Michelle Obama's New Mission
SALLY LEE: What made you choose Let's Move as your first major initiative?
MICHELLE OBAMA: It's personal for me. As a working mom [in Chicago] I lived through what a lot of working families are dealing with: You have your job. Your kids are going in 50 million different directions. You're trying to fix dinner, doing things on the go. You're [eating out], because you don't have time to cook. I saw the toll it was taking not just on how my family looked but on how we felt. But by making a few minor changes, I saw some pretty significant [results]. It made me think, do most families understand that these small changes can make a difference? I wanted to create a message that gave parents better information.
SL: Such as?
MO: How do we make eating a focus of children's lives? How do we make vegetables and fruits fun? I wanted to open up a dialogue about healthy eating that wasn't accusatory, that didn't place blame, because that doesn't make parents feel better. Parents are doing the best they can. . . . Also, physical activity is key. It's not just what kids are eating, it's how they're moving.
SL: My kids come home from school and they have so much homework, and piano lessons, and everything else. How can parents help kids find extra time for exercise?
MO: We have to think about it not as another activity but as play. I tell my girls it's as simple as running up and down the hallway with the dog. Think of creating [opportunities] for kids to play. They can play inside just as easily as they can play outside. In some communities playing outside isn't safe. It's difficult to look at a mother and say, ?You should let your kid ride a bike,? when there's gunfire going on. A lot of it is turning off the TV, creating more boundaries around computer time.