by celine.m on March 29, 2015 - 2:26pm
Michelle Lavaughn Robinson Obama also known and referred to as the First Lady, is a lawyer as well as the wife of the 44th President of the United States of America; Barack Obama. When she describes who she is and how she identifies herself, being a mother is always her first response. However, as I previously mentioned, she is also a wife, a lawyer, an advocate as well as a role model for many women.
Michelle Obama grew up in Chicago and later moved on to study sociology and African-American Studies at Princeton University. She graduated with a Law degree from Harvard and moved back to Chicago to pursue her career practicing law. After a few years with the firm, Michelle realized that her role in life would be to help people and support her community. She enrolled as an assistant commissioner at Chicago’s city Hall and founded Public Allies, a program that prepares youth for public services. Continuing along this path of community work, she developed the first community service program at the University of Chicago This program led to many opportunities for volunteerism, which were greatly accepted and encouraged by the University students. Michelle Obama helps many women balance work and family, she supports military families and promotes healthy eating as well as living a healthy lifestyle. Her most recent campaign that supports this ideology is Let’s Move!
Let’s Move is a campaign launched by the first lady that aims to reduce childhood obesity in America. Her main objective is for young children to grow up in a nutritionally healthy environment. The campaign works by educating parents as well as children on making healthier choices. It also provides schools with healthy lunches, as well as families with healthier foods. The campaign also encourages children to become more active in their every day lives.
Michelle Obama decided to overcome childhood obesity as one of her duties as being the first Lady. Over the past decade obesity rates have dropped 43%. It is not entirely due to her campaign however, it has had an impact. This campaign has been running for over five years now and it has been reported that 1.6 million children are attending much healthier day cares. Nine million students are exercising at least sixty minutes a day and are participating in Active Programs at schools (Obama 2015)
Michelle Obama has also contributed to diminish obesity by collaborating with Wal-Mart to promote more healthy living. This corporation has been criticized for promoting obesity by making junk food easily attainable in large quantities. Therefore people eat more food when it is cheaper (Peterson 2015). However, this contribution between Michelle and Wal-Mart is a five-year project aimed at reducing foods with fats, sugars and large quantities of salts. By 2015, Wal-Mart wishes to reduce the sodium in their overall products by 25% and their sugar by 10% (Rushe 2011). Also, the campaign is focused on reducing prices of healthier food choices to afford everyone and the opportunity to purchase these items. According to Bill Simon, president and chief executive of Wal-Mart U.S “No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford.” Wal-Mart has also developed a way to inform customers about healthy choices by introducing healthy seals on their products which will help them make beneficial choices.
As previously mentioned in my two previous summaries on; Newsactivist; Obesity; and Obesity in America, this is a problem that affects many people’s lives and needs to be taken very seriously. Obesity rates have increased from 13% in 1960 to 35% in 2012 (Paquette 2015). As the rates continue to rise dramatically, it is important to inform the next generation about choices that need to be made in order for them to live a healthier lifestyle. Michelle Obama is positively impacting and influencing America to become more active and to make healthier choices. Her campaign and collaboration with Wal-Mart will not extinguish obesity, however it can impact the way Americans perceive their current lifestyle which can ultimately result in people becoming more aware of their unhealthy habits.
Researching this epidemic of overweight individuals, made me realize that perhaps people need is a decrease in their technology usage rather than promoting healthy eating and regular exercising. Although I agree and applaud Michelle’s Obama initiative, maybe the problem is a little more complexes than it seems. According to a report from the nonprofit Milken Institute, “Technology doesn’t just keep people in their chairs and on sofas. It changes the way people eat, also-adding more pounds than the lack of exercise alone would.”(Fox 2012) The question we need to ask ourselves is how would we be able to control the use of technology to overcome obesity?
Fox, Maggie. ‘’How your computer is making you fat.’’ NBC. NBC, 23rd October 2012. Web. 28th March 2015.
Obama, Michelle. ‘Michelle Obama: My challenge to you.’’CNN. CNN, 26th March 2015.Web. 28th March 2015.
Peterson, Haley. ‘’Report Blames Wal-Mart For America’s Obesity Epidemic.’’ Business insider. Business Insider, 27th January 2015. Web. 28th March 2015.
Rushe, Dominic. ‘’Michelle Obama to support Wal-Mart initiative for healthy eating.’’ The Guardian. The Guardian, 20th January 2011. Web. 28th March 2015.
The White House. First Lady Michelle Obama. The White House, N.B. The White House. Web. 28th March 2015. https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/first-lady-michelle-obama
Wilgoren, D, Yan Q Mui. ‘’With praise from Michelle Obama, Wal-Mart announces healthy food campaign.’’ The Washington Post. The Washington Post, 20 January 2011. Web. 28th March 2015.
Worstal, Tim. ‘’Wal-Mart Makes You Fat. No, Seriously, It’s Been Proven.’’ Forbes. Forbes, 29th January 2015. Web. 28th March 2015.