Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Tuesday talk: Can Michelle Obama make kids slimmer

Posted February 15, 2010

It's the second Tuesday for our Tuesday Talk series and this week, hopefully, we'll get some discussion on a topic a little more serious than last week's (which was do you make or buy Valentine's): First Lady Michelle Obama's new campaign to thin down our kids.

Last week, Mrs. Obama launched the campaign and a website at, with tips for parents, healthy recipes and more details about her plans.

Mrs. Obama already has put a spotlight on food and what we eat in the last year. Thanks to her, the White House has its first vegetable garden in decades. And she has spoken frequently about her own family's reliance on fast and processed foods until her daughters' pediatrician raised some warning flags.

In her announcement last week, the First Lady said it was crucial to get a handle on childhood obesity. About a third of children are obese, according to the Let's Move website. Overall, obesity rates in the United States have tripled in the last 30 years. And American children may face a shorter than expected lifespan than their parents.

The campaign will aim to give parents support they need, work to provide healthier food in schools, help kids be more physically active and make healthy, affordable food available in all parts of the country.

So what do you think? Is childhood obesity a problem? Will this work?


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  • darkhorse94 Feb 16, 2010

    I think that the lets Move Project is a noble move, although I question the overall message being sent to kids. Albeit true that a lot of kids are dealing with obesity issues and that is a growing problem, I do not agree with notion that BMI scores reveal health issues for those who fall into the obesity red zone. The Science behind this measuring tool is very is inconsistent to say the least. I support urging better eating habits, but I dont think putting kids on "diets" is the answer. Eating disorders, and psychological issues are sure to follow if we go BMI crazy and start labeling normal health kids as "fatties". Weight obsession is not healthy. Instead, let's encourage good eating habits at school and at home, boost our health class curriculum, and MAKE PYSHCIAL EDUCATION CLASSROOM MANDATORY FOR EVERY STUDENT. If we need to extend to school day, so be it.

  • ted2 Feb 16, 2010

    Maybe she should worry a little more about the kids that don't have enough food.

  • VT1994Hokie Feb 16, 2010

    She doesn't know beans about anything.

  • scottandjackie Feb 16, 2010

    No I do not think that Michelle Obama's campaign to make kids slimmer will have much of an impact. As long as there are working parents, televisions, video games, quick-easy-pop-in-the-microwave dinners, fast food places, and over loaded schedules, parents will always do what is quick and convient! I am lucky! I am a stay-at-home mom who cooks for my family, and we actually eat dinner together every night! It is up to the parents to see that their children eat healthy and stay active!

  • truth9806 Feb 16, 2010

    She needs to start with herself...she is over weight!

  • YesNoMaybeSo Feb 16, 2010

    Reader X, I agree with you that portion sizes are way out of control. That's one of the many reasons we use the smaller dessert plates instead of dinner plates at my house. It helps all of us control portions.
    Please understand that I'm not trying to make excuses. I'm just asking that folks not be so quick to judge overweight children and adults. When other parents get to know my family and our eating habits they are amazed at the conscious efforts we make to be healthy--and still with disappointing results. Interestingly, my son is very different from my daughter in terms of eating habits and activity levels. He just doesn't have the appetite she has. They eat similar things; she is just never satiated and is ALWAYS hungry. It's amazing to see the differences in siblings.

  • Reader X Feb 16, 2010

    I do think that most American's are overweight. More people need to understand how to eat healthier and exercise more. Yes some people will have a tendency to be heavier than others, but don't use it as an excuse. A lot of children can be heavy when young, then all of the sudden sprout up and be thin as a rail. I think it is in the genetic makeup. However understanding all this is important too for both children and adults. I personally would like to see restaurants and fast food places reduce their portion sizes. For example a Hardee's thick burger and a large coke is 2 meals for me. In most restaurants, I have to take half my food home with me. At least offer smaller portions for those that can't eat a full meal.

  • YesNoMaybeSo Feb 16, 2010

    We also have to do a better job of understanding the science behind obesity. Yelling move more, eat less, and eat healthy can damage a child's self-esteem when there really may be unidentified biological (or metablic issues). It's like yelling at a dyslexic child that he can read if he only tries harder. It's insane and demoralizing.
    My daughter is overweight, but she is consistently the child her class who drinks water, not sodas or juice. We have her active in swimming, basketball, etc., but she has a huge appettite. At the age of 6, she calls herself "fat" and believes she doesn't have friends because of it. Her "healthy weight" friends tend to have awlful diets, which we would never allow. Let's put some research behind obesity and stop the blame that does no one any good.

  • dorismartin59 Feb 16, 2010

    Per4sonally I thin they need to reinstate physical education in the schools and all children should be required to take it. I think hey need to have a cafeteria where children can have a full balanced lunch. They should also have breakfast available also.
    Vending machines are one reason kids are overweight and also no physical activity. It is good for the brain and the body. Let's get smarter and get back to the basics. D. Martin