On October 21, 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted an event called “The Healthy Kids Fair “. The fair was part of the White House’s initiative to promote exercise and healthy eating among children in the US.
“Right now one in three children in this country are overweight or obese. And as I’ve said many times before, if we think we’re dealing with a serious health problem now, you know, then we project out to five, 10, 20 years from now when we see these rates increase and all the illnesses that result from obesity, whether it’s high blood pressure, or heart disease, cancer,” the first lady said in a speech during the event.
“And believe it or not, which is a very surprising thing, medical experts are now warning that for the first time in the history of this nation, we’re headed for the next generation being on track to have a shorter life span than us. That’s the way we’re going right now,” she added.
Though Michelle encourages parents to teach their kids about healthy eating habits, she does admit that it is “easier said than done.”
“But it’s hard to do everything. And when you come home from a long day at work, and the refrigerator is empty, and you know you don’t feel like cooking — (laughter) — the easiest and sometimes the cheapest thing to do is to get in a fast food drive-thru. We’ve all done it because we are overwhelmed and we don’t know what the options are.”
Though “options” may seem limited at the moment, Michelle encourages parents to find a balance with their kids.
“So it’s not about any absolute no’s. It’s just about striking a balance. And that’s what I know your[referring to kids in the audience] moms are trying to teach you all. That’s what I’m trying to teach my girls.”
Michelle added that her daughters Malia,11, and Sasha,8, seldom watch television.
“In our household, no TV during school days. And only a couple hours during the weekend, I’m sorry. But because the TV is off, my girls get up and they move. Even if they’re pushing each other down, they’re running.”