fitness expert Bob Harper, WNBA star Tamika Catchings, Olympians Michelle Kwan and Shawn Johnson and others, including 10,000 sixth and …
USDA Photo/Darin Leach

First Lady Michelle Obama appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night to again promote her “Let’s Move!” initiative and the organization’s fifth anniversary.

“Five years later and the numbers speak for themselves. Childhood obesity numbers are down,” Fallon said enthusiastically.

“Well, we’re starting to see they’re not increasing,” the First Lady admitted, correcting Fallon. “And the rates among our youngest are starting to decline.”

She’s right. According to the data, the “youngest” includes children between the ages of two and five. For children between the ages of 12-19, the obesity rate has actually increased 2.1 percent.

The overall childhood obesity rate remains at a constant 16.9 percent from 2008 through 2012.

Mrs. Obama quickly shifted the topic of conversation to note that the more important success of her program was that she is changing the culture.

“I mean, you guys see it around – fast food chains, they’re replacing french fries and sodas with apple slices,” she pointed out, adding that “the school lunches have improved for the first time in 30 years.”

Thanks to her program for sparking awareness, Obama explained, more Americans are getting the message about eating healthier.

“I’m just proud of the fact that people are sort of catching on to the cultural shift,” she said. “And the market will follow, because if we demand healthier products for our families, the companies will provide it.”


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