Monday, January 24, 2011

A Few Thoughts on Michelle Obama's Healthy Food Crusade

Picture Courtesy of Getty Images

Yes, there have been critics of First Lady Michelle Obama's health initiatives, but what she's doing is certainly needed. Americans are not nearly as healthy as we would like to believe, so anyone trying to change this reality is a hero (or She-ro) in my book. Unveiled last year, Obama's "Let's Move" Campaign" has been praised for its strong stance on health and wellness.

Every First Lady has a project that dominates their time in the White House. Nancy Reagan talked about drug use. Barbara Bush supported literacy programs. Hillary Clinton embraced universal health care. Laura Bush focused her attention on education in general. With big shoes to fill, Michelle Obama had to make a big splash with her activities, and she has done just that.

Last week, she appeared with executives from Wal-Mart. The retailer announced that it was offering more healthy foods, and promised to push its suppliers in the same direction. They also pledged to make even more food items healthier and affordable in five years, and open more stores in historically underserved areas.

Though she's taken some unnecessary hits by critics, this is very clearly a huge victory for her campaign. Huge. For years, I've argued that millions want to "eat right", so to speak, but healthy foods typically cost more. If you're trying to save money, many go for what's affordable. That's a fact. So politics aside, Michelle Obama's efforts are making a difference.


  1. I enjoyed your blog post. I am excited about the First Lady's healthy initiative. The rate of Type II diabetes in children is growing and the need for exercise and healthy eating is even more important.

  2. I find it so strange that the healthy foods used to be some of the least expensive only 25 years ago so many of our nations poor were also the most well nourished, provided they had enough to eat at all. Now we have corporations getting rich off selling the poor cheap food in convenient packages. Go Michelle Obama Go!

  3. "We Do Big Things" I am expecting great things from Michelle Obama and the Lets Move Campaign. Personally, I appreciate this initiative on such an intimate level. I grew up in an environment where I didn't learn about healthy foods and healthy living until I was about 19 and already living on my own. Even then, while living in the Bronx, I can't tell you how easy it is to eat cheap by going with the fast food chains clustered all over every block. Its so important we teach our youth to treat their bodies with respect. I completely agree with you, her critics are less warranted and they should concern themselves with campaigns that are doing less good then Michelle. Great post and fantastic feedback, as always!

  4. Students in my lab created an App for her Apps 4 Healthy Kids Campaign. While the FDA Food Pyramid is the basis, one of our UCF nutritionists created a whole program that went even further than the pyramid to help link food to energy and acomplishment. It's for kids 9-12. Check it out at and let us know what you think. You can play on the Web or a smartphone.